One sunny afternoon my children and I were driving down a familiar road on our way home. Much to my children’s alarm, I slammed on the brakes. Startled they both said, “Mom, what are you doing?” Before I could respond, they along with the other drivers on this four lane road could clearly see why I stopped so abruptly. There was a huge swan stomping and flapping in a frenzy back and forth across the road.
We are accustomed to seeing swans in the lake near our home. There are several man made ponds that they frequent as well. However, I had never seen a swan in the middle of a busy street. I watched this swan feverishly flutter around and disrupt the flow of traffic I imagined he was saying to himself, “Where am I?”
Like that beautiful swan, we often find ourselves out of place and on the wrong path. Sometimes we don’t know that we are out of place. But those around us can clearly see that we have missed our moment of transition, change or even promotion. Usually a swan seems so elegant, graceful and beautiful. However that day, the swan was awkward, a nuisance and in danger. When we remain out of place and on the wrong path we jeopardize all the things we have worked so hard to create in our lives.
You know when you have overstayed your time in relationships, partnerships and employment. Something just doesn’t seem to flow the way that it should. During these times, even a very self confident person may begin to second guess their abilities and competence. This may be an opportunity to inventory your skills. If you find them intact, the awkwardness may be a gentle nudge to consider moving to the next level in this area.
You become a nuisance!
When you are out of place, you become a nuisance to other people. People around you try to patiently wait for you to “get it”. But, in the meantime your complacency, apathy, confusion, depression and procrastination (how ever it manifests) becomes annoying. Like a house guest that stays one night too many, people are ready for you to move on with your plans, dreams and vision. It’s frustrating to associate with people who are settling for good enough when living their destiny would improve life for them and the people around them.
When you stay in a place of apathy, complacency and fear, it becomes dangerous. When you fail to get into position you risk missing opportunities. When you stay in a failing relationship, you jeopardize meeting the right person. Being paralyzed by fear will cause you to lose your focus and when you come to your senses, like that swan, you may find yourself out of place and staring into four lanes of oncoming traffic. Sometimes the life and death of your dream all depend on you being where you are supposed to be at the right time.
As I watched the wayward swan and waited for it to cross the road, I noticed how enormous it was. I was shocked to see its’ wing span. Although we were annoyed and frustrated with the jaywalker, everyone stopped to let the bird regroup and pass by. While the swan was out of place, we all slowed to avoid it because of how big and powerful it was. Hitting this bird would have destroyed the front end of most cars. Even out of place, the bird maintained its’ power strength and even beauty. So do you. Ask yourself, “Where am I?” Based on your vision, goals and abilities are you in the right job, relationship, church, business partnerships, organizations, school, etc. If the answer is no, work to regain your focus and develop a strategy to get back on track. We all wander in the wrong direction from time to time. The key is to recognize the wrong turn and quickly make the adjustment. Stop holding up traffic, get out of the road and get headed in the right direction! Your destiny is waiting!
Raquel R. Robinson is CEO, Life Strategist and Coach with Making a Change LLC. She is an inspirational speaker and author of Renew, Refocus and Recover! A Road Trip to the Life You Deserve. You can reach her at www.makingachangellc.com.