How to Get Unstuck and Make a Major Change
Are you struggling with making a major change? It can be scary to turn life upside down, especially when you don’t know what the next chapter will look like.
I can relate.
After practicing law for some time, I knew I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new career. But what, and how?
How was I supposed to leave behind my law firm job, my sizeable paycheck, all of the very specialized skills I had developed? Those skills were valuable—the result of three years in law school and countless hours on the job. Was I really going to throw away everything I had built for a new career path?
And what in the world would I do next?
And how would I explain this change to people?
And how would I still pay my mortgage?
And would I regret changing careers?
Thinking of it that way—with my mind full of everything I would leave behind and no real vision of what a new life would look like—left me paralyzed. What freed me was one small step.
A friend of mine who knew I had an interest in psychology suggested I take a night course in counseling - and that’s what I did. Just one skills class on how to be a therapist got me hooked so I took another, then another, then another.
Each step built on the next one. I didn’t know exactly where I was going, but I knew it felt good. Instead of being stressed or anxious over this major change and how it would all look in the end, each day I just focused on making the next right move.
All those steps eventually led to me becoming a lawyer turned therapist. I quit my job, finished a master’s degree in counseling, worked at a non-profit to gain experience, and then opened my private practice, Embark Counseling here in Austin, Texas.
One of the things that kept me going during this transition was this quote. I’ve seen it operate in my life so many times, as well is in the lives of my clients who make major changes.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Making a big change can cause anxiety. The way out is to gather information about your options and commit to one small step. The next step will come, and like Goethe says, things will come together to support you.
What is the one small step you need to take to make a big change in your life?