In April 2007, after 17 years and 6 months as a successful NHS Professional, I changed for ever. I went home at the end of a particularly enjoyable week, sat down in my lounge and finally changed.
And it happened in an instant. Although several years of procrastination, it took a milli-second to actually occur. The moment it did everything changed for good.
It changed. I changed. And the world around me changed. To be honest…it all happened frighteningly quick.
My career in the NHS took me to the cutting edge of medicine and closer to the top of the management tree than I had thought possible. A qualified nurse, a graduate in Public Sector Health Studies, a senior manager working with the world’s brightest professionals, leading experts in their field, managing hundreds of staff, on calls, £ million budgets, and government targets – it was a varied career, full of stress, excitement, learning, change, opportunity, and it was very worthwhile. I learned a lot about managing people and a lot about myself.
Even so it felt more like surviving than thriving.
So I quit my job – I had had enough – I had gone as far as I wanted to -further in many ways. And it was my time for complete change.
What did I change? What did I start? What did I stop?
The most profound change was not in leaving my job after 17 years. Nor was it setting up my coaching and consultancy business. At first it was doing my old job in a new way.
I stopped hiding behind the “management cloak”. Stopped worrying about ” what people would think of me?” ” What if people don’t like what I’ve got to offer?” What if…? What if…? What if…?
Stopped blaming the boss. Stopped depending on my job for my status in life. Stopped accepting the status quo.
Instead I showed up as my true Self.
I started leading myself in a new way. Started seriously flirting with new possibilities. Started exposing myself to new roles and relationships. Most of all, I was inspired to take a big bold stand for what I truly believed I could uniquely offer. I started experimenting and making new things happen.
I can remember the immense sense of freedom as finally, I removed my blinkers and looked at the world afresh. As a result I found more. More interests. More opportunities. More engagement. More satisfaction. More influence.
New possibilities revealed themselves without me having to work hard and search for them.
Uncovering the “SELF” like this does not require a 3,000 word business case highlighting all the strategic issues involved.
It doesn’t require a board meeting to gain approval.
It doesn’t need a spreadsheet of rows and rows of costs and benefits detailed down to the bottom line.
Neither does it need a ten point plan or personality change.
It just takes action.
Miraculously as everyone knows deep down, we can achieve this in an instant.
Or we can just pretend we can’t.