The past few years of change have not been the exciting experience motivational speakers promised me. I started with enthusiasm, and spent tens of thousands of dollars on a website that looked beautiful but, in retrospect, would have resulted in my investing time writing manuals had it succeeded. I had written training manuals for years; I have seven filing cabinets full of them. What I didn’t ask myself was, Do you really want to write training manuals for the rest of your life? Well, I didn’t. Flush.
My next move involved jumping back into the cocoon of Corporate America. I had spent more than twenty years in a corporate environment, and I could really put together a killer Powerpoint deck. I thought I missed gathering in small conference rooms several times a day. Then I spent a few months in Meeting Room B listening to disembodied voices, and I realized that I didn’t miss it as much as I thought.
What I missed was the security blanket of a steady paycheck and the lure of vacation days. In twelve years of owning my business, I have not had one “paid-for” vacation day. Every vacation day that I took (a total of six weeks in twelve years) I either multi-tasked or panicked over the lost income.
So, I ventured out with two new websites. One has worked extremely well (women readers check out DameNation!) while the other bored me so I can only assume it was boring everybody else.
Oh yeah, I also wrote a book called Real People, Real Change: Stories of a Change Warrior in the Business World that has received rave reviews from readers but, for some reason, I have failed to promote aggressively.
Real, gut-wrenching change is not easy. I’m not going to lie. But when it is time to change it’s like you simply can’t do anything else. Doors close in your face that used to swing open.
I’ve had days where the yearning to lie on my couch, eat Pringles and watch a House Hunters marathon was almost insurmountable.
But I’ve realized that my biggest obstacle to change is an unwillingness to fail. Being an English Major, I dreaded the red pen of life, slashing through my dreams. I didn’t realize that life was simply editing and improving my dream.
I’ve learned through my failures. Now I revisit the weak spot of my dream, and I either strengthen it or let it die a peaceful death.
I have failed forward.
My new direction involves coaching and encouraging others through change, while making them laugh through my writing and speaking. If that’s all I do in this life, then it’s enough for me.
If you’re going through major change, take it one day at a time. One step at a time. Get centered by being quiet for ten minutes a day. Celebrate your failures, tweak your plans, and keep going.
You’re not failing.
You’re perfecting the path to your destiny.