Amber Grubenmann

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The Secret Island

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2022

Have you ever noticed that when we have something that’s average, we are much less likely to pursue something really amazing?

We get to that good enough point and then we just kind of coast.

That’s how we prevent greatness in all areas of our life.

One of my clients recently ended a connection with a 40% guy. Some of the five elements were there, but ultimately it was not the right fit.

But then she started dating, and the first few guys she went on dates with were even less of a fit than the original 40% guy.

She was really doubting her decision to leave that connection. She was asking, “Do you think maybe I should go back to him?”

I explained to her that we hardly ever actually go from good to great.

Very often, when we let go of a connection because we know it's not truly the great kind of relationship that we're striving for, we first go from good to terrible, to mediocre, to maybe, and then to great.

The natural tendency is for your mind to go back to the last good thing.

Sometimes people really beat themselves up for that. You wonder, “Why am I still thinking about my ex?”

I describe this situation as the “secret island.”

Let's say that you are on an island. Your basic needs are met and you can survive there, but life is not so great. 

Then a traveler comes, and they tell you about the secret island.

It's bigger than your island, there are so many things to do, there are bananas everywhere, and it's beautiful, and the water is crystal clear. It's the most amazing place to settle down and spend your life.

But you have to go on this trip to get there. You have to get your boat, and you have to sail out.

You don't see that island anywhere on the horizon.

You just get some directions about how to get there and you set sail.

It's really scary to leave the island that is meeting most of your needs just for the idea of an island that is more extraordinary. 

When you are on this journey, you see another island and you start heading towards it.

But when you arrive, it's worse than the one that you left. There are no bananas. You can't even survive there. It's barren.

It's very tempting in that moment to think, “I know how I got from the last island to this one. I could just go back to the original one. It wasn’t that bad.”

It's natural to think about that, but it doesn't mean that the secret island isn't actually real or that you can't get there.

You can continue to believe in the secret island and continue your journey towards it based on trust that it's possible, and with some directions. 

It's normal to think about the last good thing you had, but if you keep going, you will eventually get somewhere great.


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This content was originally published on the Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify


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