By Sunny Simon
Recently I had an opportunity to use my car’s navigation system. Rarely do I need directions from the lady in the GPS I affectionately call Rhoda. Prior to traveling out the area I tapped my destination onto the screen and before long I was on my way. Mesmerized by the rhythm of the road I must have shifted into auto-pilot and ignored Rhoda’s command. It wasn’t until I heard the word “recalculating” I realized I’d missed a turn.
As I doubled back according to instructions called out by Rhoda, I thought about how she recalculated my path when I went astray. Smiling, I had to acknowledge some similarities between a GPS lady and a life coach. Clients piloting through life sometime need a little help when finding themselves off-course.
Realizing you’ve traveled down the wrong road is disconcerting, but not irreversible. My first piece of advice is borrowed from an old Turkish proverb: “No matter how long you’ve been traveling down the wrong road, turn back.” Okay, so you’ve headed in the wrong direction. Remind yourself, you are truly never lost, just a victim of a few wrong turns. Acknowledge the error and create an action plan. Pause before you begin your next step. It’s important to take a breath and refocus. Once you’ve reaffirmed your goal, it’s easier to chart your way back.
Another bit of counsel, while adjusting to your recalculated path, throw away your rear view mirror. That’s right, never dwell on the past mistake. It may have been a waste of time and energy, but it’s over. Take the lesson learned and focus forward.
While you work your way down the right road, the key word here is work, don’t expect a sprint. It may take time to pick up the pace. My favorite mantra is: One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Be patient. It’s going to take as long as it takes. With every step you take you are one move closer to success.
My final word on recalculating is this: You are now on the right track. Be positive and give yourself a high five for changing direction. As you hit the milestones along the path take a moment to celebrate. Nothing is more motivational than applauding your progress. After you’ve done that, keep moving on. Keep stepping up, keep your spirits high and be confident knowing should you experience a detour, you can always recalculate.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog, www.lifeonthesunnyside.net