Today’s Word: ‘Chrysalis’ as in… a great image for understanding the Wilderness stage. The caterpillar turns into a chrysalis before emerging as a butterfly.
This is a good time to ask, “What am I doing?” “Where am I going?” “Why am I doing this?” But we must not rush this. For many, the natural response is to grab hold of something—anything—new, in order to get out of the discomfort. But if sufficient time isn’t allowed for the pieces to fall into place in their own way, unhealthy decisions can easily sabotage the entire process. The purpose of exploring “Wilderness” is to face reality, and creatively explore new ways of doing things. In spite of the instability, the “Wilderness” can be a time of great creativity, innovation, and renewal which requires time, reflection, experimentation—even disagreement. So when we’re in the “Wilderness,” the task at hand is to just be in it.
Here are 10 ways we can make the most of “The Wilderness” and perhaps even shorten it.
1) Shift your attitude by reminding yourself that this is a time of redefinition and not a time of meaningless waiting—even if it doesn’t look like it.
2) Readjust expectations and accept that this will be a less productive time – for now.
3) Limit additional changes; resist the urge to add more to your plate.
4) Expect uncomfortable emotions like fear, confusion, even despair.
5) Get creative. The Wilderness can be a good time to question, experiment, brainstorm.
6) Take time to be alone on a regular basis; seek solitude.
7) Set some short-term, achievable goals to give yourself a sense of accomplishment and forward movement.
8) Track your progress by journaling, going on a retreat, connecting with a friend or a coach regularly, or merely giving yourself time to reflect.
9) Resist the urge to skip this phase pressing prematurely for certainty or closure before you’re really ready.
10) Know that you can survive. It may not feel like it, but you will live through this and come out on the other side.
So hang on… the “Aha!” is coming!