Updated: Nov 1, 2022
They say to never be good at the job you don't want. Being an executive and personal assistant always came naturally to me, but I didn't mean to spend the last 20 years doing it. I turn 47 on Saturday and I'm finally getting out. Leaving a six figure salary and all of the security that comes with it to become a health and wellness coach isn't easy at any age, but being almost 50? Blowing up my life feels incredibly irresponsible and yet, I couldn't be more excited...and absolutely terrified. If you listen to me on Circling the Drain Podcast or have read my About page, then you know my origin story. I'm a firm believer in midlife self-actualization but I'm only HUMAN and I'm terrified of failure just like everyone else. So. I have to put myself in the client's seat and coach myself just like I would any client making a big change. I always start by asking the following questions:
Why is this change so important?
What does failure look like?
What does success look like?
What happens if you don't make this change?
Somewhere in these answers lie our deepest motivations and forces us to imagine the worst and best possibilities which can really help dispel fear. After all, fear of the unknown is usually the largest barrier to change. With that, I'd say the MOST important question here is, "What does failure look like?" Let's unpack that a bit. What is failure exactly? In life, failure around big change or big leaps of faith is not as simple as pass or fail. Take Elizabeth Holmes for example (if you haven't watched The Dropout, I recommend it). She had every opportunity to make better decisions, listen to helpful feedback or even PIVOT, but she didn't. There were many steps taken, warnings ignored and carnage in her wake before she "failed." Failure isn't as black and white as jumping off a cliff. While it may feel like an endpoint, I would argue that within failure there is always opportunity. Serial entrepreneurs are called that for a reason; it often takes several tries before they succeed and I think most would not view previous endeavors as failures. Trusting that you are smart enough and wise enough to make good decisions along the way and pivot if necessary is key in making big life changes. Gay Hendricks does an excellent job of illustrating this point and elaborating on so much more in his book The Big Leap. Now that I've written this blog, it's time for me to take my own advice. What big leap are you dying to take? What is holding you back?