When Everything Changes
The new year is here and the air is crisp of good intentions and goals. As we all dream up of what we want to do this year, I have a challenge that I wasn't quite expecting. All my plans have changed!
Fortunately, the changes are not bad. Meaning that they are not due to disease or a death in the family. But they are drastic changes in what I visualized myself doing this year and where I visualized myself going.
It's been a little difficult to adjust, I have to say. Just the mindset shift along has been a little painful.
For a planner, who actually set goals a few years ago and worked towards those goals, this is a complete mind f*ck.
A couple of years ago, I was very intentional about leaving my job at some point in the near future and going independent to offer consulting services to companies. I am an agile coach and trainer and with the world becoming more agile and technology disrupting everything, I knew I had a space in consulting that I could fill. I worked at it, continuing to hone in on my craft, learning smooth delivery, even working on my finances so that I could work a few months with delayed pay that so often happens at the beginning of a consulting career. I visualized myself in this role. I knew what services I would offer and even set a daily rate. I even had a projected date for the departure from my company to kick off my new gig and even some prospective clients.
And then it all changed. I changed it. It didn't happen to me. Luckily, it wasn't due to illness or financial ruin or some big event. I took a permanent job!
I took a heart job. A job at a cancer hospital. A job at a place where I had said years before, if I could work there, I would. But it didn't seem feasible because what would I do there? They don't need agile at a hospital!
But then it happened. An old colleague reached out and asked if I would talk to him. He seemed to love it and I agreed to meet. After a three hour lunch, I was pumped up. Ready to join the cause to help cure cancer. Cancer hospital + agile. I saw it. It made sense. I jumped in.
Months later, I got an offer and accepted immediately. This is what my heart wanted. I wanted a greater purpose. I wanted to help people in a more meaningful way. My mom was a cancer survivor, I had just lost a friend to cancer. I was ready.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was nervous for many reasons. Less money, demotion, permanence!
And now the new year is here and we are past the holiday fog. This is where most of us do new year's resolutions. This is where I review my goals and determine where I am at and what I want to do to align with my passions and life's work. I looked at my mind map and my roadmap and now it's completely different. Actually, I need to revisit the whole thing because it's changed.
The feelings are weird. Does this mean I failed? Did I chicken out? I feel like I am completely out of sync with that I planned.
The truth is that this happens to all of us and probably for much worst reasons than I have. How many of us have not lost jobs and it's lasted a long time and ended up with a career change because of it? Possibly one we weren't happy with or had to settle for. Probably many of us have ended up in a much different place due to illness, either ourselves or a loved one. Or worst yet, the sudden or not so sudden death of a close loved one, like a child of husband.
I am so incredibly lucky that I opted for something different and am now in the best of situations to question it. But it's still a bit challenging and disorienting when I felt I had a plan and have to now shift completely.
I received an email this week from Marc and Angel Hack Life titled How to Start Changing Your Thoughts This Year (When You Can't Change Anything Else). It reminded me that sometimes you can't change your situation but you can adjust how you think about it.
And I am the Agile Copilot, I live on change. It feeds my soul. But it just goes to show that change is hard for all of us and big changes and shifts cause stress even for people who thrive on life's changes.
So it's time to shift my thinking. After all, I am one of the lucky ones who actually made an intended effort to choose this over the plan. I did spend hours working through the front of my Dream Book and remapped my new reality and with it, my hopes and dreams.
I will be working on a new vision board for myself. I think where I am struggling is that I can't see myself in this new role and in this new place. I can't see what that looks like for me and how I feel about it so it's time to work on my vision board and see where I see myself fitting.
What did you do to adjust your attitude when everything changed on you?