Less. More. Enough.
These words have come up a lot in the last week with clients and in my personal life. They are about how we approach the world.
These days, many of us live in a world of “not enough.” There is not enough…time, money, resources, hope, possibility, etc. The news reports what is wrong and harmful. We make decisions out of fear, even when the evidence is flimsy. We are afraid that there won't be enough.
On the other hand, we watch those who live with “more.” We see the fantasy world of Hollywood. We know that no matter how many times the movie star of the day gets dumped, she is still privileged and can have whatever she wants! She is never afraid because she really has nothing to worry about. Right?
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Somewhere in between less and more, there is “enough.” When I approach things in my life with that eye, there is always enough…time, money, resources, hope, and possibility. When I believe there is enough time, I figure out how to make things work. When I allow myself hope, I find a solution.
My thoughts change what is possible.
Let me explain. A client called for her coaching session this week. She was frazzled. She complained that she didn't have enough time to get everything done. More than that, there was no time to do anything she wanted to do. She felt frantic. Even over the phone, I could feel the pressure on her shoulders.
I asked if she had a list of what she needed to do. She did. In fact, it turned out that almost everything was already on her calendar (a great strategy, by the way!). Still, she felt there was not enough time. The calendar was very full.
I asked her to write down what she would want to do if she had the time. Her list was simple. She wanted to take a walk, do her laundry, return a library book (a distance away), and get her hair done. Even though earlier she had said she would love to meet a friend for coffee, she did not include it on her list. She figured she could take a latte to the hairdresser.
Next, I asked her to estimate the time she would need for each item. What could she fit comfortably into the next two days? That took care of the walk and the laundry. With another day added, the library book was handled. The haircut could be planned immediately. She identified a free time slot for the next week and agreed to schedule it that day.
With the necessary things done, I challenged her to find 1 ½ hours to go to a coffee shop with a friend. She planned it for the weekend and chose to go alone so she could be flexible.
All that Changed was Her Point of View
Why am I telling you this? Because in five minutes, when my client changed from a mindset of “not enough” to one of “enough,” everything she wanted to do was possible. She hung up the phone feeling better and more relaxed. She felt like a huge burden had been taken off her shoulders. All that had changed was her point of view.
Her homework, by the way, was to spend this week noticing when people get stuck in black-and-white ideas of less and more. She paid attention to the messages she heard from friends and in the media. She noticed when people were stuck believing ungrounded fears and figured out what ‘enough' message she wanted to choose instead.
Her experiment went really well. She has changed her perspective in a lasting way, and when she does get overwhelmed by the busyness of life, she has a quick way to get back to her comfort zone.
And what about you? Do you want to give it a try? I know there is a part of you that is feeling pressured by the belief that there is “not enough.” So the next time you hear yourself say that there is not enough of something, challenge yourself to look again. “Just enough” is not too far out of reach!