Did You Ever Have One of Those Moments?
You’ve been thinking about making this change or that. Thinking and thinking – for days, weeks, months or even years. And finally you muster up the courage to dive in. It’s exhilarating and you feel so proud of yourself. And moments later, you find yourself nervously saying, “okay, now what?”
I’m a planner. An analyst. A deep thinker. These can be great strengths, but left unchecked, they can also create barriers to progress. I want to know everything…before I move forward.
It’s virtually impossible to know everything about any venture we pursue though. How much is enough, and what do we do once we’re in the midst of change and don’t know how to proceed?
Embracing and moving through change can be daunting. But the key, I think, is to just keep moving.
Let Me Tell You a Story
Coexisting with a Beast (of a Closet)
My home was built in 1950, a time when it appears that American families had little need for closet storage. The closets in my charming little cape are at best tiny and inefficient, and at worst, complete nightmares. There are only four in the whole house, one of which is irredeemable and two are (barely) tolerable. And then…there is the coat closet.
This closet was like two closets combined into one. Roughly five feet deep and two and a half feet wide, it’s an awkward space. In the back were deep shelves. They were OK. The held a ton of stuff. BUT! In front of them was a rail for hanging coats. And once the coats were in, you couldn’t access the stuff behind them. And because this was the only closet on the first floor of our home, we also loaded it up with all the things that didn’t have a proper place but needed to be out of sight. These things were crammed in under and in front of the coats. So I hung coat hooks outside the closet for everyday use. As much as possible, I avoided opening this closet because the mere sight of it stressed me out. Nightmare.
I lived with this for eleven years (!!) before I decided living with that beast of a closet was worse than my fear of ruining the space completely with my novice home improvement skills.
Embracing Change to Tame the Beast
One cold November Saturday, I went into the basement and found a mallet, dragged everything out of that closet, and started swinging. I had an idea of what I was doing, but no clear plan. In fact, at no point during this project did I know with certainty what was coming next because I was 100% learning as I worked. But I trusted myself to figure everything out, work carefully, and make this closet – finally! – usable for my family.
Along the way there were snags, a ridiculous number of trips to the store, and (significantly) I had to acquire some new skills, like wielding a power drill with an enormous bit. But we live in an age when information is just a Google search away and can learn the basics of doing virtually anything on YouTube. And, thank God!, my friendly neighborhood hardware store staff are knowledgeable and always happy to help (even if my utter cluelessness made them giggle just a little).
The result? Total closet bliss! We have a bright and clean, thoughtfully arranged, and highly usable space now that has helped with the general flow of things in our home a great deal. And it’s removed a pain point and freed up all the mental and emotional energy that I was – unknowingly – investing in working around it. Success!
Back Into the Closet
I find myself back in that closet again as I am working on this blog. There’s an enormous learning curve on the technology side, and I have a lot of work to do on mapping out my message and figuring out how to make this a fun, engaging and valuable experience for you. It’s really satisfying and exciting, but I have my moments of overwhelm and frustration, too. But I know that I must trust myself and just keep moving as I did in the case of the closet. I will figure everything out, have fun doing it, and deliver an experience that adds value to my life and yours.
To Get Through Change, Just Keep Moving
Is there a “closet” in your life that you need to tackle? Do you have the desire and just enough information to inspire you to take action? Do it! There are so many resources available to help you tackle any almost challenge or change that presents itself to you.
Do you need to trust yourself more? You are capable of so much. You are smart, talented and resourceful. All you need to do is decide to see it through and then keep moving. One step completed takes you into the next and the next. Keep moving. Exercise caution when you need to but don’t let fear hold you back. Keep moving. Some things might not go just as expected, and that’s okay! Learn and keep moving. And when you keep moving, you will soon look up and realize that you’ve done it!
Challenges come along to help us grow, change and improve. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Keep moving. And know that I’m excitedly rooting for you. You’re going to rock this change.