If I’m being honest, I never thought I would be brave enough to make a big life change. When I first began to realize that I was miserable at my job, it made me physically sick to think about leaving it to do something else. Not because I didn’t WANT to do something else, but because I didn’t feel like I had the courage to walk away. If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re in the right place! Today’s episode is going to be all about how to emotionally prepare for a life change – if I can do it, you can do it too, mama!
This first strategy was one that I had to learn myself, but I so wish someone had told me earlier. When you are beginning to realize a change is coming (new job, new baby, divorce, etc.), it’s important for you to start to set boundaries as soon as possible. For example, when I decided that I was ready to have a baby, I stopped bringing home school work to grade at night and on the weekends. I didn’t want to do that when my baby was born, so I needed to practice the boundary then.
When I decided that I was going to leave teaching but still had a few years left in the classroom, I set a boundary on my start, end and lunch times. I would come in when I was contracted to come in and never stayed late. As a teacher, I was given a lunch break that I worked through for years. Nope, not anymore! I instituted a strict lunch break where I would lock my door, turn off the lights in my classroom and eat my lunch while taking a course on photography. Did this make me a “bad” teacher? No! It just helped me practice setting my boundaries for when I became my own boss.
The next step to help you emotionally prepare for a change is to create good habits. If you and your partner are contemplating a divorce, project yourself forward 6 months. Where do you hope to be in 6 months? Now back that vision up. What habits could you implement now to help you get there? Maybe you’re going to be back on the dating scene. So maybe now is a good time to start researching workout routines and getting consistent with your habits. By doing this, you are preparing your brain that change is coming and it needs to be ready.
When I was planning to leave teaching, another habit that I started was waking up early. I knew that if I was my own boss, I would need more time in my day and the only time I could find that was before my kids woke up. Historically, I go early to bed anyway, so this habit made sense and I was so grateful I had already established it by the time I sent in my letter of resignation.
Let’s kick things up a notch, shall we? When a coaching client shares with me that they are getting emotionally ready to make a job change, I encourage them to write their letter of resignation. Wait, what? Yes, you heard me correctly – write your letter of resignation! Now, be careful with this, don’t accidentally send it! But you’d be surprised at how many emotions come to the surface when you actually write the letter.
I wrote my letter in January 2019, a full 2 years before I actually resigned. I felt super fired up and motivated when I started writing, and was shocked to realize I was in tears by the end. Writing this letter brings up a ton of emotions and I truly believe the earlier you experience them, the more prepared you’ll be to deal with them when you are ready to hit “Send”.
Another super tangible way to emotionally prepare for a change is to remind yourself of the change constantly. If you decide that you are going to start training for a marathon, I suggest changing your computer password to the time you want to hit or the day of the race. If you are hoping to resign in two years, make the date of your resignation your computer password. No one will know what this means, necessarily, and you typing it in multiple times a day will remind you that change is coming.
My password on my work computer was June2021. I sent in my letter of resignation in May 2021. I’m not saying it’s magic. Buttt……
The final step that I would suggest as you emotionally prepare for a life change is to find someone to talk to. Now, this can be harder than you expect. If you are considering leaving your job, for example, you want to be really careful about who you share that information with. If you are going to become a mom soon, it would be great to find someone who is in a similar season of life to talk to and lean on. When I was contemplating leaving my teaching job for the small business world, I hired a business coach who I could strategize all the things with and not worry that it would get back to my administrator. Be careful with this step, but I would argue that it’s probably the most important one as you emotionally prepare for a life change.
Think about a goal that you have for yourself in the next 5 years. Close your eyes and actually envision achieving that goal. Allow your senses to take over and actually process how that all feels in your body – the excitement in your stomach, the overwhelming feeling of relief. Research has actually shown that by visualizing these things happening, you experience the same emotions as if they were. So get some practice in, help fuel that motivation for your next big life change!
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Thank you so much for being here, mama! Get back to doing your thing, rocking your world and remember – keep growing! Little eyes are watching.
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