Earlier this year, I did a masterclass for Happy Healthy Women on the 3 Phases of Growth where I compared the mind to a garden and how our growth can shape shift and take on different nuances. In short, we are either in a Dormant, Rooting or Blooming phase, and depending where we’re at, our goals, thoughts, feelings and ensuing actions will look very different.
The Rooting and Blooming Phases are exciting in that this is where we step into our full potential and into a creative stream that changes our trajectory.
The Dormant phase, however, might look like something we want to avoid entirely at first blush because it looks like it’s somewhat counterproductive and even destructive. That’s true…and false.
Even though the Dormant phase might otherwise be known as the “Dark Night of the Soul”, or burnout, or irretrievably stuck, it’s also an amazing opportunity to regroup, review existing goals, and rewrite the next chapter.
Having been a visitor to this state a number of times, here are my top recommendations for maximizing the Dormant phase where you can come out of it the champion you were born to be.
It’s often easy to overlook what makes us truly powerful and unique, even in the best of times. This is where a journal and a pen (not a pencil - there’s a difference) come into play. Using a variation on the mind dump from The Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron), write down everything and I mean EVERYTHING that makes you, well,... YOU. Don’t overthink, just dump out everything that pops into your mind in 5 minutes. The key here is to keep the pen moving
Ask the following questions:
Where Have I Seen This Before?
What lessons keep coming back, but in different clothing? For the better part of my career, I was riddled with Impostor’s Syndrome - sometimes in crippling proportions.
With every new job, the pattern was the same - euphoria at the start, learning everything I could, then making sure I was contributing to the greater good. I’d look like a rock star initially, then when the honeymoon appeared to be over (my own perception), Impostor’s Syndrome would creep in.
In hindsight, I can now see clearly how I was Upper Limiting myself (as per Gay Hendricks). Ultimately, I would go dormant - either leaving the job or being released - running away, essentially, only to wind up in yet another toxic environment. Rinse & repeat.
It wasn’t until I intercepted an email from a VP intended for my director at the time that I fully received and registered the final punch to the head from the Universe. Not surprising, since I had ignored every single nudge up until that point. Long and short of that email - “... I thought we agreed she doesn’t bring any value…”
Ouch… and thanks.
This was ultimately a gift because I had to look, once and for all, at what MY role was in this pattern. I took a hard look at what I could control and what I could not. I always blamed corporate politics and how I didn’t play well, but the fact of the matter was, I played an active role in creating that environment. I taught people how to treat me. It’s not their reaction I could control, it was my own self-image, my own self-worth - my self-talk. I finally had to get my head around the fact that no one does ME better than ME.
Ask the following questions:
What Is One Thing I Can Do Today?
Action - any action - kills doubt. The fastest way to start shaking up the dormant ground loose is to go do something nice for another human. Make the call, send the note, pay a sincere compliment, pay for the next person in the coffee line. Instant dopamine hit.
If you have daily rituals, make sure you keep them in a dormant phase. If you don’t, then start (slowly at first - you want them to stick). More importantly, make these non-negotiable. That is, if sweating it out at the gym isn’t your strong suit (hello, doppelganger), then make a simple daily walk non-negotiable.
Let’s get clear, a Dormant state is not a bad thing, it’s actually needed in some instances so you can step back and reassess. However, it can turn into a bigger challenge if it’s not appropriately addressed and you aren’t giving yourself the grace needed to uncover and move through the lessons so you can get to the Rooting, and ultimately the Blooming phase (your new normal).
If any of this is resonating, let me know. I’d love to hear about your own go’tos.
Carole Filion is a Mindset Coach who helps women in or approaching their 60’s rediscover their magnificent selves and plan and live out their next chapter with excitement, grace and a whole lot of fun!
Follow her on Instagram @carolejfilion
Join her Facebook group Badass Revolution - Kicking Ass while Staying Heart-Centered
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