From the Pit of Despair to Storming the Castle

From the Pit of Despair to Storming the Castle

Sometimes life feels like we’re so stuck, deep in that dark hole, it’s unclear which way is the right way out. There’s options but which option is the one that’ll work? Is it worse to stay in the dark pit or try and get out? We can’t know until we try and sometimes fail.

Today, I can remind myself that the worst that’ll happen is I’ll be back where I was- yet I’ll be wiser than I was before I tried.

But five years ago I wasn’t so sure of this. I’d been in business as an organizer for a few of years and I’d found something I enjoyed doing- not because I was perfect at it, but because I’d learned through my own disorganization and was using that to help others. And yet I felt a sense of emptiness, I felt as if I wasn’t really living my purpose. It was a hard time because I was helping people but there was something missing, something that wasn’t coming through. After many months of feeling frustrated and uninspired (being stuck), it came to me that even though I was really good at helping people transform their spaces, what I wanted to do was bigger, was more important than only in the physical plane. I wanted to be a catalyst for helping people transform their lives.

Whoah, that’s a big thing to step into, but that’s what life was telling me.

HOW was this going to work? WHO was I to help people transform their lives?

As I sat in the bottom of my “pit of despair” (Princess Bride reference) I didn’t know what my next step was. I didn’t know how to live my purpose and help people the way I wanted to.

I wasn’t a counselor or a therapist. And I didn’t want to go back to school to become either of those. Eventually I was reminded that I was a teacher, and through teaching I had transformed peoples lives, which meant I could do it again. But what was I going to teach them? How to organize their sock drawer? That felt shallow.

Eventually I took one step: I started exploring the coaching field. Through many months of research and trying classes from different programs, I chose one. It was the Martha Beck Life Coach Training. I chose it not for the marketability of it, not because I was going to be guaranteed profits, but because it rang true in my body, it spoke to my soul.

I did the program and it was great. I was transforming and learning and I loved the potential I saw for my future clients.

Then…once again, I was stuck, paralyzed about what to do next. How was I suppose to get this out into the world? How was I going to share what had spoken to my soul with people who wanted their office to look neat? How was I going to be professional and still talk about energy and energy blocks that happen when clutter fills your space. I had no idea and I was unable to act for many months. I sat in that pit of despair, wondering if this was the right thing to do, or that was it. I felt so confused and pulled in so many directions. Plus, I was unhappy most of the time. I was stuck in paralysis, stuck in a tunnel that felt as if it lead to my purpose, but I didn’t know which way to go, didn’t know how to take my next step.

As you’ve just read, I’d been stuck before- stuck in the unsurity of why organizing wasn’t enough, stuck in the endless choices of which coaching program to take. But I had never felt so stuck as I did then, wanting desperately to live my purpose and help people make the great transformations that I knew was possible for them.

So I wallowed in my tunnel, my pit for a while, but eventually I didn’t want to be there anymore. I had finished a year of coach training and was using tools that I had learned but nothing was quite getting through.

I knew I had to take a small step, the first step, but I couldn’t do it alone. I needed my own coach to help me see where I was putting up blocks, where I was letting fear of failure paralyze me. It took working with other people to help me get out of that pit.

I would imagine that everyone gets paralyzed at some point in their lives, stuck in a pit they no longer want to be in and don’t know what the next step is. There are options, but what’s the right one. What I learned from that particular paralysis in my life, from my coach, and now from working with many people who get stuck all the time, is that the first step is the hardest. And your mind is going to put up so many thoughts to stop you, to keep you paralyzed, because staying in the pit is safer- or so your mind thinks. It’s safer than getting out, because your mind’s not sure what’s out there, it’s scared of the unknown AND at the same time your soul knows that there’s more, know’s that getting out is what you have to do.

So for any of you who are feeling stuck out there, acknowledge your brain’s nasty, action stopping, fear provoking, paralyzing thoughts, and take a step any way. It may not be the “right” step but it is a step, you’ll learn and be able to see the pit from a different place once you take a single step, you’ll see if it’s darker, or lighter. You’ll know more than you did yesterday.