Stage 1 of Patricia Ezechie's 8 Stage Model of Successful Career Change.
In this first blog in this series I want to explore with you the nature of change because I think the more we all understand that the feelings we all have when faced with big life decisions – namely fear, confusion, overwhelm, anxiety, or feeling stuck….is the same for all of us! The more we understand that these feelings are universal and normal, the more accepting and kind we can be to ourselves, and the more likely we are to actually follow through, make the changes we know we need to make, and do all the things we really want to do.
Just think about it. Change in an integral part of living and growing. From a microbiological level to the day to day aspects of our personal and professional lives, we are constantly being faced with change. Change is how we grow, learn, evolve and survive, but this does not mean the process is easy or enjoyable.
My first encounter with most of the people I work with is when they are feeling at their lowest ebb – they have come to a crossroads in their careers or lives, feel lost, have often lost sight of who they are or what they want and have no idea what to do next. This is often a terrifying and lonely place to be, and is usually accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and fear.
Given what I have just said you are probably wondering how feeling like this can be a good thing?
Well it’s not just a good thing ...... it's a great thing! Feeling stuck and powerless is the first stage on that journey to transformation and change, a stage I call 'Realisation' in the Creating the Career You Want Programme and Stage 1 of my 8 Stage Model of Career Change. It can take us some time to get there and we may often have tried other things to hide from or gloss over the problem we are facing, but usually when we reach the point of unhappiness, stuckness, feeling frightened, powerless or confused, we begin to realise ‘something has to change’ and we begin to wonder ‘What next’? How do I move away from this place of unhappiness and discomfort and towards a place where I can feel empowered, happy, at peace and fulfilled?
So the message of this blog today is very simple. Instead of beating yourself up because you are feeling stuck in your career, unhappy or confused with the circumstances of your career and life – embrace and rejoice in the realisation because it is a gift. The gift is that you are present in your own life, you know something is wrong, you realise something has to change and you have already taken the first step toward changing it by becoming aware of it.
Awareness is the key. Awareness brings focus, focus brings clarity, and from clarity comes choice, direction and change.
So to help you manage these feelings when they arise – because they can be really uncomfortable, follow these two steps not as techniques of avoidance but as a way for you to live with the discomfort you are feeling until you can move to the next stage in the process which we will explore in the next Blog.
1. Take a breath, then another, then another.
The reason this is the first step in so many things is because it is the most powerful and immediately transformative thing you can do in the moment. Nothing will help you change your state or mood as quickly as taking a few breaths. Deepening and taking a few breaths is also the quickest route to connection and awareness as well as immediately beginning to reduce the negative physiological effects that being stressed is having on your body and mind. So when those feelings of stuck-ness, confusion and powerlessness arise – stop and breathe, and continue with those full and deep breaths until you feel more balanced and present.
2. Change the way you think about the situation.
As described in this blog, when the feeling of being stuck, overwhelmed or powerless arises, and you begin to think you are the only person who feels like this and there is something wrong with you, reframe how you are thinking about your circumstances. You are not alone, feeling what you are feeling is good because it means you are present in your life and aware that something has to change, and awareness is the key – because clarity, focus, direction and change are close behind.
Let me know how you get on by commenting below. I look forward to continuing to explore and demystify the journey change with you in the next blog, to ensure you find that career you love and live the happy, complete fulfilled life you are here to live.
Find out more about the Creating the Career You Want Programme at www.patriciaezechie.com/createthecareer
or find more free resources here
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