Life Isn’t A Straight Line

Image of zigzag footprints in sand.

Over the past few years, one of our great privileges is running small groups for women in the process of claiming their power. Taking small steps consistently over time, these women make major changes in their lives and their world.  

This week, in one of these groups, one of the women talked about the surprising twists of this last year and seemed to almost feel apologetic for how difficult her life has been. 

Quite often, we see our clients struggle with the belief that many people have lives that are straight lines. They can get caught in believing that others grew up, knew what they wanted to do for work, met a good person to marry, had the successes that they planned for, and then retired. And, with that belief, when their own life isn’t a straight line, they can feel ashamed—like somehow they’ve done something wrong.

But life is never a straight line.
 

Over the course of a life, there are people who change you by being in your life, opportunities you never dreamed of as a young adult, and great sorrows that you couldn’t or wouldn’t have wanted to imagine. And, that’s not because you’re doing something wrong or are somehow psychologically flawed.  

But you may not hear about the zigs and zags of others’ lives because they, too, are feeling that the zigs and zags are proof that they are somehow flawed.

This week, explore if you sometimes get caught in believing that the messiness and twists and turns of your life are somehow an indication of a personal flaw. (If you don’t get caught, we’re delighted!)  

Many of you will likely see the power of the wish that things would go as you expected and some belief that others’ lives are more of a straight line.

Consider how the zigs and zags have really helped you grow and invite you into new ways of seeing the world, of understanding yourself, and relating to others.

Embrace the zigzag!

Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

If you're finding yourself overwhelmed by the zigzags of your life, our short online program can help you refocus on what really matters to you.
 

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  • Linda Carpenter, Stephanie Smith

    Carpenter Smith Consulting

    Linda Carpenter and Stephanie Smith started Carpenter Smith Consulting in Portland to support individuals and teams who dream about having the power, impact and influence to create success and meaning in ... Read full profile
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