Flying a helicopter is also a bit of a Zen experience – to be a great pilot you must be completely focused while also being completely relaxed. The moment your body starts to get tense you are unable to make the nearly imperceptible movements that are needed to fly well. A rock solid hover turns wobbly.
The same is true for life. When we tense against something, we are unable to move smoothly. Our thinking becomes limited and we are unable to see a possibility. We get scared. We cling. We resist.
A key to leading a Big Life is creating meaningful connections. Seth Godin writes in The Icarus Deception, “connections between people is always the result of emotional labor, not physical labor.”
Shifting our thinking to “enough” -enough time, money, wellness, contribution whatever it may be- gives us permission to relax. We can be in the arena and connect with others.
Let Go of Your Scarcity Mindset and Embrace “Enough”
Use Your Body as a Barometer. Tune into your body. When I’m in a challenging flying situation, I’ll notice tension in my arms and legs. It feels like bracing for impact. When I’m feeling emotionally vulnerable, I feel the tension in my stomach. It usually means I’m resisting or avoiding something. It is my lizard brain trying to protect me.
Tell Yourself to Relax. We know that the thoughts in our mind impact our health. But the reverse is also true- our body can impact our mind. It is a bit of a chicken or an egg thing. Check out this TEDx video from Amy Cuddy where she explains the science behind “fake it till you make it.” To help myself relax I’ll say, “Thanks, body, for trying to protect me, but I’m safe.” Fake it until you become it. Breathe deeply. Find your sweet spot.
Say Yes. Say yes to the moment. You might be feeling uncomfortable or uncertain. That’s okay. Notice how things seem easier when you say “yes.” It might be saying yes to the end of a relationship, a chronic illness or a job you don’t love. Name the “what is.” Identifying the “what is” helps our body settle down. The red alert our lizard brain has been clanging gets acknowledged. We can move back to higher order thinking.
Identify the scarcity. Where is it? What is it about? What are you afraid of? What are you resisting? The more “real” I perceive my chances of getting hurt- either physically or emotionally, the more I’ll move into a scarcity mindset. Quantifying fear and evaluating risk can help. Fill in the blank for yourself:
- I’m holding onto ________ because I’m afraid of _________.
- I’m holding onto a job I don’t love because I’m afraid of not finding something better.
- I’m holding onto my clutter because then I might need it someday.
- I’m holding onto not reaching out to people because I’m afraid of rejection.
- I’m holding onto numbing out with (alcohol, busyness, television) because I’m afraid of facing my feelings.
Recognize that if there is “enough,” then there isn’t anything to lose. If there is enough money, health, wealth, love, connectedness in the world then fear isn’t needed. Life is short. Too short to be consumed with scarcity. Too short to rush. To short to worry about imperfection. Live Fully. Wholeheartedly.
I’m a better pilot when I’m relaxed. I have a bigger life when I’m operating from “enough.”
There is enough. It is enough. You are enough.
Where do you notice yourself operating from a “never-enough” mindset? How do you let this go and operate from “enough?” Share in the comments.