change can mean a loss, even if it's for the best.
Losing a job, having to relocate, watching your industry
shrink, being squeezed out at a high level with few
options of where to go, or simply knowing deep down that
you can't avoid the truth any longer. These are
just a few reasons why you may have come to this
exploration, and there are dozens and dozens more.
When it happens to you, it can seem catastrophic.
There are mortgages to pay and lifestyles to keep up and
children to educate and obligations to meet. If
there weren't, these things would be
inconsequential. It becomes critical, no matter
what level of change you will have to endure as you
contemplate what's next, to accept the situation and
find ways to shift your attitude from loss to
opportunity. Every ending is an opportunity for
something better. Even a painful divorce or death
of a loved one can, in time, become an invitation to
grow and give long-forgotten parts of you a chance to
see the sun.
In a state of loss, your creativity is down, your senses
get numb, and you lack motivation and energy. It's
a contagious energy that will be telegraphed to would-be
employers, partners, mentors, and supporters, and it
will wear you down and limit your possibilities.
An attitude of opportunity, on the other hand, although
somewhat difficult to sustain, will breed a higher
energy level from you and all you come in contact
with. It will move things from hopeless to
fruitful, so please get on the bandwagon now. . .
. take stock and revisit what you have in your talent
and capabilities arsenal.
options through the screen of bitterness and anger is
virtually impossible. Your judgment is clouded,
and everything is colored by your boiling blood.
Maybe it would help to know that those feelings are
simply a wake-up call, a call to learn more about
yourself, and a call to tap the wiser part of yourself.
Many people have been treated unfairly, cheated of their
rightful place and compensation, robbed of their sense
of trust for contracts and agreements, and have lost
their footing as they grappled with how things have
changed in our world. You have every reason to be
upset when the rug has been pulled out from under you,
whether personally or professionally. It's normal
for your emotions to be all over the map as you watch
the foundation of your belief system and physical life
crumble. The beauty of it, however, is that you
get to rebuild, and this time, correct any flaws that
you had to overlook before. The sooner you can get
out of victim mode and into architect mode, the better.
You may be reading this book without having endured a
loss and are merely being proactive, as it is now clear
that you must make a change. Either way, you can
stand to look at how you can quiet your ego, which may
be telling you how crazy you are to consider giving up a
sure thing, or that you are too old (young, unqualified,
or stupid) to start over. This step is about
getting in touch with your Life Blueprint buried beneath
the set of circumstances that support a lie--a misguided
version of what is really true for you. You get
The key to being able to move on is taking the good with
you. Take stock of what you can carry forth with
you into a new situation--those qualities, skills, and
lessons that will serve you indefinitely. What you
cannot carry forth with you was just the package those
qualities came in. Say good-bye to the
package--the clothes, the status, the opinion others
have of you, the perks, the bells and whistles, the
people that are only there because of the trappings.
You may have formed a whole identity around that
package, so you must separate it from the gifts that are
inside it. Those are transferable and
permanent. The package will always be
dispensable. We mistakenly give too much power to
the package. The elements of your Life Blueprint
are in the permanent pieces.
I spent many years as a professional musical theatre
actress and its various forms of supplemental
employment. When it became painfully clear that I
was not succeeding at the level I wanted and that I
could no longer tolerate that lifestyle I had to lead to
achieve my goals, I felt like an utter failure. I
had failed at my dream. I was inconsolable, and it
took me a long time to move on because of my level of
disappointment. At the time, I did not have the
hindsight I have now and the tools I now use with my
clients. I wish I had. At the time, I could
not appreciate how much that career had given me.
I marvel now at how many of the skills I honed during
those years serve me exceptionally well now. Years
of being onstage gave me the ability to speak easily in
front of audiences of any size. It gave me the
ability to think on my feet and to be flexible when
surprises are thrown my way. I've done more radio
and TV as an expert than I ever did as an actress, but I
give credit to those years for my facility and joy in
doing it now. The years of analyzing characters
and their motivations as I prepared for a role have
helped me immeasurably in working with clients.
And the list goes on. Even my ability to
multitask, strengthened by years of working as a
waitress, serves me incredibly well as a working mother
of three children. None of it was a waste. . . .
Saying good-bye to the package will be harder than
taking stock of your net gain from your
experience. The reason for this is that we have
culturally learned to attach more value, and inherently,
our self-worth, to the package than we have to the
growth that came with it. That is why we get so
much opposition from the people in our life when we
decide to move away from something that seems to be
working well for the people who are watching our
lives--for example, giving up what looks like a
successful career that is in reality making you
miserable. You'll hear a lot of noise from
naysayers. "How can you give up that big
six-figure salary?" "Do you know how
many people would kill to have an amazing gig like
yours?" "Opportunities like that will
never come your way again!"
A person who successfully let go of the package is Meryl,
a client who wanted to leave an empty marriage but
feared the loss of her status as the spouse of a
powerful man. She endured years and years of
frustration and sadness because she had created an
identity around the package of her rich, influential
spouse. It took a lot of therapy, courage, and
resolve to accept what would mean the loss of the
package and the start of her own meaningful life.
She eventually did and, through our work, found a
wonderful career being an advocate for people with
mental illness. All her contacts and old friends
from the marriage became valuable donors to her cause.
The package is an illusion; only the parts you can carry
forth are real. The package is the past, and what
you can bring forward with you is the future. The
parts that cannot be taken away by circumstances are the
parts we want to take stock of now. Even if you
have not lost anything or are not leaving anything right
now, consider what it might be like to give up the
things you will have to give up to make the change you
straightforward volume attempts to help readers
find what it is that they truly want and make a
plan for getting it. Fortgang (Living Your Best
Life) has designed a 90-day plan—with seven
weeks (or 49 days) dedicated to discovering what
it is they want, while the rest of the days are
devoted to making it happen. She opens with a
few anecdotes of clients for whom her strategy
has worked; then she presents a sequence of
chapters outlining week-by-week goals.