Are You A Groundhog?

It is the time of year when we have this interesting holiday called “Ground Hog’s Day”.  For we who live in the Midwest, we pray that he doesn’t see his shadow, for it gives us hope of an early spring.  If he does see his shadow, we are destined for 6 more weeks of winter (of course, in Minnesota, that is not a bad option.)  What an interesting holiday??!!

Always being one to see the symbolism in events, it made me wonder how many of us live our lives as ground hogs.  Quietly sleeping and doing what we are “supposed” to do, what is natural for our species.  Then, one day, someone or something wakes us up – off schedule, not the usual expectation.  They wake us up because we have something of value that impacts their life, their hope, their expectations.  Do we awaken, only to go back to sleep and wish we were never bothered OR do we take the moment to recognize our impact and move to get out of the “usual”, out of the “expected” to something different, something that will impact the lives of many.

There was a book written several years ago entitled WAKE-UP CALLS.  The book focused on the events in our lives that truly lead us to new discoveries.  The events might be positive or negative.  It might be the birth of a child, the move to a new area, graduating college, or it might be the death of a loved one, a chronic illness or financial distress.  Whatever the event, it is designed to awaken us to new choices, choices that will impact our life but also lead to influencing the hope, expectations and lives of many others.  Do not take these times lightly.  They are a gift to open, explore and experience the possibilities it brings.

Some of you are saying, “Okay, Cheryl, if this is such a ‘gift’, why do I feel so awful?  Why am I so distressed?  Can’t you make it go away?”  Often, in an attempt to avoid the emotions these wake-up calls give us, we work hard to avoid the emotions or mask the emotions with drugs, alcohol, etc.  No one said wake-up calls were easy.  I’m sure the ground hog would be grateful if everyone went away and let him go back to his slumber.

But the gift of the call is to give ourselves permission – permission to feel badly, permission to take care of ourselves, permission to answer the call.  If we avoid the permission we are offered, we also only take the ribbon off the “gift”.  We never completely open the package.

When I work with clients in the Career Vision – Focus the Future coaching program, we ask and answer several of the wake-up call questions:

  •  Are you in the middle of the wake-up call?  What will you do differently?
  • Have you finished a wake-up call?  What were the gifts you received from the call?
  • Do you know someone in the midst of a wake-up call?  Have you given them permission to respond to the call?

I would love to here your answers to these questions.  Feel free to post your comments below.


For more tips and tools on what to do once you create awareness, join me in the upcoming webinar, BE The Leader You Were Meant To BE on February 6, 2014. Click here for more information.


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