A little over a year ago, I took a very big Leap – I transitioned out of my corporate career, gifted myself with a one-year sabbatical and launched a new coaching business.
In retrospect, my personal journey from idea to execution took 15 years and 8 steps!
One of the most common questions I get is “how did you do it? So here are my 8 steps and nuggets of greatness I learned along the way that you can also use as a blueprint for your journey!
- Wake up!
I had a defining moment and I woke up. Apparently, this is common and could be related to health or work or relationships – but the point is something big shakes us awake. For me, it was a jolting ambulance ride at 33 years old. I was definitely receiving subtle messages from my body, mind and soul for years before that I needed to make some changes, but I just ignored them. I was busy working. All.the.time. Are you receiving subtle signs to wake up? Or have you had your defining moment? If so, time to stretch your arms out wide and wake up!
- Embrace the wisdom of “that’s interesting.”
Go ahead, say it out loud. That’s interesting. My first teacher, Donna, taught me this phrase 15 years ago as a way to shift into observer mode and not be so hard on myself. Basically the idea is that if you become aware of something about yourself or others that is jolting, try not to judge, shame or berate. Instead, just observe the new piece of information … “that’s interesting.” And then let it sit for a while. I said this phrase A LOT over the 15 years as I was finding the courage to make these big changes. Try it. I promise it’s a game changer.
- Do some Soul Spa.
My Soul had a game plan all along. I was just ignoring it. Our job is to get back in touch with our soul and our personal purpose. Then, eventually shift into alignment.This took a while for me because I was – hello – working nonstop. But these are the main themes of how I got back in touch with my Soul and how you can too!
- Learn how your soul speaks to you. There’s usually a somatic component – so fun if you do some experimenting here to figure out how your soul – and your intuition – speaks to you!
- Remain curious + explore. Follow your curiosity. Read, watch, pursue and participate in what attracts you. Be aware when your teachers show up. Look for signs because, really, they are everywhere.
- Stay with it: Think about mindfulness practices to keep your body calm, your mind quiet and your soul open. Create new boundaries. Work on grounding. Keep listening, learning and applying.
- Don’t forget the science.
I can’t tell you how many coaches would say to me “just do it. Just quit.” Really?? Yeh, no. Going through change and taking a Leap requires thought and planning for most people. Here are the ways I kept intellect and science in my scheming and planning.
- Research + Development: Use your left-brain wondrousness to research whatever it is you want to achieve with your Leap and develop a framework for what the future looks like. If you are Leaping, for example, into a new job or an expat experience or a new family dynamic, it’s really important to explore, feel and anticipate what it will look like on the other side. Knowledge is power. Emotions are everything. Awareness is key.
- Training: If possible, I would highly recommend completing any trainings needed before taking a Leap. This just takes so many pressures off financially, emotionally and practically.
- Make friends with your demons. Know what holds you back. Become aware of the tape that’s playing in your head.
Coming face-to-face with what’s holding us back can be overwhelming. I know, I have been there. I had many inner demons and many fears to work through before I took the Leap. I had a tape in my head on auto-play and it kept saying that whatever I wanted to do would never work. I speak truth when I tell you – we gotta invite all of that into the light, work through it and move past it. By the time I transitioned from my corporate career, honestly this was all history. Think about what’s holding you back and the tape playing in your head. If you do this one thing, it will catapult you forward.
- Identify your 3-5 must-haves.
Look, everything won’t be completely lined up and perfect – ever. I had to get comfortable with this. But the key to taking a Leap is identifying the top 3-5 things that are non-negotiable for you specifically. These are the things that, if done, will give you peace even if everything else is still in progress. Mine were related to money, skills training and timing. Once I got in touch with my own specific non-negotiables, I created a personal plan to back into those goals. And, I created a ritual for reviewing it every Sunday so I could stay on track. If you are stuck, just think about your non-negotiable. This will help you discover your next best step.
- Execute, execute, execute and redirect, as needed.
Once your mind and soul are aligned, then it’s all about executing against your dreams. And the one given with execution is you can always count on having to redirect. My own example is I started with life coach training and then realized I was craving more science. That’s how I ended up certified by Columbia University. Not originally in the plan, but totally what both my soul and mind craved — and I listened. One of the essentials of going through any change is being able to make progress and remain flexible — if these are tough for you, think about Step #5 a bit more.
- Take the Leap!
All of this exploring, planning and scheming is great, but then you actually have to take the Leap.
You have to set a date and move towards it. That’s what I did. But our Soul work is funny – it wants to make sure you are ready. Just a couple of weeks before my last day of work, I was asked if I could stay in my role a bit longer. My mind entertained the thought for a milisecond – my soul said no way! I finally took the Leap and lemme tell you – it was awesome!
As I look through this list, it applies to many Leaps I have taken in my life. Going to graduate school. Moving abroad. Building a career. Exploring relationships. Try it out – can’t wait to see you Leap!