“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
-Viktor E. Frankl
A little over a year ago, a decision was made for me to leave my job. After three and half years at the company, hiring, training and developing teams and regularly exceeding revenue goals along with being promoted four times, my position was eliminated. I had known for more than a year that I was miserable but I was not ready to leave my role as Vice President. I rationalized the situation by telling myself, “I need to cope with this job.”
What I did not realize was that my coping was making my future husband and my children miserable. What I really wanted was to be challenged by creating a situation in which I could use my passion to mentor high potential women leaders while helping to eliminate their fears to advance their careers. I convinced myself I was indispensable and I needed the money. I could not afford to just leave! My daily routine of doing something I was no longer passionate about created consequences that I wasn’t ready to accept.
On that sunny April day, I remember my boss telling me that my position was eliminated. I was looking out the window at the beautiful Pike’s Peak Mountains in disbelief. Then suddenly, I had this calm, warm sense of peace and relief. I knew, in that moment, that my 25-year corporate career had just taken a new direction. A direction I believe, that has forever changed my life. Change is something we all struggle with from time to time. For some reason that day, I was excited about future possibilities. Of course, I also had feelings of total fear of change and uncertainty about the next steps. Nevertheless, I was also filled with excitement and the faith that everything would be all right.
Reflecting back on my journey to today, ‘climbing out of my box’ has dramatically changed my life. I have grown personally and professionally in ways I never thought were possible. Taking that leap of faith to live my life doing something I believed in has set me free. For the first time in my life, I have listened to my gut all along this journey and not once has it said: “go do something else” or “go back to being a Vice President of Sales.” Interestingly enough, all of those types of doors have closed to me this past year when they never had before. Living life with passion, building a business to mentor, coach and train high potential women leaders to advance their careers has been amazing. Developing and training teams on how to become highly productive and enhancing companies’ internal Gender Diversity initiatives have been some of the most rewarding personal and professional experiences. Part of the challenge to Climb Out Of Your Box is the limited resources many have in their work environments. For some, not having a person to turn to is also a challenge when trying to make a change in your life. I challenge all of you to take that next step today by writing down the one thing holding you back from what you want in your life. If you don’t like what is happening today, ask yourself this one question: “What Do I Want Instead?” If you can truly answer that one question, then start by taking your first step to Climb Out of Your Box!