I received the following email this morning, and felt it warranted an additional email for today:
A big congratulations to you! You are awesome. I know that I am not alone this year in having some really big challenges, and as I sit here reading this, I just thought of an idea that I would love to see you write an article for your E-Mail about.
Here's the deal. What does a person do when they have lost their motivation? When it seems like all the efforts of so many years have all been for naught? When simultaneously after working, planning and striving for decades their investments become worthless, they are mired in debt and find out their spouse was cheating on them, so end up in a terrible divorce. Then close friends begin to die and the energy to get up and get going in a day is a struggle in itself? When you just feel tired, alone and defeated and going through the motions?
Again, I say, it has not just been me having challenges this year. I have heard many of these same remarks from several people this year, and it seems all the rah rah speeches and "feel good" messages fall on tired ears. Especially later middle age ones. The energy to drive yourself is not the same as when you are younger. Starting over just doesn't have the same appeal as it does in your thirties. I would love to read your comments. You are always so inspirational.
I know Elizabeth is not alone - how she feels really mirrors how I was feeling in 2007. I have a couple of suggestions - in particular, the things I did myself to get and keep myself moving during the toughest of times.
First, I allowed myself to feel. Pretending everything is just peachy is exhausting and delays the healing process. Second, I connected to all of my blessings (health, daughter, clients, possibilities). Third, when I just couldn't get off the couch, I allowed myself to marinate in the BS for a limited amount of time (such as "two hours" or "the rest of the day"). Then I got into action - emotion is created by motion and I made myself walk on the treadmill and say affirmations ... make follow-up calls ... go to client lunches and out with the girls ... watch funny movies (or at least a little Seinfeld). I DID things, rather than sit and think about what was wrong. Also important: asking for help and creating a support system. You're not alone, even if you feel like you are. So reach out and create a strong support system - I know for a fact there are a lot of people who want to help you.
Coach's Note: the number of people who were upset I didn't reach out to them is so many I can't count them all. I didn't reach out until I was "all better" and I would have been better sooner if I had just asked for what I needed.
Finally, starting over is not all bad. You have a blank canvas on which you paint an entirely new life for yourself. You can choose whatever you want and go for that. Life is too short to be driving forward looking in the rearview mirror.
I believe the best is yet to come, even when right now life is feeling pretty lousy. Hang in there - the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT an oncoming train.