Most people don’t change until they have to: they might be forced to change by outside circumstances or the pain of staying put becomes unbearable. Either way, often it takes massive negative motivation to make massive change. Making changes as a result of negative motivation obviously isn’t our first choice but it sure does work!
Often, we put up with a serious amount of crap in order to keep things the way that we’re familiar with. We might even say, “I will never put up with my boss demanding X, Y or Z,” but then of course, he demands X, Y or Z and then we move the line in the sand. We give in ‘this one time’. We’ll stand our ground next time, we’ll state our boundaries next time, we’ll say no but we just don’t do it.
Slowly slowly, our self esteem and our confidence is chipped away. Not just in relation to the work we do, but also how we express ourselves, how we feel about ourselves and what we expect for ourselves in the future. We feel really lousy for a long time – but not quite lousy enough to do anything about it except complain and grumble. Until one day everything explodes. It’s normally something really small that ends up throwing us off the handle! Finally, we’ve had enough, we’ve reached boiling point and we can no longer accept that the life we are currently living is all that there is to offer and experience.
This is what happened with me 5 years ago; I was in a job I couldn’t stand, in a relationship that wasn’t working and it was building and building until it all exploded! BOOM! It wasn’t pretty or comfortable and my life was unrecognisable within the space of a few weeks. Now, this was change that was forced upon me- I was dumped and a few weeks later, made redundant. In the end I was incredibly grateful that it had been forced upon me because to be honest, at that time, I think I was too chicken shit to proactively do anything about it myself.
If you tolerate the intolerable, accept the unacceptable, and live outside of your integrity and authenticity long enough, you will either explode or implode.
You explode by creating or attracting a dramatic, life-changing situation in your life as described above. You implode by directing your pain and frustration inward in a dramatic way that manifests itself as frustration, anxiety anger or absolute and complete boredom. I’d been imploding for a while before it exploded!
These big bang scenarios, the implosions or explosions, might happen a few times over the course of your lifetime! I’d be surprised if you’ve never ever experienced something like that before. But the thing is that once we heal from the pain, deal with what has happened, and re-create ourselves, we can look back and be grateful we’re on the other side of it, having become stronger as a result.
But what about the rest of the time? The time when we are living day to day, when we’re caught up in the flow, when we’re just getting by day to day with no major emotional dramas? What about that space in between ordinary and a full-blown explosion? Those times when there’s nothing really wrong but there’s nothing really bringing you any joy or happiness. If you’re still reading this, then that is the space that I believe most of you are in right now.
And that space is the best place for making positive change in your life and career, for discovering your purpose and passion and for taking the action necessary to create change. Create is the key word here. The best way forward for you right now is the scenario in which you are the creator rather than the reactor.
This picture is one in which you proactively decide exactly what you want for your life and then boldly and fearlessly go after it. You make change on your terms rather than waiting for a huge eruption to force change on you.
When you are proactive about change, you don’t have to deal with the pain, the fallout, the lost time and energy. Yes, there are some difficulties even with proactive change, but you can prepare for them. They aren’t thrust upon you, you are choosing it and you know why.
It can be really scary to be proactive. Often, we feel stuck and don’t know what to do first. We don’t know what to expect. We don’t have any certainty that what lies ahead is any better than what we have now. But I can promise you that doing nothing will eventually land you in chaos, burn out or melt-down- even if it’s after you retire, when you look back over the 70,000 hours that you spent working and ask yourself ‘Why? What was it all for?’
I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to have to wait until I’m retired in order to start living my life in a passionate and purposeful way. I don’t want to wait until I’m in my 60s to start making a positive difference to the world! I know that you don’t want to wait either and that’s why you’re still reading this! You want to figure out what you want to do with your life! Does that sound good? What are you waiting for? Click here if you want to Conquer Your Career Crisis!
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu