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To change or not to change?

I talk a lot about change and trying to help people find a way to make the changes that feel a bit scary in their heads. Mainly because I know exactly how it feels, I have a tendency to procrastinate, hope that an easy solution will come along or occasionally hope that someone else will sort it out for me (that was a hard one to admit).

It is absolutely liberating when you decide to take action on something that’s been playing on your mind for ages. Whether it’s big or small, it will often lead to making other changes that you might never have thought of. It snowballs until you’re all of a sudden doing things you had no idea you wanted to do a couple of years ago!

When I finally admitted I didn’t want to carry on my career in the world of IT, it still took me ages to actually do anything about it. When I did finally get onto a career coaching webinar, suddenly everything looked much brighter. Instead of dreading re-training or having no idea what I wanted to do, I had some things to investigate. I was excited about learning something new.

This lead to yet more changes. I moved house, I cut way down on drinking, I stopped smoking, I decided to walk the Camino de Santiago. SO MUCH happened and that’s not even including all the small changes I made. All of a sudden, these things were possible for me and I was really excited about my future.

I lost that feeling a bit over the last couple of years and felt really sad and stuck again at the end of last year. I was back in the same job, in the same office with the same people (that bit was quite nice to be honest 😊). It was like time had reversed and I panicked. What was I going to do, was I just not able to make my coaching business work? Was I not good enough? What had happened to the person who went out and made decisions with excitement and joy?

So I left again. My financial situation is different this time and not for the better. I haven’t got much to fall back on so there is a bit of pressure in the back of my mind. But it feels different this time. I know more, I’m not starting from zero, I’m starting with some experience. I’ve still got lots of exciting ideas and I can’t wait to put some of them in place. But I know that whatever happens, I’ve got this.

The experience of making big decisions and it not being the end of the world has shown me that I can do this. There are so many iterations of what might or might not happen, I’ve just got to go with my instincts and share what I know.

Having said all that, I believe that sometimes it’s not the right time for you to make changes. Maybe you need more time, more resources (financial, emotional, material etc) to make it work for you. Maybe just getting some support will help you get to that place. Maybe talking to the people around you, or complete strangers, will help you find a different perspective or path.

The fact is that whatever you do, whatever decisions you make will be right for you, in my opinion. If it turns out to be a bit shit, well you definitely learnt something from it, even if it’s what not to do next time. If it’s a bit mediocre, how can you make it better? If it was amazing and the best thing ever well that ‘s fantastic.

So how do you know whether to go down the path of change? I would think about the following:

1. Is this something that keeps coming back to you? It’s not going away and you know that when you realised you wanted to change the thing, it was like something clicked into place (whether you liked it or not)?

2. Tune into your instincts (meditate, pray, journal, light a candle in silence) and see what comes up for you. Is there a pull towards that thing?

3. Talk to someone objective, away from the situation and observe what you say about it and how that feels.

4. Film yourself talking about the pros and cons of staying the same or changing. Watch it back in x3 time so you can see what your body language is. Quite often that will show you how you really feel about something.

The fact is that only you know what to do with your life and only you can make the changes you want to see. I keep going back to something that I was told when I was young “it’s better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t”.

Most of us have some regrets or something we would have changed in the past but at the end of our lives, are we going to regret what we have done or what we haven’t?


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