If It Feels Familiar, Go The Other Way

Posted on 08 October 2010

The last time I was totally and completely redesigning my life, a wise woman gave me a valuable piece of advice.  She said, “Jessica, if it feels familiar, go the other way.”


That stopped my stressed out, overwhelmed, trying-to-control-everything brain in its tracks.

If it feels familiar, go the other way.

Why?  Because, if it’s familiar, I’ve already been there, done that, had that experience, and THAT is not what I am after.  No, I’m after a continual growth of my thinking, an evolution of my self, an expansion of my heart. I’m after a big life of powerful creating and recreating. I’m after the depth and wisdom that comes from continual learning, broad experience, and complex perspective.

I know that not everyone is like me, but I also know plenty of people who are.  My clients, for one.  My friends, for another.

Sure, we like our familiar paths and some aspects of our lives are consistent and predictable.  I love the days that I stay within my five mile, small-town in big-city bubble, visit my favorite coffee shop for the ka-zillionth time, eat my favorite foods, and talk to my long-time best friends. Those kind of familiars are anchors, and I’ll keep them, but honestly, I keep them because they’re still interesting to me.  They’re still fresh and enlivening. I like them.

But, the greater richness of my life, the meaning that makes it all worthwhile, comes from my continual growth and expansion.

“If it feels familiar, go the other way,” I say to myself when I hear myself voicing the familiar complaints of ‘not enough time’ or ‘not enough money’.  Mind ruts?  No, not in this life!

“If it feels familiar, go the other way,” I say to myself when I feel stuck, lonely, and dead-ended in my thinking.  This isn’t my path!

And again this month, I’m remembering – I don’t have to pack up and move my life to re-create.  I get to do that in the process of my every day, and always, the re-creation is born out of doing things in a new way, with a new perspective.  My intention is to remember to try new things.  I keep this in mind with my clients, and I keep it in mind for myself.  New activities, new connections, new questions, new perspectives are creative in power.  Look anew. Think anew. And everything shifts.

If it feels familiar, go the other way.


What new activities can you take part in this month?  What new things can you explore?

What ruts of thinking and feeling are you ready to stop traveling?

How out-of-the-box creative can you get this month to grow your business?  To enliven your relationships?

3 comments to If It Feels Familiar, Go The Other Way

  • Gina says:

    After chatting about growing my business an insight came in a conversation with one of my best friends. I work with children and families in this community. Why not take existing connections and relationships and consult or contract to existing programs as an extra add on service? Will be meeting with the Director of one of my fave programs this week, and I know we will create miracles!

  • Klaudeen says:

    I love the savory wisdom and spunk you share! I want the world to know about you – that’s how GREAT you are! Thank you!

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