Stepping up to the Ferris Wheel of Life takes a bit of introspection and a willingness to change and grow.
Importance of Introspection
One of life’s challenges in seeing things for how they are in your life. Introspection can bring about feelings of despair, frustration, and sometimes even anger. Does that mean we should avoid introspection? Not at all! This time of reflection can also be the flame that ignites positive change in our lives.
About Change and the Ferris Wheel
You might say “That sounds good on paper” but …. “I don’t have the energy to change”, “Change is disruptive”, or my old mantra “I’m comfortable where I am”.
Introspection helped me to make a change in my work life. Have you ever found yourself in a job that you thought would be good to do for a few years and suddenly a decade or more has gone by? I did, twice!
Don’t get me wrong, I chose the jobs, enjoyed what I learned and the people I had the privilege to work with, however, I stopped growing. I was, as my mother put it, “underutilizing my earning capacity and skills”. Ouch! I was in a comfort zone, but upon reflection, I realized I was doing the same thing every day. In both cases what was disheartening was that the longer I worked there, the more a part of the scenery I became and the more limited I felt in what I could do to make an impact. It was like being on a hamster wheel – active but enclosed. Stuck inside a comfort zone with my head down and running, but always at the bottom. I’d much rather be on a Ferris Wheel.
Growth = Challenges and Questions
Even thinking about the hamster wheel now makes me shudder. You cannot go back and change what has already happened, but you can face the challenges that come with growth and have the courage to step out and explore options. Turning the hamster wheel into a Ferris wheel involves five easy steps:
Step 1: Courage to look at your current situation honestly.
Ask yourself “Am I working to my potential?”, “Do I look forward to going to work every day?”, “Am I able to fill my cup in terms of work/life balance?”
Step 2: Let go of what no longer serves you.
When did you last look at your environment? What coping mechanisms of the past are no longer working for you? Are there “toxic” people in your life that are draining you of energy?
Step 3: Step back to look up and around and explore your options.
Make a timeline of your significant life events. What did you see yourself doing for a career when you were 10, 20, etc.? Who did you see yourself associating with? Review your resume and your life goals. Is there a field you would like to explore? How can you learn more about it? Create a vision of your future.
Step 4: Ask for help from family, friends, mentors to make connections and ease the transition.
Make a list of your perceived skills and work experience. Ask a friend, teacher or former co-worker to tell you how they perceived you. Review and update your resume if you’re looking for a new field of work. Reach out to someone you admire and ask them to be a mentor to get you started. Use social media outlets like LinkedIn to make connections.
Step 5: Trust in your abilities, talents, education, and experience (write it out).
Using whatever method works best for you (retreat, meditation, journaling, long heartfelt talks with a dear friend, hiring a life coach) to delve deep into what it is that would bring you joy and satisfaction. Brainstorm possibilities. List all your talents and what is “good” about you – the tangible and intangible skills and abilities you possess. This is not a time to be shy and humble. Build up the kindling around who you are so that you can light the creative fire that will refine you to be your most authentic and purpose-filled self.
It’s Your Turn
Step up to the Ferris wheel of life and play big! Rise up to the top and take a good look around as you find your balance and live your life to the fullest!