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Don't Play in the Quicksand

Avoiding the quicksand & other analogies for dreamers

Sometimes, I get so excited about all of the big things I’m planning to do that I don’t actually do the little things that’ll get me there.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that does this

There are a thousand of reasons why we don’t just get up and start walking toward our goal.

It’s easy to get so dizzy from your epic envisioned future that you get all turned around and don’t know what your next step should be.

So you don’t take any steps…at all.

You’re world-changers. Mind-maker-uppers. Mountain movers.

We’re absolutely all of those things + smart, inspired and passionate.

Yet, somehow, we all manage to get hopelessly lost.

First, you should know you’re not a loser. So stop thinking that. Now.

It’s totally normal to get overwhelmed and stuck.

Here are my thoughts on some of the steps you’ll take toward your big dream and the quicksand you may find along the way.

Step 1: Dreaming

My husband & I have been planning a huge cross country move for the last six years.

Now, when I say “we’ve been planning it” that’s a real stretch. We’ve been dreaming about it. Vividly imagining what it would be like when we’re finally living there. Talking about options and ideas.  All of that stuff is unbelievably important…but it’s not planning. It’s more like planning on.

You don’t get anywhere by planning on.

Quicksand!  It’s all too easy to get comfortable dreaming and convince yourself you’re planning.

Step 2: Scheming

This is where we actually start planning. We mapped our route, estimated the expenses, weighed the options between flying, driving & taking the ferry, made the decision to drive, created lists (and lists) of the things we need buy & do before the move.

We finally had a plan.  It started to feel real and we got all warm & fuzzy inside.

Then, without even realizing it, we regressed back to dreaming. For months, we tweaked the route, re-crunched numbers, fantasized about better weather and didn’t actually do anything.

Quicksand! Even if you have a great plan, you’re still just a dreamer until you do something.

Step 3: Implementing

Oooh….things are happening now!

We’ve pushed past Dreaming Phase 2 and now we’re cooking with gas. In the last few months, we bought the camper and all of the pieces that keep it on the truck. We bought a beefier truck that can actually haul a trailer & carry the camper.

This month, we’re making a mini move across town to downsize our house in preparation for the big move this fall. (Calling it a “mini-move” is so wrong since there’s nothing mini about getting rid of half your shit!)

Within the next 45 days, we should be able to schedule the exact day we’re rolling out of Alaska.

Even though this has been six years in the making, things are moving faster than we ever expected.  It’s exhiliarting, empowering and terrifying. This is something we want, absolutely…uncompromisingly…without a single doubt. Even still, sometimes, I just want to put the brakes on this train, breathe, think, reframe and absorb it all.  It’s overwhelming.

Quicksand! Most projects die here…when they’re actually working.

Yes, it’s completely counter-intuitive, but seeing a plan come together can be gut-wrenchingly emotional.

Some people say this is fear.  Personally, I think it’s just a completely foreign level of excitement.

Either way, if feels exactly like fear. So, our fight or flight instincts kick in. That’s when you may realize you’ve stumbled back to Dreaming mode or started Scheming again…just to avoid that nauseous fear/excitement, tummy-turning feeling.

Step 4: Launching

I get chills thinking about that moment when we’ll climb in the truck to pull away from here and head off to our new life. Yes, it’s just the beginning of a 45-day road trip, but it’s also the end.  The end of waiting. The end of planning. The end of this chapter.

Quicksand! Even though it’s scary, at some point, you have to launch. You’ve made all the preparations.  Don’t get cold feet now. Leap!

The dominoes analogy

I love analogies. Even though this post is an analogy about how our move relates to your business.  We could always use another analogy wrapped within this analogy, right?  So…to keep it simple…

We dreamed about an epic domino drop.

We planned it by drawing the thing out on paper.

We implemented it by buying the dominoes and setting them all in place.

Now we’re ready to GO! We can’t wait until the day we get to push one over and watch as they all fall according to plan….finally realizing our dream.

And now, a moment of zen…

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3 Responses to Avoiding the quicksand & other analogies for dreamers

  1. renee @ FIMBY April 7, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Currently implementing, weeks from launching. But of course other ideas are still in the beginning stages and I know I’m definitely stuck in quicksand on a few of them.

    • Laura White-Ritchie April 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      Yay Renee for launching soon!

      Funny thing about quicksand. The more you struggle, the worse it gets. The best way to get out is to acknowledge you’re there & relax. You may even consider taking a hand from a friend. 🙂

      Let me know if there’s anything I do to help.

  2. LaVonne Boyd May 11, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Oh gosh and I have just met you and you are leaving. Your process was very similar to mine when I decided to move to Alaska after living in Melbourne Australia after 30 years.

    Making those kind of change and the feelings around them can be part of the Grief and Loss prosses. You greive what you are leaving even though it is your choice.

    I love what you write and hopefully we could connect briefly before you go (or not) but we will connect here.

    I know that phone and skye coaching is very seccessful and you do that already. soooooooo have a great last few weeks in this beautiful country.

    Cheers, LaVonne

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