I remember wrestling with a big decision. It was clear what I needed to do, but I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to make the right choice. When the decisions you make affect your family, too, it adds a whole new degree of complexity to the equation.
Over several months, I had this unresolved tension in my gut. I had more questions than answers and had never quite been in that place before. Everything I had worked for up to this point had led me to where I was. And from the outside looking in, I was on the exact path I needed to be on.
But I was being pulled in a completely new direction. The older you get, the more difficult it is to make those choices. You become more acquainted with the mental and emotional cost of change. You feel less and less confident that you have enough time to recover if the choice you make turns out to be the wrong one. You realize that life is short, the stakes are high, and you must make every moment count.
The Words I needed to hear.
One day I was having dinner with a friend. I recounted all my ideas and thoughts around the situation and asked him what he thought. Truthfully, I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. I felt stuck—almost paralyzed—by the decision ahead of me.
He looked at me and said, “The power to make this change rests in you.” And he was right. I had failed to activate the personal power and resolve that rested in me to rise above the noise and find the strength to step forward into my next great adventure.
I still thank my friend to this day for that statement. It was exactly what I needed to hear, and it’s exactly what I want to convey to you, too.
You were created to accomplish something unique, positive, and exciting in the world. And your giftedness is perfectly matched to the adventure that is right in front of you. Money is not holding you back. Success is not holding you back. No sense of power or authority is holding you back. The only think holding you back is you.
And just like my friend told me, the power to change is already within you. All you have to do is say yes.
How do you know it’s time to make a change?
· You feel it in your gut. It’s undeniable. You know it. As much as you try to push it down and ignore it, it keeps surfacing.
· You become uncomfortable with the size and shape of your current life in one or more specific ways. This is more than passing discomfort. This is a feeling of limitation that you can’t shake.
· You resonate with the things others say they see in you. When the people you trust see more in your life than you presently can activate, it’s time to make a change.
· Your mentors encourage you to dream bigger dreams. These are your trusted guides and advisors. What they tell you is meant to help you grow and become all they see within you.
· You feel stuck. If you’re caught between what is and what will be, you can’t stay there long. It will wear you out emotionally, physically, and mentally. Being stuck means delaying making a change you already know you need to make.
What do you do when it’s time to make a change?
· Take time for self-assessment. Buy a journal or notebook and start recording things you like and don’t like, things you’re good at and things you’re not, and interests you have and those you don’t. In the midst of that information are clues to what your next step should look like.
· Write down your goals. You have to know what you want to accomplish. Otherwise, you’re drifting. That doesn’t mean you have to know what you want to accomplish for your entire life. But what is it that you want to achieve in the next 6-12 months?
· Talk to your family. The people who love you the most see your blind spots which are filled with invaluable information.
· Anticipate what impact that change will have on your life. Visualize your life after you make the change. If this is satisfying to you, then it is a clue it should be your next step.
· Find the courage to say yes. Every hero in every movie ever created, book ever written, or story ever told, started by saying yes to an adventure that was bigger, scarier, and more complex than they ever imagined.
You must believe in yourself and your power to change.
This is an upside-down world we live in. Social norms are constantly shifting. Businesses that seem immovable are faltering or disappearing. And political power structures that seemed firmly in place have been shaken.
You can choose to be paralyzed by fear. You can choose to retreat into safety. And you can choose to ignore the adventure that is right in front of you. Or you can choose to believe that possibility trumps fear. You can choose to believe that adventure trumps safety. And you can choose to open your arms and embrace the stories that are waiting to be told of the things you will see, the people you will meet, and the ways in which you will grow.
Life is not about a position, title, or a balance statement. Those are all illusions. All of that will eventually fade away and will be meaningless. But the things that remain are the stories we tell and the stories others tell about us. And you will only have those stories if you tap into the power to change that is already present within you.
CHALLENGE: What change in your life do you feel powerless to make? Follow the suggestions above. Act on those suggestions over the next seven days. Then reflect on what you heard, saw, and experienced. How does it change your perception of the change you are facing? What can you do today to remind yourself that the power to change rests in you?