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Before Making a Big Change, Ask Yourself These 5 Questions

woman thinking at sunset on beach

How Do You Know It's Time for Making a Big Change?

Whether it’s leaving a job you don’t like or ending an unhappy marriage, the hardest thing to know is whether you’re doing the right thing by making a big change. Should you stick it out and hope that someway, somehow things will get better? 

If you’re like me, you seek answers by voraciously reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and asking your friends and family.  But ultimately, the only person you can trust to know what’s best for you is you.  So why can’t we just trust ourselves

Many of us have stayed in bad situations far longer than we should. We hope that if we just work a little harder, have a more positive attitude, work on ourselves a little more, we can make a bad situation better.  In other words, we keep kicking that soda machine hoping our coins will produce a soda.  But the machine is clearly broken and there’s no repair person in sight. 

If you tried all of those things and you still can’t seem to shake that soda loose, then chances are it’s time to move on.  Staying at the soda machine to recover your investment is costing you more than finding other opportunities.  Here are five questions you should ask yourself when you’re deciding whether it’s time for making a  big change.

What is My Strategy to Improve the Current Situation?

Keyboard, Pen and Notepad
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

You decide that you’re sick of the status quo. So you find blogs, you ask your friends, you talk to your therapist, and you read books on how to improve your current situation.  Now it’s time to put it all together in a plan.  What concrete steps are you going to try and for how long?  What are your desired outcomes? 

Have I tried this Strategy and is it Working?

You’ve moved past step one to implementing your plan.  If it seems to be working don’t stop.  But if this plan looks a lot like 37 other failed plans you’ve already tried, it might be time to move on to question 3.

What is the gap between the life I’m living now and the life I could be living?

It’s great that you accept you’re not currently happy and you’re trying to improve your situation by implementing your strategic plan.  But if it’s not working, what about your vision for your future?  Once you make a change, what does that change look like?  You know you don’t want to be where you are, but where do you want to go?  If where you want to go does not remotely resemble where you are, then it might be time to create another strategy. Don’t stand still on a broken escalator and yell you’re stuck.

What Will it Take to Make the Change to Close the Gap?

person walking on ridge over ocean at sunset
Photo by Jeff Nissen on Unsplash

Here’s where the doubt creeps in.  I’m not qualified, I don’t have an education, I have no money, I’m not good enough, or smart enough and people just don’t like me.  STOP!  Get out your notepad (or your computer if you’re under 85) and figure it out!  How do you get from point A to point B?  For most of us, it’s not a nonstop flight.  Maybe point A to point B is not cost-effective, so we go from point A to point D. We have to stop in many places along the way, but the point is we’ve created a doable plan to get there.

Considering All of the Above, Where Does Your Gut Lead You?

Now for the obvious.  If you’ve gone through this entire process and you’re still wondering whether it’s time for making a change, you’re choosing not to see what’s right in front of you.  You’re gut is telling you to do it!  

If the change you are considering is divorce, you may also like Should You Stay or Go? Ask These Six Questions.

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