Clarity and confidence are key to making intentional and positive decisions about the next steps on your journey.
Perhaps because journey means ‘an act of travelling from one place to another’, Life is a journey is often used as a metaphor for our life experiences. The language you use when talking about your life in these terms, gives a strong indication of how you perceive your current situation. Which in turn impacts on how you approach and deal with it.
Developing self-awareness of this visual language and its influence on your behaviour brings clarity and confidence. As such, I’ll be guiding you in using imagery and visualisation to explore, understand and use your ‘life as a journey’ metaphors to empower your choices.
Choose your next steps intentionally
Because ‘life as journey’ is part of our everyday language, you’re unlikely to be consciously aware of how you’re using it. However, noticing this language helps you understand your current mindset. Whether in relation to career, relationships, wellbeing or spiritual growth etc. For example, do any of these resonate with you?
- I’m at a crossroads
- I feel directionless
- I’ve lost my way
- I’m over the hill
- I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it
- I’ve got a mountain to climb
- There’s light at the end of the tunnel
- I’m on the right path
- I’m ready to take the next step
- I’ve reached a milestone
- I’m looking forward to the adventure
- I want to expand my horizons
Frequently associated with periods of transition, you may notice that the first set lean towards having a lack of clarity and/or confidence at this time. So, take a moment to reflect on which ones resonated or you’ve been using. Having an awareness of your language, you’re now ready to take the next step and visualise the metaphor.
Focus on moving forward with clarity and confidence
For example, if you’re saying, ‘I have a mountain to climb’ visualise the mountain. You can do this by asking yourself, ‘What kind of mountain is it?’. As you answer this question, create a mental image representing how you see it. Whether high, rocky, snow-capped, treacherous, small, beautiful etc.
Alternatively, you could look through a travel magazine until an image of a mountain resonates with you. Use this to provide a strong, tangible visual reference. As you look at the image what descriptive words emerge for you? These words help bring clarity about the nature of the ‘mountain you have to climb’.
Next, use these words to reflect on how your metaphorical mountain translates into your everyday experience. So, if you see it as high, what kind of high is this and why? For example, does it mean stretching your comfort zone or could it be related to how long it will take to climb? The reason will be personal to you, take your time to consider it. Doing this can also help you understand why you’re using that specific metaphor and whether you can reframe your language.
Once you have this clarity, you can make informed decisions about how to prepare and equip yourself to move forwards with confidence.
Self-awareness expands your horizons
Understanding your personal journey metaphors helps you feel confident to start making changes you want to see. So, like any journey, once you have a better idea of what’s ahead you can decide the following:
- Is this the direction I want to travel?
- Is there an alternative route?
- Is there a risk in travelling now, should I wait?
- Do I need a guide, satnav, map or (dare I say) compass?
- Or is the route familiar
- Can I travel alone?
- If so, do I want to, or would I prefer company
- Will I need to learn new skills?
- How will I ensure I get enough rest to complete the journey?
Applying your learning
All these questions continue the metaphor of ‘life is a journey’, therefore it is worth spending the time answering them in detail. Although it may feel like a lot, try to apply this process to all your journey metaphors. Doing so provides you with the clarity and confidence to make bold decisions about your next steps. If possible do this exercise with someone you trust.
Remember to think about how your answers relate back to your everyday experience. Therefore, if you need a guide, who is that – a mentor, coach, friend, family member or someone else entirely? As you do this, remember to use your experiences of real journeys to reflect and gain deeper self-awareness.
Taking into consideration that journeys can consist of small interconnected ones, with different modes of transport. So, reaching your destination may take several stages, but you can be confident about arriving.
Clarity and confidence to succeed
Journeys are about travelling from one place to another in order to reach a destination.
That’s why life is a journey is a powerful metaphor to help you understand and navigate your life experiences, particularly transitions.
So tune into your unconscious language for any use of metaphors related to journeys or travel. Then visualise and reflect on what that means for you emotionally and practically. In following these simple steps, you can equip yourself with the clarity and confidence to succeed and enjoy every stage of your journey.
About the author: Andréa Watts is the first specialist in coaching with collage. She is the founder of UnglueYou® and coach, trainer and speaker at her business. Andréa holds positions of Honorary Lecturer at City, University of London (Organisational Psychology Department), and was the Coaching in Context module lead at Birkbeck University on the Coaching Psychology Programme.
As an accomplished coach, facilitator, trainer and speaker with individuals and groups, her clients include multinational corporations and universities.
Andréa’s vision is:
“To see the Collage Coaching Technique™ used globally as a creative coaching tool for releasing people’s potential”
To enable this ambition, she trains coaches to use the ICF (International Coaching Federation) accredited methodology she developed. To share her knowledge, Andréa authored ‘Collage as a Creative Coaching Tool: A Comprehensive Resource for Coaches and Psychologists’, published by Routledge in 2022.
Published by Routledge in July 2022, Andréa’s book is available to purchase from Routledge.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and selected high street book shops.
This article has been kindly repurposed and you can read the original here: How to Journey with Clarity and Confidence