There is a practice that I have used in coaching to help people consider what they want in the future. I have also used it with powerful results in my own life. It is called a ‘future ‘journal entry’. (To receive a PDF with instructions on how to create a future journal entry complete the form at the end of this post.) The basic idea is that you write a journal entry dated six months from today and put it in an envelope to review in six months. During the next six months your subconscious mind, which doesn’t distinguish between the future and the present (ask anyone who worries!), begins to work towards creating that future you wrote about. It often amazes me that I find people who struggle with setting goals find it very freeing to approach them as a future journal entry.
It doesn't always work though! I remember very clearly working with someone and she could not write a future journal entry. She had no idea, could not imagine, and certainly could not articulate where she wanted to be in six months. She wasn’t stuck - not in the traditional way the word is used in coaching. She had no idea what was next.
Sometimes in transition. You really don’t know what is next.
You know what you don’t want to do.
You don’t know what you do want to do.
Something has ended. Nothing has replaced it.
Stuck implies that you know where you want to go but you are experiencing barriers to getting there. The state I am referring to isn’t being stuck. It is sometimes referred to as ‘the liminal space’. Or being on the threshold. Coaching is often around getting you unstuck but sometimes being stuck is the right place to be.
The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and the establishment of the new, constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism. - John C Calhoun, American Senator.
In the next few blog posts, I will explore, from my personal and professional experience, how to live in this liminal space.
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