Transitions, Tests, and Upgrades: How To Move Forward Fearlessly When It’s Tempting *NOT* To.
Welp, the NYC streets are packed again, the smells are back with a vengeance, and there are lines around the block for the new Harry Potter Store on 5th Avenue.
Yep. NYC is back in action. And all the signs are pointing to one thing:
IT’S TIME. The transitional moment is HERE.
Pivot or back-pedal.
Reimagine or regress.
Evolve or escape.
If you’re feeling particularly…um…tested lately (by people, by work, by life being life), welcome to the club.
*Because you, along with pretty much everyone else, are in the middle of a transition.*
*And transitions bring tests.*
Tests, in this context, are conversations, instances, or occurrences that give us opportunities to cement our choices in stone.
If you’ve ever put in your two weeks’ notice at a lackluster job and then all the sudden had a pretty great two weeks at work – congrats, you’ve experienced a “test.”
How much DO you want it, really?
How committed ARE you, really?
Important side note here. Not *everything* is a “test.”
(Side note to the side note, I feel like I want to add this “not everything, because nuance and individuality” caveat to every other thing I write/say, because the internet seems to like to take one thing and make it true for eVeRyOnE. But hopefully, I don’t have to Side-Note my way around conversations with you, and you know this side note to be true.)
BUT, if you have something you’ve said you’re working toward… something you want badly… something you’ve committed to… or just something you know you don’t want in your life anymore, I’ll bet you’ve experienced something that’s made you wonder if you should just stay put and NOT make the thing — whatever it is — happen.
For me, tests have looked like:
- Multiple work or social invites on the same day: I’ve said I don’t want to go back to overscheduling and overextending myself, so my test is that I’m gonna get multiple chances to overschedule and overextend myself. Do you care more about your mental health or fitting everyone else in? (mental health.)
- More “meh” workouts than “yeah!!” ones: I’ve said I don’t want to define my badassery by my workouts, so my test is that those workouts that in the past have made me feel super badass are NOT happening. Do you care more about how you feel or about what you do? (how I feel.)
- More delightful and/or urgent social media content, less “followers”: Ok, this is one I think I’ve written and rewritten about 8xs. I’ve said I want to only create content that lights us BOTH up — meaning, only creating content that either delights me/you AND OR content that lights a vital fire under me/you. After the massive year that was 2020, I got really discouraged by seeing so many people go back to old harmful habits, old negative self-talk loops, or just old un-joyful patterns that they SWORE they’d never visit again. Like, REALLY discouraged.And so I vowed to myself I would only post what brings joy or moves us forward (or both). This has been a non-negotiable for me, and my test has been that my “follower” count has gone down instead of up (and as someone working on a book, I’m also hyper aware of the relationship between publishers and platform numbers). So the question has been: Do you care more about the impact you make, or the numbers you see? (impact I make. every damn time.)
There have been more. I’ve been tested quite a lot ?
Because I’m becoming a NEW version of myself.
Just How It Is and Just How I Am are no longer the same as they once were, and I don’t want them to be.
When it comes to moving forward when it’s easy NOT to, I’m actually HIGHLY motivated by regret.
Not in a fear-based way. But rather, a fired-up way.
Whenever I face a test, I stop to get perspective:
If today was the last day of your life, would you regret how you did things?
Is this a decision I’ll look back on one day as a “fork-in-the-road” moment…and regret not ever experiencing the fork-prong-not-traveled?
Or will I look back and be glad that, at the very least, I TRIED to go down the path I chose?
I bet you’ve been tested at least once this year, too.
AND THIS IS THE THING:
Your life will be a constant reevaluation.
It’s gonna change. You will change. It’s inevitable. Remember to constantly reevaluate.
Reevaluate what and who inspires you. Reevaluate your passions, your missions, the person you are out in the world. Reevaluate what truly matters most. It’s a tragedy to live life as an outdated version of yourself, hitting TEST after TEST after TEST and choosing not to move forward, all the while convincing yourself it’s “Just How It Is” and “Just How You Are.”
But Just How You Are can change whenever you want it to.
This is YOUR life. You get to decide where you go and what you do. Any choice can be the “right” choice, really, as long is it’s a choice you can wholeheartedly stand behind when you ask yourself:
If today was the last day of my life, would I regret how I did things?
You do not owe anyone a past version of yourself because that version is familiar.
Allow yourself the upgrade.