When asked to finish the sentence “Someday I’ll…” she answered:
She feels that she doesn’t accomplish much. She feels overloaded all the time and since she doesn’t know where to begin she does nothing.
She has tried reading motivational articles and journaling but neither has helped.
Finally, when asked how she pictures her life a year from now she said:
I really can’t answer that. Finances are short and I’m raising two small children alone. It’s hard to dream when you are barely getting by.
The Someday Challenge
First off, I congratulate Robin for getting by, even if it’s barely. Raising kids on her own is not a simple task and that victory needs to be celebrated.
There are probably many other things in Robin’s life currently what we could celebrate, but since Robin’s Someday is a general desire to be happy she likely doesn’t see much of those celebratory moments.
Speaking of her Someday, this is exactly what most people who suffer from Someday My Ship Will Come In feel. There is no future, no idea of what’s possible. There’s just blankness in the future and often bleakness in the now.
If Robin is going to bust her Somedays first we need to clear out this bleakness, then start building excitement.
The First Step
So, let’s take a look at this future blankness and present bleakness.
Many people will say things like “Come on! Put on a happy face! Fake it until you feel it!” and sometimes that works, but all too often it’s like painting over a damp patch in the wall that’s hiding major structural damage.
We need to pull the drywall down, clear out all the rotten supports and then rebuild the structure before we can decorate and make it look pretty.
In Robin’s case the unhappiness she feels is that rotten material behind the drywall. We need to clear it out before it causes the whole house to fall apart.
And the best way to clear out negative thoughts and emotions?
Put them down on paper. When emotions swirl around in our heads they build and build and build until they break out and cause more damage than a hurricane.
If however we let out the stream of emotions and thoughts in a controlled manner they don’t overwhelm or do damage. But putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard Robin can get rid of that overloaded feeling she mentioned.
Yes, it might seem like a strange thing to focus on the negative when we want to get Robin to a positive place, but unless she unloads all the negativity first the positive thoughts and actions will have no place to go. There’s currently no room for them.
Once Robin has this list of everything that’s wrong with her life right now, it’s time for one small success, some positive result based on a single action. Looking at the whole list of complaints, whines, moans and all the unhappy parts of her life, Robin will pick one small item and commit to changing it.
It might be as simple as a conscious decision to see mornings with the kids not as a battle to get them out of the house to playtime where she gets to spend time with them. Or a feeling that she’s not active enough and committing to a twenty minute walk three times a week.
- Write out everything that’s wrong with your life. Let it all hang out. Start with all the big stuff and take it right down to the minor irritations. Reward yourself with every page you fill. Nothing is too petty or going to be judged by anyone. This is just for you.
- Read through the list and pick one thing that you feel you could change. It needs to be something small, something that would take only one or at the most two steps to turn from negative to positive.
- Put the change into action and then pay attention to how the change makes you feel. Plus note if there are any side effects to this change (positive or negative).
- Pick a second small irritation and change that, then a third and a fourth, each time paying attention to the consequences of each change.
The Long Term
Once Robin starts to see the positive effects of the small changes she is making, she’ll then want to start building up the structure of the wall we’ve torn out.
To do that she’ll need to figure out what she wants out of life. Sounds easy but it’s not. It will require a lot of inward reflection and self-awareness.
The effort will be worth it, especially for her children. Robin can use them as a motivator – if she can find her dream and pursue it, think of the great lesson she’ll teach her children in the process.
What do you think? If you were Robin’s Someday Mentor what would you suggest? Join the discussion over on the Facebook Someday Syndrome fan page.