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Bust Out of Your Box

By Claudette Rowley

"Turning points announce themselves through a variety of vague symptoms: deep restlessness,
a yearning with no name, inexplicable boredom, the feeling of being stuck." --Gloria Karpinski

Do you

  • feel restless, agitated and/or bored?
  • notice you have developed a serious case of the "blahs"?
  • experience tremendous resistance to doing what you need to do?
  • have thoughts such as "What's the point?"

If you answered YES to two or more of these questions, your box may be too small. It's time to bust out! (For all of you who are thinking "What is she talking about?" - here's the explanation.)

Your box is a metaphor for the beliefs, rules and circumstances (aka BRCs) in your life that no longer work for you. You carry BRCs around despite that fact that they no longer serve your growth and development, and that it's in your best interest to discard them. For instance, my client Joanie was afraid to join a gym (even though she desperately wanted to) because she was concerned that she'd only use it for a month or so. If that happened, she'd feel like a failure and foolish in front of her friends and family. After reflecting, she recognized that she was hauling around an outmoded belief that it actually mattered how others perceived her decisions about whether or not she worked out.

Over time, these BRC's accumulate around us, brick by brick, walling us off from the awareness of what we want as well as the ability to act on what we want. I usually know that I'm in my box when I can't remember the last time that I had fun, or when someone asks what I do for fun, and my response is "Huh?" or something along those lines. As an entrepreneur and a mother, I'm busy and I work hard. It's easy to get trapped in my box of BRCs - to move from one responsibility to next without considering what's best for me. And sometimes having fun is best gift I could give myself.

Ways to bust out of your box:

  • Ask yourself, "What have I outgrown?"

  • Eliminate the thought that you need to feel better before taking action. For example, it's a common belief that feeling fear indicates that you shouldn't take action. Actually, the reverse is true. Most of the time, the only way to decrease fear is to do what you need to do.

  • Shift your perspective. Do one thing differently. This could be as simple as wearing purple socks if you usually wear black. It could be thinking, "Today, the glass is half full."

  • Consider what you might be avoiding in your life and ask yourself, "Why?" Make sure you answer that one honestly.

Identifying the need to "bust out of your box" is a wake up call, a warning that either your comfort zone has gotten too narrow or that you need to listen to yourself. The next time you feel restless or bored, develop a case of the "blahs" or feel resistance, capitalize on this opportunity to take a closer look at your beliefs, rules and circumstances. It might be time to shake 'em up.

© Copyright © 2006 Claudette Rowley
Claudette Rowley, coach and author, helps professionals identify and pursue their true purpose and calling in life. Learn more at Claudette Rowley.com.

Out of the box
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