As you probably know or don’t know I love helping People take their next steps!
If you’re anything like most people you have a laundry list of to do lists and projects you want to get done. The last thing I want to do is add to the do list. Instead I want to help people take their next step.
Most of the time our next step isn’t adding anything or to do anything outwardly. It’s done inwardly.
Often our next step is to let go of something so we can make space/room for something better in our life. In other words, we need to trim the dead branches that aren’t bearing the fruit in our life so we can use our energy for something greater and more meaningful.
I want to share the top 4 Next Steps that College Students wrote down at the conference I spoke at the past week.
“Forgive and Let Go of the Past”
Often, we are so focused on our missteps we don’t feel confident enough to take our next steps. I counted 4 or more cards that read they’re next step was gaining more confidence. But how do we gain confidence? How do we let go of the past?
First off, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. But it’s not as hard as it seems. Often we lacking confidence can come from shame, blaming ourselves, having a victim mindset or guilt. In other words we let our past experiences dictate our present reality and future vision. No one is perfect. You don’t have to dig very far to find dirt on me. In fact you wouldn’t even have to dig. I’m very imperfect and fail all the time. More than I want to admit actually.
– I get called out often for mistakes. Or I call myself out inwardly.
– I forget small things often. For example I always forget my clothes in the bathroom of my house.
– I say one thing and then do another.
– I think I’m finally getting a grasp on something than I realize I haven’t made as much progress as I hoped.
Often, this can be my reality. But our past doesn’t define us. Our past experiences don’t dictate our future reality. And there is purpose for everything that has gone wrong. If I was perfect all the time I would have nothing to talk about with anybody. I couldn’t relate to people. I couldn’t grow as a person. And life would be boring since I have nothing to gain and nothing to get better at. Letting go of the facade that we are perfect gives us permission to move on. It’s an invitation that gives our shame no place left to hide. To me that is freedom.
About forgiveness for a moment. Forgiving ourselves doesn’t mean its okay what we did or what others did. Forgiving doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Forgiving doesn’t even mean it doesn’t hurt us anymore. Forgiving means I am letting go of being perfect and others needing to be perfect. Forgiving doesn’t mean we or they can keep doing harm to ourselves. Its an opportunity to move on and to take our next step. What it isn’t is an opportunity to hold onto the wrong people or our own wrong doing. Which one brings more freedom? Letting go or holding on to something unhealthy for us?
“Deleting Social Media”
This is an extreme next step for most people. I’m not saying anyone should delete social media in a general sense. There however can be a small next step for all of us in this. Maybe we don’t need to delete social media but maybe we just need to delete the app from our phones? This way we can just go on them when we are on our laptop or tablet. Maybe we need to download an app that puts a timer on our social media? Maybe we just need to delete one app that we just simply spend too much time on? We don’t need to take really hard steps all the time. Maybe just a small one today.
I firmly believe we don’t need more time in a day. We have exactly enough time in our day to show ourselves and others what’s really important to us.
How do you spell LOVE? T.I.M.E. What we spend our time on is whats really important to us. We can’t tell someone we love them if we don’t give them our time. We can’t tell others our goals are important to us when we spend more time on social media or video games than our goals. Show me what you spend most of your time on each day and I will show you what is important to you.
Stay Away From Negative People
This is such an obvious one but are we REALLY doing it? We all say we want to be healthy but often nothing happens after that sentence is mumbled. Our next steps aren’t easy but they are often simple. They don’t include math or trying to figure out the future. They often just include a next step that is hard to take but we know we should take them. The question I believe is do we have enough faith that bigger and better things are going to happen if we take our next step? We don’t always need to know the answer or future to take our next step. We just need to take it.
Maybe your next step today is to finally remove yourself from an apathetic friendship. I call apathetic people “Energy Vampires”. They often vent about everything and don’t take responsibility for their part. It’s never “their fault.” The victim mindset is a normal for them.
We want to help people. We want to be there. But if it’s becoming apparent they don’t want to help then don’t help them anymore. If it becomes obvious they just want to always vent and complain without taking real next steps to change their circumstances then its time to cut the cord. Let’s give them what they want which is no help. Often we think people want help but only if means others doing it for them or if it means doing something really easy. But no real change happens from us staying within our comfort zone usually.
Give yourself 100% full permission to let go of dead weight friendships that don’t grow you. That don’t make you happy and waste your time.
If we are saying yes to something draining we are saying no to joy and peace to ourselves.
Let’s say no to the wrong people and environment.