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To Change is Human

I have been reminded of a quote I once saw tacked to a bulletin board – if you want to stay the same, don’t get married.  For some of us, that awareness comes too late. I would also point out that this applies to more than marriage.

As a Career Coach and Career Changer, I notice that professionals get what I call: the 2-year itch.  This itch is when a current role or situation is mastered and the person begins looking for their next challenge or opportunity. This is how I know that change – the desire to grow and expand – is normal.

Also recently, I heard of a conversation where the one partner in a divorcing couple said to the other, I no longer know who you are. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I thought, well that’s why relationships – even the one with ourselves – is a lot of work: communication is required to keep up with the trends that happen during the growth phase. I also figured that if change is notwant you want, there is a that the recommendations to keep things the same could be clear:

To Stay The Same

  • Be alone. If relationships change you, then you do not have to run that risk by avoiding them altogether. Cannot live without another human? Stick with like-minded individuals to keep innovation to a minimum.
  • Do not try something new. Do not go to new places or try for new or different roles at another level or a new industry.

What this means is that the opposite is also true:

To Embrace Change

  • Engage with others when you are looking to grow beyond your current borders. Recognize that relationships are mirrors because they show you who you are and how you prefer to show up in the world. The push / pull dynamics of a relationship means that you get new inputs and outputs from the conversation which can inspire change.
  • Give yourself grace as you try something new because a new level can mean you have to let go of the old way of being or doing. Once you’ve lived in the comfort zone of masteryfor a time, it can be difficult to lean into what it takes to learn something new.

Whether you get off the change grid or you intentionally stay on it, the story you tell matters. If you are clear with yourself and others about what you want you are more likely to get it, the more you deny it, the more likely you are to find that you spend a lot of time not getting what you want.

Which path do you choose going forward?

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