The Big Secret About Change Nobody Tells You

After what felt like years of deliberation, but was only months, Julie called me to share her great news.

“I’m quitting my job and going full time into my business.”

“Yay!” I shouted.

Not even six months later, Julie called with more big news.

“I’m looking for a job. I never thought I would, but I miss it. Am I crazy?”

“No. Not crazy,” I shared. “Human.”

We’re told that the biggest challenge we’ll face when we want to get unstuck and make a change is deciding to do it. To make the leap.

Make no mistake. It is huge.

Quitting your job.

Getting married.

Leaving your spouse.

Changing careers.

Having preventive surgery.

Mandatory surgery.

Moving overseas.

Moving across town.

You name it.

These are all big decisions that result in significant changes.

So What’s the Big Secret You Need to Know About Change Nobody Tells You?

You’ve got to live with it which isn’t always easy – even when it’s your choice.

When I moved from change management consulting into HR, it was a welcome change that I instigated. I moved into a position that was a great fit for me and had a team that I loved and trusted. Still, it was a tough transition moving from being a part of the core business to overhead. It took me a good long time to mentally settle into my new position despite the positives.

Then, a few years later, I quit my job to stay home full time shortly after my daughter was born. It took a long time to transition the way I saw myself from Alli the Professional to Alli the Mom. Then, when she was four, and her brother was two, I went back to work full-time at an office, with colleagues and clients all over the country. Hello, another decision, another transition.

Related: The Secret to Happiness? Get Used to WantingDon’t even get me started about moving to the other side of the planet…

The change was as simple as deciding to take the position or make the move. That was like flicking a light switch. On. Off. On. Off. The transition post-change? Not as easy.

Post-Change Transition Is Not a Piece of Cake

Nobody is pushing you. It’s your choice. You leap. Maybe with fear and trepidation or maybe with joy and excitement. No matter, you’re all in. That’s when it hits you. When you jump off a cliff, there’s the fall before you land.

That time when your stomach is doing flip-flops, and you’re anything but settled.

You fear the landing. Will it hurt? Will I land with grace or go splat? Will the new be better than the old?

At the same time, you’re tempted to reach back for the safety of where you just left.

You can’t go back, and you’ve got to go through the air-time to get to the ground. You gotta go through it (and it may take a while).

So often we labor over the jump. Should I or shouldn’t I? What’s the right thing to do? We become so obsessed with the one big decision we don’t think about or prepare ourselves for the drop.

What you need to know about change is that when you’re in that moment of freefall, leaping into the unknown with confidence, competence, and creativity, you’re going to feel out of sorts. Big time. No matter how much you want it.

Like a druggie looking for a fix.

Even though you can’t change back .

You wouldn’t.

It’s impossible.

But you think about it.


Second guess.

The adjustment can hurt, but you will survive.

What you need to know about change is that transition takes time. Give yourself the gift of letting go and accept that eventually, what’s new will feel grounded. Freefalls don’t last forever.