“There are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths.” ~ Mark Nepo
There are times when life is simply coast, and other times where it’s under construction. For those of us who make the personal choice to grow and learn about ourselves throughout the lifespan, we can expect to be in and out of doing work at any given time. Sometimes it’s a personal choice, and at other times we’re bombarded with something that forces us deeper into our inner world.
When you’re passing through a personal work zone the roads get bumpy and the path is unpredictable. It’s hard to know what the end result will be and trying to control the process is futile. Your sensitivity is heightened, you’re vulnerable to everything, and life feels like one big mess (and so do you).
It can feel like your life has been hit with a wrecking ball leaving you among the rubble of your past. You may not yet envision what things will look like in the future, and all you have is the present, which is messy, to say the least.
Deconstructing yourself and breaking down everything that feels safe and familiar takes courage and a trust for the process. The uncertainty of this path is not for everyone because it requires a great tolerance for the unknown and the ability to let go of certainty.
Stepping into a new world as a beginner without a clear path creates such a great discomfort that most people never bother to dig deep beneath the façade to inquire what might need repair.
When Your Life Is Under Construction: 8 Ways to Manage the Work
1. Proceed with Caution
When you enter a construction zone while driving you notice there are always signs alerting you to “proceed with caution”. Your journey through personal growth will be rough and often unpredictable so expect pitfalls, sharp turns, and unexpected stops along the way.
2. Put out orange cones
You will slip into a deep state of vulnerability as you work on yourself so it’s essential to set boundaries and protect yourself. This might involve excluding certain people from your life, or retreating a bit socially until you feel more certain about where you are.
3. Build a strong foundation
With any new construction you always want to ensure that the foundation of what you’re building is strong. With your personal growth this foundation will be your sense of self. Your main focus initially will be on your values, self-perception, authenticity and beliefs. Once these are rooted you will build from there.
4. Expect setbacks
Construction never goes as planned. There are always unexpected setbacks that delay progress or require a shift in course. The process of personal growth will always be two steps forward, and two steps back. Anything worth doing is not easy so be prepared to feel like your going backward at times.
5. Hire a professional
Trying to do this kind of work alone is possible, but not wise. Outside sources of wisdom and expertise will ensure that you build yourself in the best way possible. Consulting, counseling and therapy will give you the trust you need that you’re on the right path, and will ensure that your work is up to “code”.
6. Find refuge
Be sure to find a space in your life that gives you reprieve and nourishment. You will become depleted and exhausted easily through this process so take care of yourself and use self-compassion liberally. You should not be expected to live exclusively among the mess so take some breaks and get out of the construction for periods of time.
7. Manage expectations
Be realistic about your process and what you can expect of yourself. There are certain things that will shift easily and other aspects of yourself that will be ingrained and part of your character. The goal is not to be different, but to actually become more you.
8. Invest wisely
Put your energy where it matters. Spending endless amounts of time trying to changer other people or trying to make things the way they “should” be will not be a good investment of your time. Focus on what you can control, and what will offer you the best possible version of you.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou
Does your life need reconstruction? What is one thing you would like to improve about yourself and your life? You can share your insights in the comment section below 🙂