At 55, Liz was at a crossroads. She had enjoyed a successful career as a marketing executive, but now felt the need to give back and find work that would bring her more joy. She had always been driven by a passion for creativity, but had lost sight of it in the pursuit of success. Now, she was determined to rediscover her personal purpose and make a meaningful impact in the world. But where to start?
As an Executive Coach, I have had the privilege of guiding established professionals such as Jane, through their next phase of life and work. The process of planning and navigating a new future can be both exciting and daunting, but by focusing on a few key areas you can set yourself up for success and thrive in your next phase of life:
- Foster intentionality. It is important to foster intentionality in all that you do. This means being mindful and purposeful in your relationships, planning, and even your health. One way to foster intentionality is by getting out of auto-pilot and becoming more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This requires taking the time to reflect and be still, and working this practice into your schedule.
- Get comfortable with fear. It’s important to get comfortable accepting fear as a companion. Transitions can be scary, but it’s important to remember that many of our fears do not come true. By acknowledging and embracing fear, we can learn to work through it and move forward with more confidence and clarity.
- Seek out and study role models. One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to learn from those who have already achieved what you are striving for. Look for role models and study their successes, as well as their failures. Read books, articles, and interviews about them. Understand their values, mindset, and approach. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for advice or mentorship. Additionally, consider building a personal board of directors – a group of trusted individuals who can serve as a sounding board and guide you as you navigate your transition to a new phase in life. They can provide valuable advice and insights, and can help keep you accountable to your goals. Building a strong support system is essential in achieving success in any endeavor.
- Write things down. Studies have shown that when we write down our goals, strengths, values, and vision, they are 46% more likely to come true. This is because writing down our thoughts and goals makes them more concrete and tangible, and helps us to focus on what is truly important to us. Additionally, journaling your thoughts can also be a powerful tool for reflection and growth. It allows you to track your progress, identify patterns and areas of improvement, and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your motivations. Whether you prefer traditional pen and paper or a digital one, the act of writing things down is a powerful way to focus your thoughts and move closer to your goals.
- Make time for reflection and stillness. Reflecting on your thoughts and actions allows you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your goals. It also allows you to identify patterns, habits and areas that need improvement. Additionally, making time for stillness and silence can help calm your mind and improve focus. This can be achieved through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a walk in nature. Incorporating reflection and stillness into your daily or weekly routine can help you stay grounded and focused on what is important in your life.
Like Liz, many individuals find themselves at a crossroads and are looking to rediscover their passion and make a meaningful impact. By focusing on key areas such as fostering intentionality, getting comfortable with fear, seeking out and studying role models, writing things down, and making time for reflection and stillness, individuals can set themselves up for success and thrive in their next phase of life and work. By taking the time to reflect, seeking guidance, and committing to your goals, you can navigate the process of planning and transitioning to a new future with greater confidence and clarity. Remember, the key to success is to stay intentional.
Michele Evans is the co-founder/CEO of NxtWaves, a company formed to help accomplished professionals live their best intentional career and life. Prior to this role, Michele was an Executive HR leader for over 25 years at Meta/Facebook and Microsoft. To learn more, or apply for membership at NxtWaves, please visit NxtWaves.com.