Start Where You Are

Endings and Beginnings

I woke up on Monday, January 3, ready to go – the beginning of a New Year! We get very excited about the end of one year and the beginning of another; don’t we?!? Even though I personally do not believe this is the only time in our lives we can consciously end one thing and consciously begin another thing, I do spend time and energy closing down one year and setting out new outcomes for the next. Indeed, I had gone on a virtual retreat with other business owners and coaches to work on what we would create in 2022. And I was excited!!

I woke up with this sense of January 3 – let’s go! I started working and very soon realized this sense that I was feeling overwhelmed. Two hours into the new year and I am overwhelmed? At first I was annoyed. But then I thought, “Well, Cami, you’re a coach. What have you learned that you can use?”

Where Are You?

You are Here Map

I thought of this valuable and comforting concept I have written of in the past. But it is January, so I think it is time to write about it again. It’s called, “Start where you are.” I first learned of this in yoga, and at first it seems obvious. Because where else can you start? I think, though, what causes us difficulty is the concept that we should be somewhere else. That if I am excited about this new year, I should not feel overwhelmed. I should feel good and ready to go. That this is not where I should be.

It was so comforting to ask myself, “If I am to start where I am, where is that?” So this is the process I came up with, may it serve you as well.  Where am I today without judgment. Maybe noticing and naming the judgment, setting it aside: “Today I feel like there is a lot and a lot of different directions. I notice I get annoyed when I feel like this. Irritated with things and people.” If I could set aside all my judgment about that and ask where am I starting today, I could be neutral and say, “I am starting from a place of feeling like there is a lot.” When I say that without judgment, I can just notice where I am.

What comes next for me is, “What do I need/want to do next? What is the best next move for me?” When I say that it’s a lot and it feels like a lot right now and I start from that place, I can notice that it might be useful to write everything down and make a plan. But I do that a lot and I still feel this way. So next I realize that I need to get coaching to uncover what is going on. And the next thing I realize I want and need is to take care of myself. To be kind to myself. To let go of the desire to say there is something wrong with feeling this way. To say I am starting at this place and that’s just where I am.

Where “Should” You Be?

I write this post for you today because I wonder how often we humans do these two things. First, to say, “I shouldn’t be here. I should be somewhere else.” To not acknowledge where I am. And second, to judge it – that I am starting in this place where I thought I should be excited, but I am feeling all these other things. And something is wrong with that.

So for you – check in. What have you made up about where you are “supposed to” be? What are you judging about yourself as to where you are? Can you state it neutrally – “this is where I am today.” And be kind and take care of yourself and create a plan if needed and ask yourself, “What do I need today?” because you cannot really get anywhere else if you are unwilling to say, “I am starting here.” And you are up to big things!

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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