I was in my early twenties attending my first personal development deep-dive seminar, The Pursuit of Excellence, and the facilitator shared 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 off course over and over. Sometimes it was years before I woke up and realized this was not my intended direction (like 13 years married to an alcoholic), or I’d arrive and realize that the destination wasn’t for me after all.
Life has so many twists and turns. Curveballs happen, computers crash, squirrels eat wiring (yes, this happened), tires go flat, keys get lost, and well-thought-out plans end up in left field before you even arrive at the office.
I used to get so frustrated when my carefully plotted course got blown to smithereens. My anxiety would escalate; I’d fall headfirst into ‘woe is me’ and turn a lousy hour into a bad day. I’d pop my Taurus horns out, put my nose to the grindstone and go into ‘I can handle this mode’ while riding in a plane that was nose-diving towards the earth.
Not much fun. Did I get it handled? You betcha! But at a considerable cost to my well-being.
There are three types of course-correcting:
- Daily adjustments (due to squirrels eating wiring etc…)
- Shifts when good habits slip away – pounds slip-on, busyness slips in.
- The big kahuna’s – relationships that drain you. 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 the present moment 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 joystick 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’. Where are you compromising your well-being?
Ask these questions:
- Am I helping others because I want to, or do I feel I have to?
- Am I putting other people’s needs before my own? If so, why?
- Where am I on my to-do list? Oh.Oops!
Yes. Oops. No self-loathing. No beating yourself up. No talking harshly to yourself. No putting yourself down.
JUST SAY “OOPS” and begin adjusting your course.
We are human, we ‘oops’ often! Ease in. Lighten up. Adjust.