You Can’t Make it Happen

During the eighties and nineties the concept of designing a life was very popular and I was a great supporter of it. I imagine that may have been where the phrase ‘Make it happen’ began. As time passed and my life didn’t match the ideal life that I had designed for myself, I became increasingly aware that this concept is flawed, and our attempts to make it happen can sometimes make life harder than it needs to be.

A question I am sometimes asked is, “How can we set goals and be responsible, yet remain detached from the outcome?”

So let’s go back to the concept of designing a life. When we set a goal we usually have an expectation of how we will feel when we achieve that goal. We think that when someone loves me I will feel happy, or when I have financial security I’ll feel happy, and while it’s nice to have those things they don’t guarantee happiness.

The life I designed for myself was to be married, have four children and be the woman behind the man, who would own a successful business. I achieved some of my goals but I didn’t get married, I had three children, but as one died at a young age, the reality is I have two children. I became successful in my own right, which is way more fulfilling than my original plan and I became a best selling author. The reality of my life turned out different to what I imagined but I am a better person for the experiences I’ve gone through, and I now know that my original vision would not have fulfilled me.

What I discovered is that we have no control over goals that include other people, so while we can pray, visualise and support others to achieve their goals we cannot manipulate them to do what we want. We cannot force someone to love us, or even when they do, we cannot force them to live the life we believe is right for them, as the life they are living may be perfect for them to achieve their life purpose.

I believe we always take responsibility and do what we can to create the life that is important to us. That means that in some instances we prepare, gain the skills, save, do whatever is necessary. Then we get on with life and trust.

I liken detachment to gardening. When we plant a seedling it is small. We put it in soil that is full of nutrients and in a position that suits the need of the plant. We feed it, water it, maybe even talk to it, that’s the taking responsibility part. When we are not tending the plant we get on with our life and trust that the plant will grow. It’s the same with our dreams, we do what we need to do to turn them into reality, if they die as some seedlings do, we know there is something better for us. We trust that life is guiding us down a pathway that is more suited to us.

Forget trying to make it happen, set up the right conditions, do what you can then allow life to guide you to the life that will make you happiest. The Universe knows what you need, trust it!

 

To Expand Your Comfort Zone – Trust

There was a time in my life when I just had to ask for what I wanted and it was like turning on a tap, it was there. Then one day the tap dried up and it didn’t matter how hard I tried, or how much I gave, nothing changed. Fortunately, the tap is now flowing freely again and I now know that only happens when I trust.

Life continually provides us with opportunities to expand our comfort zone and to go beyond our expectations. We are the ones who limit ourselves. The problem for most people is that they either don’t realise they have an issue trusting, or they don’t know how to trust. Here’s some ways for you to build your trust muscle.

1. Be trust neutral. When we don’t trust we tend to shut down emotionally, or close a part of ourselves off from others. Rather than doing this make the choice to be trust neutral. You can be open and friendly in new relationships you just choose not to share anything of a confidential nature. Or, give your heart or money, to someone until you know them better.

2. People tell you who they are all the time. To become a good judge of character you need to develop your perception skills and you do this by observing. Really listen to the words people say and take note if their words contradict their actions. For instance, if someone tells you they are a person of integrity yet they are having an illicit affair their actions contradict their words. If someone tells you that you can trust them with a confidence and they gossip about others, it would be downright foolish to trust them.

3. Reflect and observe. If you can’t trust your own judgement, it’s hard to trust someone else. Look back over past choices that supported you and ask yourself why you made that choice. Look at the times you had problems trusting yourself and ask yourself if you allowed a fear to control your life, or were your concerns valid. By observing what has worked for you in the past you will learn to differentiate between fear and intuition.

