"How Long Have You Been Leaving?"
Staying in a job too long.
You're sitting in that same meeting that could have been an email.
You're doing the tasks that aren't listed in your job description.
The thought of it only being Tuesday makes you feel nauseous and you think, "What has to happen for me to not come in?"
The same things keep happening and you feel stuck in this job.
Kübler Ross conducted a study on people who were terminally ill and discussing the seven stages of grief that a person goes through when they're dying. The number one thing that they wished they had done: taken more risks.
Throughout working with people in Hospice or the medical field, it is impressive how perspective changes once you realize that you're running out of time. But aren't we all?
Since the past year (2020), after all of the changes and adaptations that we have had to make, I have personally heard a lot of people speak about how they wish that they were in a profession with more purpose. Or how they would like to create change and not feel so tapped out doing what they are doing, which is usually exactly what they don't want to do.
I see you. I know how hard it is to want to leave something but be so afraid of what that will actually look like and seeing how significantly things fail because people jump too quickly.
Throughout my career, I was incredibly lucky to know how to recognize "How Long I've Been Leaving" and to act on it. It never happened the exact day I wanted it to but I was always strategic about planning and continuing to lean into the fear of the unknown. I also had a good amount of help along the way.
Here's an idea:
I want you to sit down and think of everything you have accomplished. That’s your past.
Then I want you to think about everything you want more and less of. There's your present.
Then I want you to look forward into your own future (future-think) and talk to yourself five years from now.
Ask them if they're happy. Tell me what fulfillment looks like to you five years from now, within reason.
Because Lord knows I am not going to stop buying scratch tickets and Powerball tickets but there is a good chance that even if I win, I will show up at work the next day.
Why? Because I LOVE what I do now. I am exactly in the right spot that I didn't even know I was going to be in. I quit wondering what I will put on my resume next. I quit questioning how resourceful and skilled I am at doing what I am doing. I quit putting limits on myself. I built a practice and now I'm here to coach you into building your own empire that you wouldn't leave even if you won the lottery.
We need to quit staying in jobs that we don't love, that don't fulfill us, that drain us from doing and being who we want to be.
If you can future-think far enough to know that at some point you will not have time left, what would you regret the most? Would you be happy you stayed doing the same thing?
Change is hard. It takes so much effort and so much support from YOURSELF to really make positive and sustainable change.
But settling isn't going to make it any easier.