I listened to an IG live from Glennon Doyle today and she dropped some awesome truth bombs that really got me thinking. First, she said something to the effect of, “Life is the delta between how we are told it’s supposed to feel and how it really is.” She went on to say that, “The problem is life, it’s the picture in our head that was placed there purposefully.” It’s so easy to fall into the trap and believe what we are supposed to have because of what we are told and what we see from other people. The other thing she said that stood out was about being ok with our life as “stet”—the writer’s term during revisions for leave the work alone, this is what I meant to say. Meaning, accept where you are at and stand firmly in it. And that is when you level-set what your expectations are, quite literally what you will and won’t accept.
It’s easy at the beginning of the year to get swept away in goals and things we want to do. As I mentioned the other day, I’m not big on the “New Year, New You” thing because I feel like it sets us up for disappointment. I wanted to talk about level setting our expectations. That is where the magic is because you find the ground between what you want and dreams and THEN you put it into action. Don’t get so taken by the picture of what things should be that you disregard what things actually are.
My advice in navigating the delta is to keep going. Get familiar with it and don’t try to avoid any of what you’re experiencing. It is only in knowing yourself that you can get where you want to go. I had no clue for the longest time what I wanted to do with my life. I bought into what I was “supposed” to want and I hated anything about myself that didn’t fit the mold. But I kept going (and I’m still going) and I found parts of me that I wanted to explore. That was six years ago. I started writing but didn’t think I was good enough. But I knew I wanted it and I knew I had to cut the bullshit. 14 months ago I committed and wrote every week, sometimes every day. A little over a month ago, I doubled down, dove in, and started planning, honing, and refining my work.
The difference between being all in and what we mistake for commitment is life altering. Level setting is all about your mindset. That and knowing you can’t expect your world to change overnight. It’s effort, drive, and design, and purposeful action. Liz Gilbert calls it the 10 year overnight success.
Changing your mindset means setting the expectation that looking a certain way or buying a certain thing will make our lives everything we are told it will be—or should be. There is no magic pill. The magic is in the living. The dance between the ups and downs and the curve balls that will inevitably happen. There is no guide for this life so it is safe to move away from what you’re told it should be and move into how it really is. To live in the delta, the gap we’ve created.
Once we are in that space, it’s easier to see how it’s all in your head. It’s SO important to see how very real something in your head can be. JK Rowling said, “Of course it’s in your head, why should that make it any less real?” Choose differently. Make peace with your life and your desires and know it is ok to want what you want. It’s ok to NOT want what you’re told to want because you know what is best for you. It’s not about finding the ideal—it’s about finding what is ideal for you. That is magic.