By Sunny Simon
Sometimes I think there are two kinds of people, individuals who set their path and follow it and others who relish the idea of creating a second act. In my coaching practice I meet people from both groups. My heart goes out to the followers who have been knocked off their path by a corporate restructuring or other uncontrollable events. Typically, people who want nothing more than to stay in their own lane do not react well to change. The mere thought of a career reinvention can practically make them break out in hives.
I get it. There is a certain degree of comfort in strict adherence to the plan. For some, career development is akin to arranging a vacation where every hour of every day is scheduled leaving no wiggle room for going off-course. Comforting, perhaps, but resisting change is limiting at best.
Don’t get boxed in by fear of the unknown. Living in your comfort zone is like hanging on to the teddy bear you had since age two. By now the bear is worn out, shabby looking and perhaps missing an eye. That is what stagnating in the status quo will do to you when you fear breaking new ground.
What can you gain by making changes in your life? Let’s begin with personal growth. By doing something different you achieve a new perspective, expand your knowledge base and most importantly, proving you can take on a challenge builds your self-esteem. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.” I’m not sure about ever gaining perfection but Sir Winston is spot on about change leading to improvement.
My favorite part about shaking things up in life is the excitement it brings. When I moved across the country, (did that twice) the feeling of newness was stimulating. It was like writing a new chapter never been written before filled with different characters and valuable lessons.
Whether you are thinking about a career change, relocating across the country or simply trying a trendy new hairstyle, do more than contemplate it. Take action. If a big change feels overwhelming, start small. Change your nail color or take a test ride on that motorcycle you’ve been dreaming about purchasing. Join a book club, or take Italian lessons. Start somewhere and when you get there, don’t look back and don’t stop. You will discover embracing change and relishing new opportunities sure beats the status quo. Ready? Set? Go for it!
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog www.lifeonthesunnyside.net