Posts tagged: Change

What to do — when you don’t know what to do

February 23, 2017
Lesley Ware

Lesley Ware moved to New York City for her dream job. As the new project manager at a national nonprofit serving girls, she envisioned working with a team of smart, liberal women to improve the world. What she experienced was slow-moving bureaucracy.

“Everything about our mission told girls to follow their dreams and learn and grow,” Ware says, “but that’s not how it felt for me in that job.” After five years of yearning to explore, innovate, and develop her skills, she knew she had to find a better fit. The trouble was, she didn’t know where to begin.

Reluctant to give up her steady paycheck without a plan, Ware decided to take baby steps while keeping her day job. It wasn’t a straight line to success, but her steady boldness paid off. Today, she is the author of two books and runs her own business. Here are the three big lessons
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20 tiny ways to kick-start a change

October 31, 2016
kick-start a change

When you’re longing for a change, it’s time to build your enthusiasm with any of these 20 change kick-starters. There’s no reason to wait — that perfect moment almost never appears.

1. Ask yourself: If not now, when?

2. Decide to change.

3. Say your goal out loud to yourself or someone else. It feels good.

4. Ask yourself: What would life be like without this change?

5. Release yourself and others from blame. It doesn’t matter how you got where you are.

6. Build your intolerance for how things are now.

7. Each time you complain about things, stop and come up with a solution.

8. Ask yourself: Who do I know who has done something like this? It’s instant inspiration.

9. Describe who you will be after the change.

10. Dream large about the outcome.

11. Acknowledge what you’re afraid of. Remind yourself that it’s worth the risk.

12. Ask yourself: What do I have control over in this situation?
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Making decisions in pencil

September 26, 2016
making decisions in pencil

A few years back, I was at a career crossroads and fortunately had an insightful coach to guide me.

I’d always imagined my life as a chess game where I could see multiple moves out — if I do this, it puts me in position for that, which will ultimately land me at my goal. My crisis was that I no longer saw the chess board and I couldn’t tell how the opportunity I was considering would play out in the long
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Why are we afraid of change? How change affects our social lives

September 12, 2016
change relationships

This is part four in our series exploring the science of our discomfort with change.

In the first post of this series, when we explored how human beings handle uncertainty, I mentioned a dream job across the country that you might, or might not, apply for. I mentioned how scary it can be to consider all the unknown outcomes of such a decision, such as where you’d live or whether the job would live up to expectations. But there’s another facet to such decisions: the impact of such a major life change on your relationships. Taking a job across the country could mean leaving family, friends, and a romantic partner behind and having to start over among strangers.

When I interviewed experts in a range of fields about how human beings make decisions, break habits, and handle things like loss and uncertainty, several of them cautioned against thinking solely in terms
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Why are we afraid of change? Examining the allure of habit

August 29, 2016

This is part three in our series exploring our fear of change.

“Lizards don’t learn very much,” writes neuroscientist Marc Lewis in his book, “The Biology of Desire.” “Their repertoire of skills is innate.”

By contrast, mammals have brains that “are designed for learning — they are designed to change — in sync with their environments.” We humans have evolved to adapt to cold weather, to fashion new tools, to adventure to new lands.

So why is change so hard for us, when we are, apparently, so used to it?
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Why are we afraid of change? How fear of loss holds us back

August 22, 2016

This is part two in our series exploring our fear of change.

Why is it so hard to give up what we have in exchange for something that seems better? It turns out, there’s a lot of research into how people make decisions in the economic arena that can help us understand why it can be difficult to change course, even when we say we want
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Why are we afraid of change? The science of uncertainty

August 15, 2016
Fear of change

So many of us struggle to change careers, to leave a bad relationship, to go back to school. In my social circle, I can think of just two friends who are notably good at change; the rest (myself included) tend to freeze up when we consider breaking with the past in a significant way. Neuroscientist Dean Burnett’s new book, “Idiot Brain,” addresses the ways our brains trip us up. I asked him why humans might be wired to resist making changes even when we say we want them.

“In an evolutionary sense, the brain doesn’t like uncertainty. Anything uncertain is potentially a threat,” Burnett
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How I changed careers (and found work that is truer to my nature)

July 11, 2016

Rachel Cohen is a licensed New York social worker, freelance writer, and Fordham grad. She currently works at the Association of Community Employment (ACE), assisting the homeless population in finding full-time jobs. She loves writing about social work, self-care, mental health, and vocational development.

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For the last three years that I worked as a digital editorial director, I loathed not only my job, but also my career. “Loathed” is a pretty strong word, but it’s accurate. I felt dread at the first hint of my alarm clock every day. What’s worse, I felt despair every night, thinking that I was powerless and that this feeling would never end.

Depressed, I tried to eat away my problems — my typical solution — which led to major weight gain. I was sick and lethargic, often from the stress.

I didn’t have the nerve to quit, and instead I fantasized about getting
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5 strategies to help you make a change in your life

June 22, 2016

We’ve been helping people get unstuck for almost five years now (actually, make that 22 years, which is how long our parent company, SYPartners, has been helping business leaders get unstuck). Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to move someone from thinking about change to making one.

Later this summer, we’re debuting an online course designed to arm you with a personalized blueprint for change. For now, we have five pieces of core advice that can help you find the courage, motivation, momentum, support, and perspective to leap into the
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7 simple ways to take a risk

September 8, 2015

Here’s what we love about risk: It breaks boundaries and broadens our world. It delivers a kind of exhilaration that following the rules never will. It helps us determine our own destiny.

We don’t suggest daredevil antics, but we do endorse trying something new on a regular
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