When you notice something is a little off in your life, when you’re feeling discontent, that’s your imagination trying to get your attention. It’s a sign that you were meant for more, said author, activist, and thought leader Glennon Doyle, who spoke about living authentically during the closing session of the virtual 2020 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Wednesday.
“I think we are trained to believe that any sort of discontent is shameful, that discontent is proof that we are not grateful enough,” she said during her conversation with Mabél Guzmán, NAR’s 2020 Vice President of Association Affairs, and Christine Hansen, NAR’s 2020 Vice President of Advocacy.
Good enough is not good enough, she said.
“Good enough is a life of quiet desperation.”
To get to the root of your discontent, you must ask yourself, “What is the truest, most beautiful life you can imagine?” Doyle said. Whether that applies to your personal relationships, your career, or your community, once you start seeking that answer through your imagination, and let it unfold in your mind, it will begin to come to life. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to flip your life upside down, Doyle said, but seeking out those answers may help make your life easier, your business more satisfying, and your relationships more fulfilling.
The pandemic has ushered in a time where examining one’s life is nearly unavoidable, Doyle notes.
“As 2020 has taught us, life, love, and business—none of it goes as planned,” she said. “The people who are surviving and thriving are the people who were willing to let go and let every single expectation that they had for 2020 be annihilated.”
It’s about imagining something new because change is constant, and those who “ride the wave” of upheaval and transformation “are constantly letting go of the picture in their head of how it was supposed to be,” Doyle said.
Thirty-six weeks into the pandemic, it’s now more important than ever that people take care of their mental health. Doyle used an analogy of a snow globe. Her godmother had given her one when she was young that had a red dragon at the center, which frightened Doyle. So, she’d constantly shake the snow globe up so she didn’t have to see the “scary dragon,” she said.
“That’s how we are as human beings; we try to keep ourselves shaken up,” Doyle said. “We use everything that we can grab to stay shaken up—food, booze, shopping, busyness, drama, and the [endless] scrolling—because if we let the snow settle, we see the scary dragon at the center of our lives.”
Because COVID-19 has forced a collective “settling of the snow globe,” it’s giving people a chance to look at the truth of their lives, make big, personal decisions, and slay their dragons, Doyle said. Whether it’s taking a big step in your career, getting an addiction under control, or confronting a relationship that needs work, people are facing their “dragons.”
It’s no surprise that change and stress surrounding the state of the country are bringing up uncomfortable feelings, Doyle said. But discomfort is just as important as feeling happy and at ease.
“Allow yourself to feel all of it,” said Doyle, who was empowered to address her own emotions through her addiction recovery. “We as a culture are so conditioned to think that all we’re supposed to feel is happy and grateful. But really, some of the most instructional emotions in my life are the ones that are uncomfortable.”
Now is also a time when people want to help their communities, but they might not know where to start. Doyle, who founded Together Rising in 2012 and has raised more than $25 million for women, families, and children in crisis, said to think about what breaks your heart the most. That’s where you, personally, will be able to make the biggest difference and connect with others in a common cause.
“People think they have to get their own house in order, their own mind right, their own self perfect before they’re allowed to show up for the world, but that is not my experience,” she said. “It kind of works the other way.”
Volunteering or working on a cause that you care about will actually help open up your mind and heart in other areas of your life, Doyle said, which will allow you to be more present.