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Why we seek change

Episode 59 Transcript

One of the most common questions I get from women and even in discovery calls for for coaching is around decision making. You know, women kind of know what they want to do and the decision they want to make, but they're hesitating. They're hesitating, taking the final action that really makes that decision real. And the person is often deciding whether they should leave their job or their role. So they're considering whether to leave their employer altogether or whether to pivot to a different kind of role at their current company or a different company. And the underlying issue is often due to stress and burnout, or because the role or the job isn't really aligned with what they want to be doing or isn't aligned or doesn't leverage their natural strengths.

Or, you know, the job may not be as exciting or as challenging as it once was, right? As challenging and exciting as it was when they started maybe a few years ago or four years ago. There's research that says that when you're in a role for four years, that's really the the sweet spot where you start thinking about what's next or what else, because for years in a role they say is a very long time and it's enough to master that role. We can always be learning. We can always learn more. I'm a big proponent of that. I'm a lifelong learner myself.

But there does come a point when you're role for so long that you may need something else to to excite you again and to challenge you in a different way. I've had several women who already knew that. You know, when I talked to them on the phone in Discovery calls, they already knew they wanted to take a break from work. Right. They knew they wanted to leave their job and not even have another job. They were just like, you know what, I really want a break. Or they wanted to switch to a different role in the same company. And I'm not just talking about moms here, career moms. I'm talking about women without kids, too, right? Both women with kids or without kids or women without caregiving responsibilities. And when I talk to them, I could tell that they had really thought things through by the time they got to me, by the time they got to me on the phone. They were able to explain their decision very well. So I knew it seemed like a very informed decision. And for many of them, the only thing left was giving their notice or having a conversation with a leader or the person who would be the most influential or the most important person that you need to talk to about what they wanted to do next. Right.

So if they wanted to switch roles, you know, actually talking to that person and saying that out loud, hey, I want something different. And oftentimes that's the hardest thing to do, to say what's in your mind and on your heart, especially if you really want it because you're scared of the answer being no. Or you're scared of the response. Or you're free to put yourself out there. You want people to know that you're committed to your current role. You want people to think they are not committed to your job. But I'm going to tell you this right now. If you are talking to someone in your company and they're a leader or they're your manager or whatever it is, and you express wanting to do a different role. And their response is reactive and the response is to be shut down. You need to think about where you are. You to think about if you want to be there. I'm just going to say it.

Now, if the response is “okay, hey, let's think about it. You know, there are no open roles in that group right now…” That's different.

That's totally different.

And sometimes the role you want to go into, sometimes you to take a few steps before you get there again. That's okay. But if the response to you is immediate shut down, that maybe not a place that you want to be in terms of your career development. Right?

But if it's going to take a little more work, you need some patience. You need to do a couple of steps before that and maybe gain some different skill sets. That's all good. And you will then work towards that, right? Because if it's really what you want, you will do the work to get there.

When I was talking to these women and it's very often they knew the decision they wanted to make or they kind of already made it essentially. Right? They just need to do the thing to make it real. It was almost as if they needed validation from someone like someone to tell them, “Hey, you're making the right decision, so go for it.”

And the person was often overthinking or adopting this worst case scenario logic we often adopt, right? And allowing their fears of uncertainty to dominate their thoughts, to dominate their thinking, even though they also, to me, seem pretty clear about the reasons for their decision. Like they knew why.

So in these conversations, we went back. We went back to everything that led them to where they are. And we talked about the reasons for the decision. And we talked about what was most important to them in this season of life. Right?

Seasons of life.

Meaning, if you are a mom of a newborn, if you are a mom of the toddler, if you are in your thirties, you're not entry level anymore in a job as you were in your twenties. These are all different seasons, right?

Or if you're caregiving for your parents as a totally different season requires something different of you. You know, we talked to the reasons for the decision and what was most important to them. And we would talk through their values, their priorities. What was the most important thing to them now? Right. Because in different seasons, what happens is what's most important to you and one season changes when you hit the next season.

So what was most important to you, where you had to spend your time and your energy and your attention to years ago and where you wanted to spend your time and energy and attention two years ago is different from today. Things have shifted for you and a lot can change in five, ten, 15 years, but a lot can change in one year, too.

So we really need to make some space for ourselves to identify that things have changed and recognize it for what it is and accept that things have changed. Right. I think people often resist the reality of their situation and that's where you get a lot of internal resistance because you're fighting the thing that is reality. So if we can accept reality and then move forward and try to do what we need to do to make things better, that's I don't want to say it's an easier path, but it's really about seeing things for what they are taking a beat and then saying, okay, this is what it is and this is what I need to do to move forward. Right. So there's no longer the fight of reality, but it's like it's more like the fight to move forward. Right?

