After writing about feeling discombobulated last week, I started to really pay attention to signs from the Universe. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But when your path isn’t clear, why not be open to the possibility that the answers will emerge…if you just let them? Well, I’m in a different place today, having run into the right people, and books, at the right time.
Power is knowledge, and I have to give a “shout out” to my friend at The Duggan Difference. Pat introduced me to The Change Cycle, by Ann Salerno and Lillie Brock. While the authors apply the change cycle to organizations, the concepts work well for personal change, such as my newfound employment status. The first three stages are loss, doubt, and discomfort. And then comes the Danger Zone! It’s the crossroads – either you develop momentum and sail through to the green stages (understanding, integration) or you get stuck, or worse yet, slip into reverse.
Now I have to admit, the surprising part of experiencing the Discomfort stage has been self-doubt. For crying out loud, I’m a smarty-pants uber-organized PhD who built a national reputation and even testified in front of Congress. What the heck! If I can experience self-doubt, anyone can. If I’m in the Danger Zone, how do I get out? The answer – Find Motivation. And that’s gotta come from within. According to the change cycle, it’s time to focus on empowering thoughts and reframing the issues. And the Universe sent me all the messages I needed to trek into the Discovery stage.
A friend forwarded a posting last week that sounded perfect given my expertise and skills. I could pick up some decent money conducting a program evaluation, but it would mean I have to abandon everything to write a proposal and if awarded the contract, begin work right away. Was it worth it? Did I want to jump back into doing the same thing I have been doing for the last 20 years? Financially, it would be a smart thing to grab this opportunity. But the truth: I’m not excited about it and it feels too much like “work.” A job. A paycheck. Same old…same old.
Then last week I went to my first local meeting of entrepreneurs at the Cobblers’ Collective. At some point in the discussion, a concept leaped out of the air and struck me on the head: EMPTY SLATE. For the first time since forever, I have an empty slate in front of me. How exciting is that! And scary as all get out! Do I want to go with the empty slate and begin filling it with stuff I WANT to do, or do I bring out my old cluttered slate? Can I use both slates? Maybe…but I’m in a sweet spot right now…I have Time AND Money. I’m going to roll the dice, go for broke, toss caution to the wind, give it my all, take a chance on new beginnings. And I’m darn excited!
It turns out, the Universe has been rather vocal this week! I’ve been researching and writing material for my new project – Early Exit Academy – checking out books from my local library. I stumbled across Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, and it was just what the doctor ordered! What’s a badass? Try out this definition from Urban Dictionary:
1. A general term used to describe behavior that is fearless, authentic, compassionate, and ethical. 2. Well above the social standard for “normal” behavior. 3. The opposite of dumb ass behavior.
While the book will be a great resource for the Early Exit Academy, it got me thinking about my own money mindset – and the obstacles I put in front of myself to limit my earning potential. I’m a sociologist and I’ve cared more about helping people than making money. But why do I think it’s an either-or proposition? Can’t I help people and make money? Hell, yes! I’m listening to you, Universe.
I’m ready to move forward on the change cycle, armed with a whole lot more confidence but still lagging on productivity. I’m sleeping much better – thanks to Headspace and the Sleep Challenge. I re-started the Couch to 5K program, spent my mornings happily painting rocking chairs, hung out with friends and nature, got out of the house to work from the library, and started an online course on how to develop an online course. I’ve made some decisions that will allow me to FOCUS on the task at hand – building the Early Exit Academy. And I’m going to be totally open to what the Universe brings me next. Bring it on, I’m listening!
Dr. Brenda is a sociologist, educator, blogger, motivator, and financial coach. In addition to blogging at The Five Journeys, she writes 30-day challenges at BetterLifeChallenges.com. Her passion is guiding people on their journey to financial freedom through coaching at DrBrendaMoneyCoach and online courses at EarlyExitAcademy.com.