No, I’m not talking about the TV Program Crossroads – that’s easy to deal with…just….switch it OFF – that’s if it’s still on !!
No, I’m asking ‘Have you ever been at a crossroads in life?’. I’m sure you have. And I’m sure you would agree, this is when you need to make a decision to choose which direction you go in, right?
Sometimes that decision, the path to choose, is really clear. Like, for example, you finish school and you know you want to be a doctor. Well, the path is clear, you need to go to University and get a medical degree.
Sometimes the choice is much less clear. Something happens at work and it feels like ‘the final straw’, do you resign? Or do you try to sort it out? A business venture doesn’t work out. Do you start a new business? Try to repair the non-working business? Or go back to the day job? A relationship is floundering. Do you put more time and effort into it? Or do you walk away?
Those kinds of decisions are pretty hard to make as they require a level of objectivity which it is hard to have when YOU are the one who is emotionally involved.
A useful technique can be to give yourself time, review where you are, sum up the pros & cons. However, not so much time that you end up not deciding, which is a decision in itself.
It reminds me of a situation a close friend of mine was in…picture this:
It’s late March 1993, and a good friend of mine was sitting in the Indiana Jones Show in Walt Disney World Resort Florida. But she wasn’t watching the show, she was watching her watch. Because she knew that in 5 minutes, back in the UK her manager was going to be making an announcement to the staff. And this announcement was going to affect her future.
1 week before this, my friend had been told by her new boss that the promotion she had been promised to the job she had effectively been doing for the previous 6 months was going to the person that SHE had trained up. Her results were the best in the company and hadn’t slipped despite taking on her old boss’s workload (who was off on long term sick), and despite training up this newbie to the company.
She felt betrayed. She had reached a crossroads. Her natural reaction when she found out had been bypassed was to stick 2 fingers up to the company and do a dramatic exit…. stage right. However, she had managed to keep hold of her temper and dignity and told her boss that she would decide about her future on her return from holiday.
The holiday had bought her the time to decide. And at that moment, 2pm in Florida, 9am in the UK, she knew the whole sales force were being told of the promotion of “The Evil Witch” (apparently her real name!). She felt sick to her stomach and she felt like she had no choice but to resign on her return.
By the end of the holiday nothing was clear to her. She had not yet processed the deep betrayal she felt and so she rang her mentor. And as mentors do, she asked some really good questions that helped my friend decide on which path to take.
You see, often we can’t see that ourselves, because the emotional connotations cloud the medium or longer-term outcomes. All we do is notice how we FEEL in that moment. And sometimes the decisions made in that state are not the ones that serve us best.
So, what did my friend do? She made the decision to leave, but WHEN it was convenient for HER. She spent the next 2 years improving her skills, pursuing things that would put her in a position to move to a different industry and in time she did just that.
She did put one line in the sand. She would not continue to work for them if “The Evil Witch” was going to be her manager. And her company valued her enough to accommodate her request and move her to another department with a different manager. She subsequently was promoted but by then had changed her direction and was moving into a different future.
The point is, had she not had a mentor to ask for help, the outcome would have been very different, and she would have ended up jobless (hopefully not for long) and also resentful which, like all negative emotions, can be very damaging to the person feeling them.
By having the support of a mentor, she was able to work through those emotions, eventually letting them go, and meanwhile buying time to make the best decisions for her. She now runs a super successful business and considers that crossroads a blessing.
And actually, that’s a good lesson for everyone. Crossroads may be forced upon you, and as most people don’t like change, that can feel like a huge set back. However, in hindsight, it is often those crossroads which create the most personal growth and lead to better and brighter things.
It is so easy to go backwards to the “safety” of what you know when faced with an uncertain future. However, it is rarely the right decision long term. Maybe you are at a crossroads right now, for a reason, the question is, what IS the best direction to take and who are you going to call (I believe the Ghost Busters are busy!)
The one thing to consider is, in the words of Will Rodgers:
“Even if you’re on right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there!”
So, if you feel you might like some support and help at any future (or current) crossroad in your life – I’d invite you to check out The Find your WHY Membership, for just £19.99 per month (no contract) you can access support and mentorship to help you find out where you want to be instead!
And for all members joining now you get the first month for just £9.99 and a ticket to win a place on a £4,995 retreat in Morocco, now maybe that sounds like the direction you’d like to go in.
If you want to know more tweet us @cherylchapman