Pivot Into the Life You Want, Need & Deserve
Are you the person that sits and complains about all your problems? Or maybe you spend endless hours scrolling on social media wondering why you aren’t doing all of “The Things”. Do you see idea after idea getting caught up in the #BigMagicEffect. If you don’t know what this is I highly recommend you read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have read it twice. I can’t tell you how many different times I sat, prayed, journaled & talked to friends to no end about why I couldn’t move past my procrastination and do what I desperately wanted to do. Why I quit on most of the projects I started and why I constantly made excuses for everything I wanted to do but never started.
We spend so much time waiting for some magical moment or big bang to slap us in the face. The reality is sometimes you are the problem. Don’t wait for the worst to happen to get your life together. There is a very simply phrase that came to me in one of my many “ruts”. I was making excuse after excuse and not taking action. Then one day I started seeing and hearing one phrase over and over, "DO IT ANYWAY". After repeatedly having these words thrown in my face I decided to take that very advice. For most of us it’s one simple task that we struggle the hardest with. Remember, if you want change you have to force the change you want by pivoting in every way possible.
I am going to share some actions you can take in your life to force the change you want, need & deserve.
Lets start off with what it means to Pivot. According to Urban Dictionary… YES I did say Urban dictionary… “A pivot is where a start-up company decides to switch direction in how they make their revenue. This is often after their first plan results in failure. Pivoting as relates to entrepreneurship.”
While you may not have your own business its important that you understand that this still applies to you. Your life, career, marriage etc… whichever area you need to focus on most.
I was reading an article on Inc.com and they state that "pivoting isn't something we necessarily do out of desperation. It can be a tool to discover additional growth, the growth you might otherwise have overlooked." So often we look at our situations waiting for something, anything to happen to us rather than us happening to our situation. We are usually in control and don't even know it. I have had moments in my life where I thought pushing forward would get me out of a mess while what I really needed was a drastic change.
As you may (or may not) know my current marriage is not the first time I have been married. When I was in my mid 20’s I met a guy and after a couple years we got married. It was not some fairy tale story it was actually the beginnings of a bad “B-List” drama series. The kind where you are yelling at your TV to the main character (played by yours truly) asking her WHY IN THE WORLD would you marry HIM!!! Totally at a lost for words and borderline wishing you could shake her. You yell at the TV as she walks down the aisle “NOOOOO!!!" He is NOT THE ONE SIS!!!” You’re watching & praying she wakes the hell up and leaves him. Then after many years of pretending it will all work its self out there is one undeniable even that will forever change her! She FINALY wakes up and takes action. With zero hesitation she puts his sorry ASS out! Yep, that was my life. I was letting opportunity after opportunity pass by to take control of my life. When I did take action, let me tell you! There was such a peace that came with it. So much peace that I asked myself why did I allow myself to be unhappy for so long?
Look, I get it. Your moment may not be as dramatic as mine was. You may not even be experiencing a failure in your life. You could be prospering and at a point in your life where you have to decide, do I go ALL in or do I keep playing it safe? Safe is easy but not satisfying. You will never be completely content staying in a situation you know you have outgrown. When the the person on the outside doesn’t match with the spirit in you, it will get hard. You will be come restless. Some people are so used to their routines they will always struggle to recognize when its time for a change.
There are many reason we can’t pivot or why we don’t even know its time to. Some of that is simply finding out what keeps us stuck and from pivoting into the life we are supposed to be living.
We allow life to happen to US and don’t take control. Step One TAKE CONTROL of your life. Stop waiting for someone or something to make the decision for you. Complaining is NOT going to help you. Feel your feelings then write out ways you can move past the complaint and into action.
We don’t take the time to reflect on our life and how we want it to look. We have no clue that its even time to change. Do you wonder why we refer to some people as “Zombies”? Its because these people are walking around like they have no awareness of whats going on. They go along to get along. Scared to rock the boat or even dream. Ask the average person, “what are you passionate about?” and I guarantee most will not have an answer. If you want to pivot then you have to know where you are going. Otherwise you are literally the hamster on the wheel. Only jumping off to get food, water and sleep. Then back to the wheel you go.
We have no plan. We know what we want but we do not take the time to write down the plan and we definitely aren’t working the plan if we have one. Maybe you are struggling with identifying different ways in which you need to pivot.
There are a few things you can do to start to figure out what you want and where you need to make a change.
Journal and become more self-aware. One journal I highly recommend is the Free Your Mind Journal. This journal offers prompts to really get you thinking about your values and limiting beliefs.
Ask a trusted friend or family member who is going to tell you the truth, regardless of your feelings. Sometimes we avoid these people claiming that they are negative but really, you just don’t want to hear the truth. You don’t want to hear it because you are NOT ready to make a change.
Therapy! Yes it works. It has been an amazing help for me. I used the website Therapy For Black Girls to find my therapist. She is simply amazing. I know in our community this topic can seem taboo but it is so important that we understand there is no shame in this. Also, that you don’t have to wait until life gets too hard to see someone. Just like we have preventative care measures we take for the rest of our health our mental health is just as important.
DeClutter your life! We live in chaos a lot of times and call it normal. We make excuses for why we don’t clean it up and get organized. For me clearing my desk, my email, doing that laundry I have been holding on to forever or just washing dishes can really clear my head. I love how the LifeHacker website explains this idea,
“Whether it be your closet or office desk, excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. ... Similar to what multitasking does to your brain, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively.”
This one is a bonus, Braindump! Go old school get out a piece of paper and empty your mind of all the things you are trying to remember to do, things you have coming up, things you have completed, people you want to call or email. Write it all down. Right down to the most random of thoughts. Before you ask, No, this is not the same as journaling. Journaling is a lot more though provoking and reflective. Especially if you are using journal prompts to guide you. When you braindump you take every thought in your head and put it on paper. No order, no sense to be made of it. You simply release it all.
I am sure there are many more suggestion that can be added and I can go and on about this topic. Mostly because I have needed this same advice at one point or another in my life. I am much happier now that I have the ability to understand why I do the things I do and what causes me to feel the way I do in different situations. I use all of these methods and MORE to keep myself from falling back into a life where someone else or something else has my power.
I challenge you to really find a way to reflect and figure out who you want to be. How do you want your life to look. If all of your “What-If’s and “But’s” weren’t an obstacle, how do YOU want your life to look? Start there. Write it in your journal, on the back of a napkin, do a voice recording on your phone, put it in your notes app or send yourself an email from yourself. Whatever you decide, just do something!
Make yourself a priority. You deserve it!