What do you want to do in 2023, drift or paddle?
Have you ever been tubing on a river or paddled a river where people are tubing? When you’re sitting in a tube floating down the river your ability to navigate is minimal. The tube floats and you have to react to wherever you find yourself. Most folks who go tubing don’t have the knowledge or skill to read the currents. They end up stuck in the shallows or running down channels where they end up in the water.
To be clear, I’m not judging the act of tubing, sometimes it’s super fun to float, drift and be at the effect of the flow.
My question to you is, when it comes to living your life, would you rather have good tools like a paddle, vision and the confidence that will help you navigate?
Or do you prefer to let life happen to you, drifting in your tube and then reacting to wherever you end up?
Tools for navigating your life in 2023
In whitewater kayaking we learn helpful tools like reading water, strokes, maneuvers and self-rescues that help us to navigate the flow, get us to where we want to go and have fun doing it.
If you want to navigate the waters of your life with confidence and courage in 2023, I invite you to consider developing the following skills:
When you’re drifting it’s easy to feel like you’re at the effect of life waiting and hoping for something to change, or someone to come along and change things for you. If you find yourself complaining a lot, you may be drifting and reacting to what’s happening.
To stop the drift, start being responsible for your life. Regardless of what’s happened in the past, it is possible, in this moment to become response-able to what’s happening instead of reactive.
When you take responsibility for your life, you decide that you have the ability to direct your actions, thoughts and words towards your goal. No one else is coming to do it for you, and wishing and hoping that something will change, or even worse, thinking that if you complain enough something will change, keeps you adrift.
To become response-able for your life requires the cultivation of self-awareness.
The power of choice, that’s what self-awareness offers. When you develop the skills of self-assessment and self-awareness, you give yourself the gift of being clear on what’s important to you. Once you know what’s important to you, you know where to direct your attention and energy.
Self-awareness also gives you insight into what works and what doesn’t work for you. You get familiar with your strengths and your weaknesses, and can then take action accordingly. When you have self-awareness you stop the drift, and set your course by continually choosing to act according to what’s important to you. The best part is that if you don’t like the outcome of an action or direction, self-awareness helps you assess and choose differently.
One of the simplest practices for cultivating self-awareness is to sit quietly and focus on your breath. As you focus on your in breath and out breath start to notice the thoughts in your mind. When you notice that your attention has strayed way off into a thought or series of thoughts, label it ‘thinking’ and then bring your attention back to your breath.
Other tools for building self-awareness are journaling, observing and getting curious about your thoughts, beliefs and reactions, monitoring your self-talk, and reflecting on questions like ‘what’s important to me?’ You can also invest in a course that helps you learn and grow, or take a Dosha quiz or a personality test like the Enneagram.
It’s the same strategy on the water and in life. When you decide to become response-able and you know where you want to go, it’s time to concentrate your vision in that direction. Look where you want to go, and take consistent action over time to get there. The key is to have the awareness and self-awareness to recognize, acknowledge and assess obstacles in your path without putting all of your attention on them. As we say on the river, look where you want to go, not at the obstacles in your way.
Just like the river exists because of the boundaries of the banks, you can reach your goals through disciplined action. What I mean by that is having the discipline to take small, consistent actions over time toward your goal. This takes patience. It also takes setting boundaries with yourself as well as with other people. Learn how to say yes to actions, investments and people who support your goal, and no to things, situations and folks who don’t.
If you’re ready to start 2023 off powerfully and stop drifting, then start by being response-able for your life, cultivate self-awareness, set your vision and take disciplined action over time.
Want to learn more about these strategies? Join my upcoming FREE webinar Thursday December 29th at 7 p.m. Click here to register.
I’ve created an 8 week course that will help you put these strategies into place in your life. Master your Whitewater Mindset 8 Week Course starts January 2nd. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get accountability and support in creating your best year yet. Click here to register.