Tobe Brockner

What to Do When Your World Turns Upside Down

Did you ever read the Harry Potter series or watch the movies? I think I have probably read the books 4-5 times each and watched the movies at least twice that I can think of.

Anyway, there’s a moment in the story where Harry is competing in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and has to navigate through a maze to reach the Tri-Wizard Cup and win the contest. Shortly after entering the maze he comes upon this golden mist. Unsure of what to do he boldly steps into it and immediately the entire world is turned upside down. Harry freezes in place, feeling as if he is dangling dangerously upside down, too terrified to move. Franticly he weighs his options. Should he attempt to lift his foot off the ground? Doing so feels as if he would fall into the sky. Or, should he give up and send up sparks from his wand, indicating he needed rescued? That would mean losing the tournament and bring no small measure of shame.

He decides to try and take a step forward. Closing his eyes tightly, fear in his heart, he lifts his foot to step forward. As soon as he does so, the world turns right side up again and he is free to keep moving forward.

It is sometimes very simple to dismiss books, movies, or other stories as fiction and not worth exploration or understanding. But, most stories are based on fundamental human issues that have plagued generations before us, wrestled with, and (sometimes) solved. It is expedient to give these stories our attention because in most cases, they can teach us a great deal about life.

Metaphorically speaking, Harry stepping into the unknown when his world is up-ended is something that we all face at some point in our life. Things will go awry, mistakes will be made, pain suffered. We need to know how to navigate these instances as they come. 

So, what was the solution to the problem at hand? Making that first bold step towards regaining a sense of order. 

That was it. Taking a simple step forward. Harry didn’t have to perform some complex bit of magic, lay out some grand scheme, call on the help of countless others, or make some drastic choice.

To be sure, the choice he did make called for courage. It demanded bravery. But it wasn’t complex. It was a simple step forward.

In order for you (or me) to change anything in our lives, we have to make that first step. Sometimes that step can be scary. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. Yet, at other times it can feel as if taking such a small step won’t make any sort of noticeable impact at all. And you could be right…but that isn’t the point.

The point is to get moving. To get the proverbial ball moving. To simply start.

After all, starting is usually the hardest part. Once you have started, generated some momentum, and moved forward a bit you will begin to experience a snowball effect. That momentum will make the next step and the next and the next easier, and easier, and easier. Soon, you will wonder why you didn’t take that first step sooner.

So, take that step. Get your world right side up again. Then keep moving. Keep stepping. Change is just around the corner.


If you are ready to take that first step, try this one: download a free copy of my ebook, Take Your Life Back: A Practical Guide to Self-Creation by clicking on the image below. In it, I lay out the exact strategy I used to get my world right side up again. Give it a read. It's free, and who knows, it could change your life.

Download My Free eBook

Tobe Brockner

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