Posts Tagged ‘changes’

Last week I delivered a presentations 7 Signs You Are Ready to Stretch and Actions to Take to a group of people in career transition.

The 7 signs we focused on were:

  • You are restless – feeling an “itch” to do something more or different
  • You are seeking – feeling a need for greater purpose in what you are doing
  • You are bored – seeking greater passion in your work or life
  • You are in a rut – feeling a need to change things up
  • You are feeling a pull – feeling ready to act on an idea you have
  • You have an opportunity – one that is out of the norm for you
  • You are questioning – wondering what impact you are having
Some great conversation too place around these 7 signs.  Some thoughts and ideas the audience shared:
  • Never close a door until you look through it first – when a new idea or opportunity shows up that is out of your comfort zone, take the time to review it with open eyes and an open mind
  • Take notice of what actions you do on a daily basis that are within your comfort zone – begin to take daily small steps out of your comfort zone.  This will get you out of your rut, address your restlessness and may even spark new passion
  • Volunteer – especially in an area that is out of your comfort zone – may also boost your passion, give you greater meaning and even spark an idea to pursue

What signs are you noticing that it’s time for you to stretch?

What thoughts do you have to get you out of your comfort zone?

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Last night I delivered a seminar called “Get noticed, known and connected” to the Raleigh Jaycees.  This topic can take many directions, we included points from my handout and specific questions and challenges of the group. Through our lively discussion, here is some of what was shared:

  • The importance of clarifying who you are known as – or how you would like to be known.
  • Learning who to reach out to in order to further your career in your current organization, recruit new members for a professional organization, search for new career opportunities
  • Defining your image, both personal style and how you present yourself through social media
  • Where to meet people to create new connections
  • How to start a conversation with someone at a networking event
  • How to approach someone for an informational interview
I love delivering seminars on topics such as these because each time it is different based on the audience’s questions and needs!

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Several years ago I was completing some exercises as I was embarking on career and life exploration of my own.  One of exercises asked me to write my 20 year vision.  My first reaction?  20 years?? At the time I found it easy to plan my weeks and months, even loosely knowing what I wanted to accomplish that year, but the next 20??

After a brief challenge of wrapping my head around the concept that I could plan that far ahead, I began to imagine what I wanted my life to be like 5 years from then, 10 years, 15 – and I was able to get to 20.  So I sat at the table on my deck and began to write, letting my imagination run free, thinking about my big goals and dreams – especially those that had lain dormant for a while.

It was fun, soon the ideas began to flow so much so that a giddiness took over.  Could this really happen – I asked myself?  Why not I answered.  And that marked the beginning of my life and career transformation.

Now it’s your turn.  Whether you want to focus on 1 year, 5, 10 or 20 – begin to let your imagination run free – remember the dreams of your childhood, uncover those you never dared dream and create a realm of possibility currently beyond your imagination.  Then take it to paper, letting all your thoughts form words and images.

Your vision for the future is limited only by your imagination!

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The gym I go to is undergoing some renovation so they have temporarily reversed the womens and mens locker rooms.  The mens locker room is the complete opposite of the womens.  What was on the left is on the right, etc. 

It has been so funny to see all the women totally confused by the different arrangement, myself included!  We are walking into walls, looking for the bathroom where it usually is… even after a few days. 

It is so facinating how trained our brains get by what we are expecting to see and experience and how “off” we feel when things are changed around.  It is very disorienting, mentally and physically, even for those of us that seek change and transition!

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My husband and I love plants.  We have an abundance of them in our home, some close to 30 years old (started by my mother).

Indoor plants get potbound, meaning they have outgrown the container they are living in and need more room to grow.   When transplanting, the norm is choosing one pot size larger, giving the plant just enough space to spread it’s roots and continue to thrive.

As humans, we all need that too.  When we begin to feel stifled (see 7 Clues You are Ready to Stretch) we droop and may feel thwarted – and we know it’s time to spread our wings a bit. 

Our equivalent of one pot size bigger?  Small steps outside our comfort zone to breathe, stretch and grow… 

How will you stretch this week?

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I have been blogging for more than a year and writing articles for a several years, so I decided to compile a list of everything I have written.  (I admit it, I love making lists)

A few things came up for me as I was doing this exercise.  I remembered when I used to think (and say out loud) “I can’t write”.   Those words were there before I started writing articles, then came up again in the form of “I won’t know what to blog about” when I contemplated blogging and yet again in the form of “how will I only write one sentence” when I started using Twitter.   The awareness?  Though the thoughts were there, I took action despite the words in my head and mouth and proved them wrong!   Starting was the hardest, but once I made the leap and wrote that first article, that first blog post, I realized I could do it and it built my confidence to stretch even further!

