As the old saying goes, ‘a change is as good as a rest’. And it really is true. Well, it has been for me, at least.
If you read my previous post, you’d have seen that I spent a fair bit of time travelling last year. It is, in fact, a year since I set off and, as such, I’ve been thinking retrospectively a fair amount lately.
The travelling was something I’d wanted to do for a long time. It was also a bit of a transitionary bridge for me. I’d just left my job and I wasn’t entirely sure what the future held for me.
Prior to the trip, I was in a horrible place emotionally. I’d struggled for over a year in a job I’d grown to hate. I persevered in the naïve mindset that the bizarre things that were happening to me and my peers would just ‘get better’. Obviously, they didn’t.
As a consequence of the work situation, I started doubting myself and even castigating myself based on the actions of others. I blamed myself for a situation that was not my doing. Conversations and comments would play on loop in my head. Over the months I slid downwards into a pretty rubbish place. Lots of us end up in this sort of situation, I’m sure.
It might sound ridiculous, but I just saw a comment on Twitter as I was casually wasting my evening feeling miserable after a day in the office. The Tweet simply referenced the fact that we all have choices, regardless of how restricted we might feel. The lightbulb pinged like a cartoon. I really did have a choice. I didn’t have to put up with what was happening any longer.
Big changes can be scary
We can all bang on about change like it’s the simplest, most obvious thing in the world. It’s not. Your situation might be dictating that you don’t have a choice. The loop being played in your mind might be reinforcing the view that you’re stuck. That you have no choice. That things will never change. And to be brutal, it’s likely that things won’t change until you take that first tentative step towards a new direction. That first step can be scary, but it’s not as scary as making a massive change.
Make a start on making a change
Regardless of what your situation is, you can do three things. First of all, think about what the perfect situation would look like. It might be hugely different to the one you’re in now, but don’t let that put you off. Indulge yourself for a little while.
Once you’ve visualised that, put yourself on a scale of one to ten. If ten is this perfect situation – your possible end goal – where are you now? Are you far, far away from this situation? Or is it within reaching distance? Whatever, pop your current position onto this scale.
Whether your gap is massive or relatively small, now think about changes. Small changes. What would move you just one point up your scale? Changes to move you just one point might seem a lot less scary and a lot more achievable. Write these possible changes down and then return to them later and think about what you might now want to do.
I made a change
With respect to my own change, it was rather big. I appreciate such a change is not for everyone. The lightbulb moment happened and I put into place my resignation plan – I made sure I timed my resignation so that my notice period would mop up as many bank holidays as possible. I timed the actual resignation day so as to be sure I’d be able to have the ‘I’m leaving’ discussion with one of the few senior people I still trusted and so that the event itself could pass with as little fuss as possible.
The result of that decision is that I fulfilled my ambition to circumnavigate the globe. I got some mental breathing space. I dealt with my anxiety and stress problems. I now have a clarity of mind that I hadn’t had for a very long time. And I’m also doing something very different to the role I’d done previously.
Life isn’t perfect, but it’s substantially better. It’s better because I made a change.
Over to you
So, what are you doing to bring change into your life? Do you know what you’d like to change? Do you know what life-might look like after you’ve successfully made those changes? Might your changes benefit the people you love as well as yourself? Treat yourself to a block of time to think about what might not be working as well as it could be and how you might change it. Let me know how you get on.