4. It’s easier to trust when you have a contingency plan. When you are making any choice which involves a financial risk I always find it helps to have a contingency plan. This is an alternate plan for what you can do if your choice doesn’t work out the way you hope. This is ideally used for situations such as when you change jobs, start a business or make a major financial decision. I know I feel more comfortable have two or three contingency plans that I can fall back on if things don’t go the way I plan. This is not planning for failure, it ensures that you can focus on your goal without fear getting in your way.

5. Keep your dreams to yourself. The more you share your dreams with others the more likely you are to doubt yourself. Other people, while well intentioned, often tell you their fears and before long you start to doubt yourself. Many dreams that have been shared too early die before they even get started.

6. Trust builds confidence. Many people come for coaching because they want to feel more confident. Acting like a confident person isn’t going to make you feel confident, being a trusting person will. As you learn to trust your own judgement and trust yourself you naturally become more confident.

There is actually a lot more you can do to become a trusting person so start thinking about what you need to do and in what area of your life do you need to trust more. Then every time you feel fearful, or find yourself about to react in your usual way ask yourself how you would act if you were a trusting person. Then act that way.

LEARNING TO TRUST

In 1979 Denis Waitley was on his way to a speaking engagement and was booked on a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles.  He arrived at the airport late and had to run for the flight.  He arrived in the departure lounge just as they locked the door to the plane.  Denis argued, begged and pleaded to be allowed on that flight as it was the only one that could get him to his engagement in time.  Despite his protests he wasn’t allowed on board and he stomped back to the ticket counter to register a complaint.

While standing in line 20 minutes later, Denis heard that the plane had crashed on take-off and there were no survivors.  Denis keeps that unvalidated plane ticket on a bulletin board in his home office.  Whenever he gets annoyed he looks at that ticket and remembers how grateful he is just to be alive, it was a vital lesson for him in learning to trust.

Taking action towards your most important goals on a regular basis indicates trust.  Remember this, trusting is rarely about taking one step, it’s about taking one step after another.  If you visualise, meditate or pray, do so repeatedly.  I’m not a fan of please, please, please type of prayer, I prefer to ask once and then say ‘thank you’ in advance as if I already have what I’ve asked for.  Visualise yourself as having achieved the goal just before going into a meditation and give thanks as if it is already a reality.

Learning to Trust

Action can include researching, learning, seeking advice, planning, clearing out and making way for the new, and creating a space for what you want in terms of time.  When you do this your attention automatically shifts towards the goal and away from the fear of not achieving the goal.

I often say, action comes first—feeling follows.  This is trust in action.  You need to act as if you trust before you can become a trusting person.

Miracle Of Surrender

When I wrote my book Love the Life you Live , I was in such a great space in my life I wanted to share it with the world.  The optimist in me expected to stay in that place, apart from minor problems, for the rest of my life.

That didn’t happen—I went from loving my life to struggling to get through the day. I believe that every life has a purpose and that is to develop to our full potential.  When we first awaken to our purpose we experience joy and passion, we feel fulfilled.  It’s much like graduating from university with an undergraduate degree, we have some knowledge but our experience is limited.

So that we can gain self-mastery and develop our potential to its fullest our soul provides us with opportunities, often in the shape of problems.  Sometimes we experience the same issues we think we’ve mastered, and I want to make this point very clear, it’s not because we have done anything wrong.  It is merely life presenting us with opportunities for mastery at a very deep level.

What enabled me to turn my life around many times has been reaching the point of surrender.  However, only recently have I been able to reach that level intentionally. In the past surrender always occurred when I reached a point where I could do no more, either emotionally or physically.  At those times I literally threw my hands up in the air and handed my problems over to the Universe and let go.  And, in every instance when I did a miracle occurred.

The Miracle Of Surrender

My life has presented me with the opportunities, time and time again, to trust. Trust at its deepest level is surrender.  It’s about putting the mind and will aside, accepting responsibility to do your bit, then trusting the Universe to do the rest.

Life always presents us with opportunities to live to our full potential.  By embracing the challenge and surrendering you recognise life’s gifts.