For almost three years I’ve been podcasting… sharing the stories of those who embrace the “pivot”…who choose what makes them happy…feeds the person they are and their creativity…and, hopefully and likely…makes the world a better place.
Podcasting is the most fun I’ve ever had “working.” It was born of my willingness to pivot.
How do we embrace the pivot?
From my experience, I’d say we arrive at a moment of clarity…when we see, sense or feel something…a possibility that calls to us. We may not consciously wish for this. It may just show up when we least expect it. But there it is…an opportunity before us…to pivot.
We may not know where it will lead. The full ramifications of this choice may not be evident. Yet…deep within our being (some say in our gut) we know this choice. We “sense” it. It begs for our attention.
That was the way it was when I knew I had to leave my first husband…and again…when I knew I had to move on from the practice of law…and when I embraced an experience offered by a friend.
My friend invited me to do a few podcasts with him as a guest…and then…the rest was history! I was curious. I knew I could do this! I did some podcasts for a non-profit I’m involved in…a step in the right direction that then gave me the confidence to beginmy own video podcast (Creating From the Heart: The Artistry of Living on YouTube and Spotify).
As an observer of the pivot in others, I have found that the key is, do we face life…willingly…head on…embrace the wave…go with it…even take advantage of it? Or do we resist…put on the breaks…cling to what we know…fight to swim against where the current is taking us…focus, perhaps fearfully, on the the discomfort, difficulties and the “what ifs” of the challenge…how it’s hard…sad…how things might not be as they have been.
I do acknowledge there can be sadness that accompanies any pivot. Letting go of something we love always creates some sorrow. AND, what if we could appreciate that…acknowledge those feelings…reflect…remember…be grateful…and allow them to move through us… not let them overwhelm us.
I’m convinced frankly, that we all piviot. Just HOW we pivot is a choice.
When we fight against it…or cling to what has been… what’s new or different is inhibited from showing up…fully. Difficulties invade our vulnerabilities…find their way in.
When we go with the flow…when we ask what else is possible…when we stay open…when we are astute, remain aware, recognize and appreciate the signs suggesting directions to take or decisions to make moving forward, taking steps to embrace what is offered…life can turn out to be better than we ever imagined.
Over the years I’ve worked with people
- who committed to work on cleaning up a troubling relationship with a parent only to discover a new and welcome relationship with that person that hadn’t seemed possible.
- who lost a new job opportunity only to find that a person on the selection committee saw something in them that led to a new position that was even better.
- who was passed over for a promotion they wished for and discovered something even better was waiting in the wings.
- who signed up to improve their negotiating skills and discovered it led to a different line of work that brought them more joy.
- who worked in an industry doing a variety of related positions and eventually discovered a way to put them all together in a new stand-alone product.
- who were bored after retiring from the business of debt collection and decided to go to college and then graduate school for social work at the age of 60… then discovered the joy of helping others returning from prison as they acclimated to a drug and alcohol-free life that that had led to their behavior and imprisonment in the first place. At 87 he’s still “working.”
Let’s consider 3 keys to embracing and managing the pivot.
Pivoting requires patience!…especially with oneself. Ways I’ve found to to maintain my patience during a pivot include:
- occupying my hands – knitting is a good one for me…but it could be making pottery, wood-working, writing, taking a walk…ALONE…you get the picture. Doing something else that holds the attention of my left brain, allows my creative mind to fly. It makes me think I’m accomplishing something and creates the space where the ideas can enter.
- creating a space that is mine…ALONE …this could be as large as a studio and as small as a chair or desk…a place where my creativity can thrive and be expressed.
Awareness (self and others)
I think Elizabeth Gilbert (who wrote the book Eat, Pray, Love) is a great example of this when she talks about “the embodiment of ideas.” She says an idea finds us. It comes knocking at our door. It’s patient for a while, but it will move on if we are not paying attention…if we don’t say “yes” and act on it. You see, an idea for a book came to her. Then life got in the way and she put it on hold…only to find that the exact same concept appeared in a book by another author. She says the embodiment of the idea had approached her, and when she didn’t pay attention, it moved on!
We have to trust ourselves…believe we can do whatever is calling. Self-doubt can be challenging. Questions to explore it might be:
- Where is doubt about this coming from? Is it me? Is it past experience?
- Is someone else doubting me or the project?
These are questions to explore inside of ourselves…in our gut. The more we explore these questions, the more we become comfortable with our own “knowing” and are able to use it to make decisions for ourselves.
Pivots have the potential to make the world a happier and healthier place. Will we embrace it?
If you have a story to share, I’d love to hear it!