How to Know When It’s Time for a Change

No matter what profession you are in, there will be times in your career where you will wonder if it’s time for a change. One of the most common phrases I hear in coaching is:

How do you know….

When it’s time to quit your job

When it’s time to find a new firm

When it’s time to ask for a divorce

When it’s time to change professions

When faced with these questions from clients, we work through a three step process:

myths, justifications, and so whats

The myth: there is no predestined “right time” that must be known before we can make big decisions.

What is the benefit of that line of thinking?

It’s like handing your life over to some unknown scheduler, hoping that they will let you know when you can move on. It assumes that there will be a time when the change you are questioning will be easy. It also assumes there will be a time when you can act without any fear or reservation.

Instead, this wait and see approach simply keeps you stuck. It keeps you in the safe familiar. It justifies your unwillingness to do the scary thing and gives you an excuse for not taking control over your life: “It just doesn’t feel like the right time.”

In my experience, those of us that wait to find some certainty that the time is finally “right” to make that big decision only end up getting beat over the head with their own truth.

The truth that they have known all along but that they kept ignoring, waiting for a “sign” that it was the perfect time to act. When we ignore those inklings that we need to make a change and we tell ourselves that we need to wait for the “right time,” life typically just turns up the volume and makes that truth harder to ignore.

You knew the right decision already but you allowed fear to convince yourself that you needed to wait for the right time.

There is no “right time.” If you feel driven or called to do something or make a change, pay attention to those urges. They will not go away. They will just get louder and the messaging typically becomes more painful (so that you cannot ignore it).

The one person that we should innately trust, who always has our back, is ourselves. Why do we ignore her so often and listen to others whose intentions are not always so benevolent? In order to build the life of your dreams, you have to start trusting yourself.

The only person who will join you for every step of the journey is yourself.

So, you might as well start giving her a seat at the table.

The justifications. When we are trying to weigh important decisions, the most important question to ask yourself is “why” do I want to do this. Next, we ask ourselves if we like our reasoning.

It’s that simple.

If your reason for wanting to leave your job is because “It’s too hard…I don’t think I’m cut out for it…I’m not happy here” you have to as yourself if you like that reasoning. Do you feel good about that explanation?

For many of us, these types of justifications are at the root of a lot of decisions. Things get hard. Life will challenge you to grow. These justifications are all based in some sort of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that you made a mistake.

Furthermore, these types of justifications give away all your power–you imply that your job should give you some sort of happiness. (In case you missed it, happiness is no one’s job but yours.)

You are free to allow yourself to make decisions based upon these justifications, that is wholly your right. But my question is: Do you like your reasons? Do you feel good about your justification?

Be honest with yourself about why you are wanting to do (or not do) something and carefully examine your justification.

So long as you like your reason, you have everything you need to act. From there you simply make a decision and execute. No drama. Just action from a place of authenticity. Simple.

The so whats.

This is the part of the process where we tackle the fear that is keeping us stuck. When we eliminate the drama and get clear about our justifications for acting, the only thing that will keep us from executing is fear. In order to act, we have to take a look at that fear.

If you act and you make the “wrong” decision, so what?

Answering that question will ultimately bring you face to face with your worst case scenario. When we ask “so what?” over and over and over again, we eventually get to the root of the fear:

I don’t want people to think I’m a failure…because then I will believe I have failed.

I don’t want to be embarrassed…because it will mean I have messed up.

I don’t want to admit I was wrong…because it will mean I’m less than.

Facing our worst case scenarios and developing a strategy where we not only survive but THRIVE through those events will dispel the fear that is keeping us from acting.

If we know that we can make a decision, fail, and handle the consequences, there is no longer anything to be  afraid of. There is no longer any reason NOT to act.

Don’t let your brain tell you that you can’t handle your worst case scenario. Believing that will keep you stuck indefinitely.

Don’t make your life a merry-go-round of boring and fear-driven decisions. What would your future self tell you to do?

Interested in some free support in making your next big decision? I got you. Sign up today before this week’s spots are gone.

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Feeling Unfulfilled

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”

Tony Robbins

I rarely encounter a client that isn’t struggling in some manner to connect with her purpose. After so many years of working toward this goal of becoming a lawyer, that life isn’t often everything that we thought it would be. We are left looking for something more.

