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So many of us feel trapped, so I wanted to share with you a brilliant short poem written by Portia Nelson. It is a beautiful summary of learning from past mistakes, letting go of old thought patterns and taking responsibility for our choices.

My Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters.

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

So often we feel trapped, stuck and unable to make changes in our life when in fact the opposite is true. No one is trapping us us. We are trapping ourselves. The words “trapped” and “stuck” come up frequently in my coaching sessions – whether it’s about feeling doomed to a career in a cubicle, living up to parental expectations or staying in an unhealthy relationship (or a myriad of other things).

In order to create change we need to claim our power. It’s there for the taking and no one can claim it on your behalf. In some cases our power is BEGGING us to claim it (you know this based on the tugs you feel on your heart when you think about a change you want to make).

We CAN walk down another street – it’s our choice. No one is directing, dragging or pushing us. My favorite line in this poem is “my eyes are open, I know where I am. It is my fault.”  It’s such a feeling of relief to be accountable for the path we take!

The good news is – you can do that this very second. A friend of mine was recently at a Tony Robbins event and she shared her greatest takeaway with me, “there’s no need to wait for things to happen — you don’t have to plot out a timeline. Change happens like THAT (snaps fingers!).”

Pretty awesome, huh?

One instant, one moment, one decision can change your life and you can begin walking down a new street.

What new direction do you want to take? You never need to feel trapped.



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