So let me give you an example, because this happens a lot. So if you have a job that's more 24 / 7. Right? You're really expected to be on call 24 / 7, or just not 24 / 7, but a lot like more than 80 hours a week or more than 60 hours a week because 80 is crazy, but even 50 is a lot. Right? So if you have a job that is more 24 / 7 or just a ton of hours and it's the expectation of being available, right? It's expectation of being available at all hours.

Or, you know, the nature of your work is just constantly interrupting your weekends with your family. But you yourself, you place a premium on that quality time with your family. Right? And you when you get those emails, you dread that you like, you're just so you're like, “oh, my God, what does this person need now?” Right?

You dread those emails on a Saturday morning; “can you, blah, blah, blah...” And you're just like, really? It's Saturday? Like, can this wait till Monday? And oftentimes I'm going to say it, it can wait till Monday.

I think it's a rare emergency. Look, I might even get into that because I remember when I was at the law firm and it's like urgent emails coming into me on a Saturday and I'm like, “Yeah, this is not urgent.” Like, I know that you want to work on us on Saturday and Sunday, but I don't. And this what you're asking me to do, create a chart is not urgent, but you know, you do it, you do it. You're like, “okay, great, I'll do it.” And then you do it.

And then you don't get started. You go, “Sure, no problem.” And then you do it anyway in the moment, right? But inside you're like, This is what I'm saying. I can't. This is what I cannot do over and over. But in the moment you do respond and you are pleasant and you're responsive and you have your energy. And you usually say, “If I have to do it, okay, I'm going to do it.”

But here's the thing with that, right? If you have that kind of job, you're dreading the potential of the email. And then when the email comes in or the emails come in or the text comes in, you're like, “Oh, my gosh, really?” And it's every time. You can never get the piece of your we get the expectation of being available more often that you would in a different job can be really sometimes debilitating.

That's probably an extreme word, but oftentimes it just occupies space in your brain that you want to be occupied by something else. And if you're dreading that and you are feeling that that tension is signaling that you're in a place that isn't aligned with where you want to be, that tension is signaling that you're in a place that isn't aligned with your values. Right? And that is going to continue to cause you that internal resistance I mentioned, because there is a misalignment.

I cannot stress this enough. And I've lived this. I mean, you heard the other podcast episode where I talked about my experience from the summer. I cannot tell you how important it is for you to be aligned and that that can take time.

And that's okay.

And it's important to recognize, though, when you're feeling internal resistance on a consistent basis, if you are feeling internal tension, internal resistance, you get tense, right? There's a constant push and pull inside. There's a constant like battle inside. There is a misalignment. Right?

That dread, that annoyance you feel in your body is real and it's telling you to pay attention. For me, it was time to pay attention for a very long time. And I thought I acknowledged it, but I apparently I didn't. And so it got to me in a different way, meaning it signaled to me in a very in a much stronger way, which led to my break this summer.

But it's still true that if you're starting to feel that consistently, that tension, that in your body, the internal resistance consistently over a period of time, it's something they need to pay attention to and that you need to address because, look, we want to do so many things, especially those who work outside the home. Right? We want to be the best parent ever with all of our intentional parenting.

And with intentional parenting… I hear you because that's me. That's totally me with my parenting books and my podcasts and following big little feelings on Instagram. And, you know, as especially as moms, we want to throw the birthday parties with all the things from Etsy and the bajillion balloons and party city and all the things. And I'm laughing because I do the same thing, even though I tell myself like, why am I doing this to myself right?

And every time I'm going to do a party, I'm like, “You know what? I'm going to do less. Like I'm going to not do as much, I'm going to do less.”

And I did that this time around, like last year it was really hard for me and I was like, “Oh my God…I'm going to remove my cart and remove my Etsy.” You know, a very good friend of mine, I asked her like, “what's up with that? Why are we so stressed? Like, what do you think about that?” And she said, “You know what? We do too much. We want to do too much. Then we feel stress and we do so much. And then we compare ourselves to other moms on Instagram or social media, and it makes us feel bad as moms like, Oh, they're doing that, oh, I can do that. Or to be a good mom means you do that. And so I need to do that.”

