Should I stay or Should I go?
I've noticed a lot of people this week talking about their lives.
What they write may be familiar to you whether it's time to change career, or jobs, or set up your own business.
You may feel like you are coming towards those milestones in your life, significant birthdays, important dates, children leaving home or just a feeling inside. And with this you are looking back feeling like you are a failure, or you haven't achieved what you thought you would, or even just cannot envisage what the future holds.
For some of you it may be you've finally got that top job you've always dreamt about and you somehow feel empty and you start wondering how you got here.
I think most of us think this at some point, but like the mask I mentioned in my last blog we carry on because we feel we should. Because we should be grateful, because we should be careful, because thats what is expected of us.
When you do finally get to that place where you think "actually something does need to change" it can feel like you've suddenly opened up a window in your mind and its being bombarded with images as if you're travelling on a fast train with the world whirling by.
Where do you go? What do you do?
I've felt like this since my mid 20's - in my first packaging job I was doing night classes in Aromatherapy and body massage, but I had a good job and a degree, why would I jack it all in. Every year I requested the information to train in Herbal Medicine. Every year I came up with excuses "i have a good job" "I'm fortunate" "I should be grateful".
Even my breakdowns - one in my 20's (literally every time someone spoke to me I burst into tears and didn't know why), diagnosed with M.E. in my late 30's, I still kept on going. "I have a good job" " I can't earn money like this anywhere else" "I need to have paid all my bills" "I need to have bought a house" " I need to have more savings" " I should be grateful" " I'd be stupid to give all this up" " I've built this experience and knowledge and reputation, I should focus on that as its hard to get" If I do something different, it will be hard" "what will people think". All phrases I'm sure you are familiar with.
And every holiday, every Christmas, every New Year, every birthday, at the anniversary of my brothers death, at the anniversary of all of my friends deaths I'd say, this time next year, it'll be different.
You all know my story, and on 2nd December 2018 its 2 years since I resigned. (Please read my story in my blogs HERE if you want to find out more).
I've learnt a lot in 2 years and I have an understanding of what you are going through, though all of our stories are beautifully unique.
So what is my advice.
1) DO NOT get to the point I did.
2) Spot the warning signs and start taking some time to consider. This could be booking some time off on your own, at home, at a retreat and having a couple of days to really clear your head. Or if you need to talk it through, do this with a friend you can trust to be honest with you and not "bullish*t" you with answers they think you want to hear. If you don't have anyone consider support groups online or face to face, coaching, mentoring etc.
3) Self-care - this has to be your number one priority. Whatever way suits you. Cancel 80% of what you are doing and focus on 20% of things which are productive to you so you can have that long bath, that walk or whatever it is. This is harsh but honestly your health may never recover if you don't put this first. It may mean you don't clean the house, don't send out birthday cards, decline the party you didn't want to go to anyway. But do it. If you can hire some stuff out like cleaning, ironing, washing the car etc then do it.
4) Figure out who you are? I use Myers Briggs and even though it tells you what you know, sometimes we just need reminding what our preferences are so we can see in writing our strengths and our opportunities for growth. The amount of times I've gone back to people and said " lets read your profile, OK talk this through with me" and you can see them recognise "oh yes, the reason I'm frustrated, angry etc - is because I'm operating in an area where I need development, or its against my preference so I need to learn how to cope better". Find a process that works for you.
5) When you know who you are you can reconnect with your comfort zone, and when you do that you can reenergise yourself.
6) Once you are reenergised you can then look at your frustrations, your worries, your inner self-doubt fairy etc and step back and put some perspective on the situation. Are you working outside of your comfort zone 80% of the time? No wonder you're tired.
7) Self-development - Look at how you can tap into your strengths and what can you dump and delegate. ( look at your job description are you doing what you thought the job would be or has it evolved into something you don't actually like). - look at EXPANDING your comfort zone by recognising what training you think you need. Don't wait around for anyone to do this for you and don't rely on the company you work for. Go out and invest in yourself and regain the power of developing yourself just for you.
8) Before making any major decisions really spend some time thinking it through or at least ensure you have a safety net. I resigned from my job on the spur of the moment, but I gave 6 months notice when I only had to give 3 and knew I had a large bonus coming, so I had a safety net.
9) If you're thinking of leaving your job, consider the reasons;
Is this the job you thought it would be? If its changed so much that you don't enjoy it can you discuss with your manager?
If you are going to leave the company because you think its the company you work for, or manager etc - STOP - you may leave and find you've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire and in the same position in 6-months in a new job, because it wasn't the company but the job that you need to change.
Equally it may not be the job or the company, it could just be you. If you think this might be the case does your company offer sabbaticals, or a chance to try a different role in another department. Make suggestions and see where it leads.
In my job, 3 months before, I'd asked to take a demotion to a role that was coming up for the company and do it on a 4 day week. The company didn't even consider my request I just got a flat no and then when I said I was resigning they suddenly realised I was serious.
I could go on and could talk about self-employment, and relationships etc - but I'll save them for next time.
I just really wanted you to realise their are lots of options out there. I want you to take your time and spot the signs, so you can move forward with your life and reach out and talk about it, if thats what you need.
I hope this was useful.
The Magical Mojo Coach
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