On Thursday I ran my Rising program for an amazing group of women. We were looking at how to keep going when times are tough. How do you find new ways? How can we build resilience? Given the difficult times we are in, it was perfect timing, and the conversation was courageous and transforming.

I wanted to share some of the distinctions we discussed to help when things are tough. I hope you find it useful too.

The first thing to remember is that we are not facing challenges because we are not good enough, or there is something wrong with us. This is often our default position. If I’m not parenting as well as would like, or not focused as much as I ‘should’ be, or not as patient as I normally am – it’s not because there is something wrong with me.

When we are stuck, it because we are up to stuff. That’s it. Breakdowns only occur in the face of commitment. No commitment = no problem!

It is because you are deeply committed that your less desired state shows up as a problem.

If you weren’t committed to being a good parent, shouting at the kids wouldn’t be a problem.

If you weren’t committed to expanding your business, not making that call wouldn’t be an issue.

If you weren’t committed to sharing your message, not writing that book wouldn’t worry you.

This commitment is to be celebrated.

To regain energy and direction:

Firstly, acknowledge that you are stuck. It’s ok (and necessary) to acknowledge this. Stop pretending. (What a relief!) You’re human. Getting blocked or stopped comes with the territory. It’s ok. You’re ok. Really.

Next, check out what you’re saying about it. What are you making it mean – about you, it, or them? Or all 3 when you’re on a roll! (What I call the Despair Triangle!)

Be real about the ‘it’s not fair’, the ‘it shouldn’t be this way’, the ‘I’m not good enough,’ the ‘they shouldn’t do that’ that you are saying, feeling, or thinking.

Lastly – and with great kindness, ask yourself what’s really going on? Usually what we think is going on, is usually not why we are so disempowered, or tired, or defeated. What we think the problem is, is often not.

If you’re short with your kids, if you’ve lost your mojo at work, if you’re not calling that client – what’s really going on? See what comes up for you.

With the women I have been working with, what’s really going on is deep stuff. There is grief and loss. For some it’s about not living the life they envisaged. For others it’s fury at what’s happening in the world. Or fear about the future. Or being worried about their kids.

Whatever it is, get present to what is really going on.

Stop and have a moment. This is hard. Hold a space for it. Know that it’s ok. Operating over the top of what’s really going on is exhausting. Whatever you are present to does not make you weak. It is an expression of your deep commitment.

When you have acknowledged what is really going on, return to what you are committed to. Get present to what is important to you: eg Being a great parent. Showing up as a leader. Making a difference in the world. You may find that the obstacle has softened. The energy has turned, just a bit.

What’s been really going on for you? What are you deeply committed to?

 I’d love to know.

Till next week,

Much love

Cathy

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