Thursday, June 7, 2012

Something I've Learned Since Hitting the Reset Button

what Stubb said...
If you are fortunate enough to be unemployed and in no particular financial strain to get right back to doing what you've been doing, take the time to really assess the next professional step you take.

I say "fortunate enough to be unemployed" because you've been provided with a chance to step outside yourself, and if you can take advantage of the break, it gives you a much clearer opportunity to assess where you are with your passion and motivation for what you currently do professionally.

As I tell everyone I speak to about one of the main virtues of life skills coaching, when you are down in your own muck and mire it is very difficult to see a way out, no matter how much you want it. So if you jump right back into that unfulfilling job, your vision will rather quickly cloud back over and you will not be able to see a way out no matter how badly you ultimately want or need a change.

Taking a few months to let the fog lift will greatly increase your chances of reconnecting with your intrinsic motivations and passions and coming up with more concrete actions to begin fulfilling them. The fog does not lift the first day of unemployment. The smoke from a fire does not immediately disappear the moment the last flame is doused. Your life is the same way. Stuff lingers. Bad stuff lingers longer. Really bad stuff can actually change your thought patterns in a very detrimental way. Now you are working from negative territory just trying to get back to some semblance of equilibrium.

Knowing what you need to change takes time. Coming up with some ideas on how to implement that change takes more time. Finally, implementation always takes longer than you planned. The point is, this kind of change is not something you can typically plan to do 3-4 times a week after work. Some can. Most can't.

In my own case, after the last layoff I decided I was quitting that last career cold turkey. I would say it took 3 solid months of only working on myself before I could really feel the fog lifting. The fog was still there in months 4-6 but it was constantly lifting. It also meant household income being cut by two-thirds! I don't live in the cheapest county in the union but I have found that we can live on a lot less than we thought. Just 6 months ago I could've never fathomed being able to live where I live without the salary I was making. It has been a real eye opener to what is possible while I continue to get much clearer everyday on the passion and motivation that will create the next professional opportunity.

When you decide to act on a passion rather than maintain the status quo, it kind of shocks you into doing what you need to do to make life much more fulfilling. Every craft beer brewer story starts off this way. Complete self sacrifice for a dream fulfilled. You don't have to become a brewer but you do have to start paying attention to that inner voice telling you that something is off.

So if you find yourself with a luxury of time, do yourself a favor and use as much of that time as you can to get back in touch with yourself before jumping right back into the rat race. You'll thank yourself if you do.

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