“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” Tom Stoppard
Have you ever been through a transition in your business, career or life that was well…a little muddy and murky? Perhaps, even turbulent? Well, I sure have – in fact, I have experienced all of them. I am on the other side of a difficult transition that eventually resulted in complete transformation of my health, career and changed the impact I want to make.
Like many before me, the path I took twisted and turned with many peaks and valleys. I wish I knew then what I know now, but isn’t that always the case? Sometimes changes are planned and intentional, but often they are a result of unexpected circumstances that can shift the sails of our business and life. This is what occurred in my own life.
As someone who speaks from both deep experience and as an executive coach who helps individuals gain clarity and navigate transitions successfully, it is more than possible to shift from struggling through transitions to soaring through transitions when you approach them intentionally.
Whether you are starting to consider the next chapter in your life, what is next on your career path or find yourself with an unplanned transition, the following tools and strategies will help you to reframe your experiences, let go of beliefs that are holding you back and embrace moving forward. They will provide you with the fuel you need to show up with intentional and positive energy to achieve your next big thing.
1. First things first – Take a break, breathe and catch-up on life:
If you are making a career transition as a result of stress, overload, burnout or you are looking for meaningful change to make more of an impact, it is important to take a break, breathe and catch-up on life before you reinvent your greatness. I cannot underestimate the importance of this. After struggling for five years with debilitating health issues, I decided to take my life back. In reflecting, I did not allow myself enough time to unwind, recalibrate and recharge for my next adventure. As a result, I made a few mistakes before I ended up on the right path. Mistakes are part of the journey, but when they can be avoided, I prefer that route.
Take a vacation. Catch-up with friends and spend time with family. Do something you love – love to paint? Paint. Take up a hobby you have always wanted to try. Whatever it is, take that needed time to mentally and physically recharge and prepare for your next career, steps and “big thing.”
Use this as a time of reflection – and, do not feel guilty doing it. You have worked hard to achieve great things already. Now, it is time to catch your breath. Of course, if you cannot make this work financially, at least take a couple weeks off and take a mini-vacation. This rest and reflection time is critical for your next success.
2. Let go of blaming yourself or anyone else for your circumstances:
No matter what your reason is for making a transition, planned or unplanned, do not blame yourself or anyone else for your circumstances. Instead, think of this as a great opportunity. Blame results in negative energy and will not help you gain the clarity you need for your future. Figure out what went wrong, learn from it, then let it go and do not look back with regrets. Not once. Shift your thinking to view this as a positive experience and blank canvas to create your personal and professional future – think of it as a growth opportunity.
3. Embrace positive thinking. Period.:
Be intentional in your thoughts and actions. When negative thoughts start to slip in (which they will), reject them. Do not receive them. Smile and tell yourself that you are in the right place and this is the right time. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Embrace them and roll on.
Have a well-being practice daily that includes exercise, meditation, and a gratitude journal. Include a devotional if you are a person of faith. At the end of the day, reflect on your day by thinking about what you enjoyed most – write down at least one thing that you are grateful for that day. Lean into the feeling of joy. Make this a daily habit. Stick to this system as regularly as possible. Our minds have to be trained for positive thinking. It does not just “happen.” Build that positivity muscle and watch it transform your life!
4. Think with your head and heart and pay attention to intuition:
When we make a change, we tend to look back and review our experiences to project where we should go next. We often “think” about what we should do based on what we have already accomplished. We project our path based on our experiences and ask ourselves, “What makes sense?” This may be fine and exactly what we need if we want to continue in the same direction and we love what we do and the impact we are making.
But if you are looking to make significant change in what you are doing, work with purpose and find sustainable enjoyment in your work, listen with your head, heart and gut. The feelings you have are as important as the logical thinking you do. Pay attention to when all three are in alignment and everything “feels” right.
This alignment will tell you much more than your thoughts alone. With the practice of awareness, it becomes easier over time to think and “feel” about decisions you make. Ask yourself how this decision feels to you? Does it excite you, make you nervous, or cause you to feel stressed? Do you become tense and restless or open and filled with energy? Be honest with yourself.
