Thursday May 15, 2014
The title of this post is the title of the first chapter of my book, Letting Go Of The Status Quo. I was prompted to write about this topic this week because lately I’ve come across many clients, colleagues, and friends who admit that they have settled for an “okay” life. When I hear that, it reminds me of my own story and experience that I shared in the book about it not being okay for life to just be okay. Life is supposed to be much more than okay – it’s supposed to be wonderful.
One of the many things I learned (and wrote about in the book) is that a critical aspect of making life changes is recognizing when things are no longer okay as they are and recognizing that life is supposed to be much better than just “okay”. Whether professionally or personally, usually we aren’t prompted to make a change unless we feel unsettled with the status quo. I was one of those people who was once unsettled and unfulfilled with my life, both personally and professionally, however, it took me a long time to do anything about my disconcerting feelings. Why? Because things were okay. Like many of my clients today, I was settling for things being ‘okay’.
I tolerated things I knew weren’t good because they really weren’t “that bad.” In fact, looking in from the outside, you would have thought my life was pretty darn good. I had a great job with a large company and was steadily climbing the corporate ladder. I was in what was perceived as a good marriage and living in a beautiful home. I was healthy as were my family members. I was okay. I allowed myself to be satisfied with being “okay” because it wasn’t “that bad”. After all, why would I want to turn my life upside down when I was healthy and safe, in a great job, surrounded by lots of love? When I looked around and compared myself to others, to society, and to the awful things that were reported on the news, I knew my life appeared great. However, it was great as defined by others, not by me.
Great to me meant a lot more than appearing great, it meant feeling great, being excited, feeling alive and not being in neutral. At that time, I was in neutral and living my life on autopilot. I was going through the motions of my ‘okay’ life and was not really excited about much of anything. When I realized that I needed and wanted much more than that, I knew I had to take action to get out of neutral. For me, doing this meant making some big changes and doing things that felt uncomfortable and scary. It meant letting go of the status quo and reinventing myself with essentially no blueprint. However, it was an opportunity I welcomed because I finally realized that life is supposed to be much more than “okay”. Was it scary? Absolutely but what was scarier was the thought of living each new day without emotion and on autopilot. What was scarier was allowing myself to be satisfied with “okay”.
There were many steps I took to get beyond being “just okay” but the first and biggest step was to take control of the direction my life was headed. It was to put myself in the driver’s seat and take the wheel. If anything was going to be different in my life, if I was going to get beyond “okay”, I had to be steering the car. Much of my “okay” status came from being in the passenger’s seat and letting others take control of the direction my life was headed. Making the decision to move myself into the driver’s seat set the wheels in motion to make some big life changes and create my life the way I wanted it to be. No more “okay”.
What are you tolerating in your life today? Is it a job where you feel unsatisfied? Is it some aspect of your personal life that you feel a nudge to improve? Whatever it is, let go of being satisfied with things being “just okay.” Move into the driver’s seat and start to steer your life down the path you choose – down your path toward great. It is waiting for you but you must let go of “okay” in order to step into great.
For more details on Andria’s journey to re-create her life, her book is available on amazon.com