As I embark upon a major life change, a change of direction in my career, I have been thinking about what I could write about change. Being an agent of change, you know. Being someone who can drive change and lead through change and…. well… I really need to start off with how I really feel. And that is this way:
Change is not for sissies. Chosen or not, no matter how big or small or how you slice it, change can be pretty damn gnarly. So it got me thinking about how I have come to be a person who can be an agent of change. I wasn’t always this way. I once was a person who stayed in a relationship too long, never wanted to move out of my home and stayed with a company for 15 years until they finally kicked me out through a layoff. I was a sticker. I stuck.
And as I reflect on how I have become less sticky over the years, I realize what a tremendous impact that job change had on me. When I left that job, a job where I grew up, my casualties were many – my confidence took a major hit, my emotions were all over the place: I was sad, rejected, angry, lost and afraid and my anxiety and worry took first place in line in front of being a great Mom and Wife. Change is not for sissies! But look, necessity will light a fire under your ass faster than anything, so I kept wiping my nose and got to it.
I got to tackling my work search. And it was painful. The rejection wasn’t doing anything for my worry or my confidence. One day I would think I was awesome and the next day I was awful. It was emotionally brutal. But I learned about myself that I could make it through that – and in fact, it was one of the most cathartic experiences of my life, in terms of learning that I can be more than I once was, do more than I once did – that I can and will change. That I can choose change and kick it’s ass.
And I have. As I do some reflection on some of the changes I have signed up for in the past 10 years since my “kick out”, I’m amazed. I’m still somewhat of a sticker, so I see that in myself too, but I love looking back on the personal and professional changes I have chosen to take on. And my life is so much richer for them. And not just for the changes that happened to me but for the changes that I brought into my life. Even those changes make me feel queasy sometimes, and my self-doubt creeps in to try to second guess my choices. But I move through it stronger and faster because of every single painful change I’ve been through – the job change from 10 years ago, and everything before and after.
So here’s to change. Bring it!