To have unlimited possibilities is both liberating and paralysing. While we at times feel shackled to our jobs, it’s also extremely daunting when the handcuffs are released and we’re given the complete freedom to write our own future.
Take Kathryn as a case in point.
Kathryn was a successful leader with a solid track record. But she knew she had more to offer. The possibilities were endless. She could switch to a different industry for a bigger challenge. Or strike out on her own, which is tempting but also terrifying. But she’s also been feeling very worn out lately. So maybe she should negotiate a part-time gig with her current company instead? Kathryn was confused. Filled with self-doubt. And worried about her income stream.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone as I’ve met many “Kathryns” facing the same dilemma.
What I say to them is this –
There’s no perfect answer. There’s only the right answer for you and at this point in time. Don’t give yourself the added pressure of trying to figure out A to Z. Your next move doesn’t have to be perfect. Nor does it need to be your final destination. What’s important is what’s best for you at this very point in time. Pull your focus in and just consider the next 12-24 months. This is liberating and gives you room to explore possibilities.
Be prepared for hard choices. When you open yourself up to new possibilities, hard choices are inevitable. Make a list of what you’re prepared to give up, and not give up. Use that to guide your immediate decisions. If you’re not prepared to make the hard choices, then you’re not ready for any big move. Accept that and make peace with your current situation.
You are successful not because of what you’ve done, but because of who you are. Never forget that. Your resume rarely tells the whole story of who you are as a person. Often we need to remind ourselves of how powerful we really are, and what we have to offer.
Start with the biggest missing piece. If you’re searching for your next chapter, then something is missing from your current picture. Figure out what that is. Just like a giant jigsaw puzzle, these are your essential corner pieces. Once you’ve got that, the rest will soon fall into place.