• Andrea Spyros

Are You Stuck Circling & Never Landing?

How to Safely Land Even Without Your Pilot's License

Your mind is always in motion. Circling around hundreds of options, suggestions, and paths for you to land on. The problem is the landing. Deciding which thing you are going to focus on and landing on the runway.

Most of the time you continue to circle around things going on in your life unsure of where to land the plane.

When an aircraft is circling the runway to land it means that there was no clear path. It could be that the weather is backing other planes up or there is an obstruction on the runway. The circling approach is used to buy some time to clear the path and align the aircraft with the runway. It’s not meant to go on forever. Can you imagine arriving near your final destination and hearing the pilot tell you that you’ll be circling forever?

Circling and never landing is also dangerous.You’ll run out of fuel and crash or have to make a quick landing without as many resources as you’re used to having.

In life, for me, circling is so much more familiar than landing. Circling around obstacles and ideas seen from the air is far more inviting than taking initiative to land.

Landing takes work. (Have I said before, I don’t like work??)

Landing means you made a choice, and in a world full of options making a choice is hard work because it means you are cutting yourself off from other opportunities and possibilities.

You might be on a turbulent flight, but at least you know what to expect. Matter of fact, most people fly in wide circles full of busy patterns their whole life. And this is fine. This is safe because it is familiar.

But this is not for me.

I am circling in smaller and smaller areas that dig deep into important questions. Questions about how to land, questions about why I circle.

When you are ready to make lasting changes in your life, you must align with the runway and land your plane.

Otherwise you’ll run out of gas. You’ll be flying on empty wondering what went wrong.

In order to be open and receptive to learning more about your chosen path you have to land the plane. You can’t receive fully when you are in motion.

You must land to fully receive.

How do you land?

I bet you are wondering where that damn flight manual is. You’ve been flying so long you forgot how to land, or worse, you have never landed. Or maybe you have landed, but not for long. That’s me to spite a 20+ year marriage and an 18+ year business part of me flitted like a butterfly from flower to flower never landing for long.

First, don’t judge yourself for circling. You were doing the best you could with what you had and where you were in your life.

Now, start to account for the help that has always been present around you. After all, the pilots have guidance from the tower. Who’s in your tower? Make a quick list of the first people that pop into your mind. Then ask, “Who else?” You might be surprised at the resources you have.

Then you must share with them that you are coming in for a landing. Ask for the support you need and ask what they might be willing to provide. So many times, their ideas are so much more than I would have expected or even thought to ask for. And sometimes I surprise myself that just speaking my truth about circling allows something to relax and it’s not so scary after all.

This will feel unfamiliar. All new experiences do, but that’s only because you haven’t received that part of the manual.

The hard part with the manual is that it’s just a guideline. And once you know the experiences you want to land on more detail will be provided.

Circling and your brain.

Your brain is afraid of what it doesn’t know or understand. But when you survive something the brain says “I should do that again” even if it’s something that was uncomfortable or even painful.

That's why you find yourself in the same place or scenario over and over again. Circling around the same behavior and thought patterns. The same behaviors and thoughts that often keep you from making the healthy decision to land.

Landing means not only choosing a new experience, behavior or thought pattern, but executing it.

The truth for me is that I’m a little afraid of flying to begin with (although you’d never know if you sat next to me on a plane). Circling the airfield feels good. I’m comfortable, I like the view of the homes, the trees, the ocean. I don’t need to change or grow or be responsible.

But then I remember that I want to grow. I want to attract those who want to learn. Attract those who are willing to go a little deeper and fly a little higher.

So much about flying a plane is autopilot. (More than you realize when you are a passenger.) You forget that there's a whole crew there to help you. Too busy taking on the responsibilities of the pilot and the baggage carrier. And we all know too much baggage brings us down.

With all that things that go into making a plane fly your mind is constantly working on problems and solutions.

Most of the time we are too busy to notice (or accept) the help that is around us. The instruction book you're looking for might be right in front of you. But while you’re busy serving mid flight peanuts your air flight controller just executed some amazing instructions on how to properly land. You missed the part about deploying the landing gear and that the airstrip was clear for landing.

Now how can you land your plane if you can’t even sit in the cockpit long enough to hear the landing instructions?

Could it be fear of landing wrong? (Me.) Or landing in the wrong airfield? (Me.) Perhaps you are so insecure about the responsibility that you just ignore the airfields all together. (Also me.)

That’s fine. Some people will never land their plane.

And that’s okay. Circling gives you a great perspective too.

But me. I want to feel it on a deeper level. I want to close in on ideas and nose dive into them without fear.

Sometimes when I let the fear and anxiety take a nap on a smooth twelve hour flight I can see the fields and mountain tops. Then I understand that I'm closer to landing than I previously realized. I had all this fear, but really it was just low cloud coverage.

I have landed on some amazing adventures so far in this journey called life. I have taken flight in directions of unexpected adventures where I figured out the map as I went. (Metaphorically speaking, of course, because I’m too afraid to go without a map in real life!)

I have come to a point where I realize that putting 10% effort into landing my plane helps my manual guides to participate in the next 90%.

  • What if you just did 10% effort into landing your plane?

  • Where would you land?

  • What grand adventure is waiting for you?

  • Where in the world is your next airfield to find the manual to?

It takes courage to stake your claim to the airfield. Coming in for a landing puts all eyes on you. The center of attention as you work through each maneuver. With precision you bring your aircraft to a gliding stop. With confidence you leap from the plane and stake your claim to the ground.

Finally, you can see how the process of landing and staking the claim gave you clarity. Reassurance and acceptance is yours. Once you've experienced yourself land the plane, no one can take that away from you, not even you. As your plane is refueling you begin to notice new flight paths and tools to guide you along, and that fear of landing now seems nothing more than a resource for your next take off.

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