I am a creature of habit. I like predictability, security, a place for everything and everything in its place. Except…every once in a while there is a part of me that wakes up and roars like a lion. It longs for adventure, new learning and growth and only a new challenge will quiet it. During those times in my life, I have moved to different parts of the world, changed jobs and enrolled in master’s programs and coach training schools. Thank goodness my hungry lion also includes a character trait that is a necessary ingredient for making successful change: Courage.
Recently, this need for adventure, change, and growth showed up in my life as a move to Seattle, Washington and the opening of my own ADHD Coach Training Program – the International ADHD Coach Training Center (IACTCenter). If you are going through some changes in your own life or if you hear the call for adventure and challenge, here are five tips that will help make these transitions end in positive outcomes:
- Don’t go it alone. This is perhaps one of the most important tips I could give you. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to know about the changes you’re making in your life. Sometimes close family may not fit the bill because they are equally affected by this change and may have their own opinions and adjustments to make. Know who’s in your inner circle and tell those people who will support you no matter what. The people who won’t question your decisions, but instead ask how they can support you in this move.
- Have a Self Care Plan. In order to reach new destinations, you have to leave the security of what is known and comfortable. But you don’t have to race out into the unknown. Make sure you have a plan of where you can find safety and support in case you need it. Change is scary and can challenge that courage and even the strongest resolve. A Self Care Plan doesn’t mean you turn tail and stop your adventure or give up on the challenge when things get tough. Instead, it means that you plan on what to do when you need a break to get refreshed, and restore your determination on your way to the new place.
- Be prepared. Making the move to Seattle from Sacramento required that I spend some time planning out what I would need in order to keep my work and relationships running smoothly in the middle of all this change. It required that I research into different phone alternatives, wifi options and airport access. I needed to be sure my living space had an office that provided confidentiality for my clients and at the same time nourished my soul. It’s important to look ahead and plan so you have what you need to make the change a success.
- Refer to your core values. Before making any big change, be sure that where you are headed is going to continue to honor your core values. During times when I felt a deep need to make changes in my life, it was usually reflecting a core value that I had been ignoring for too long (like growth and learning).
It’s important to know that core values can often seem to be in direct contrast to one another. This is how I know God has a sense of humor. In this case, my values of adventure, travel, growth and change seemed in direct contrast to my value of security and relationships. The fact is, I am taking huge risks by making some of these changes. So while I am rewarding some of my values (like excitement and adventure), I also have to be aware of how other values (security and relationships) are threatened so I can pay attention to them moving forward.
- Give it time. As exciting as it is to head out into this new chapter of my life, living in a new part of the world, the possibility of new relationships and moving into my passion for training ADHD Coaches, I will admit to waking up the first morning scared to death and ready to pack everything back up and return to my previous predictable life. I am grateful that a close friend told me, “Give it time. Take it one day at a time and see how you are one week from now. And then one month from now. And then six months from now.” And that is what I have been doing. Change can happen quickly, like waking up the next morning in a totally different bed and not knowing which way to turn the faucet on for the hot water. But when you give it time, you may realize one morning you know exactly where the cups are for your morning coffee and somehow, in that short period of time you have gone from making a pot of coffee to being a Keurig aficionado!
This is the time of year when people decide to make significant last minute changes in order to accomplish certain goals by the end of the year. If your lion is roaring to life and you’re considering making some changes that might feel a bit overwhelming, I would love to talk to you about how coaching can help.
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