I remember the first time I heard the concept of course correcting. I was in my early twenties attending my first personal development deep-dive seminar, The Pursuit of Excellence. The facilitator talked about how an airplane does not fly a straight course and is constantly course correcting to arrive at the intended destination.
Little did I know, that my plane would veer way off course over and over and sometimes it was years before I woke up and realized, this was not my intended direction or I’d arrive and realize that the destination wasn’t for me after all.
Life has many twists and turns. Curve balls happen. Computers crash. Squirrel’s eat wiring. Tires go flat. Keys get lost and well thought out plans end up in left field before you even arrive at the office.
Well let me tell you, I used to get so frustrated when my carefully plotted course got blown to smithereens. My anxiety would escalate, I’d fall head first into ‘woe is me’ and turn a bad hour into a bad day. I’d pop my Taurus horns out, put my nose to the grind stone and go into ‘I can handle this mode’ while riding in a plane that was nose diving towards earth.
Not much fun. Did I get it handled? You betcha! But at a huge cost to my well-being.
There are three types of course correcting:
- Daily adjustments (due to squirrels eating wiring etc…)
- Tweaks when habits slip away, pounds slip on, sugar slips in.
- The big kahuna’s…relationships that no longer work. Jobs that need to go. The biggies! If you’ve arrived at your ‘Big Kahuna’ …click here and read the last paragraph.
How to Course Correct in Three Swift Moves:
#1: Take inventory. Every few weeks (mark this on your calendar) take a personal inventory and ask these questions:
- Have I let any of my good habits slip? If so, why?
- How am I feeling – mind, body and soul?
- Am I over-pleasing, over-extending and over-yessing…again?
- Am I savoring moments or always focused on what is in front of me?
#2: Ease in. When a pilot corrects the course of a plane, she doesn’t suddenly crank the joy stick hard right (thank God). Ask these questions:
- What is one thing I can do differently to adjust my course?
- On a scale of 1-10, will I actually make this adjustment? Hmm…
- If not, make a smaller more achievable adjustment.
#3: Prioritize ‘you’. Deadlines, goals, dreams, desires, helping others…nothing is more important than your well-being. Ask these questions:
- Am I helping because I want to, or I feel I have to?
- Am I putting other peoples needs before my own? If so, why?
- Where am I on my to do list? Oh.Oops!
Yes. Oops. Not self-loathing. Not beating yourself up. Not talking harshly to yourself. Not putting yourself down. Just oops.
We are human, we ‘oops’ often! Ease in. Lighten up. Laugh out loud. Adjust your course…again.