A true statement: Change is hard.
Also true: Change isn’t as hard as we make it out to be.
As a career change coach, I’ve helped countless clients easily navigate massive change, cultivating a naturally carved river where they flowed from one industry to the next.
But I’ve also seen other people struggle and flounder, fighting against something they perceived as a brutal current, keeping them hopelessly stuck.
Surprisingly, most of the time, the difference doesn’t lie in their external circumstances. (Massive change is massive change, no matter what your starting situation and end goals are.)
The ones who flow know this secret: Change begins in your mind.
The ones who struggle think:
It’s those who become a master of their mindset that can visualize and create a new future. They slow down and become aware of the hidden synchronistic beauty that exists in our lives.
A real career change can be easy and within reach. You just have to find the flowers.
Literally and metaphorically, flowers are the things that have the most immediate impact on your happiness.
A team of researchers at Rutgers explored the link between flowers and satisfaction and found flowers to be a natural mood booster.
For the study’s participants, the mere presence of flowers could:
As a career change coach, I guide my clients to a change that will ultimately help them lead happy, thriving lives. To get there, we have to develop a strategy and take action. But it all begins with mindset.
A 2010 study on distractions performed by Harvard psychologists found that, 47% of the time, people aren’t present at the moment. We’re mentally checked out nearly half the time. We function on auto-pilot, daydream, or scroll our phones—all the things researchers deemed “distractions.”
Mindfulness is the practice of removing distractions and purposely bringing our attention back to our experiences in the present moment—with curiosity and without judgment.
For busy professionals, mindfulness can be tough. There are just so many things that need to be done! (But there’s a reason it’s called a “practice.”)
No matter how tough it seems, keep practicing because the benefits of mindfulness— especially for those of us experiencing burnout—cannot be overstated.
A review of 23 studies examining mindfulness’s effects on employee burnout found that it reduces depression, anxiety, emotional exhaustion, and occupational stress.
And—for those burned-out professionals—mindfulness also increases self-compassion, relaxation, sleep quality, and feelings of personal accomplishment— things that all have an immeasurable impact on your life.
Recently, I listened to a podcast, On Being, where the topic at hand was the science of awe. Experiences that have long been deemed as “spiritual” are now being studied and proved by science.
Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California, was on the show to discuss. In his studies for his book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life, he asked people around the world what inspired awe in them—and he was surprised by what he found.
It wasn’t popular bucket-list locations or each person’s higher power. Instead, it was ordinary people doing amazing things.
Yes, the researchers found the most common source of awe was people.
Think about the things that choke you up and bring you to tears. Are they stories of simple kindness or courage in hard situations? Perhaps, for you, it’s a sacred text, a favorite spot in nature, or music.
Trying going out on a walk and looking for things that amaze you.
According to Keltner “awe is everywhere”—the flowers blooming, the connections of people, and that unusual pattern of light on the sidewalk. Wherever you find awe, he suggests surrounding yourself with it.
“The science of well-being has suddenly surfaced this idea of meaning,” Keltner said. “And we have a crisis of meaning. What are the big things that I need to care about and orient my life toward? Awe does that work for you.”
Truly, if you’re looking to create HEART-based goals toward a career that fulfills you, it’s a good idea to start with awe—find it and see how it changes your mind.
“When we feel awe in the moment, we suddenly feel like we’re part of an integrated community,” Keltner explained. “We do things that are good for the community. We build public art spaces, gardens, or game nights that bring us together.”
However you find it, and whatever you do with it, we need more of it. After experiencing awe, you might just find you become a source of awe in others.
Have you ever experienced a moment of awe with a coincidence?
Perhaps numbers or symbols have recurred throughout your life? Or you were in the exact right place at the exact right time? Maybe you’ve thought about someone and then they magically appeared as if summoned by your subconscious?
Carl Jung called these mysterious moments “synchronicity,” but I like to call them “divine winks.”
Divine winks are signs and affirmation that you’re on the right path to your new destination (and researchers have been studying them, too).
Psychiatrist Bernard Beitman, a professor at the University of Virginia and coincidence researcher, says they’re indicators of an invisible energy network that connects everyone and everything.
Feel like you’re missing out on “divine winks?”
You’re likely getting them as much as the next person. Here’s how to pay better attention:
1.Be open-minded. Stay receptive to the possibility of receiving a divine wink as you go about your day.
2.Talk to someone new. People often discover coincidences while talking with someone they didn’t previously know.
3.Stay present. Pay attention to the present moment and your surroundings— that message on a license plate or that song on the radio might be significant to you.
4.Write it down. I like to keep a log of divine winks that occur to me. It’s good for flipping through on days I need affirmation that I’m on the right path. But this is also true: The more you notice divine winks, the more likely they will happen.
Change begins in your mind, but it only happens with follow-through—and sometimes, that’s where things get messy.
We think we lack the confidence to take action, and career change requires action. Luckily, action does not require confidence at all. All it takes is courage.
By definition, courage is doing something even though you’re scared or less than confident. But confidence is not something you can get overnight; it only results from the action.
If you want to achieve a career change, start by taking (tiny) courageous actions. Just don’t forget to look around. Divine winks will appear, letting you know you’re on the right path, and your confidence will surely bloom.
5 short minutes a day is all you need.
Ready to start a HEART-based approach and create a life you love? The “5 Minutes To Flourish” downloadable guide is the place to start. Find simple ways to nourish your body, mind, and spirit—in only five minutes a day.
Flourish Careers is a career coaching and consulting business dedicated to helping individuals and small businesses find their unique path to flourishing professional success. Learn more about how we can help you here.