February 13, 2012

Letting Go of the Anchors in Your Life

“We can anchor our life to those aspects that make us feel safe but don’t help us; or, we can sever the connection and get moving.”

The transition process in life is a tricky one.  There are aspects of our life that enable us to feel safe and secure.  Yet, it is those very components that also keep us from completing our transition.  While we consciously know the adverse or limiting aspect that relationship or situation has on our life, we cling to it anyway.  It is the unconscious attachment that we need to spend time exploring and understanding.

It is much easier to attach ourselves to something that is not necessarily in our best interest, than to disconnect and face the unknown.  Dancing with the devil you know, is easier than looking for a new situation you don’t know.  There is risk in the change of facing an unknown outcome.  And, there is little perceived risk in not changing because at least you know what you are dealing with.  Or, is there?

What are the real risks associated with severing the ties to a bad situation?

Keeping one foot grounded in the past, attached to a negative situation, with the awareness that it really is not what you need to be doing keeps you from truly moving forward toward your vision.  When a boat is anchored, it cannot move very far from its spot.  You can let out as much line as possible and do some exploring.  But, in reality the boat can only go so far; and, can only go in a big giant circle while attached to the anchor.  The risk in staying tethered to something is that you can only go so far before you get pulled back in.

Making these transitions are not always easy.  Marriages, careers, friends are all long term commitments that are not easily fixed or readily changed.  However, the conscious decision to change your life — to make it better, more fulfilling, more empowering, and more impactful– are more likely achieved in an environment that enables you to be positive, to grow, to evolve, and to embrace new behaviors and experiences.  Anything that holds you back, gets in your way, or doesn’t support the transition is an anchor.

I have had several conversations this past week with people, including Brandon, who are hanging on to relationships they value; but, these are also relationships that limit their personal and future growth.  While they embrace their loyal, steady, and committed feelings for the other person, it is clear that the influences these people have on them, keep them in the present and prevent them from moving and growing into their future.

It is a scary proposition to think about simply cutting the rope to the anchor and drifting off with the current.  However, you know the current will take you somewhere new and different.  The anchor merely keeps you in your safe, undesirable place.  It is much, much more empowering to set yourself free from those things that hold you back.  Yes, it is risky and scary.  But, it also adventurous and new and fresh.

Instead of staying tethered to those things that hold you back and keep you going around in circles; embrace the opportunity to explore something fresh, different and empowering.  Embracing this attitude and approach will change your life, your surroundings, and your outcomes.  It may not be easy; but, the outcome is what you need to embrace.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.