“When the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing, change occurs.” That’s what they told us in coach training class. Are you buying it? Is your pain deep enough to make you change your life, your career, or your relationships? Or are you just comfortable enough to remain right where you are, maybe complaining to your friends or anyone who will listen, as you stay stuck in the place you are now?
It was about twenty years ago when I began to realize that I was in a marriage that no longer worked for me. It had its ups and downs, and often the good outweighed the bad. And then something shifted in me, and what was “good enough” for years was no longer good enough.
It was two years ago when I had to make a tough career decision – stay with a company that I thought I’d work for until I was ready for full-time entrepreneurship, certify myself and then leave and jump fulltime into coaching, or find a different job that fulfilled me while I worked on building our coaching practice. My job had progressed to the point where I was trapped in a job I didn’t love, working for a boss I didn’t love, at a company that no longer met my needs. And even knowing all that, it was hard to go. I was there more than twelve years and had many friends and colleagues that I respected.
I made the decision to seek other fulltime employment and it was the best thing I could have done for myself career-wise. I was able to find a role that I love, working for someone who’s the best boss I’ve had in my 34 year career, at a company that is strong and supportive of where I am in my life and career. I’ve been able to heal some wounds from past jobs and companies; I’ve gotten several do-overs.
As usual, I had to be in such pain that it was impossible to ignore. Like so many other people, I’m willing to put up and shut up long after I should go. I like to say that my Guides and Angels conspired to get me to leave by making daily life a giant energy suck. I was exhausted just showing up at work. I couldn’t ignore the pain any longer. In corporate speak, I became the “actively disengaged,” there in name only.
How did I make the move? I very carefully considered exactly what it was I was looking for. I knew what my strengths were, and I knew where my weaknesses are. I asked a lot of questions that I wouldn’t have asked earlier in my career. I knew that if the open position didn’t result in an offer, then it wasn’t meant to be. Something else would show up at the right time and place.
In the end, they chose me and I chose them. When we take on a new job, or a new relationship, or a new life, we choose. Sometimes we make our choice by not actively choosing, but waiting to see what happens. For me, I believe that if I’m not working my own plan, I’m part of someone else’s. I prefer my own choices.
What is it that needs to change in your life? Why aren’t you moving ahead, making active choices? How much pain will you need to be in, before you can see the light of change shining at the end of the tunnel, up ahead? I wish for you the courage to choose, to make the choices that will lead to your best life yet.