This is so important. Often we dread starting over because of regret. We beat ourselves up for being in a place we dread. We become risk averse so as not to repeat regret. We wonder if we might even deserve to be in a bad place and if it will ever change.
Regret is ok. We learn from it. Just don’t stay there too long.
I had to start over with four children under seven-years-old in the middle of a difficult divorce. We had gone from the country club life to public assistance, homelessness, and no automobile. I believed life would never be fair because of how we had ended up. I started to believe this was personal - like there was something wrong with me and that it was permanent.
The truth is nobody said life is fair. It that we’re true the lion wouldn’t eat you because you didn’t eat him. I worked very hard in survival mode and rose quickly to the C-suite. I was grateful. But I was detached and unhappy. I had lost touch with what fun is and couldn’t connect with my team, my friends or my family. They were all part of my goal of family survival. What I forgot was that we are all humans not machines - even myself.
I assumed I didn’t deserve a good life or this wouldn’t have happened and that if I stepped back from survival mode the entire picture would crumble. The stress was daunting. It was the treadmill to nowhere.
Because I wanted to show up differently for everyone but mostly for myself I read, studied and practiced very specific strategies to rebuild my self-worth which gave me the courage to be open and risk being vulnerable.
It was scary but I was starting to feel things that I had lost. I traded angry for sad, despair for hope, unaffected for mourning, guarded for open, and afraid for discovery.
In this space I made the shift from survive to thrive. This lead to even more career success but this time with connected relationships, love, better eating and sleep habits and peace.
Today I’m profoundly grateful I made the shift. When one emotion dies off they all do and so does a piece of your soul. I’m glad to have rediscovered the whole messy, sticky bundle of emotions in my life. That’s freedom.
Don’t hold back from your dream because you fear disappointment. The way you show up at work and in life is drawing that negativity your way just as it had for me.
Dream. Dream big! And do the hard work to live the dream. You deserve the dream.
If you are feeling age discrimination when your company should be putting your expertise to good use, this link to the strategies I share with my clients might help >>> 10 Tips When You Fear Age Bias
If you are struggling with uncertainty and feel exhausted and ineffective watch my FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you before you even get an interview. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there.
P.S. Feel free to send this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request a free consultation call.
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