Contemplating career change? Take a 10,000 ft. perspective

I’m quite certain everyone has experienced this: you feel something brewing – a need for a change, a discomfort with your surroundings or a relationship – and you move into action mode.

 

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Our brains really dislike uncertainty, the unknown, and discomfort. When these show up, it’s often very comfortable to move directly into action because, doing something – anything – removes that feeling of uncertainty and discomfort. Sometimes, fast action is necessary and very appropriate. But the majority of us spend way too much time hanging out in reactivity and fast action.

 

Our lives are made up of action; our actions guide the trajectory of our lives. So, the choices you make every day are shaping where your life is headed. (Note: the voice in your head may start speaking loudly right now: I’m messing up my life! I’ve made poor decisions! I may as well give up! What’s the point of trying to change course now? It’s too late for me, anyway. This is ridiculous – not every decision is that important!  Do any of these voices sound familiar? What is yours saying right now?).

 

Thoughtful, deliberate action is where the magic happens. And for those of you that love action and momentum, don’t worry, you don’t need to move at a snail’s pace to take thoughtful, deliberate action. And for those of you who may like to delay (dare I say procrastinate?) taking action, this practice I’m about to share works equally well to nudge you into action mode.

 

The practice is taking a 10,000 ft view (think aerial) of the situation before you. For example, let’s say you’re feeling really uncomfortable at work, and you’re getting the sense it’s time to move elsewhere. The fast action takers start writing cover letters, brush up on their interview skills, and block the night to send resumes. The slow action taker may push aside the discomfort, ignore it, tell themselves the situation really isn’t that bad, and go back to their current-job task. Both of these individuals have found a way around the discomfort and uncertainty. The problem? The fast action taker may end up accepting a job that is no more fulfilling than the one they are currently in; and the slow-to-act individual may stay in an unfulfilling situation way longer than necessary.

 

Taking a 10,000 ft. view involves recognizing the discomfort and looking at it as an observer. What’s REALLY creating the discomfort at work? Boredom? Lack of autonomy? The culture of the organization? The 10,000 ft view has you get to the root of the matter. Getting specific about the root of the matter informs your next steps – which leads to deliberate, thoughtful action. If you’re bored, defining your need for intellectual challenge will be critical. If it’s the corporate culture, examining the types of people you most want to work with will be key. For fast action takers, this practice has you pause and reflect, so that you can focus your actions. For slow action takers, facing the root of the matter makes it harder to ignore – which can provide the needed impetus for action.

 

So, over to you: where do you feel change brewing? What do you notice about your life from 10,000 feet? Share in the comments, email me, or share in the Facebook community. And if you’d like to get free coaching activities, tips and tools, sign up to the Catalyst – the monthly Navigate with Intention newsletter. You can sign up by entering your email in the box at the top right corner (or, if you’re on your mobile device, scroll down – or visit www.navigatewithintention.com to sign up).

Finding, and staying in, heart-centered action (yes, it’s possible)

My good friend Erin and I were sitting and chatting about our respective business passions a few months ago – for her, it’s yoga and for me, it’s coaching. At one point, she turned to me and said, “think about how pure and strong your mind feels when you leave a yoga class – but how quickly you can get into a case of road rage as you drive home.”

Yeah that. Those glimpses we have of feeling pure, strong, centered, joyful and totally connected to what matters to us. I have those moments on my morning walks; when jumping around with my nephew; and after a coaching-intensive weekend. My heart actually feels full, time moves more slowly and gracefully, and for those moments (sometimes only minutes), I experience pure joy. Can you relate?

And then, just like that – boom – life happens and you are swept away in the drama, the emergency, the frustration, the overwhelm – your own, or other people’s.

As we chatted, Erin and I started brainstorming, how can you deliberately find, and hold on to, that feeling?

I spoke about how much more powerful the coaching process is when clients and I can channel that heart-centered, joyful place, and approach their decisions, plans, accountability and action from that place. Erin spoke about Sankalpa, which is the Sanskrit word for a vow or commitment we make to support our highest truth – our purpose for being on this planet at this time. A Sankalpa helps us ground ourselves to our journey and true purpose. Erin explained to me that Sankalpa doesn’t evolve from the intellectual mind, but instead from deep inside of us – our deepest truth, our authentic self. When we live in alignment with our authentic self, our Sankalpa unfolds naturally.