After I left a successful career where I climbed the corporate ladder, that is exactly what I did – thought about my experiences and what made sense next versus what felt right based on what would bring me joy and satisfaction. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do. Making mistakes is part of our learning process – but we do not always have to make them.
5. Let love, not ego lead the way:
This is the most important tool of all. Think about your ego for a minute. When has your ego caused you to get into trouble? When has it helped you? Ego is the inward focus on ourselves. When we are more inward focused than outward focused, we will miss the bigger picture of our lives and who we are supposed to become. Ego limits our potential and gifts to the world.
Let go of your ego in every situation and instead focus on love. Do this for a day and notice what changes in you. How are your interactions with others different? How do you feel at the end of the day? Focus on truth and what is best for everyone involved. When you focus on love, you will think expansively instead of limiting. When you focus on love, you open yourself to possibilities. You will be amazed at where this takes you and the feeling of joy that will follow. This is the biggest change that transformed my love for myself and others. No matter how unusual this sounds, I encourage you to try. It will forever change you.
6. Think future, not in the past:
This one is a real biggie. Flip the switch and think of this as an opportunity to go through a new door, a bigger and better door. Changes are blessings when we approach them with the right mindset.
We have to take on a visionary mindset and think about where we are headed – project our future in detail often. We need to have a “picture” of who we will be, what we will be doing, why it is important, and the impact we want to make. Tell your story – write it out and create a vision board. Then read it daily. Look at it daily. Think about it daily. We need this reminder to ourselves so we don’t fall into old habits or give up.
Remember, sometimes we will make the shot and other times we will miss it. The key to success is to keep shooting and stay in the game. If we do not take the shot, we will never have the opportunity to learn and grow from our mistakes and achieve the impact we desire.
7. You only need to figure out the next step, not the entire plan:
We often think that we need to know the entire plan up front. Have our future laid out step by step. That rarely works. We do not need to climb the entire mountain in one day. We need to take “hikes” that keep moving us toward our destination. Now, I am not advising to go into the wilderness without a map – not at all! We need to remember that there are always obstacles and sometimes we do not see them at the beginning. They become evident as we make progress.
Know the “what” and “why” about where you want to go, but do not worry about figuring out the “how” for all the future steps. Just figure out the “how” to get you started and let it evolve and unfold.
8. Embrace vulnerability over fear:
Last, but not least, fear will keep us from accomplishing our dreams. Fear will stop us from taking on new challenges. Fear will keep us in a bubble of familiarity. Fear of the unknown is the biggest culprit in avoiding change. This is true in business, leadership and life. How do we overcome this? We understand that to be vulnerable is to be brave. We understand that vulnerability is the center of courage as Brene Brown concluded after years of research around the topics of shame and vulnerability.
When we step into vulnerability, we give ourselves permission to be authentic in our actions and ideas. In order to achieve the highest potential for ourselves and our organizations, we have to learn to embrace this as positive. It is so easy to stay safe and live small, but what would the opposite of that look like? How would your life change if you could be bold and accomplish big dreams? Being bold is being vulnerable and it will change your thinking expansively.
Are you excited about your transition yet?
Whether you are thinking about making a transition to find more purpose in your life, make a career change, make more of an impact, or find more joy, I hope that these strategies will help you reach the amazing potential that you have.
Cheers to a successful transition that transforms your life!
Cynthia Legg, CPA, Founder of Inspired Success, is an executive level leadership coach and business strategist who helps people build exceptional businesses and lives. A prior partner in a regional CPA firm, she blends her business acumen and a passion to help people live with purpose, embrace joy and achieve high-impact without sacrificing what is important to them. She often works with organizations, leaders and individuals in transition or building something great . You may contact her here: https://inspired-success.com/contact-us/ .
“This post was originally published on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/soar-through-transitions-8-success-strategies-your-cynthia-legg-cpa/.”