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I had called this series “Millennial Success”. It was aimed mostly at your parents, and those words seem to fit for them. I understand though that most of you in your 20s and early 30s detest that label. So, I changed it. In this Part 6, I want to speak directly to you. The earlier parts of this blog series are below.
Part 1 – The kid is stuck.
Part 2 – It’s a family affair. But your kid won’t cooperate.
Part 3 – Start where you can. You.
Part 4 – You choose to clear and heal yourself first.
Part 5 – Began to shift from parents to son or daughter.
I only know a few of you
Generalizing is tricky, and probably pretty useless in the first place. So, I will write this from the perspective of what I do know about people. About myself and others. I work with clients who are your age, and those of your parents’ generation. The short story is that we have all managed to get in our own way. A lot of what I have to say is about getting out of your own way.
What does “getting in your own way” mean?
Let’s say you have taken on some belief that competes with what you would really like to do, have, and be in the world. Say you are in your mid-thirties and are disappointed in yourself. Disappointed in where you are and what you have created. Let’s say you are having a conversation with yourself that goes something like “I have let so much time go by. Here I am in my 30s, and half my life is over. I can never catch up. I can never figure this out and create something that is going to make me smile every day. Why try?”
Two points. That particular conversation is anything but far-fetched. There are a thousand different limiting conversations being played by millions of people every day. Conversations of this type are squarely in the way. They stand between you and what you want.
Don’t judge yourself
Parents want me to talk to their young adult children. The parents are all torn up about the direction of their child’s life. I don’t minimize that. They are hurt and worried, and that is very real. Their feelings are out of pure love. But I say something like “I can’t wait to talk with (him or her). This may be the first conversation he’s ever had with someone who doesn’t think anything is wrong.” I don’t judge whatever is going on with you as wrong. Neither should you.
The question is really simple
Do you want something different than you have now? I can think of a 30-year-old with a professional career. He was looking at changing jobs. He wasn’t sure what he really wanted to be doing in his career. And, he had quite a collection of “rocks in his backpack”. Those are beliefs, judgments, interpretations of his experiences and circumstances, and other such barriers that are never going to serve him. I remember saying something to him like “Bottom line is, you’re confused.” He replied, “Hell yes, I am very confused.” He wanted something different. He had narrowly zeroed in on trying out a new job. That is really not the something different he is looking for. But he couldn’t quite see that deeper picture at that moment.
I can think of others who don’t have a career. No job at the moment. Good, capable, young people who just lack direction. They don’t know what they really want. They don’t know how to get there. They can see some of the things standing in their way. Confusion, fear, little or no sense of worth, doubt, maybe not the right education, money pressures in some cases, whatever it is. In this scenario, my young friend really wants something more than what he has created so far. He tells me it is important and urgent.
I wouldn’t really care if you wanted to live homeless under a bridge. I wouldn’t wish that for you. I wouldn’t want that for myself. But it’s your journey. Your choice. No right or wrong.
We are just getting started. I will go a deeper in the upcoming blogs. A little more on what you might want to be thinking about. But for now...
1. Can you see places where you are in your own way? What are they?
2. Don’t judge yourself. You aren’t bad or wrong, wherever you are in your life at the moment.
3. Do you want something different than what you have now? Not really? Yes? A resounding yes?
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