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Ah yes, the 2×4. The Universe’s version of tough love.
In case you aren’t familiar with the concept of the 2×4, let me explain. The 2×4 happens when all the gentle nudges and taps are being ignored, and the Universe decides sterner measures are necessary.
Basically you have a feeling there’s something you should be doing — starting a biz, changing your biz, taking your biz to the next level, stepping out and becoming a speaker, writing a book, etc. — and you’re not doing it. Oh sure, there are plenty of fabulous reasons WHY you aren’t doing it (time being the biggest culprit with money coming in a close second — not to mention “getting ready to get ready” lurking around out there ready to pounce) but at the end of the day nothing is getting done.
So you live with those niggling feelings. Maybe you push them down. Maybe you make plans to start on that magical “someday.” But the end result is still the same. You aren’t moving forward.
Worst, you do all this despite the nudges and taps. Sometimes they’re positive — 3 people in one week confirm you should be offering a new program without any prompting from you; you get 2 requests for speaking gigs in one day. And sometimes they’re negative — your boss announces there’s a hiring freeze, which means you need to put in more hours at the same pay, so even though you hate your job you can’t possibly now find the time to start your biz because you have to focus on doing what you hate. Or maybe one of your core programs (one you know you really need to retire but you’re very nervous about the new program you’ll replace it with) is slowly losing steam — fewer and fewer people sign up for it, and the ones who do aren’t your perfect peeps.
So you make your excuses and keep on walking that path you’re on, even though you really don’t care for that path at all. It’s rocky and full of weeds, beer cans, broken bottles and cigarette butts. But hey — it’s the one we know and it’s better than that mysterious vine-covered trail peeking around the corner.
And that’s why the 2×4 needs to come out and give you a whack — right onto that enticing but oh-so-scary path you know in your gut you need to be on.
Perhaps you break your leg so now you have a whole bunch more time to work on that book. Or that core program finally, completely, bombs in your last launch and now you have no choice but to do something else to bring some cash into the biz.
Whatever it is, if you’ve been ignoring the nudges and taps, the 2×4 may be right around the corner.
So how do you know if this is you? Well, here are 3 signs to watch out for:
1. Is there something in your life you know you need to be doing and you aren’t? (And if this is something that you have lots and lots of excuses for why you aren’t doing it, definitely listen up — I’m talking to you.) Or are you feeling like something is off — there’s something missing inside, you don’t feel complete or you keep wondering if this is “it” — this could also be you.
2. Have you been getting nudges or taps to move you toward this path and you’ve been ignoring them? (It could be months or even years that you continue finding all sorts of reasons not to move forward.)
3. Something is upping the pressure. Maybe the nudges and taps have intensified, maybe you’re feeling like you need to do something NOW or maybe you’re in a funk. Whatever it is, something has changed.
So, if this is you, what do you do? Well I wish I could confidently tell you that I’ve managed to keep the 2×4 from hitting me, but alas you can’t really prove something that didn’t happen. But what I CAN say is if you recognize yourself here, get prepared. Start taking solid steps toward the path you need be on. Develop a plan, write down action steps and start IMPLEMENTING.
You may not be able to avoid the 2×4 completely but if you at least start changing directions you’ll probably lessen the blow when it does come.