When do you know that it is time to make a change in your Life or Career?

I REFLECT BACK NOW AND REALISE THAT I WAS AFRAID OF THE CHANGE I NEEDED TO MAKE IN MY LIFE

 

Change Is Painful, But Nothing Is As Painful As Staying Stuck Somewhere You Don’t Belong.’’

When I reflect on my career, I feel that I have been very lucky overall with how it progressed over the years. If I think how I started, it all began with following my passion and this was when there was very little support and advice on how to choose your career path. The internet, blogs and audiobooks were not at our fingertips, advising us all on how to follow our passion and live the best life possible.

I ignored any advice suggesting I become a teacher, banker or accountant and decided I wanted a life involving Travel. I have no idea where this passion came from as we were not a family who could afford to travel with 5 kids in tow. My mother died when I was 13 and my father was from a working-class background and had only ever travelled between Ireland and England during his lifetime. The extent of our very few holidays was a couple of days on the nearest beach in Ireland, usually in the rain!

However, I do recall as a child playing a game with my sister, pretending that we could speak French, basically making up our own language in a French accent. Now, where did that come from? I think I always had a romantic view of life in faraway places from a young age.

So, my career journey started in the Travel Industry and I was then lucky enough to live and work in over 15 countries worldwide. The journey started with a casual job in the Swiss Alps, progressed to working with a Travel Company starting with a few years in the Greek Islands, then North Africa, Russia, France, Austria and Italy. My career progressed and I became Area Manager of the Caribbean, living in Barbados then Area Manager of the Indian Ocean, based in the Seychelles and later the Far East, based in Bangkok. It was an exciting life with a lot of benefits, mainly seeing the world on expenses and meeting so many different people from different cultures and learning a lot about the big wide world while progressing in my career.

However, there was a point when a level of dissatisfaction was developing in my life and although I did not totally ignore it, I did not confront it and make the change I so obviously needed at the time. I was reaching an age, when the constant travelling and moving my life from one country to the next, year after year, was really not what I wanted or needed. My work was my whole life, and although it was a really interesting life, I was not investing in my personal life at all.  I needed some roots, some more in-depth relationships and a stable home! 

I needed to change my life!

I reflect back now and realize that I was afraid of the change that I needed

I was afraid to make such a big change in my life as I knew I was very lucky to be doing what I was doing and fearful of losing that lifestyle, but realistically it did not meet my changing needs in life as I grew older.

This led me to ask myself a couple of questions:

  • When do you know that it is time to make a big change in your life or career?
  • What should you do when you realise a change is needed?

 

Let’s discuss the first point. When do you know that it is time to make a big change in your life or career?

Well, from my experience, the signs were there; I just needed to recognize them and act on them:

  • Feeling some dissatisfaction that was not there before
  • Starting to talk negatively or critically about the situation 
  • Not feeling the joy that was once there
  • Experiencing stress and low mood and maybe confusion about the future

 

These are signs which should not be ignored. Change is not easy, but if you don’t change when the signs are there, the bad feelings usually fester and worsen.

How many of us have stayed in an unhealthy relationship for longer than we should have? If we look back now, did we see the signs? Should we have ended that relationship sooner? How long did we stay in that relationship more than we should have? What would we advise our younger self now?

“Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.’’

So, next question!

What should you do when you know it is time to change? 

Some suggestions are below!

  • Re-assess your values. If you need change, then maybe it is time to reassess why you need the change. It could be that your core values have altered as they can do with time! So be sure you re-evaluate what is important to you in life now, rather than what used to be important to you in the past. In my example, my previous value of needing excitement and travel in my life was slowly changing to a need for more stability.
  • Circle of Perspective Tool. Review your Circle of Perspective before making the change. This is a Tool that allows you to assess the balance in your life in order to know what steps you should take. Through the Tool, you review the full circle of your life: Professional, Financial, well-being, Spiritual, Relationships, and Emotions. This ensures a fully rounded perspective to the change you may need.
  • Establish your new Goal. In order to get somewhere, you need to know where you want to go. Sounds simple, however, it rarely is! Once you have reassessed your values, it should be easier for you to define what your next goal should be. My goal was to improve the balance of my personal life in comparison to my work life.

 

One of the best Tools to overcome Fear is to make a Plan!

  • Make a Plan. Once you have established your values, established your Goal, then you need to make a Plan. The plan could be making baby steps to get to your new Goal, or it could be bigger steps that depends on what you feel comfortable with 
  • Be kind to yourself. Change can be daunting, so it may take time to make the change that you need. Give yourself time and space to get where you need to be
    • Take yourself to a place where you can think creatively. Open your mind to new challenges by taking yourself away from your normal routine to a place that inspires you. Nature does it for me, a day by the sea or in the mountains. Consider a solo holiday, like yoga, writing or walking, this usually widens your perspective on any issue.
    • Have faith in yourself and your ability. Self-belief is important when going through change. Believe in your ability to grow and evolve. Our only limitation is our own mind!
    • Get Support. You don’t have to go it alone! There is so much support out there if you want to ask for it. Maybe you have a close friend, colleague or support group who can help you? If not, consider hiring a Coach. Having a neutral, professional person to help you realise your goals and move to the change you need is really beneficial and a worthy investment in your future.

 

Change only comes when the desire to change is greater than the desire to stay the same!’’

And finally, there are some circumstances whereby the change that is needed is not possible at that moment, for whatever reason. 

It could be that you need to look deeper into yourself to increase your self-awareness and understand if the change you need is actually internal or external. 

Maybe it is you who needs to change from within!

Perhaps, you need to change your mindset, attitude or perspective in order to improve your life!

In such a situation, the following quote always comes to my mind. Try giving it some thought!

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future, by merely changing their attitude.’’

Do you need to change something in your life?

She Is You Author
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