When I meet clients for the first time, they typically say that they want to work with me because they know that something is missing, but they aren’t exactly sure what that “something” is, or how to go about getting it. Many of my blog entries are about HOW to change or how to create a vision for your life, because it’s a starting point. It’s the beginning.
But what happens next? Often when we start advocating for what we want, the unhealthy people in our lives start pushing back, and it’s not fun. I’ll give you some examples. A client of mine was in an unhappy job for several years. It was a situation where she was set up to fail: her job description was vague, at best, and she was expected to have mastery over many different areas of a company, each requiring completely different skill sets. She had little administrative support at work. The more she did, the less support she received. She had tremendous responsibility, but no authority. And to add insult to injury, she wasn’t making nearly as much as she deserved. She stayed for a long time, mainly because she liked her co-workers (well, and because her self-esteem had taken such a pummeling that she thought she couldn’t get another job). The one bright spot in an otherwise bleak job was her community of friends at work. They went out for drinks after work on many nights, and bonded over their mutual miserable situation. They supported one another in their shared dislike of their unsupportive boss. They commiserated over how terrible it felt to be so stuck, and to feel as though one was doomed to unhappiness.
So guess what happened when this person decided that she was tired of being unhappy, and feeling stuck and miserable, and decided to go pursue a different career path that made her happy (and landed an amazing job, might I add)? Do you think that these same co-workers were thrilled for her, that they rejoiced for her success? If you haven’t guessed, I’ll give you the answer: No. They tried to talk her out of taking the new job. They tried to tell her why it wouldn’t work out for her, they tried to dash her dreams by convincing her to stay.