The other night my husband and I got to catch up with good friends over a glass of wine. I commented to my friend Eric, a seasoned software developer, that the Austin job market is one of the hottest in the U.S. and it’s a great time to explore what else is out there. His answer, “No thanks, I’m happy with the status quo–my job at the state is good enough,” surprised me. But I also felt compassion and understanding for where he is.
It’s so easy to fall asleep, to move through our days on auto pilot, to keep doing what “seems to work”–rather than finding the energy to stretch and come into a higher expression of who we are professionally and personally. But our lives are in large part, a series of habits, both good and bad. And if we keep doing the same thing, we’re going to keep getting the same results. (Read more about why it’s important to do it different.)
I share this not because I never succumb to unhealthy habits and ruts, but because I want to always keep evolving and exploring new ways of seeing and being. And to keep shedding my old, bulky “skin” so I can make way for what wants to emerge and what makes me come alive.
One thing that helps me depart from the status quo is by continually asking, “What helps me stay awake to my life and my purpose?” and, “What new thing am I being called to learn?” This summer my list includes taking a Wednesday afternoon pottery class, a Saturday modern dance class and taking a mini writing sabbatical to embark on an exciting new (and totally unknown) writing project.
It’s amazing how many people I meet who say they feel they’re sleepwalking through their lives.
Once after speaking at a large conference on the importance of saying “yes” to life, a woman from the audience approached me with tears running down her face. She was a very successful executive, mom of three and her list of accomplishments was dizzying. But, she lamented, “For so long now, I’ve been performing and just going through the motions. My actions have been robotic–doing what I think I ‘should do,’ rather than what makes me come alive or speaks to my heart. For the first time I’m realizing I haven’t been present to my own life. I haven’t been present to myself. Now I’m wondering … what have I been missing?”
This week, challenge the status quo and your habits and routines, but with compassion and curiosity. Allow yourself to open up to new possibilities you’ve never considered. Just this act alone, can change everything.
READY TO STEP OUT OF THE STATUS QUO? Here are three opportunities:
- Attend one of my self-renewal retreats and receive high-level support, mentoring and connect with women from around the globe.
- Check out all of my online classes, available 24/7 & ready to enjoy from the comfort of your home, office, jogging trail or car.
- Explore the idea of facilitating or joining our Personal Renewal Groups for women (in 10 countries worldwide); becoming a RTA-Certified Facilitator can be a great way to transition to a new career field!
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining Personal Renewal Groups based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 15 year-old son. More on her background here.