And maybe it's not the massive party, right, that you see on IG or the like cute, you know, the, the cute Internet party, but it's like really cute and really nice and it looks really special. And, you know, the pictures are all everyone's smiling and I'm like, listen, I do that, too. I post pictures of my kids smiling and laughing, and the holiday card is like great pictures of them smiling. Yeah. But, you know, as a mom, that that's not 24 / 7, you know, as a mom, that a lot of times it's tears as tantrums. It's “Mom, can I have” a it's you know, it's some some whining. You know, I am going to call it what it is. It's a little bit of whining. And as you as an adult, it's hard for you, but for them it's perfectly normal in terms of their brain development that they're like that and that they act like that.

And so when I see on the IG like these, you know, these pictures of parties and of kids, you know, smiling and happy, like I think that's real of that moment. But 80% of the time, maybe a little less… That's not the experience all day, every day.

Like your kids aren't always happy, just like you're not always happy.

If you go throughout your day, you have moments where you have lower energy. You have moments where you something may happen and you get low or you don't feel great about something. Like that's the normal part of the experience, right? That's the human experience. It's true for children too.

But what you see on IG is someone's the image of someone's life. You don't see their real life. And we know that we're smart. We know that. But we still compare and it still makes us feel bad. And even though it makes us feel bad, we still scroll on the IG. We still do it. Which is why I don't do IG that much. I try to limit my my usage because it just is like, “why don't I feel good doing this?” This doesn't feel right, you know?

So we want to be these great parents and great moms. We want to be supportive partners. We want to keep the freshness in our marriages, right? Like or the freshness in our partnerships. And okay, so that's a totally different episode because keeping marriages fresh and strong and keeping your relationship fresh and strong after kids is a totally different topic. And I think that takes a lot of work, intentional work.

So we want to do all these things though. We want to be supportive partners, we want to be intentional parents. We want to be there for our parents right as they get older because we know they don't have a ton of time left, right. And maybe if your parents are in their 60 to 70, their 80s, you know, you realize like, okay, they're not going to be here forever. So we want to be sure we spend time with them. We want to be sure we spend time with close family. We want to be sure we spend time with our friends and we want to check in on them. We want to send them a text once in a while or, you know, ask them to catch up over lunch or a coffee or tea. You know, we want to be doing that. But then we also have our work. And at work we want to be responsive. We want to be high performing, right?

We're ambitious. We have high expectations of ourselves. People are counting on us and we don't want to let ourselves down or others down.

All right. So we're we're at work. We're trying to do our thing at work. We have our parents. We want to be supportive partners. We want to be the best parents. And then we want to be able to take care of ourselves and be well, we want to be able to pour back into our own cups. And it's something that we deserve to do for ourselves. Right?

And taking care of ourselves really lets us take care of other people in a better way. It helps us function at our best. And I'm going to say even not at your best, it helps you function people, it helps you function. It gives you a rejuvenation, a reinvigoration. It gives you something just for you. And that's really important, especially to your identity as a mother or a woman or however you identify.

You know, I could go on and on about all the things you want to be and all the things you want to do. But the point is that we want to do so much and it's all important to us. All those things are important, right? Being a high performing professional, high achieving, making sure that you are a great parent, making sure that you're keeping in touch and continuing to nurture the relationships you have with your close family and friends, with your parents.

All of those things are important. They all need attention.

But we can't do everything at the same time.

We can't we can't give everything a ton of attention because some of those things are just not as important as others in certain seasons. Like I want to be really clear in certain seasons or their levels to each thing. So if we can focus on what's most important in this season of life, right, like grounded in your values and let that be your guide when you're torn about a decision that will be more helpful to you.

And I find that people hesitate when it comes to making a decision come to life, right? People hesitate when it comes to actually taking the action that the decision requires. Right? Then the decision itself, like they're not scared to make decisions. It's that is what comes after. That's there. Whether hesitation comes because once you take action, it's out there, it's real. The cat's out of the bag and there it is for you. Right?

And it's scary, but and I'm not going to say it's not scary. It can be scary.

That's the truth.

But it's also liberating and freeing to put out there what's inside, like what you know, inside to be true. And because it's true for you, it is right for you right because it's true for you it is right for you. It doesn't matter if no one else understands it.

You do.

You understand it.

And that's what matters.

Other people don't live your life.

You do.

Don't ever forget that. And people can have opinions and thoughts. But are they in your heart, in your mind? Do they live in your body? No.

It's your life.

You need to live your life.

