Recently, there’s been a lot of media attention around the fact that the Barbie doll is turning 50 this year. I couldn’t resist watching an online slideshow of the many re-inventions and changes Barbie has gone through over the last 50 years. My heart skipped a beat when the “Barbie of 1967” popped up on my screen. She was the Barbie doll that I had (and still do!). There was another media frenzy last summer when Madonna turned 50, as well. Barbie and Madonna are maverick women who aren’t afraid of change and this fascinates people. (Barbie herself has gone through over 50,000 makeovers.)
This got me thinking about how Smart Women embrace change, re-invention, and new direction in their lives.
Change is a challenge for most people. It means breaking away from old patterns and your current way of being, to opening your arms to embrace what might be next or possible in your life. Even small changes are challenging for us. Think about it. We typically drive the same route to work every day, stay in the same business or job even though our passion is gone. We go to the same restaurants and order the same dish and sometimes we even stay in relationships that no longer work for us. Why? Because it’s familiar. We can count on it. It’s safe. Ah, there’s the word—safe.
In these current economic times, you may feel that your “safety” has been diminished or taken away. So playing it safe and avoiding risk feels like the right thing to do. I’ve played it safe many times in my life and I’ve taken an equal number of risks. I made a complete career change in my 40’s and our family moved 1 year ago this month to a new community that better supports the needs of raising children. My husband and I left a community that we had lived in for over 15 years. Was it easy? No. Did I feel challenged at times and wonder if I was doing the right thing? Yes. However for me, there became a point where “playing it safe” was more challenging than “taking a risk” or moving out of my comfort zone and going for the change in my life.
How about you? Are you feeling a little unsettled in your life right now? Is there a change that you need to make and you know at your core it’s the right thing to do but can’t seem to make it happen? Do you have a desire to do something different in your life but can’t seem to put a plan together? Here are a few smart solutions that will offer some support to you:
1. Map it out – In my work with women, I have them do an exercise where they get pens in different colors, some paper and we go from there. First, they write their name in the middle of the paper. Next, they begin to create a map of their life around their name. (By the way, in order for women to live a passion filled, purposeful life, you need to put yourself in the Center. You need to put yourself at the head of the list.) We look at their life right now in terms of what’s working and what’s not. Then I have them draw a circle around what’s working. You want to embrace and celebrate what’s working in your life. Then take a look at what is not circled. These are areas where you need to spend some time. This is where you may need to look at getting out of your comfort zone and making a change.
2. 3 Easy Steps – Once you explore and discover your change or possible re-invention, take a separate piece of paper and write down three simple steps you can take over the next month to create the necessary change in these areas of your life. For example, if you are thinking about starting a new business, one step could be exploring where you might learn more about that type of business, taking classes, etc. Don’t judge your ideas. Just write them down. Put this paper in a place that’s visible to you every day. Think about it. Ponder it. Take it in.
This is where having a coach or someone that champions you comes in handy. You need someone who can support you in asking the right questions and to help you in putting the action steps in an order that seems doable for you.
Barbie has had over 50,000 makeovers. Madonna keeps re-inventing herself every few years. We are fascinated by it because there is a lure, a dream or fantasy that we have too. In both cases, you can be sure that these Smart Women took the time to think about what’s next and how to create a plan for the desired change.
I’m turning 50 this year myself. With all of the changes in technology and discoveries in health care, it seems possible that I will live another 40-50 years. Getting out of my comfort zone, making change and taking risks will be part of my journey forward.
“Life is Change. Change is optional. Choose Wisely.” ~~ Karen Kaiser-Clark
Copyright 2009 Joy Chudacoff
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions, a Certified Professional Coach and Motivational Speaker. To read more articles by Joy and learn more about her Success Circle workshops, teleseminars or keynote topics, please visit her website, www.CreatingTheSpark.com or contact Joy at Joy@SmartWomenSolutions.com.