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Why Looking Back Might Be The Answer to Getting Ahead…or Retreat to Move Forward (thanks 30 Rock)

by | Oct 30, 2018

Hello! Welcome to the blog. The last few weeks I have been digging into the issue so many women in midlife face: owning your value and worth. It can show up in many ways and limit us: make us play small and even doubt ourselves to the point of paralysis. In this post I offer one way to begin to shift that for yourself, a couple of stories to illustrate, and a pretty kick ass offer at the end. Read on!

If you haven’t seen the 30 Rock episode called Retreat To Move Forward, do yourself a favor. Oh, the irony of corporate speak, it’s hilarious. Liz Lemon ends up in just her bra on stage. Anyway, lately I’ve noticed that looking backward to where we’ve been can be one of the fastest ways to propel ourselves ahead.

An example:

A few weeks ago I was feeling kinda stuck. I was lamenting that I have been toiling away at this lil’ business of mine for, like…ever. (Insert dramatic sigh and eye roll). I was feeling stymied, and somewhat plateaued, kinda like a failure: including impostor syndrome, lack of motivation, and a whole shit ton of self doubt. Does what I say even matter? Will I succeed? Should I just chuck this whole stupid dream and just go get a job?

Then I had an opportunity to shift my thinking. Well, first I had a tech problem with my website that was maddening and I avoided working on it for a year. A YEAR! Sheesh. Anyway, I finally got fed up with not being able to figure it out and called for help to customer service, (a whole other post…asking for help) and it turns out it was a glitch and I could never have solved it on my own. Hmmmmm, so I’m not a total moron. Ok. Ok, I like it. I began to look back on all my blog posts and realized my first post was last November. I double checked the date. November, 2017. Huh. I would have SWORN I had been plodding away for years. But no, in reality it’s been less than a year.

Then I started ticking off my successes in that year. To my surprise, the list was rather long. Well, whaddaya know? The story I had been telling myself was a complete and total fabrication to confirm my feeling of lameness. Whoa….DUDE. Within minutes I started feeling a little proud of myself. Then I started to feel kinda good. Then I actually stood up, in my kitchen and did a little celebratory “I pretty much rock” dance.

What a major realization. We can create any story to seem true to backup what we are feeling. What does this mean for us as we’re navigating the world in search of owning our value and trusting ourselves? Well, for one thing, it means we really need to reflect. A lot. We need to keep track of what we are doing so that when we get stuck we can look back for evidence and facts and not allow our feelings to steer the ship. It means we need to constantly be asking ourselves if what we are feeling is true and how do we KNOW it’s true.

Another example:

A friend, and fellow entrepreneur, recently discovered that the paralyzing “impostor syndrome” fear she’s feeling as she grows the newest incarnation of her business is almost identical to 4 years past when she started her first business. This freed her up to remember that what she is going through is A) normal and B) temporary and C) she really does know what to do next. Thankfully, she has journals to read through and a daily brag book to look back on.

Even just taking a moment to look back on how far you’ve come in whatever journey you’re on can do wonders. My “divorce buddy” friend and I often check each other’s lamenting by reminding each other about where we were a year, or two, or five ago. It’s absolutely amazing how quickly your thinking shifts when you get a different perspective: you relax and slow your roll into “I suckville” when you can see so clearly how far you’ve come.

So, dear reader, where are you feeling stuck? Where can you find ways to reflect on your progress? How can you use evidence to help you own your own value and worth and to begin really trusting yourself? I swear that looking backwards can be one of the fastest ways to unfuck ourselves, to get us out of our heads.

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FREE CHECKLIST TO THRIVING IN MIDLIFE

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