Are you where you thought you’d be midway through the year?
I know I’m not. I am not certain of my future. I didn’t plan to be unemployed. I didn’t plan for my senior level position to be eliminated without warning. I didn’t plan to find myself in this uncertain place of transition. Sitting in neutral, exhausted, physically and mentally drained from all I’ve been through, starring blankly at the journey that lies ahead. I can choose to stay here, feel sorry for myself and wallow in self pity or I can shift gears and move forward to change my situation.
Don’t like your answer to where you thought you’d be? Change it!
Maya Angelou once said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Decide with compassion, confidence and courage!
Move forward with compassion. When life knocks you down, life falls apart, or you simply fall short of your goals, the first thing you should do is have compassion for yourself. We offer love and forgiveness to others, but yet somehow never choose to extend that same compassion to ourselves. Instead, embrace what has gone awry and acknowledge your feelings. Easier said than done, because it requires blocking out the voices, perceptions and unrealistic expectations of the world in order to love, respect and care for self.
As a marketing and communications professional, I am great at spinning and managing the crisis of others, but to take on the crisis management of my own life is a different story indeed. I am used to putting on a brave face everyday because others are depending on me to be the rock. Allowing myself to show vulnerability and weakness – difficult. Acknowledging that I have chinks in my armor and have been beaten or emotionally wounded – embarrassing.
This is the second time in my career I have exited stage left. And emotionally, it doesn’t get easier. It is an awkward situation. I exited with as much grace as I could muster with a smile on my face and my head held high, but the honest truth is I felt deflated and let down. All the air had suddenly been sucked out of my world. When your life is your work to the point that it is a reflection of you, it is near impossible not to take what is happening in the moment personally rather than the business decision that it is.
That is why it is so important to be compassionate with yourself, own your feelings of rejection and bandage your bruised ego rather than beat yourself up for not being enough. Once you’ve nursed your wounds and unpacked your emotions, pick yourself up and move forward with confidence. That’s what I am doing!
Choose to view what is happening as an opportunity, a blessing in disguise. Believe in the bigger picture even when you can’t see it. I am not certain of my future, but what I know for sure is that it will be 100% what God intended. I am a woman of great faith and my confidence in God makes me confident in me. I accept that every trial, test and bump along life’s road is only to further develop my strength and to make use of the lessons I’ve learned to elevate me and others to the next level.
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying somewhere you don’t belong,” author Mandy Hale reminds us.
Trust your struggle, be confident in your growth and move forward with courage. Moving forward doesn’t mean you have everything figured out, you are not afraid, or even have a clue as to what you are doing. It means you have the boldness to take the small steps, the hard steps, to create a change in your life. We can’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear or doubts. We must exercise courage, face them and move on.
I have fears and doubt about what exactly I should be doing at this crossroads in my life, but I am choosing to boldly face the fear and press forward in seeing what my next journey will be. Will I be offered another marketing position or will I have the guts to take the leap and go out on my own as a consultant? At this point I’m not sure, but I am taking positive steps daily to pursue the opportunities that are put in front of me, including this opportunity to express myself and connect with all of you. Oprah Winfrey believes, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Let’s ask for a lot – the unimaginable!
It’s not too late! This could still be the best year yet as long as you have the compassion, confidence and courage to rise above your circumstance and change your life. Everyday offers a new choice to change the answer to your question and move forward successfully. Start by asking, “Are you where you want to be?”