It's Ok to Need a Change in Direction

Needing a change doesn't have to be a sign that you 'chose wrong' before. It may just be part of your personal growth journey.

It's Ok to Change Direction |

There’s something so satisfying about arriving at an answer, solution, or a decision that sticks.

Maybe it’s a promising relationship you stumbled into after a sea of bad first dates; or the new name for your blog or business that came to you out of nowhere after months of racking your brain for ideas; or the new workout studio that seems to be holding your interest longer than all those other gym memberships before it; or even the shiny new day planner you found online after searching year after year for the right tool that meets your needs. The one that makes you think, “THIS. Yes. This’ll be the one that changes things for the better.”

I’ve always loved a sure thing, and those feelings of clarity and resolution. So for me, landing on that perfect thing that fills a void and ticks a box has to be one of my favorite feelings ever.

It’s a feeling I tend to start hunting for this time of year, too. With the start of a new year just around the corner (and you know how much I love the promise of new year’s resolutions), it just feels like the perfect time to step into new routines, habits and choices with a renewed sense of commitment and optimism that everything is about to change for the better.

But the other best part of this phenomenon has to be that flicker of hope and relief that maybe, the search for a fix is over, and now you get to just relax. Maybe the days of floundering in the dark and hoping not to ‘choose wrong’ are behind you. Maybe you’ll never have to start over, or go back to the starting line.

That’s where this gets tricky.

When we make an exciting new choice or change that’s feels promising, it’s tempting to tick that box and think of it as permanently ‘fixed’ or ‘solved’ – and the flood of relief that follows feels so fantastic. But through experience I’ve also learned that if we’re too quick to think of any one idea, solution, or decision as permanent or forever, those relieved and happy feelings can slowly become blinders that prevent us from seeing when we need a change.

So the question becomes: once we’ve made up our minds about something, how can we trust that choice and move forward confidently, while staying open to the possibility of changing our mind or needing to shift direction later?

To me, the simple answer is: our intuition always knows when it’s time – even when we do our damnedest to tune it out. There’s always that first time you have the thought: “Maybe I need to let ____ go.” And once you’ve had the thought, it’s pretty impossible to unhear it.

Personally, I’m sort of in this place now. And I’ve definitely, definitely been here before. In the past, it’s looked like conversations about a future with my then-partner, when my intuition knew he was no longer right for me; a job that felt perfectly fine from day to day, but that left me reeling with questions of “is this really what I want out of my career?”; and most recently, continuing to do work under the umbrella of a brand that I’ve known for a while, on some level, is evolving in a slightly new direction.

All of these are examples of choices I made at one time for myself, which were absolutely ‘right’ for me when I made them. They opened me up to new opportunities; they taught me things; they filled me up and gave me joy and met my needs … for a while. But they’re all also examples of choices that I eventually outgrew, and needed to move on from. That doesn’t make them ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’; it just makes them plot points in my larger evolution as a person.

Needing a change isn’t a sign that you chose ‘wrong’ before. And once we believe that, we can start letting go of the fear, guilt, and shame that hold us back from bravely following the natural trajectory of our personal growth story.

So as the new year approaches, see if you can give yourself permission to let your mind wander, and to loosen your grip on some of the ‘sure things’ you may be holding onto out of fear. Ask yourself: is this still working for me? Do I feel full and at peace with this part of my life? Or is my body or my intuition giving my cues that it may be time to move on?

Remember: your intuition is wise. What could happen if trusted what she had to say, even with the fear you might feel?

Now let me know:

  • Is there a question you’re chewing on right now?
  • Is your intuition pinging you about something in particular?

I’d love to hear, and to offer you support as you sit with those questions.