How do you start over? Whether you’re faced with a dramatic change in your life such as a loss of employment due to downsizing or the need to consider a new career following an injury or simply re-entering the work force after a prolonged absence, beginning anew is probably one of the most courageous and empowering things you will tackle in your life.
Whether it is self-initiated or as a result of outside forces beyond your control, it taps into the very essence of who you are, your resilience and your human need to move forward and keep on fighting.
When we are young change is (for the most part) easy. Children learn new languages in a matter of months; young adults embrace life away from home for the first time with the zest of an adventurer tasting newfound freedom. But as we age and spend years investing in an endeavor, a partnership, or an enterprise and we are faced with its untimely demise, it is very easy to wallow in self pity and to keep asking why? It is also natural to get stuck and feel as if the very ground from under you has disappeared…..which can be a paralyzing experience.
In psychology there is a theory that there are five stages of loss and grief:
4. Depression and finally
We grieve everything that ends whether consciously or sub-consciously. Sometimes each stage takes a really long time. Sometimes one facet takes a long while another takes less but eventually, whether in agreement or not, we come to the eventuality of acceptance. Once you arrive there you realize that what acceptance truly means is freedom. When change is embraced it ultimately leads to freedom – i.e. letting go of the past while seeing the good as well as the limitation it also held.
Someone once told me that dinosaurs were so big and strong yet went extinct because they were not able to adapt to their changing environment. Not being a scientist, please allow me whatever scientific inaccuracy this sentence may or may not represent. The point is, our ability to be fluid and to embrace change and see the opportunities that are now possible may be the difference between ending up as either a professional has been or a new braver version of you. Do not let your circumstances define you.
So, armed with your new found courage, embrace change as the opportunity for true self reflection. What are your strengths? What brings you joy in life? You will be successful professionally as well as personally (success being defined in the eye of the beholder) if you follow your passions and are true to yourself. Work will not seem like work and no effort will be too great once you tap into the essence that is you. This may sound “hoakie” to some and that’s fine – this blogger is always happy to agree to disagree.
Keeping in mind that oftentimes there is a financial reality as to why we seek employment and, while perhaps the ability to follow our bliss is a luxury unaffordable to most, there are always ways to incorporate what really brings joy into your life. Working in the “right” industry or providing peripheral work that serves to help others, are good examples.
When staring at the unknown, at change, at the proverbial blank canvas my advice to you would be to smile, take a deep breath, make a plan, work that plan and the amount of success returned to you will be in direct proportion to the effort you put into it.
Update your resume, be creative when looking for new opportunities, be your best critic, your biggest supporter and most enthusiastic fan. Go back to school to learn new skills and/or upgrade old ones. If trapped in a situation that is going nowhere plan your exit strategy while keeping your current opportunities viable.
By simply putting yourself in control of your own destiny, you begin your journey under your own terms. It will make you feel as if the winds are accommodating your sails. It will be like rowing with the current and any amount of work will feel like it requires less effort.
Remember that: “In order to exceed your wildest expectations, you must have some wild expectations to begin with.”
Carolina M. Billings is an executive with 15+ year’s leadership experience in the fields of Business Development, Human Resources and Finance. As CFO-CHRO of a multi-million business conglomerate, she performs a truly interdisciplinary role within a portfolio of diverse industries ranging from Supply Chain, Logistics & Distribution, Wealth Management, Furniture Import, Sales & Distribution as well as Interior Design. She champions leadership initiatives as well as empowering and coaching/mentoring others to lead. Developing a hybrid of Finance and Human Resources has enable her to become leading business partner. Her great ability to influence and engage others in the pursuit of goals and objectives makes her a true innovator and change agent. Carolina is currently pursuing her Masters in Interdisciplinary studies with Royal Roads University, She holds Graduate Certificates from Cornell University and Queen’s University in the fields of Change Management and Leadership. She is a Co-Active Professional coach currently doing her practicum towards Certification with ICF. She holds a CHRL designation and a High Honor’s HRM Graduate Certificate.
Carolina is the founder of Big Fish Coaching a private practice specializing in personal leadership, career coaching, conflict resolutions and life change management.
www.bigfishcoaching.com All posts by Carolina Billings