How to Take a Step Back in Order to Jump
Inspired by last month’s Moms Making Six Figures Podcast where I sat down with Kate McGwire, an incredibly successful and well-known woman in the Treasure Valley who left her career of over 20 years in broadcast journalism to pursue love and happiness –to invest in her personal life as much as she had in her professional life. Since stepping away, she has continued her journey of success and fulfillment, through her relationship with her husband, embarking on the adventure of motherhood, finding room to breathe –away from the public eye—and launching another thriving career as a realtor, and host of the hilarious and candid podcast, “Secrets with Kate McGwire”. In order to stop wondering “What If?” and to make the necessary jumps into the unknown that have led her to a life she had only dreamed of, she first had to take a step back, evaluate her present and identify where she wanted to go in her future.
If you’ve found yourself questioning your current personal and professional life, the balance (or its non-existence) therein, and your over-all quality of life, you aren’t alone. The Great Resignation isn’t just a catchphrase circulating through social media, after the fog of Covid and under the pressure of current events, many of us are reconsidering our daily rhythms in every facet of our lives.
Read on to find out how to take an intentional step back so that you can jump into what’s next.
Declutter and Let Go
It’s the part we all resist and the step that’s the most essential, because it immediately changes and upsets what we have come to know. While saying “no” is difficult, the end goal of doing so is to create enough margin for your best yes. If you focus on the bigger picture in the midst of quieting the noise, it can make it easier to push through.
For Kate this meant saying no to an established and thriving career in broadcast journalism that she loved, so that she could see its effect on her personal life. It meant saying a temporary yes to a position out of the public eye to create the margin necessary to invest in her personal life, and that ultimately led to her best yes of launching her second act as a realtor.
Evaluate and Identify
As you declutter and let go, it’s important to recognize what you’re letting go of and why you’re doing so. This allows you to evaluate the current pieces of your personal and professional life that are detracting from your overall quality of life and why. This also allows you to identify –albeit unintentionally what matters most.
“Whatever you decide to let go of, you’re doing more than just letting go. You’re defining what’s important. So, notice what you’re okay with letting go of. Notice what REALLY HURTS when you loosen your grip. Then, ask yourself: Am I struggling with letting that go because it’s important to my business, because it’s important to my true fulfillment, or because it’s holding a false sense of security for me?”
–Jessica Jordana, “Taking a Step Back Could be the Best Way Forward”
Take for example, a difficult client. When you first evaluate the time and energy they are consuming on your calendar, and you then declutter and let them go, you are able to identify the kind of client that would be better suited to you and your fulfillment. Perhaps you were holding onto them because their contract provided a false sense of security for you, but what were they costing you in return?
Envision and Jump
When you have decluttered and let go of the people, the practices and the commitments that were negatively affecting your personal and professional quality of life and you have evaluated and identified why they were taking up real estate on your calendar to begin with, you have done the critical work to be able to jump into what’s next. The good news is, you don’t have to (and you shouldn’t) change everything at once.
For Kate, it began with creating margin through stepping back from her career. She took a breath from her professional trajectory to pursue and invest in her personal life. Once she found fulfillment in her personal life, she began to invest energy in her professional pursuits again.
Jumping is far less scary when you’ve done the necessary preparation to provide yourself with a parachute. Rather than jumping because everyone is telling you to, or you’re afraid of standing still, you are doing so from a place of calm and clarity. When you take a step back, you can breathe and find your next best yes. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that life is far too short to not be in love with every minute of it. Do the hard work of decluttering and letting go, evaluating and identifying, and envisioning what lies ahead if you’ll only make the jump.
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