So how do we find our purpose?

We have to start by looking at where you are now and asking how we got here. What did you think might be your purpose? Did you achieve that thing only to find that it didn’t fulfill you?  What was it that you were seeking to achieve that did not fulfill your purpose? And, most importantly, why did you want to achieve that one thing?

Because I work with attorneys, most of my clients posit that they wanted to go to law school, graduate, and get a good job at a prestigious firm. Why? Because they wanted to make good money, they wanted to be respected, they wanted a life better than their parents had, they wanted to be seen as successful, they wanted their parents to be proud, they wanted to prove themselves to those who had doubted them, they didn’t want to be a failure, etc.

When we look even one layer deeper and explore why all the above reasons are so persuasive, we are left with the core of the issue: I want to feel important, I want to feel valued, I want to be proud of myself, I want to feel like a success.

Therein lies the problem.

All of these motivations are rooted in a belief that we are not yet enough — we are not important, we are not valued, we are not someone to be proud of, we are not successful. What’s more, we are looking for something outside of ourselves to make us important, valued, proud, successful. This is a recipe for a never-ending cycle of letdowns.

You cannot achieve the life of your dreams from a place of lack and self-judgment. That energy is never going to serve you and those negative beliefs about yourself are only going to generate more self doubt.

Why are you believing that without more you aren’t good enough and that you must find that missing piece to become whole and worthy?

I believe that all humans are worthy and whole, just as they are. You, dear reader, are worthy and valued just as you are. You are something to be proud of; nothing more is needed.

I know, most of us don’t believe that, I get it.

But what if it were true?

What if you didn’t need to do anything to become whole and complete? What if you already were all of those things? Then what would you do with your life?

Stated another way, if you were already important, valued, proud and successful, what would motivate you? What would you want to do with your life?

You can learn to believe and trust that you are good enough and worthy just as you are. Most of us aren’t there yet and that is okay. We aren’t taught this kind of self love but it can be learned.

Why is this so important? Because if you can truly take ownership of your worthiness, what you choose to do with your life becomes so much less important. There isn’t some monumental purpose to be found. There is just you, perfect and whole, and the things that bring you joy.

When you remove all that pressure from the things you do, you are free to choose whatever you want to be your purpose. You can simply decide what you want to be your purpose today. It’s not a monumental decision because it doesn’t add any intrinsic value to who you already are.

You can simply choose the type of contribution you want to make to the world. Tomorrow, next week, next year, you can choose something different. It doesn’t mean anything about you — you are simply a complete and lovable human, making decisions about how you want to spend your time and what’s important to you in that moment. Nothing more.

Many of us go on a journey seeking our purpose believing that our purpose resides outside of ourselves.

That we must accomplish something or that we must actively be seeking our purpose — it’s waiting out there for us and we just have to find it and everything will click. That breeds such a tremendous amount of pressure — if you find your purpose, you are  a successful contributor to the human race and if you don’t…well, you are just wasting your time here.

When we choose to believe that we are whole and complete and that nothing outside of ourselves can make us more complete, we can decide to make our purpose whatever we want it to be.

Take a look at the things that bring you joy; the things you are good at. What is the underlying theme? How could you tie them all together?

Here are a few examples from my clients of their purposes in life:

I choose to be an example of what’s possible.

I choose to use my writing to inspire women.

I choose to be an effective and inspirational leader.

I choose to help women reconnect with their value and their worth.

Fulfilling any of the above purposes could take a myriad of different forms. Living in accordance with these purposes does not require you to change your job or career plan. It simply asks you to show up in the certain way and dedicate your energy toward that purpose.

Stop pressuring yourself to find some ever elusive purpose. Start looking inward to see why your pursuit of a purpose has failed you in the past — What were you seeking outside of yourself? Why did you want that? What did you discover when you got there?

Make a commitment to believe that you are already enough. You are complete, perfect, loveable, whole. If you could believe that and embody that, what would you do with your life? That, my friends, is the first step in fulfilling your purpose. It’s right there within your complete power and control.

Start living a purposeful life today.

If you are struggling to find more fulfillment in your life, take advantage of a free session to regroup and start taking meaningful action.

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