Ever get the nagging feeling that you’re supposed to change but you a) have no idea what the change is supposed to be, or b) have a pretty good idea and are not really crazy about it? I’ve been going through that process for the past year or so, and I understand your pain and frustration. I’ve always said that making a change is like being a trapeze artist in mid-air — you have to let go of one trapeze and, for a short terrifying moment, hover in air before catching the next trapeze. Over the past year I’ve discovered that I know the change I should make, I just haven’t been willing to let go. Well, my soul started hurting, so finally pain has been my change catalyst.
It’s very similar to wearing a pair of shoes that no longer fit. I remember when I was about five years old (yes, I really remember this) and I insisted on wearing a pair of white patent-leather shoes because they clicked on the floor and it sounded like tap-dancing. My mom warned me not to wear them because they were too small, but I wouldn’t listen. Six hours later I had mammoth blisters on my feet but refused to tell mom for the simple reason that she would be right. Two hours more, and I was found in my bedroom sobbing because I couldn’t even pull the shoes off without pulling on the blisters.
Here’s my point – if you are supposed to be facing change but are ignoring it, you’re going to get blisters. Your soul is stretching while you’re trying to fit it into a life situation that no longer fits for you. Whether it’s a family or a work situation, you need to ask yourself if you’re resisting a change in your life. The following “readiness” test comes from the book Changing Directions without Losing Your Way by Paul and Sarah Edwards:
Step One: Admit that you need a change. I need to change __________.
Step Two: My nagging concern is __________.
Step Three: I’m unhappy when __________.
Step Four: I’m not moving on because __________.
Step Five: To make this change happen, it’s my responsibility to do it.
If your soul is in pain, then something has to give. The scariest part about change is ignoring it. Life evolves, nature sheds, we come and go . . . change is all there is. I started paying attention to my pain points, and realized that by not letting go of the past I kept swinging backwards. Every time that happened, my mood darkened, my joints hurt, and I felt as if I couldn’t take a deep enough breath. So, I let go – and while it’s frightening, and might not pay as well as my past role, it’s where I can breathe.
And guess what? I have on tap shoes again, I can dance, and no blisters!