Are You On The Search, But Not Finding What You Need? - Jessica Eley • Blog

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Are You On The Search, But Not Finding What You Need?

Are You On The Search, But Not Finding What You Need?

27

Feb

There was a small grocery store about a mile from my house growing up. I went there constantly and not much ever changed. Everything was pretty much always in the same place, including the bananas.

So one afternoon, when I was old enough to drive already, my mom sent me to this store to get some bananas. I walked directly to the spot where the bananas had been for the previous 17 years of my life, but today, they were NOT there.

Odd.

I walked the produce aisle, looking for bananas. I went back to the end cap in the produce section where the bananas had ALWAYS been. I noted all the other fruits: apples, oranges, tomatoes, grapes… then vegetables. Everything seemed to still be in its usual place.

No.fucking.bananas.

I spent at least 2 or 3 minutes looking for bananas (which, if you knew how tiny this store is, you’d understand how ridiculous that is) and was beginning to go a bit bananas myself.

I went back to where the bananas SHOULD be and stood there dumbfounded, turned around, my back towards where the banana spot was, and saw a store clerk walking by.

“Sir………. [with exasperation]……….. WHERE are your bananas?!” (for shit’s sake! <– I wanted to add)

I was 17. Some kids that age are prone to being prankster-y jackasses, and for a split second, I could tell the clerk was sizing me up, trying to figure out if I was one of them… or just really dumb… or, perhaps there was a 5% chance I was serious.

Thankfully, he must have decided it was the latter, because, with disbelief, he pointed directly behind me and said, “Right there.”

And I turned on my heel, at the spot that I had stared at least five previous times, and there were the bananas!

*insert “did that really just happen?” groan*

This happens to everyone sometimes (and if it’s never happened to you, shhh… let me remain in my blissful denial that I am normal). Thing is though, it doesn’t just happen at the grocery store.

It happens in your head… with how you think about growing your business or improving your health. With how you approach your spouse, kids, or mom. With how you manage your money (or don’t).

You can read the solution in a book (or a blog post). You can hear it on a podcast or from a trusted friend or partner. Someone can spell out the 3 steps you need to take to get XYZ, only to have you say, 5 minutes later, “Yeah, cool, but how do you XYZ?!”

So what do we do about it? How do we minimize banana moments?

Get out of your environment

A huge part of why I couldn’t see the bananas is because I went in expecting them to be in a certain place. I had 17 years of experience and expectations under my belt with these bananas. I wasn’t REALLY looking for the bananas, just like you may not REALLY be looking for solutions or change. You’re just retracing your well-worn steps to the places where you’ve previously found (or have told yourself you could find) solutions, but if something is off this time, if you’re distracted, if some wonky belief rears its head, if any number of countless things happen, you’re not finding what they’re looking for.

Had I been in a new store, I would have had no idea where the bananas were. I would have had no story about where bananas should be and would have consequently walked through the store much more consciously.

When you’re trying to change your head, find clever solutions, think about something differently, or just switch up how you feel, changing your environment (e.g. getting out of the house, leaving the country, working at the kitchen table instead of the bed, writing on paper instead of a laptop, talking with your partner while on a walk instead of while loading the dishwasher, etc.) helps your head not slip into default-mode.

Ask for help

I felt positively ridiculous asking where the bananas were, and yet, I’d reached the point where I wasn’t making any progress on my own anymore. I had to humble myself to open my mouth and ask. Would I have eventually seen the bananas? Maybe. Was there any real point to not asking? Only to protect my ego.

It doesn’t matter if you know that you “should” know something. If it’s not working right now, it’s not working!

People feel like they “should” be good at maintaining a budget, or feeling in love with their partner because 20 other people would saw off a limb to be with someone like him, or be able to discipline themselves put down the bag of chips and walk away, or consistently show up in their business, or or or.

Hear me when I say this: I DO NOT CARE how many trips you have made around the sun. You do not learn how to be {whatever it is you want to be} just because time passes and you’re a grown ass (wo)man. You start where you ARE, not where you wish you were.

GET.HELP (figuring out where you’re really starting, not beating yourself up for said-starting-point, creating a belief system that says “ok, we can turn this ship around,” and then executing on it like an (imperfect) badass).

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