A Story About Embracing Big Unexpected Change

It Starts with One Light Bulb Moment

While working on this week's blog, I had a truly inspiring call with one of my coaching clients. It was one of those calls where my client experiences a light bulb moment and gains a new perspective, and it changes everything. I knew I had to blog about it and there's no time like the present. So, this week’s blog is a little story about a big transformation.

When I started work with this client, we’ll call her Joyce, she felt frustrated with her job and with where life was taking her.  She works her tail off to be a good mom, to be a loving and supportive wife, and she brings laughter and fun wherever she can. But this wasn't enough. Something was missing. She felt like she had left some part of herself behind. She had ideas about who she would be one day, and what she would do, but these ideas were sitting up on a shelf gathering dust.

Our work together has been all about taking those ideas down from the shelf and examining them. They didn’t look quite the same as she remembered. So we had to dig deeper and discover what she really wanted and what was really missing. She did this by trying out an idea, doing some research, learning, and then trying out the next idea.

She didn’t take a straight path, and she didn't stick with the initial goal she had set in the beginning. But over her 12 weeks of working on her goal, she accomplished some amazing things that weren’t part of her original plan.

Most of her accomplishments came in the form of light bulb moments when Joyce learned something new about herself. She then used that learning to bring more clarity to her path. Every light bulb moment made her path a little brighter.  But today’s light bulb was particularly bright because it was about change.

Making Unexpected Change Part of Your Plan

Change is a funny thing. Everyone wants it, and everyone resists it, even if that change is your own idea. And change you didn't ask for, change that comes at you unexpectedly, is even harder to contend with.

An unexpected change will stress us out because it isn’t part of the plan (even though we have no plan). We're not prepared, not ready, haven’t done the research, don’t know what next steps to take. And sometimes we become the martyr or the victim of change.

Joyce experienced the kind of change that the universe sends your way whether you're ready for it or not. And it’s a doozy!  Joyce and her family just sold their house, and it was not part of the plan.  They didn't list their house to sell, but someone wanted it bad enough to make an offer, and the offer was too good to pass up.

When Joyce shared the news, she said that before her coaching work with me she would have been freaking out a bit about this change.  She'd be worrying like crazy about how she was going to make it work. But now she sees this from the perspective of her new long-term plan for herself. She was already thinking about how this could be another piece of the puzzle she needed for her plan.

And this is what made all the difference for Joyce; she now has a plan that she didn’t have before. Now unexpected change is welcome in her life because she sees it as another tool she can use to create her path. She can take advantage of the change. She can leverage it. And it doesn't matter that her path isn’t crystal clear, she has one, and she's on it. Now everything the universe sends her way she can put to use on her path instead of letting it decide on a path for her.

Turn on the Light Bulbs

I’d like to say that this was my plan for her all along and that my coaching is that good. But that would be ridiculous!  What I will say is that every time I coach someone, they end up with a spectacular light bulb moment that neither of us could predict. I know this moment is going to happen, in fact, I believe it's my job to make sure it happens. But I never know exactly what it will be or how it will play out. And it's one of the things I love about my work.

I create the environment, I prepare you to learn and grow, but you do the real work.  You are the one that turns on that light bulb and sheds more light on your path. And you are more capable of making this transformation than you know.

How does change work in your life?

Is it something you have to contend with or is it a gift that you work to your advantage?

Next time it shows up, decide what you want out of it and make it your own.