When you're really, truly stuck
Every so often I get an email like this:
"Cathy, I will be calling to book an appointment. I am
miserable. I hate my job. I hate where I'm living."
I send what I hope is a gracious response, offering a "get
acquainted" call as a first step to some creative career
coaching. Griselda never responds.
Two months later, Griselda writes, "Cathy, I just ordered
your book. As soon as I finish I will call. I saw a counselor
who said I should move. I just can't make up my mind! "
Amazingly, Griselda writes a third time: "I just spent
two hundred dollars for an astrology consultation. I am still
miserable. When I finish your book, I will call you."
Have you ever watched a car, stuck in snow, spin its wheels?
That's what Griselda is doing. If she keeps trying to move,
she'll just spin her wheels. She needs to step back from the
situation -- like getting out of the car -- and push. Here
are three ways to get started.
1. Quit thinking about the problem. Go cold turkey for at
least a month. Declare a moratorium on buying self-help books,
wondering if you need a coach, and baring your soul.
When someone asks how you're doing, say, "Wonderful!"
or at least, "Fine!" and resist the temptation to
talk about your confusion..
Sounds like breaking an addiction? Well, you can get addicted
to being miserable.
2.Take it one day at a time. When you find yourself thinking
about your dilemma, flip your mind to another topic, as if
you turned off one light and turned on another.
Focus on anything but your problem: your cat or dog, an escape
novel, a movie, a garden -- the possibilities are endless.
3. Be aware that deep blocks and self-sabotage are the province
of therapists. Forget about coaches, astrologers, online aptitude
tests and even self-help books. Bite the bullet, find yourself
a competent resource and stay with the process until you make
If Griselda asked, I'd tell her to get back in touch when
she found herself using words like "move" and "action."
I would ask her to complete a few of my forms and try some
tentative actions before she reached for her credit card.
Research shows that people change when they get ready, sometimes
because they've hit bottom and sometimes because of a defining,
crystallizing moment of truth.
A seemingly trivial episode can trigger a major lifetime
change. Yolanda (interviewed for a fitness project) began
an exercise program after a relative rudely asked her, at
a holiday dinner, "Do you really need that piece of pie?"
Ten years later, she wins marathons and enjoys pies, cake
and ice cream, too.
When you are ready, you will know -- and others will know,
because you look and speak differently. This time, if you
decide to hire a coach, you'll complete the pre-call forms
in half an hour and grab the first appointment available.
And you'll be on your way to a new career and new life.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.