From here, our workshop, Unlock Your Most Beautiful Life: Sankalpa in Action was born. Erin and I are bringing the movement of yoga together with the powerful action and accountability framework of the coaching process to bring you to a place of magic: where you can access this heart-centered place, and create a plan to keep your Sankalpa closer to the forefront of your awareness as you move back out into the world. This will ground and support you in taking heart-centered action long after the workshop ends.

Whether you are new to coaching or to yoga, or well versed in both, we’ve structured the workshop for all experience levels. Interested in joining us on October 25th? Please note that workshops are not available for drop-in, so you need to sign up ahead of time to attend – to register, click here: http://www.unionyogastudio.ca/events/?mobile=false&options%5Bids%5D=240&options%5Bsite_id%5D=175285

Unable to attend? Stay tuned. In my next post, I’ll share some tips on how to access some of this Sankalpa magic on your own. I’d love to hear from you – are there any questions I can answer about the workshop? And as of now, start paying attention to those moments you experience of joy, connection, and clarity. When do you feel it? Snap a pic and share your experience in the Navigate with Intention Facebook community, or on Instagram, #mysankalpa @navigatewithintention

Life’s a climb…what mountain are you scaling?

When I passed this message on the sidewalk in my neighbourhood, I was immediately reminded of that saying (often delivered in difficult times, or in response to “why is this so HARD?”): Well, who ever said life was meant to be easy?

No doubt, in life, there is a climb. How prepared, energized, and fulfilled you feel on the trek, though, may very well depend on the proverbial mountain you’re scaling. The mountain in this case is the life vision that you are striving for right now: that house purchase, the promotion, possible career change, finding your partner, re-connecting with your partner, navigating your relationships, raising happy and healthy children, completing that iron man challenge…

Your mountain trek is your life, and it comes with resting points, guides, flat spaces, steep inclines, and decision points. Do you continue to summit? Or return to base camp? Do you sleep now, or power forward? Strengthen or slacken the harness?

If you feel challenged on the climb right now, sit back and reflect: what feels like an upward trek right now? And, then, with that in mind, consider which of these scenarios best applies (and once you have, I’d love to hear what you discover. Share in the comments, or over on the Facebook page, or email me):

Scenario 1: I’m climbing someone else’s mountain

When you consider what you’re striving for, is it your own voice pushing you forward? Or is it someone else’s? Are you climbing a mountain someone else chose for you? The fact is, the vast majority of us are. Social norms squeeze us into some very tight boxes sometimes. Choosing life on your own terms may be the most courageous decision you ever make. If you are currently in this scenario, my request of you is this: write out a schedule for one ideal day – from the moment you wake up, to the moment you close your eyes to sleep. Schedule that one day and live it.

Scenario 2: I chose this mountain, but it doesn’t feel like the right one anymore

When you reflect on where you’re heading, are you excited? Is the excitement here, now, today? Or is it excitement from earlier days when you began this trek? If you’re being truly honest with yourself, is this the summit you want to scale? This can be a scary place: but I already told people I was going to do this! But I’ve invested so much money! [insert whatever your inner critic has to say here]. Sometimes the most courageous decision is to say: this path is not for me anymore; it’s time to course correct. If you are currently in this scenario, my request of you is this: write out everything you learned on this path, all the skills you acquired, the people you met. Read it over and ask yourself: what do I most want to experience next?

Scenario 3: I so want to summit this mountain, but I’m staring down a crevasse – it’s pretty darn terrifying

As you reflect on your life path, yep! This is it! You feel aligned with where you’re heading. Except for….this giant obstacle in front of you. It’s time to actually take a leap and you’re terrified. Or you just had a disappointing blow to your plans. You got a “no” instead of a “yes”. If this scenario feels most like where you’re at, my request of you is this: fast forward 5 years, you’re exactly where you want to be. What advice does this 5-year-wiser you have to offer you right now?

If you enjoy the blog and are looking to dig deeper on some of these topics, the Navigate with Intention newsletter, The Catalyst, is for you. This free monthly newsletter is sent out to subscribers only. It discusses great reads (books, articles, resources) to push you forward on your personal path, and sets up monthly accountability challenges to get you into action mode! Sign up for the newsletter above, in the top right hand column. And, as always, if you have any questions about coaching, I’d love to hear from you, stephanie {at} navigatewithintention {dot} com

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