Life Lesson and Up Against the Wall? What Comes Next When You’re Cornered?

Dec 6, 2009 by     Share a comment    Posted under: Life Lesson, Life Purpose, Success and Hand Analysis
Ronelle Coburn, Richard Unger, hand analysis, best life

Ronelle talks about self-sabotage and getting cornered with her Life Lesson.

I’m at the car rental center, with tons of luggage, in Houston, Texas after an early morning flight and not much sleep. I’m down to $30 in my bank account so I’ve really been looking forward to this trip. I’ve got lots of hands lined up to read and a nice place to stay thanks to the gracious hospitality of an earlier hand analysis graduate (thanks again Linda Robbins!). Finally it’s my turn at the counter and I hand the clerk my ID and credit card. She puts the credit card in the machine and says, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough available credit for us to rent you a car. Do you have another card?” And I don’t.

Years later, it’s hard to write this story. It was so scary and painful to have backed myself up against the wall that I still don’t like to think about it. I cleaned the cat boxes and vacuumed and did laundry and ordered a couple of holiday presents before forcing myself to sit here and write this today. When I’ve told this tale to students who have cornered themselves and are paralyzed, every one of them has asked me to write it down, so here goes (after several weeks of what I call “productive procrastination”… things are pretty tidy around here right now!).

For a while I thought there must be some way out of the corner. Could the rental company take a check? Cash? No. I called my husband in a panic and cried on the phone with vexation. Could they take a credit card from him? No. They needed an actual credit card to run on the spot (fraud has made everything so difficult for the rest of us).

Next I called my credit card company, explained my situation, and asked them very nicely if they could raise my credit limit. They informed me that it would take several hours to do so. I returned to the car rental counter to tell them this and they chose that moment to tell me that they could not run my card again for 24 hours (another fraud protection).

So, I’m nailed. Really completely totally stuck and I’m in a public place working really hard not to freak out and melt down in a heap. I’ve got an entire pre-paid group of 16 people to read, one hour outside of central Houston, in less than five hours and no way to get there.

Moments like this are the ones that define us. We’ve been avoiding doing something we really need to be doing, because it scares us, and our avoidance creates a scenario that’s unimaginably worse. It’s the old “what you resist persists” thing, and it’s overwhelming and terrifying, and it really pisses you off if someone points this out to you while you’re in the middle of it. Who needs it when you already so acutely know that you did not dodge the bullet? That there were no magical exceptions made for you regarding the slow build-up of cause and effect?

It’s hard to see what could possibly be “good” about being cornered, but in the larger scheme of things, it’s exactly where we each have to go, over and over again, so we will finally make the decisions we need to make in order for our lives to move onward and upward. Once we decide we can take the next step towards life looking like the one we actually want to be waking up to everyday.

At these points on life’s journey several things are challenging:

  1. We’ve been keeping something in our blind spot and just can’t do it anymore, the naked truth is right in front of us, ”the proof is in the pudding.” We can’t deny that we have responsibility for the consequences we’re experiencing as a result of our (in)actions.
  2. We’re often mad at ourselves, which is great fuel for change, but spend our energy berating ourselves instead of making the change (a form of exceptionally devious further procrastination).
  3. We’re scared right out of our shoes.
  4. We’re at a point where we take a step out of the corner or cower there and grow weaker. We face our fear or shrivel. There’s no way out and a choice must be made and consequences lived with.

After pacing the shiny sterile floors of the car rental center, something occurs to me and I sit down and dial the phone again. A new student had expressed interest in attending a hand reading evening and, to my relief, she answers her phone. I ask if she’d like to go to the one I’ve got that evening and could she drive us both there? Not only does she say yes, she is excited about the opportunity to be a part of it (thank you again Jennifer Langston McGee!).

So, I took a shuttle to my lodging and Jenn picked me up and we went together to the event. All my other appointments were private consults and the clients came to me. Phew!

Ronelle Coburn, Richard Unger, hand analysis, best life

Self-Sabotage and Life Purpose Failure on the Way to Life Purpose Success. LIfePrints Hand Analysis helps out!

But that’s not the end of the story, despite my wishes. If it was then I would just get myself into the same trouble again.

The real question was, “how did you end-up with only $30 to your name four years into your business, Ronelle?!” Well, um, er, ahhh…

The answer was simple, as was the solution, but doing it wasn’t easy for me. In short, despite working hard, I wasn’t doing what really needed to be done to get consistent results in my business, much less doing what it took, in practical terms, to move up to the next level of my business.

At the end of the trip, I did not conveniently “forget” how it had started or write my near debacle off to “bad luck.” On the plane ride home I decided/determined/resolved/swore that I would never get into that position again ($30 in the bank, credit card maxed, no rental car possible). And this required that I decide/determine/resolve/swear to myself that I would go home and make five phone calls per night to potential clients and prospective students until my business—and life—looked like what I wanted it to be.

I did, and within three months I was having the best year of business I’d had so far. And I’d like to say that this was the only time I’ve cornered myself one way or another, but of course that would be a blatant lie. This instance is just one of the more dramatic examples of it.

So, what can you do when your back is up against the wall?

  1. Go ahead and fall apart a little bit so you’re not spending your energy budget holding it in.
  2. Then pull yourself together by taking a deep breath and feeling your feet on the ground.
  3. Admit to yourself what it is you need to do that you’ve been avoiding.
  4. DECIDE to take action. (I love the word “decide” because it means “to slay other options.”)
  5. Take action. Make a change. See it all as a grand experiment! The unknown is always more exciting than the familiar, but stagnant, place you’ve been living.

And, yes, things can get worse before they get better. When you clean out your closet the room is a disaster for a while, no? It all depends on how long you’ve been standing in that corner frozen, while life piles up around you.

The end of the year is a fine time to stop and take stock of where you are in your life. Are you backed into any corners? Are you tired of hearing yourself talk to everyone about something that isn’t working in your life (I had one of these and just decided to change it and did today…it’s taken two years)? Do you keep telling yourself that you’re going to change something in your life, but haven’t made a move? Do you keep getting in your own way? Putting things that are important to you off?

Take a look, make a list, then pick one and make a change. Once you start you’ll wonder why you thought about it for so much longer than it took to do it…even though you’ll know exactly what got in your way.

It’s easy to get started with exploring yourself and living your true calling in life!
Where do YOU want to START???

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