As a career coach, I’m often coaching folks in transition. Perhaps they’ve been laid off or they’ve cashed out and taken early retirement. Some take sabbaticals or extended disability leave, to get a clearer perspective on their life’s work. So far so good.
These folks all have a few things in common. They are in the enviable yet temporary position of having the time to think, without the pressure of earning new money any time soon.
So what do they do? They celebrate. They go overboard enjoying their freedom. Then a few months down the road, they start to panic because they still need to make a right work decision.
Then the real trouble begins. They start thinking too much. Too much thinking, with too little action, spoils a good time. Before they know it they’ve placed themselves in the unnecessary danger of wasting their wonderful opportunity.
I understand what contributes to this crazy behavior. Most folks have lots of unpleasant and unfulfilling work memories.
If this is you, I get it. I know that you may have never felt so free and alive when working and you do deserve a break.
I also know that you sense that there must be something better out there. Some of you even harbor secret thoughts of making your emancipation permanent by seizing the freedom of self-employment.
But here is the key. Most of you wait too long to get down to the serious decision-making. Why is that?
My theory is that your work memories are so challenging that you have put all future work in the same basket. You judge all work as something to be avoided and that makes you want to delay the process as long as possible.
Of course a calling isn’t like that. Your true calling is the work you were meant to do. But even a true calling inspired business, is better built in a relaxed, non-pressured environment.
You can’t really take a break from life. Making the right decision is an active process. Taking time off from work, can work for you, if you leverage it so that you know more about your options as your time off dwindles.
You might think you are putting off the decision to relieve tension but the more you avoid the decision the more tension you create.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is this. Anxiety is my friend. It signals a call to wiser action. It’s telling me to turn into the very storm that I want to run from. It’s telling me to drop down deep into my body and feel.
Already self-employed business owners do the same thing. You might have a strong hunch of a needed change but you avoid it because un-embraced anxiety feels scarier than the status quo.
Use your available time as the blessing it is. It’s only a curse if you squander it and invite pressure where there was once only curiosity.
Can you recall a time where you would have been better off to get right down to making a decision sooner?
If you’d like professional coaching, on turning into the storm and making your biggest life and work decisions, contact me and let’s talk. Your freedom waits.