Pivoting: a movement in which the player holding the ball may move in any direction with one foot, while keeping the other (the pivot foot) in contact with the floor.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel like a player right now. I have had to pivot so often in the past six months, and I’m sure you have too. For instance, when the person at Kopp’s hands me my cone with the flavor of the day, my mask prevents me from immediately licking the soft yummy goodness that is already dripping onto my hands, so I’ve switched from a cone to a dish.
I cancelled my annual beach vacation back East with friends and family in order to keep everyone else safe, so I found myself spending more time in my house by myself thinking about who I am (or thought I was) and how in the world I have accumulated so much stuff.
I can’t go to the yoga studio, so I bought a bicycle.
My corporate leadership coaching business took a nose dive, so I found myself with a handful of coaching clients wanting to work on navigating their inner game.
Ever since COVID hit back in February, I have been changing direction in almost every area of my life. I have been moving in so many different directions I’m dizzy. Now I know why those basketball players get paid so much money. Pivoting is not for sissies! Pivoting is hard!
Does all of this sound familiar? I’m sure you could easily list off a handful of ways you have had to pivot in the past 6 months. Some pivots are easy. We can gladly move about, lob the ball, and find new ways of doing things that delight us (why in the world did I not embrace online grocery ordering sooner?!). Other pivots take us a while to embrace. You know the big stuff—relationships, lay-offs, illness. We hold on to the way things used to be and find ourselves being dragged kicking and screaming to embrace the new (I need to reimagine what my business looks like. Hell no, I won’t go!). It reminds me of the basketball player that doesn’t want to give up the ball for fear of not finding the perfect play. Sometimes it’s hard for us to trust that releasing the ball and taking a risk on a new play can open up possibilities we couldn’t even imagine.
So, how can you make pivoting easier while embracing the hard stuff? Here are 3 things you can do to help you pivot gracefully and send that ball flying!
Stillness is the healing balm for your soul. As humans, we are very good at doing things. Most of us have to do lists a mile long. We measure ourselves by how much we are able to do. This means you may be having unrealistic expectations or negative thoughts around your pivot. You may be telling yourself a story that simply isn’t true. Stillness opens up the energy pipeline and allows your mind, body and soul to communicate with each other. It allows you to reconnect the left and right sides of your brain. It allows you to slow-down your central nervous system.
Over time, through stillness, you learn to create open space and connect to the life-force energy that is all around you.
Learning to BE in stillness can be frustrating and scary. It is impossible for you to shut-off your brain and clear your mind completely. It is also really hard not to have judgmental thoughts (“this is not working, I am not doing this right, I suck at this”). Learning to harness your mind and use it to fuel your thoughts with positive goodness is powerful.
Starting a meditation practice or deep breathing practice is a good way to create stillness. Start slow and start simple. There are a ton of guided meditations and deep breathing exercises available for free on YouTube or Insight Timer. Giving yourself time to meditate is the difference between doing and being.
We are all really good at human doing, but getting good at human being is a whole new ball game. Stillness helps you tap into your being–your intuition and your inner authority. This, in turn, helps you gain clarity about your pivot.
EMBRACE THE POSITIVE AND THE NEGATIVE
Stillness creates space. When you make room for your mind to roam, all kinds of stuff will start to bubble up. As you are meditating or deep breathing, you will notice thoughts and feelings that rise to the surface—both positive and negative, mundane and scary. That’s okay! That is what meditation is meant to do—think of it as yoga for your brain.
The key is to acknowledge these without judgement. Your thoughts and feelings are meant to be your teacher. You can learn powerful lessons from them if you stay non-judgemental and get curious about them.
The positive and mundane stuff is easy. The more you practice, the faster you will be able to put those on a fluffy cloud and watch them drift past you. It’s the negative and the uncomfortable that require attention. It’s these thoughts and feelings that have the most to teach us.
It’s been said that if you focus on the negative and you keep giving attention to what you don’t want, you won’t get what you do want. Most of us have learned that we should focus on the positive—that focusing on the negative will get you nowhere. So why is that so hard?!
As humans, we are hard-wired for survival. That means that negative thoughts and feelings come to us more easily than the positive ones. Our gut reaction is to push away the negative, but I’m here to tell you that unless you honor, acknowledge and move through the negative thoughts and feelings, pivoting quickly is almost impossible. Those feelings show you what it is that you don’t want, which is an important part of the process, so don’t skip over it.
As you start your stillness practice, make a list of all of the negative thoughts and feelings and things you don’t want that bubble up. Once you make the list, get curious, explore, and experiment. Through this exploration you will gain clarity about your pivot. Once you start moving through this list, you can begin to embrace the positive, figure out what’s important and what you DO want, allowing you to move forward on the journey.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
We all listen to our bodies in some way. You know when you’re hungry. You know when you are tired. You know when that yoga class has kicked your ass. And you know when you had one too many glasses of that delicious red wine.
However, your mind over-rides your body much of the time. You skip lunch, you don’t drink enough water, you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t exercise regularly. You power through and your body comes along for the ride. This is a recipe for stress, fatigue and burnout.
Our mind, body and spirit are interconnected, and often our bodies are a window into what’s really going on. In your stillness, scan your body and see what emerges. What feelings and emotions are coming up? What is your body asking of you? Pay attention to what is lighting you up and giving you energy, or where resistance may be present.
Part of loving yourself is loving and honoring your body and learning to listen to what it is trying to tell you. Your body is the beautiful vessel that houses your soul and allows you to experience the beautiful physical world in which you live. Honoring your body is so important. It has a big job to do.
When you don’t listen and give your body what it’s asking for, it will take what it needs. This can result in feeling sick, tired and even lead to injury.
In the end, life is all about pivoting. COVID or not, you just can’t hold on to the ball forever. At some point, you are going to need to pivot. Look at what’s holding you back from sending that ball flying so you can release it and pivot like a pro.
Want to learn more about how I can work with you to make the most out of your pivotal moments and get to the results you want? Book a FREE discovery session today.