You know, when I pivoted when I pivoted from litigation at a law firm to legal and compliance in-house and then the coaching and then, you know, in H.R. and talent development, there were so many features like at each pivot, at each point there were a lot of fears and I had to confront the uncertainty of each move. Right?

Going from law firm to in-house. You know, I had to confront the truth that I was terrified to start over and build my reputation all over again, especially when pivoting from one employer to another or one department to another. Right. So going from if you go from being in compliance to another department. You feel that way, like you might feel that way of starting again.

Even though you're not starting again, you have experience. But you know what I mean? The thing for me, though, was that I knew I was called to help people in a different way, like different than the law would allow me to do it. And that was through coaching this podcast and by doing talent development. So that purpose really held strong for me and overpowered the self-doubt and the fear that I had.

Again, it's not that I didn't have fear. I did. I was I was worried. I was like, what if what if I did that worst case scenario stuff to right. What if it doesn't work out? What if I can advance? What if I'm not good at this? Like all these things that are honestly, they probably are not true and are not going to happen. But you still have this fear once your mind goes. Sometimes it just keeps spinning its wheels.

So I did have this fear. I did have these doubts. I had concerns, right? It's just that I had a more powerful force pulling me forward. And that was the reason why I wanted to make those pivots. Right?

The purpose and the reason why you want to do something, it often will overpower all the things that are negative. So the fears, the self-doubt, all of that stuff. And I could feel in my body and in my heart, like really deep inside, I could feel that I knew it was right for me to do the thing, like to pivot.

Now, let's be honest, there are people that said I was crazy for leaving the law firm and to go and house people that thought it was crazy. When I decided I wanted to stop practicing law, people thought I was crazy too. And the comment I often heard was, “Why would you work so hard for so long and then do something else?”

Like you're climbing a mountain, climbing a mountain, you're almost up, you're trying to get to the top and you're like, you're you're close to where people, quote unquote: “other people would want to be.” I put that in quotes because this is what people say…”oh, my gosh, you're like, you're there. Why would you want to go down the mountain and climb another one?”

But here's the thing. I'm never scared to work. I'm never scared to learn. I love that. Like, I love learning. And so for me, I knew that was like, that's kind of annoying, right? Like, okay, I'm already on my way. And then you have to kind of go down and then go up again in a different and on a different mountain and using different skills and learning different skills like very different.

But, you know, I knew what was important to me and I knew the reason for my decision, right? I wanted to help people in a different way. I knew that that was more me to do it this other way. And it became very clear to me that there was no other alternative. Right. So has been easy the whole time. Now, do I sometimes think what if? Yes.

Do I wonder if I made the right decision other times? There are times I do. But those feelings aren't long lasting because when you go back to the reason you made the decision and for me why I chose a different path, and that reason becomes really way more powerful than any doubt that tries to creep in. Right?

So when you know why you want or need to do something, when you know why you want or need to do something in this season of life, that reason can move you forward to take action on a decision you essentially already made in your mind and your heart. So we have to amplify why you want to make the change and how making the change will get you closer to the alignment and the fulfillment that you are you're wanting that you're seeking because we can't do again. We can't do all the things we can't do all the things. All the things are important, the board service at all. It's all important.

We have to really focus on this season. What's most important to me right now, have things shifted? Yes.

Okay. I made my decision.

This is the reason for the decision.

Okay. I feel that in my gut. I feel that in my soul and my heart, my mind. This is what I need to do.

Yes, I have fear, but this reason is really it's overpowering those fears. It's it's amplified. And so, you know what? Okay, action is the next step.

I just got to do the thing. I got to make the decision real.

Now, one thing I will say is you can't forget to ask for support and help along the way. Right? Even with a stronger sense of purpose.

And you know your decision, you feel it, you're scared, which you're like, No, but I have to do this. We can't do this stuff alone. No one ever has. I have not. I've worked hard, but I've also had a ton of support and access to opportunity. Like, let's be really clear about that.

I've had coaches.

A therapist.

I've had mentors.

I've had sponsors.

I have colleagues, family, friends. You know, people in my professional circles who were there for me and who continue to be there for me and support me. Okay. And support can come in so many forms. So we cannot underestimate that. And you can estimate the need for it, but sometimes you have to ask for it.

And if the person doesn't respond, follow up and ask again. Okay.

So until next time? No, you're powerful. You are powerful now to create the life and career that you want and the life and career that you deserve. You deserve to feel that joy. You deserve to feel that alignment. You deserve to take a decision you made to change your life for the better and make it a reality by taking action. You deserve to do that for yourself.

That's the power that you have.


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