SEE THE FOREST, NOT THE TREES
There’s a well-known saying, Can’t see the forest for the trees.
I think a perfect example of this is when major decisions need to be made; but it’s extremely difficult to do so.
Circumstances loom so large that they can be overwhelming. Instead of seeing the full forest, we only see the trees.
SEEING THE TREES
Too many times, I have seen the trees. This is especially true, when something is so important to me that I can feel overwhelmed and am not sure what path to take.
I believe it is very important to have people in my life that I can go to help me see clearly. People who will help me analyze every aspect of a situation, so I can see the bigger picture – the forest.
These are the people I can trust to tell me what I need to hear NOT what they think I want to hear.
Last week, I was able to be one of those people to a dear friend of mine.
She’s one of the most grounded people I know; and I received a text that said, “Do you have time to talk me off the ledge?”
I knew she didn’t mean it literally; but I knew it meant, “I need to talk!”
I’ve known Teresa for 15 years. She was my first client through my consulting business in New York. It was a business I knew I wasn’t supposed to start; but if meeting her was the reason I did, it was well worth it.
When I met her, she was running the family business. She’s smart, savvy and shrewd. She’s also has a tremendous work ethic, is honest, trustworthy and has a caring heart.
Teresa is totally committed to everything she does; but she needed to find her passion.
She was at a point of major transition. The decision was made to close the family business.
The timing was right; and it was the stepping stone for her to move into the next phase of her life.
Easier said than done.
She decided to work as an administrative assistant at a church which was close to home. She worked directly with the pastor; and Teresa managed every aspect of getting the church to function efficiently.
This is a lesson in everything happens for a reason.
Teresa worked at the church for 13 years. She did her job with excellence; and the door opened for her to have theological discussions with the pastor. She enjoyed researching material for him; and this, miraculously, ignited in her the realization of what she was born to do.
In her forties, while working full time, being a wife and mother of three children, Teresa made the courageous decision to go back to school and pursue Psychology in Religion.
First, she needed to finish up her Bachelor’s Degree, which she did with honors.
Then, she applied to Union Theological Seminary which is the divinity school arm of Columbia University in New York City. She was accepted.
After five years of blood, sweat and tears, Teresa received her Master’s Degree this past May.
I’ve been cheering her on every step of the way; and I’m beyond proud of her.
Teresa has reached another transition point; and was faced with a major life decision.
This is the reason I received that “help talk me off the ledge” text.
She presented me with two incredible choices and was feeling overwhelmed.
Hence, the trees!
I, personally, have found this to be so real, especially when decisions revolve around my dreams, my passion and my purpose.
I’ve invested so much of myself that the thought of making a wrong decision has left me with analysis paralysis.
So, I understood Teresa’s cry for help.
SEEING THE FOREST
She just needed to take a step back and look at the situation calmly.
She needed to see the forest.
As we talked, we kept her dream in focus. We evaluated each scenario and came to a very logical conclusion as to the direction that, at this time, made the most sense.
It was wonderful how calm she became, once the decision became clear. It was as though a light came on and she saw the forest, not the trees.
One of the things I love most about Teresa is she doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet.
Once the decision was made, she took the steps necessary to get this moving forward.
Her dream is important to her; and she will do what is necessary to make it happen.
NIKE says it best…
I believe the worst decision anyone can make is no decision; and maybe doesn’t cut it.
As for myself, I’ve always been goal oriented. I believe without a vision, we flounder and wander aimlessly through life.
Dreams don’t just happen.
We need to visualize our dreams.
We need to write our dreams down, so they become real.
There will be obstacles along the way. There will be overwhelming decisions that need to be made. There will be deer in the headlights moments.
It’s in those moments, reach out and talk with someone you trust who has the wisdom to guide you through that paralyzed state.
And, remember…it’s never too late to go after your dreams!