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FAQ: How Do I Choose Where to Focus My Limited Time and Energy?

First, trust yourself. No, not the discouraged part of you that says eat a pint of ice cream instead of going to the gym. Trust that first thought you had when you asked yourself this question. The issue probably isn’t that you don’t know what to do. You’re probably editing yourself because of:

  • A loved one’s discouragement of your idea (likely with loving intent to protect you and not realizing they were projecting their fears about their life onto you)
  • Discouraging statistics you read regarding the odds of success
  • The litany of what-if, worst-case scenarios your brain is creating (and always is, whether or not you’re paying attention to all of them)

You’re afraid of looking like a fool. You trust your loved one to know you and your life better than you, even though you’re the one who lives it 24/7. You haven’t read a broad enough range of statistics or stories of people who have taken the risk you want to, yet you decide you will add to the number of failures. Maybe you’re afraid of how your life and relationships will change, and of course you assume they will change negatively.

Put all of that aside. Now, start with some Affirmations. Imagine that you are already who you want to be in the areas of your life that matter most to you. Below are some examples I have used in my own life:

I CREATE MY LIFE.

I AM A WORLD-CLASS CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROFESSIONAL.

I AM FINANCIALLY FREE.

I AM FIT, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY.

I LIVE IN A WELL-MAINTAINED HOME THAT LOVED ONES ENJOY VISITING.

I AM LOVED AND SUPPORTED.

This is a visualization exercise. Just as when I played college softball, I focused on hitting the ball in a gap and getting on base, rather than avoiding a strikeout, I want you to focus on what you want your life to look like. Don’t focus on what’s missing, but declare what you want. Then, start listing what you need to do to have that experience.

For example, to create my life, I have to do this exercise! If I leave the results to hope, change, God, the universe, or someone else, I am not creating it. This does not mean I can’t get support or contribution from elsewhere, but as Abraham Lincoln said:

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

To be a world-class conflict resolution professional, I have to be out in the world. So, I am serving as the Main ICERM Representative at the United Nations, traveling abroad when I can, and maintaining my relationships with the people who inspire me all over the world.

To be financially free, I have to know my numbers and be in control of my spending. To be fit, healthy, and happy, I have to get seven hours of sleep each night, exercise 60 minutes or more per day, meditate 10 minutes daily, and connect with loved ones in some way every few hours. And so on.

There’s no perfect formula that guarantees success for everyone. You will have to experiment a bit, but you will see fairly quickly what isn’t working. When you do, try something else. Stay on PARR: Plan, Act, Revise, and Repeat, until you get the results you want. You can do this! And if you need some help, I am here to coach you. Just reach out to Tyler to schedule an appointment.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick. Her holistic, integrative approach draws from her experience as a human resources supervisor, as well as her legal and EEOC training. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Best for NYC 2015 finalist), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (2013 Pitch Competition finalist). Most recently, she was invited to serve as ICERM Representative to the United Nations and will attain her certificate in Ethno-Religious Conflict Mediation in March 2017.