In June 2018 I established my coaching and counselling practice. It was one of the most emotionally stressful and exciting decisions I have made in my life, close first or second place to moving to Asia for work and relocating back to the UK, eight years later.
However, in all these decisions, in reflection, all the risks were calculated and well thought out, I followed five simple rules;
If you are anything like me and you love the idea of change and will jump at a chance of something new and shiny, you need to set yourself a pause and reset button.
Implement a way to check in on your needs.
Our actions are based on satisfying a need, identify yours.
I.e. if you like escaping from the mundane, the likely chance is you will grab at any opportunity for change but you need to ask yourself, ‘is this need a priority?’ and will it truly meet my overall goal. Yes, in the short term but will it lead to dissatisfaction?
Alternatively, you might be risk-averse and avoid taking any form of action and need to over plan to satisfy that need to fool yourself into thinking you are taking action.
In either of these scenarios, you need to stop and consider what are your short and long term needs and will they fulfil your ultimate goal?
Consider multiple scenarios (best or worst-case scenarios)
Determine the various routes to your end goal; ideally, we can opt for a plan and stick with it. However, it is always good to have a contingency plan.
For example, you may want to change careers; brainstorm the various ways this can take place and consider the pros and cons to these scenarios.
Doing this will help you work out the likely route for success but also consider what could be a problem which in turn gives you ideas on how to cope if things don’t go as planned.
Avoid the temptation to act on impulse
No matter how exciting it may seem to just jump ship or take that leap of faith. Not considering the possible obstacles or routes can lead to disappointment.
A decision less considered often leads to unnecessary heartbreak and frustration. Although not all impulsive decisions end up badly they are just more likely to be filled with twists, turns and anxiety.
Although we can’t control all aspects of life, knowing you’ve considered your options and plotted several routes, provides a sense of purpose and direction.
Try it out before committing
I can’t emphasise this enough, plan for a trial run. Be creative, brainstorm all the possible ways to engineer your final desire for change.
Want to change careers, volunteer or take up a temporary position in roles that interests you.
Want to live in the countryside, move there temporarily before committing to a costly lease or mortgage.
When I moved to Asia in 2009, I had previously travelled out there as a backpacker and also for short term work assignments, so it was not going to be much of a shock (or so I thought). However, these initial experiences reduced my worry and anxiety somewhat.
Nothing has to be permanent
What most people fear the most about change is the belief you can never undo your decision.
This is obviously not true, if something doesn’t work out as planned, the first time around, we can go back to the drawing board.
To avoid the feeling of absolute disaster, we can have contingency planning.
When I left my advertising job, I signed up for freelance work and registered recruitment agencies. This reassured me that I can always get work if my private practice was slow to pick up. In addition, I had taken steps to save for a year in advance, to pay for my basic living expenses while I established the business.
So in essence, the idea is to plan and be creative. Enjoy the fantasy of thinking about the options available, try and avoid making the process tedious.
Planning for change can be a wonderful experience in itself and as they say, ‘the enjoyment is in the journey, not just the result'.
Kemi Fadero is a Wellbeing Consultant, Counsellor and Coach based in Cambridge, UK. Kemi works with individuals and organisations offering, virtual and in-person coaching and counselling services, helping individuals seeking to overcome emotional distress and effectively tackle life challenges.
She provides wellbeing consultation and
coaching for organisations and implements