Participate in your own rescue.
It’s an interesting turn of phrase.
I first heard this expression in a leadership podcast.*
It intrigued me.
What does ‘participating in our own rescue’ actually mean?
We’ve all heard the expression: ‘Nobody is coming to save you. You have to save yourself.’
I completely agree.
If there’s something in our lives we’re not happy with, we are the only ones with the power to change it.
We can’t wait around for a knight in shining armour to come and rescue us on his white charger.
Bummer, I know!
Intellectually, we understand this.
What We Do Instead
How often do we passively sit back and do nothing? How often do we wait?
How often do we wait for someone, or something, outside of ourselves, to change before we act?
We wait for our husbands to come around to our way of thinking.
We wait for them to change their behaviour so that we can be happy.
Sometimes we wait, and secretly hope, our husbands will offer up a compelling reason for us to leave them, so we don’t have to be the ones responsible for making that life-altering decision!
How often do we wait instead of telling ourselves the truth about what we really want?
How often do we do the complete opposite of actively participating in our own rescue?
Guilty as Charged
I’m guilty of this.
I certainly participated in my own rescue when I left my marriage eight years ago.
And yet, more often than I care to admit, I still find myself passively waiting.
I wait for something to change before I take consistent action on my goals.
I wait until I feel more ready, more confident, more inspired.
I wait for the right thought/belief that will propel me into the actions I already know I need to take.
Of course I realise I’m bullshitting myself.
I know that my actions, and inactions, are driven by my thoughts and feelings – always.
And I know my thoughts are completely within my control to change – or disbelieve – any time I choose.
The thing that stops us?
That old, familiar friend, FEAR.
We may not even recognise it. Our fear wears so many disguises.
It may be dressed up as perfectly valid reasons, justifications, procrastination, somebody else’s behaviour, lack of knowledge or education, external circumstances beyond our control, etc., etc.
But it usually boils down to fear.
And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us.
It’s just our mind’s way of trying to keep us safe.
Our brains are hard-wired to move away from perceived threat (the unknown) and move towards safety (the familiar.)
How often do we allow fear to paralyse us and keep us stuck in the same shit situation that’s making us miserable?
For some of us it’s years. And years.
Making a change is scary.
I really do get it.
I was terrified when I finally left the familiarity of my marriage and my corporate career nine years ago.
Who is Your Hero?
In the podcast I referenced above, the host asks his guest: ‘Who is your Hero?’
The guest replies:
“Me, in 10 years time. My Hero is the person I want to be 10 years from now.”
I like this idea very much.
Can you imagine an older, wiser, less afraid, version of you?
One who has achieved the very things you want for yourself?
Can you imagine being your own Heroine – and how amazing that would feel?
Your Future Self.
What would she tell you if you could speak to her right now?
The good news is, you can. You can access your Future Self’s wisdom today.
She already lives inside of you. And she has the answers.
She knows exactly what you need to do to participate in your own rescue.
Here’s the kind of wisdom my Future Self imparts when I take the time to connect with her:
1. Tell Yourself the Truth
Ask yourself what you really want and why. Why is making this change so important to you? How does this change align with your Values?
For example, maybe you really value freedom, or honesty, or creativity, or connection, or making a difference.
And making this change would give you the ability to truly live into that value.
2. Identify What You’re Afraid of
Write down a list of your fears and work through them.
Complete this exercise to help you identify your fears and begin moving past them.
3. Have Compassion for Yourself and Your Fear
Speak to the part of you that is afraid in the way you would speak to a child or someone you really love and care about.
Be kind, compassionate, encouraging, loving, nurturing, supportive.
4. Take Action – Be Willing to Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
To get a different result, we have to take different actions.
The only way out is through!
Understand that acting in a new way will likely feel uncomfortable, unfamiliar, scary.
Understand that your mind will do its best work to persuade you to stop.
Accept that you will make mistakes and fall down.
Take action anyway.
You only ever have to take one baby step at a time.
5. Get Support
You don’t have to do it alone.
Find somebody you trust who believes in you.
Somebody who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth when you’re playing small and bullshitting yourself.
Somebody who will remind you of your Why when fear gets a grip.
Somebody who will remind you how strong and capable and amazing you are, especially when you forget.
It could be a friend, colleague, family member, mentor, coach – whatever works for you.
6. Trust Yourself
You have everything you need within you to successfully achieve the changes you desire.
Know that you are already worthy.
You have nothing to prove.
You are not the limiting thoughts and beliefs you hold about yourself.
You are capable of so much more than you know.
You can tune in to the wisdom of your Future Self any time you wish.
She loves you unconditionally.
She believes in you 100%.
Engage with her.
Listen to what she has to tell you..
This is How We Do It
So, back to the question: How DO we participate in our own rescue?
To participate means to be involved. To take part. It is not passive. It is active.
It boils down to this: We have to ACT differently.
We cannot think our way to change.
We don’t have to wait for something outside of us to be the catalyst.
We must take responsibility for creating the changes we want in our lives and marriages.
And we must take action.
We have to act in spite of our fears, our self-doubt, our limiting thoughts and beliefs.
To get a different result, we have to do something differently
My question to you is: How will you begin participating in your own rescue today?
What is the change you have been waiting to make?
What’s one action, one small step, you will commit to taking today?
*Here is the link to the podcast that inspired this article!
Want Support Participating in Your Own Rescue?
I offer a free, confidential 30 minute Mini Clarity Session.
During the session I will help you gain some clarity on your situation and the changes you are wanting to make in your life and marriage, and we will explore if my approach is a good fit for you.
To request a session and get your slot confirmed in the next 10 days, get in touch by emailing me.