We Become What We Think About, The Lure of Becoming Something More

change creativity life purpose overcoming loss the emerging woman Jan 23, 2019

6 Strategies to Identify a Bold New You Waiting to Emerge

Change is the only certain thing in life, and it’s the very thing I fight the most. But, just as sure as I fight it, I start to feel the rumblings of something new about to emerge.

I know it’s happening because it almost hurts to stay the same. Even though I can only see the point of reference I have today, it’s possible that change is the very thing I need to survive.

That must be exactly how the butterfly feels just before she breaks free of her cocoon… or the baby chick, before she cracks the shell to freedom. They have no idea what the new world is like-they just know it’s waiting and they must emerge no matter what.

Every new stage of life begins with ending the “old” and emergence of the “new”
That feeling happens every time I’m about to break out of an old pattern, an old life, and an old way of being. It feels like chaos and I have no control, and once the breakthrough happens, there’s a feeling of knowing this is what it was meant to be all along.

I discovered the feeling of chaos is your mind struggling to bridge the gap between yesterday, all of it, and the present. The future is still another step.

Anytime you take a bold step forward, that’s the new you emerging Sometimes those steps happen by circumstance, and others by choice.

The word “emerging” is an adjective that comes from the core verb “emerge.” See if you can relate to any of these definitions in the dictionary:

  1. To rise and come forth into view
  2. To come into existence
  3. Become apparent, important, or prominent
  4. This one excites me most of all because it is relevant to my life: To recover (to emerge ) from or survive a difficult or demanding situation.  

The emerging woman is the lure of becoming something more, yet something that was always meant to be.

When I was a young girl, I first witnessed a transformation like this in my mom. She was a natural beauty with the gorgeous good looks of a movie star. She managed a spotless house while raising 5 children.

Mom and Dad provided an adventurous life for us. We moved 12 times before I turned 12 because my Dad was in the Navy. Every trek to a new home meant we’d be traveling in our station wagon on a remarkable zig-zag tour of the United States. We visited every park, historical site, and monument until we reached the destination of our new home.

We settled on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California and didn’t have to move again. It was a new cycle of life, one where our family finally had a place to call “home.”

But with all cycles, other changes transpire.

“Such awakenings can occur at any point in life-whenever one comes to a gradual or a sudden realization that one’s career or marriage or lifestyle is no longer satisfying.”-William Bridges, author, The Way of Transition

Mom had grown restless. She had loved moving from state to state, and her focus had always been on caring for all 5 of us. But, when my baby brother entered school, mom simply didn’t like being “bored” (as she put it).

When I’d come home from school, I’d hear Mom listening to Earl Nightingale on the radio while Dad was at work. Earl was one of the early pioneers in the self-help industry. One of the phrases that memorialized him as an inspirational mentor was:

“We become what we think about.”

I could see something stirring inside of my mother. She was in the midst of creating a way to bridge the gap between full-time mom and her future. She knew that all little birds leave the nest, and we were lining up to do just that.

It was then I saw Mom begin to emerge as the woman she was called to become. She decided to open a restaurant, knowing absolutely nothing about the restaurant business. Crazy? Maybe, but, she knew she was capable of hard work and asking the right questions.

She built the restaurant from the ground up, and within a few months, there were lines out the door of customers wanting to grab lunch, a piece of pie, and a chat.

Mom knew most of the people by name, and they certainly knew hers. She became a celebrity of sorts, always invited to major events, and a huge presence in the community.

For Mom, it wasn’t so much about creating a place to eat as it was about creating a culture and environment where people wanted to gather. And it was the center of our family. We all worked there through our teens and young adulthood. We learned a lot about business! We learned even more about the strength of a family.

She became an entrepreneur in a time when it was rare to see a woman at the helm of a business.
Today, mom is in her 90’s. I asked her why she had so much courage to become an entrepreneur in a time when it was rare to see a woman at the helm of a business. She said it was her mother who inspired her.

My grandmother was a stay at home mom with no formal education. When mom was just 12, my grandfather put all their money into starting a new business, a credit bureau.

Shortly after it opened, my grandfather died, leaving grandma to support the four children. And that meant one thing… she had to take over running the business.

She picked up the role as head of the company and taught herself as she ran it… It’s like flying the plane while she was building it. If she didn’t succeed, her family’s income would crash and burn.

As the owner of that company, Grandma raised four children and put all four through college.

Some cycles of life trigger a new beginning whether you like it or not

Sometimes the cycles of life involve things that are unexpected, like loss.

And that’s why I like the definition of “emerge” number 4.

To “emerge”: To recover from or survive a difficult or demanding situation.

There’s hope in those words. Hope for me and hope for everyone faced with a difficult situation.

When my husband died unexpectedly I was faced with raising my three children on my own, just like my grandma did.

It didn’t occur to me that I could fail.

After all, I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Just like mom said, “if my mom could do it, so could I.”

My big fat “why” kept me going
I started my own real estate career. It had its ups and downs, but through it, I kept my focus on raising my children. They were my big fat “why” and that was reason enough to succeed.

I’m so grateful to my mom and grandma for teaching me that life is about constant change, and it’s not something to fear.

Change is inevitable
Do you feel a rumbling or stirring as though something is about to emerge in you? Does it feel like chaos? Don’t ignore it. You’re on the brink of emerging into your next stage of life.

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder,” Littlefinger told Varys on Game of Thrones.

Don’t be afraid, that fear you’re feeling is your heart’s call to your greatness.

Here are a few tips for paving the way to your emergence:

  1. Ask yourself: Am I feeling a calling, a transition, a pull to look at something new coming into my life? Does it feel like chaos? If so, are you able to name it?
  2. Set your intention that this year is going to be different than last year by choosing a time and place to dream of the possibilities. Write down those dreams.
  3. How can you become what you think about? (such as education, financial strategies, support from your spouse, training, etc.)
  4. Identify what’s at stake. Could it be a possible change in a job, a relationship, or education, leaving a stage of life behind?
  5. Here’s the fun part… Take a few minutes and visualize your life as it will be after you’ve emerged. Close your eyes and envision how your morning starts, what your day will be like, and how your evening ends. Imagine everything from the clothes you’ll wear, the job you’re doing, what your place of business will look like, who your customers are, and even where you’re planning a vacation.
  6. What big bold move are you willing to take in this next year?

My mother used these “positive thinking tools” to her success. She says

The secret is in the thinking
Earl Nightengale was right: “We become what we think about.” Those thoughts certainly worked for my mom. She dared to believe in herself and emerged victorious.

If you believe you can… you will emerge, too.

If you’ve got creativity on your mind… I have a free gift for you. A short ebook on how to establish some simple habits to set your creativity on fire: How to Develop the Creative Mindset

**Previously published on Medium.com**