Journeys off the beaten track

Goals are fantastic, fabulous even. They give you purpose, direction and focus – knowing specifically what you want and going for it. Great.

But what happens when we don’t know? When the road isn’t straight enough to see the end, or you’re wondering if it’s just taking you round in circles?

Sometimes when I ask my clients where they would like to be in life, they say they don’t know. Some have an idea but are reluctant to commit, unsure if it’s really what they want, afraid they won’t like it when they get there. Others simply don’t feel compelled enough by any of the options they can see right now. And then there are some who have come a certain way with a destination in mind, and now wondering if it’s ‘meant to be’.

That can often hold us back from getting started in making any changes at all, and the main reason why most of my clients are talking to me in the first place, is that they want something to change – they’re just not sure what exactly, or how.

It’s all well and good, putting our finger on a tangible, definite destination, punching it into our inner Sat Navs, plotting the route and making our way there. But when we haven’t got anything as specific as a postcode, how do we go about taking the first step?

Well, let’s park aside “Where do you want to be” for now and take a look at some other perspectives:

Putting the ‘where’ to one side: Who and how do you want to be – to yourself and to others?

If the destination’s a mystery yet to be revealed – What kind of traveller do you want to be?

Rather than feeling like you have to commit to something – Where could you go? Where else? And where could you go from there?

Sometimes I let my instincts guide me, and I find myself responding to opportunities that present themselves without anything remotely resembling a rational reasoning. I can almost hear certain family members and teachers from my past saying ‘Now why on earth would you want to do that?’ – and that used to be enough to stop me. These days I decide to give myself permission to explore, experiment, and change my mind. And I keep finding myself down these amazing little side streets, discovering hidden gems off the beaten path and appreciating each learning and experience for what they had to offer me. What’s more, the beauty of not having an expectation, set outcome or goal sometimes is simply that whatever you get out of it, is absolutely right and you’re free to appreciate it fully.

We might not always find ourselves cruising on straight, smooth tarmac with clear sign posts, but we can always choose how we want to be – we can choose to explore, to learn, to take a leap of faith – and who knows what we’ll find round the corner. We may even find we can walk on broken glass.

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