Notice things are feeling a little stale at work?
Not really ready to leap?
Here are some signs it might be time to start thinking about what’s next and some steps you can take starting now.
Many people are feeling a need or desire for a fresh start, thinking they need to “reinvent” their lives. As we know at Now What?®, the most successful “second acts” actually are not reinventions at all, but rather come from what this author describes as, “crafting a new idea that’s almost always deeply rooted in earlier chapters and activities.”
What might you draw from your past or from the essence of who you are to carry you into a brighter future?
Here are great guidelines to consider as you turn your dream about reinventing yourself into a realistic approach to do just that. Many of the points we work through in Now What?® are part of this process:
- doing your research on your “dream job”
- putting the right support in place
- realistically assessing what will be needed to make the change (financially and otherwise)
- knowing yourself well – strengths, weaknesses, needs and values
Are you craving a radical change?……
When you feel lost and unsure about everything except your own anxiety, it is hard to articulate anything positive or hopeful for your future. It’s at that point that people tell me:
I don’t know what I want!
I empathize with that feeling and the resonance of truth it has for the person who’s suffering but I also know it’s not true. Not really. The “I don’t know” syndrome is really just a reflection of deep fear that keeps us paralyzed.
This video, the first in a three-part series, will walk you through the ‘first block to clarity’ that we encounter when we work with people on career transition issues.
Watch to learn how to turn your list of complaints and problems into a clear list of what you want! Understand why you can’t name it now, but how you will be able to in just a couple of minutes post-viewing.
Please comment on this blog or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your thoughts.
Name it! Get clear!
It’s time to take out the trash, folks, even if the trash is YOU. I know that sounds rude, but it’s a new year and I’m turning 51 this week and as my patience for nonsense wanes at an astounding daily rate, I am passing my sass on to you.
This is not a “misery loves company” scenario. No. It’s an I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me, but I do know what works slap down. I want my sass to slap your _____(rhymes with sass) into action. Maybe some ego mixed in there, but no harm is intended.
Do you want to gain clarity in your life? Do you want to figure out your next career steps? Do you want to feel commitment to a bigger vision of what’s possible for yourself? Then, call it a trash day every day for the rest of this month and get on with it.
People underestimate the importance of a clear slate to strategizing new horizons. We mistakenly think we can compensate for and overlook the physical clutter, emotional baggage, poor health, soured relationships and dysfunctional work or home scenarios. We think we can carve out an escape route and all of that will fall away behind us and it’s just not true. Problems will follow you even into a shinier new situation. Wading through the garbage is what gets us to a clear, new, unfettered path.
I am not advocating for perfection and tidiness in all areas, but what I am asking for is a higher level of awareness. Garbage drains you of energy, mental bandwidth, creativity, awareness of your intuition and peace. Without those, you are just existing and not growing and probably feeling down and discouraged.
Michael is a high-level, well-paid executive who has lost his edge. He doesn’t feel any passion for his work anymore although he did five or six years ago. Relationships are strained at his job, he’s wearing out his friends with the same repetitive complaints and he doesn’t feel motivated to keep up with his exercise routine. He hired me because he wants to make a decision about where to focus to find a new job opportunity. Where we started was with the clutter. Sustainable, good decisions aren’t made in the midst of chaos. As he addressed the chaos, I could hear his confidence building. Week by week, his conviction and vision of what he wanted for himself grew. The ah-ha’s are already breaking through like the sun does after a rainy afternoon, and I know that definitive decisions and actions on the career move are immediately imminent.
Shouldn’t that be you? It’s garbage day. You know what to do.
Stories make up a big part of who we are. It’s how we relate to our past, it’s how we create our future, it’s how we entertain ourselves and sometimes, how we escape. In coaching, especially career change coaching, stories believed too stubbornly can be exactly what is keeping someone stuck.
How do you know if that’s you? Your life may feel cyclical. Progress followed by setbacks of a familiar nature over and over. Fits and starts.
Also, bumping up against the same obstacles time after time. It’s not bad luck. It’s a belief system that needs to manifest into proof that you are right, giving you more evidence to keep believing the “story”. And if you believe it, you tell it and therefore, perpetuate it.
For example, Joseph could not see himself breaking out of investment banking into teaching which was what he really wanted to do because he believed wholeheartedly, it would be a long process full of rejection. He felt he did not have a long enough list of qualifications and that it would be one hurdle after another if he tried to make a change. Speaking to others who made similar changes gave him examples that it was possible, and having interviews that showed him the certification process would not take long should have also served to break the old story. However, he just could not let it go and start writing a new story.
