Having fought for as long and as hard as I could for the results desired, without any indication of change or improvement, I had no choice but to admit something just wasn’t working.

And I had never even considered that stopping to assess the situation would offer a new perspective and a breakthrough.

The recipe had always been there, and so were the ingredients. But I couldn’t even see it until I began to reflect.

This is Life Transitions. Welcome to day eight.

Life Transitions Progression

If you’d like to follow along with the series up to this point, here are the quick links to access recent stories:

Life Transitions, Day 1 (Introduction)
Life Transitions, Day 2: Resistance
Life Transitions, Day 3: Jobs & Careers
Life Transitions, Day 4: Location
Life Transitions, Day 5: Relationships
Life Transitions, Day 6: When the Sandcastle Crumbles
Life Transitions, Day 7: Recovery

Life Transitions Involving Pivots

A pivot is generally a small change.

Oftentimes, it involves taking something you’re already doing and optimizing it for desired results.

For example, maybe your workout routine is growing stale and providing minimal results. So, you add something new to the routine.

Or your doctor told you to incorporate more greens into your diet. So, you begin doing exactly that and buy a container of mixed greens at the grocery store.

Sometimes, as in business, a pivot can be a more significant change. Repositioning yourself based on market conditions, competition, customer demands, or trends that could be capitalized on.

Pivots can take time to implement and adjust to, but generally they’re more like developing a habit than enduring a major life event or trauma.

Developing a habit may take some time (the often cited 21 days is perhaps a little off base), but it doesn’t take forever, and once in place, it tends to do wonders in terms of results.

The Importance of Pivots

Network marketing was my official introduction to entrepreneurship and business.

Although I never did all that well in it, for me it served as a critical education.

I can still recall what my mentors would often say when I was on the right track, but not quite hitting the bull’s eye with my prospecting efforts:

“Just make a little tweak and you’ll be off to the races.”

This wisdom is easy to take for granted.

I have seen people who were in jobs they didn’t especially like, or those who were off course for a period.

Most people are 80% on track with their life purpose, know it or not. Our nature and nurture naturally bring us to the things that excite and interest us most.

And while a “life purpose” may sound grand, sometimes it truly is just going to the office, working eight hours per day, and going home to be with your family every night.

What may not be immediately obvious is that little adjustments can take that 80% to 81, 82, 83, and so on.

But these small adjustments can challenge our comfort zone. So, it’s easy to say, “yeah, I could make that change, but based on the effort to payoff ratio, I don’t think it’s worth it.”

We say this thinking we have some idea of what the payoff is going to be, without realizing that a 1% improvement in direction can sometimes amount to exponential change in our lives long term.

A 1% improvement in direction can sometimes amount to exponential change in our lives long term. Click To Tweet

How to Uncover Worthwhile Pivots

This isn’t always straightforward or obvious.

If you’ve been working hard for a long period of time without a break, though counter-intuitive, now might be a good time to take two weeks off.

If you’re used to being in action and never stop to think or reflect, though counter-intuitive, now might be a good time to lock yourself in a cabin without electronics.

We can easily get set in our ways without realizing that our actions aren’t bringing us any closer to desired results. And when that happens, we often end up putting the blame on ourselves.

By taking more actions, we just end up cementing the rut.

So, more pressure leads to more “figuring it out”, which leads to more action items to be completed in a day, which leads to no expanded results, which leads to more frustration. And the cycle will typically continue until you’re forced to stop.

The easiest way to uncover worthwhile pivots is by listening to your heart. If it’s coming from your heart, the solution will seem so eloquent, so obvious, and so in alignment with who you are, that you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t think of it before.

Getting in touch with your heart may take something. Meditation is often a good place to start. When you meditate, inevitably, painful emotions and feelings will arise. As you sit with, allow, acknowledge, and love these feelings, you’ll experience release, and your connection to your heart will grow.

Putting Your Pivots to the Test

Discussing your pivots with trusted coaches, mentors, or others committed to your grown is often a good way of determining whether you’re on the right track.

But going out and telling everyone you know isn’t advisable.

It’s been my experience that people are rarely excited about, or motivated by, the same things you are.

So, when you have what you think is a life-altering revelation, those around you might respond with a nonchalant, “that’s nice.”

Leading up to that moment, you may have been on fire about your new idea. But because a loved one didn’t demonstrate the same level of enthusiasm; you begin doubting yourself. It takes the wind out of your sails.

My suggestion would be to discuss the pivot only with those already mentioned – coaches, mentors, and others committed to your growth.

Beyond that, put your change to the test. And as you go about making the changes, ask yourself:

  • Do I feel connected to my heart?
  • Do I feel encouraged or do I find myself spiraling into a frustration cycle again?
  • What are the results telling me since I’ve made this change? Are they leading to expanded, breakthrough results?

If you feel disconnected from your heart, if you feel like you’re succumbing to frustration, or if you aren’t achieving more (based on data, not based on a gut feelings), then it may be time to go back to the drawing board.

Pivots, Final Thoughts

Fundamentally, pivots save us from doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, which is the very definition of insanity.

The things you need to do to uncover worthwhile pivots will likely be counter-intuitive. But if they are heart based, they are usually productive.

Have you made a pivot before? How did you handle it, and what were the results?

I look forward to sharing more on life transitions, and if you have any questions regarding this topic, I’d love to answer them.

Leave a comment and let me know.

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