Another awareness as I was compiling this list?  I realized that my ideas for articles and blogs flow much more easily than I anticipated they would.  I actually now enjoy the process of expressing my ideas, ponderings and observations in words.

Yes, I love reviewing and making lists because they bring organization to my life, but a wonderful byproduct of a review like this is the awareness it brings.

Take a few minutes to review some of your own activities. 

I would love to hear what you discover!

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Fall is my favorite season and one change I look forward to.   The change I didn’t expect or like very much?  Changes to my gym routine, especially the classes.

I love routines.  They help me stay focused and on track.  This is expecially true of going to the gym.  I also love challenges, which is why I go to several classes each week as the instructors are the best at pushing me past my comfort zone physically.

So you can understand my horror (OK maybe that’s too strong a word) when I realized that not only would some of the times of my tried and true classes be changing a bit, but many of the instuctors were changing too!!  My first reaction was “NO!  this is not good, this won’t work at all, now I’ll have to change my whole schedule, I’ll have to find different classes…” and on an on my mind reeled!.

Then I took a breath and thought about what I truly wanted – to be physically fit; and the best way for me to make that happen – taking classes that focused on strength and challenged me.  So…. I realized that the tweak in schedule may mean taking a different class now and then which adds variety (something I also love), and that new instructors would also be challenging me in new ways.  So, I not only accepted this change but now look forward to what is could mean for me positively!

How do you react to change?

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Last week I posted this question on Facebook “What would it mean to truly accept yourself – just the way you are, just the way things are – for today?”

It came from one of my earlier posts, Accepting Yourself.  Some of the comments I received show how challenging this truly is so I thought it deserved more discussion.  Comments included – “I would truly have to push myself to accomplish this”, “It would be the ultimate accomplishment”, “I don’t think I have ever been in that place. Definitely something to strive for”. 

Why do you think accepting ourselves and our lives just the way we/they are today is so challenging to do?  Acceptance does not mean giving up on growth.   What it means to me is being OK with what is here now as we plan for what’s next.  It means focusing more on what we are walking toward rather than trying to escape from. 

When I was really ready to leave New York my dislike for where I was living intensified at first.  The thing was, though I was “ready” in my mind, we were not “ready” in reality since we didn’t know where we did want to live yet.  I realized this intense dislike was causing me more harm than good so I chose instead to make the best of where I was while we were planning our move.  This choice eased the rush to move and gave us the freedom to truly focus on what we wanted for our new home/community, to get excited about it and plan for it.  We were really OK just the way were were living for years, we just wanted something different – and we found it.  When we did, we knew it was right and not just an escape!

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As often does in life, the unexpected came up in the form of a string of medical appointments for my dad.  As his only family here in NC, it was necessary for me to accompany him to most of them.  Now for someone as scheduled as I am my first reaction was a bit of panic – and the question “how will I be able to juggle everything? was ringing loudly in my ear.   The answer quickly surfaced that I couldn’t juggle it all without sacraficing my health and sanity – and my relationship with my father. 

I reminded myself that as a self employed person I have the luxury of creating (and modifying) my own schedule – something I often forget when filling it to the brim.   So I made some decisions.    I let go of whatever was not a necessity right now and moved some other things around where they were a better fit.  I am also practicing saying no or not right now to other things that come up.  

Once I looked at what mattered most to me and prioritized those things into my schedule first, the rest was easier to let go of.  And it is just for now, while this wave of activity with my dad is here.  When it passes, I’ll shift again. 

Making the decision to clear large chunks of time in my schedule was incredibly freeing.  It brought a sense of relief and peace, knowing I can make the time for what matters most in the moment.

What needs to shift in your life – for now?

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I love watching HGTV, especially the programs that showcase homes being decorated/fixed up for little money.  One curiosity I have every time I watch one of these programs is how often the homeowners say after all the work is done “wow, that was easier than I thought it would be, why didn’t we do this sooner”? 

Some of these families have been living in their home for years but “lived with” their space “as is” rather than creating a best fit for them.  Maybe they thought it would take too much time or too much money – but when all is said and done, they see what a small investment of each could have brought them.

Yes, being a TV show they have others designing, planning and doing much of the work, but that kind of support can be hired, bartered or found from some of our current network of friends and family.  All we need to do is ask, seek and commit.

So, this week take a look at your home, your career, your life and ask yourself this question:

What would I most like to see change? 

Then ask – Who in my life can help me to change it?

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