Another example might be believing everyone is nasty or out for themselves. In turn, this makes you nasty or defensive so they are nasty back and there you go—another story that’s proven over and over again.
To spin a different yarn seems very phony at first. That’s because the new story is not true yet. It’s fiction. It’s not yet entrenched in the fiber of your being resonating through every nook and cranny.
It becomes your job to make it true and unfortunately, waiting to see proof first won’t work. Seeing is not believing. Believing makes you see it! It switches your attention off of everything that could go wrong or that is not working and puts it on the possibilities and the connect-the-dots magic of creating a new path.
Have you ever bought a new car only to notice once you are driving it, how many like it are on the road? That’s the effect we are looking for. What happened was that suddenly your attention was on cars just like yours and you kept seeing them everywhere! Were they there before? Certainly, but you weren’t looking for them.
Creating a new story means looking for the elements that can make it come true until you don’t have to work to find them anymore. That happens once the new story is woven into the tapestry of your life and becomes true.
What’s your story?
Are you broke? Are you lazy? Are you put-upon by circumstances? Are you a victim of corporate greed or a relationship gone sour? Are you so in love with your savings account that you can’t invest in yourself to get on a new course?
Start telling a story of what you CAN create instead of replaying those old eight-track tapes in your head (for youngsters, stop playing cassettes and for really young ones, stop playing those CD’s).
Let us know how we can help rewrite your career story.
Career Confusion? Yes, that back drop of unhappiness with no clear path to a better future. That nagging feeling that if you only liked your job better everything would be OK or even worse, the Herculean panic of being paralyzed in the gap between unemployment and a paying position that will crush your soul!
Career Confusion makes you feel powerless, stupid, lazy and crazy. Other people start thinking you are too as you flail about trying to look like you have it all together. Oddly enough, all the reasons you think you are in this state may not be the cause at all.
I had the privilege of putting a whole new crew of people through some of the Now What?® paces recently, and it drummed home, more clearly than ever, that we do not have the information about ourselves that we really need to find a career path that will be truly satisfying. It’s not just about what we like, what we are good at and what we have credentials for. We are people with a psychology formed by experiences and decisions and one of the biggest decisions you ever made may be EXACTLY what’s in the way of a satisfying career path being made available to you right now.
For most of us, somewhere in our formative years, we made a vow, a promise, a declaration about what we would or would not do, want, have or be. And that vow, is what may very well be in your way today.
For example, Christopher was in his second disappointing career and very down on himself. He had trained heavily for both and felt cheated by life to think he found himself needing to find yet another path. He could not see any possibilities for himself, even with a rich history of things he loved or had experience with, until he got an ah-ha about a deep-seated need he VOWED would be the life force behind his career decisions.
Christopher remembered the vow he made as a young person born from a lack in his upbringing. His vow—his NEED was to have stability. Sounds fair enough, right? But he saw that both his past career choices were made solely with that criteria and it had led him down two very disappointing paths.
In the Now What?® program we call this a Driving Motivator but what is important here is that the key to clarity came upon discovering this hidden VOW. Some of us are still operating on a vow that is working for us. Great, keep it. But if life’s not working, look back for a possible vow. Once you are aware of that vow that has informed your decisions, you get to decide if it still serves you. Believe me, it did. That’s why you formed it and that’s what helped you survive and thrive until now. So love it, thank it, let it go and choose one that can SERVE you better now.
Another example is that of Deidre who came to America as a teen with her immigrant family. Her parents wanted a better life for their children and Deidre internalized that and installed a vow to become the model for why her parents risked everything to move her to the US. She super-achieved through school, Ivy League University and a top-notch career. Now, she feels lazy and crazy, wanting less for herself than her elite status could get her. She wants a more holistic lifestyle and a health-centered career. However, she could not move forward or even dream of allowing herself what she truly wanted until she found the freedom that comes with discovering the VOW that was causing all the confusion.
It’s like changing the operating system for your life. You had one, it worked. It’s no longer working but you lack the diagnostic tool to identify and move through the glitch. Once you do, and you uncover the Vow, The Driver, the NEED, you will be able to live your life from the new operating system of satisfaction and clarity.
Not sure what your VOW is? Join us.
Our next FREE call is WED, May 9th 2012.