Over the last four years Encore Tampa Bay has been committed to inspiring, educating and connecting mid-life experienced adults to their true purpose, aka: their encore.
What I continue to observe is that many people are trapped in their own thoughts about what they think they should be instead of pursuing what they really want to be! Every week I hear someone say to me “What a great idea to think about new opportunities for our second half of life”. And yet our surveys and activity reports show people are not willing or ready to take that next step….or that they even KNOW what the next step is!
What is holding us back from taking that next step? (Yes, I am including myself in this scenario). I recently read a great article that speaks to this issue, “Why Boomers Need to Stop Trying to Reinvent Themselves”. People are stuck on the idea of BEING in a new role, new business or new chapter. However, too many are short on the DOING, i.e. taking the action steps that lead to this new chapter or role.
What is holding us back?
- There is no clear and perfect path. The old retirement “track” no longer works for us.
- Big changes can be scary and risky!
- Our inner thoughts can be the biggest barrier to acting.
- We are surrounded by people who do not understand our new way of thinking.
- Or perhaps it’s plain old FEAR.
Good news! It is not too late to make our New Year’s resolutions and take the first steps towards those new resolutions. A recent article, “Five New Year’s Resolutions for Older Adults” gets us started on a new list of resolutions to consider.
- EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY RATHER THAN AVOID IT. It is time to acknowledge that stepping away from the established path and letting go of the roles that we have played all our lives can be a good thing. Look for support and role models along the way.
- SEEK OPPORTUNITIES IN CHANGING CONDITIONS. We may not like change but it is natural, necessary and something to embrace. Acknowledge that change isn’t a threat but rather an opportunity to recreate yourself!
- RESOLVE AND REFLECT ON YOUR SECOND ACT. One of the best things I continue to do is to set aside a serious chunk of time for meditation, reflection and journaling at the beginning of each year – what have I learned over the last year and what are my intentions or desires for this upcoming year.
- RESOLVE TO REMOVE AND IMPROVE. The key part of making it through transitions is learning how to let go and release old habits, behaviors, activities and relationships that are no longer useful in our lives.
- RESOLVE TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH RISK. Your whole encore journey will require you to weigh and accept reasonable risks. What happens if you stay stuck in this place of boredom or misery versus taking a small first step towards being the person you really want to be? What has more risk? Doing nothing or trying something?
- FACE YOUR FEARS. I cannot tell you how many times over the last four years I literally broke out in a cold sweat thinking “What am I doing? What happens if I fail? What will people think?” One of the most profound and helpful books that helped me to take the first step towards starting Encore Tampa Bay and following my passion was, “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks. The whole premise of the book is about how to conquer your hidden fear and take your life to the next level.
What are your next steps for 2017? How can you activate your New Year resolutions? As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.”
Encore Tampa Bay is here to help you along your journey. Our website and our Tampa Bay Network of organizations and individuals are ready to help you along the way!
I challenge you to start by making a small and simple list of first steps you want to take this month:
- Get an accountability buddy (look for other like-minded individuals who are in this same place)
- Write down what it is that is holding you back.
- List the first few specific action steps you are willing to take in the next 30 days.
- Go volunteer at a local nonprofit. We will be posting many different opportunities and organizations that really need your talent and experience.
- Sign up for one of our sessions or other upcoming sessions on our website under “Upcoming Events”.
- Believe in YOU!!!
Encore Tampa Bay