Managing a Pivot


This post is extremely timely. It comes on the heels of a women’s conference I attended this past weekend. I learned a lot but one of the things I took away was the fact that it is OK to make a pivot.

What’s a pivot?

A pivot is when you make a change in your life. Whether it be a change related to something personal, the business you run or any other facet of life. According to Dr. Google, it’s the central point, pin or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates or to turn on, as if on a pivot. When I saw this, my immediate thought was,

Well, if a physical object can turn occasionally, then it must be ok for us as human beings to make turns too, right?

The honest and true answer is – YES!!!! I have made a bunch of pivots in my life and I’ve made it out alive.

In college, I started off as a biology major because I dreamed of being a trainer down at Discovery Cove and work with individuals with disabilities to help them get better. I had just one problem with this dream – I failed chemistry. So I pivoted and because a business major. I figured it would be easy to get a job once I graduated but I didn’t realize how much I hated statistics. Again, I pivoted and finished college as a psychology major. I graduated, but it wasn’t the field I found work in.

Once I joined the workforce, I became employed at a major health insurer in the state. It was a good job, paid well and had great benefits. After a few years of being there, I got bored and joined a multi-level marketing (“MLM”) company as a health and fitness coach and tried to become an entrepreneur. It was a mini pivot. Once I saw the spark of freedom, I wanted it! I had no experience in sales and didn’t realize that’s what I would need in an MLM. The company I was with, though, peaked my interest in getting healthy and helping others do the same. I pivoted again and decided instead of health and fitness, I was going to focus on health and wellness. I became a certified coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (“IIN”) and loved it. The obvious next step was to pivot into the role of health and wellness coach. But now, I feel yet another pivot coming on and it’s one that I still need to play around with before I release it into the world.

Do you see how pivoting happens all the time?

Pivoting happens in our lives all the time. It can be a natural occurrence and when it happens, you may not even realize it’s happening. Years ago, the idea of making a pivot had a stigma associated with it. I think the idea that pivoting is negative or bad still exists, but much less than before.

People used to think that making huge changes were drastic, dramatic and sometimes even shocking. Each one of those pivots that I made I received flack for.

Why are you becoming an entrepreneur? It’s pointless! Just go work for someone else and have a steady paycheck.

OMG! You left [insert corporate company]! Why?? Are you going to be ok financially? What are you doing about health insurance?

People thought I was legitimately crazy for making these huge changes in my life. What they didn’t know, though, was that I was making these changes to improve my life.

As human beings, we are free spirits and are not meant to stay in one place forever. We are allowed to change our minds and change our future. Pivoting may be necessary to avoid boredom. I’ve even heard that making a pivot is necessary every three to five years because it helps you stay fresh and in-the-know of what’s going on in the world and in your life. You may be thinking of making a change like this too. Maybe you want to go back to school after years of being out so you can change your occupation and people are telling you not to. The only voice that truly matters is yours.

Making a pivot can make you feel all the feels.

If you’re thinking of making a pivot right now or are in the midst of making one, you may be feeling a lot of things. it can be scary because you don’t know what coming for you around the corner or how you’ll handle the changes. You may feel anxious or nervous because the change is so big. The butterflies in your stomach may be making you all excited and jittery. And you may feel stress. Lots and lots of stress because the weight of the choice on your shoulders is incredibly heavy. Whatever you’re feeling, know that it’s ok.

Pivoting is a normal action and in my opinion, should be done every so often. So what do you do? You feel all the feels and you push through it. How? I’ve got a few tips for you to help you manage the pivot.

Tips to manage the pivot

  1. Free Writing – Free writing is like journaling, but I dislike that word journaling. It puts too much pressure on the task and makes it feel like work. Instead, just grab a piece of paper and something to write with just start writing. Anything and everything that comes to your mind should go down on paper and out of your head. When you free write, ideas and thoughts come out that you may not have thought of before.
  2. Advice from Friends – Seeking advice from your friends doesn’t mean you have to live and breathe by everything they say. It just means you’re gathering information. Conversations with friends and family help open doors you might have thought were locked and provide you with different concepts to think about before making any decisions.
  3. Meditate – I’m not a lifelong meditator, but during meditations magical things can happen. You may hear words and phrases that help point you in one direction or another. Images pop up that show you visuals of what you want or need. In just a few minutes, you may get the answers you’ve been looking for.
  4. Make the Darn Pivot – Yes, make the change! As Nike says, just do it! If your gut is telling you something, it has meaning. The gut is the second brain in our bodies and when it gives you a feeling, listen to it. You can almost always go back.
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