We all know that change is hard. There are thousands of books written on how to go through the process of making changes for the better. There are thousands of articles on steps you can take to help you through the hard times. But honestly, the hardest thing about change, about pivoting something in your life, is that you have no idea, absolutely no idea if the change will actually be for the better.
I mean, sure, there are some decisions that you’ll make that are pretty dang clear, but I’m not talking about the easy decisions. I’m talking about those major decisions you need to make in this life of yours that change the entire path you’re on. These are the decisions you eventually need to just trust your gut, throw caution to the wind and…decide.
How daunting is that? It’s no wonder many of us sit stuck in a place because we’re too afraid to take even the smallest of steps in one direction. How can you decide something that will forever impact your life if you have no idea if it’s right or wrong?!
But, at some point, you’ll need to throw your hands up in the air and either pivot or don’t. Make the move or don’t. Change or don’t.
But, here’s the #1 thing I’ve learned about change:
Change is not just one decision and you’re done.
Change requires thousands of decisions and pivots.
Change starts with one decision and one pivot that dominos to many. It requires a decision to make a move, and that move will then need to pivot, then another pivot, then a pivot to that pivot, followed by an unexpected pivot and then probably 897,00+ more pivots. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as I’ve made some pretty major decisions in my life.
Your decision to change, to pivot the way you’ve been leading your life, your business, your job, your relationship, whatever you’re changing doesn’t end with that one decision. That one decision snowballs and apparently, for the most part, most major decisions will impact every aspect of your world. I don’t say this to scare you, I just wish I’d known that when making major decisions I’d need to put on protective gear for all aspects of my life because one major decision has the potential to affect all areas of my life.
And honestly, whether the major decision or change you’re making is in only one area of your life, it’s going to affect that area PLUS all the other areas. Making a big work decision? It’s going to impact your personal life. Making a big personal decision? It’s absolutely going to affect your work life.
Oh Lindsay, stop being so dramatic.
I know that’s what you’re thinking, but hold on…I’ll show you what I mean.
We’ve recently made a change to how I run my business. We’re testing out a new business model, moving away from franchising and into licensing. Now, this was a MAJOR decision and one I didn’t take lightly. I spent months and months agonizing about the decision. I did my research. I spoke to my mentors. I consulted successful business owners. I read, I researched, I took courses and I finally decided to make a change, to pivot my business.
Here’s what happened:
- I pivoted and was instantly filled with self-doubt.
- I lost sleep.
- I didn’t eat – that’s my stress response.
- The people around me panicked (change is hard and when you make a decision that impacts others…they’re going to panic).
- I worked like a fiend to prove that I made the right decision.
- I pushed my team to work as hard as me.
- I upped my exercise regimen because exercise is medicine for me and when stressed, I workout.
- I had little time or energy for my friends.
- I cocooned.
- I got sick.
- I worked long hours sacrificing precious family time.
- I then had to pivot my pivot and I didn’t see that coming.
- I then had to pivot the pivot I initially pivoted.
- Then all these new changes I made further impacted all the areas of my life and so the cycle repeats.
You see…one decision impacted the mental, social, physical and emotional areas of my life. Completely and totally. And, I still have no idea if I’ve made the right decision. I have to believe I did, but again…one change has led to 897,000 additional pivots (okay, that was a liiiiitle dramatic).
Change is hard. It can affect you physically (sleep, physical activity, food intake, alcohol intake, etc.), emotionally (stress, irritability, all-consuming self-doubt, etc.), socially (all relationships and how you function as a mother, partner, friend, etc.) and mentally (mental sharpness, ability to pay attention, thoughts and ideas, etc.).
But the best thing I’ve learned about change? Even if you make a mistake, you’re one pivot away from a new direction. You’re just one decision away from redirecting yourself to where you’re meant to go.
Although change is hard and most big decisions will impact every area of your life, don’t stop. You have to continue to pivot. Did our first pilot test of licensing work? Maybe. I didn’t stay long enough in that decision to find out, I pivoted again and again because I listened to my gut. Did I give up? NOPE. I continue to pivot and adjust daily. And I will continue to pivot in this direction until I nail it.
We pivot. We pivoted the pivot. So, no matter what decision you make, whether it was “right” or “wrong”, you will absolutely, 100%, need to re-evaluate and adjust. I wish I’d known that. I wish I’d known that one pivot or decision isn’t enough.
One decision leads to thousands. One change will lead to thousands of tiny, super significant pivots.
It’s effing terrifying, isn’t it?! Trust me, as someone going through MULTIPLE changes, I know how you feel. But, the greatest consolation I can give you is that you’re one decision away from righting any mistake you’re about to make. So go on, change. And know that no matter what, whether that one decision you made was a mistake, you’re just one more decision, one more change, one more pivot away from getting on the track you truly desire to be on.
It’s not much of a consolation, is it? But, it’s something.
All this to say: Don’t be afraid of change. Make the decision, change your footing and remember it’s okay to pivot. Give yourself that permission. You’re not going to get it right the first time. But, I have to believe, at some point, I’m truly going to nail this. At which point…I’ll pivot…and make it even better.