It’s just not working and you know it. It may have started out with little doubts. Small problems that you thought you could manage. You know what I am talking about: your job, your romantic relationship, that toxic friend in your life…

You tried to make the necessary adjustments. To evolve. To look the other way. At first, you considered re-arranging some things. Maybe thinking about it differently or re-defining it would help? At times you thought you could just be a little more patient. Perhaps it would just eventually work itself out.

The writing is on the wall. Now the time has come to pull the trigger. You know it’s true and it can no longer be avoided.

1. Call It A Spade Step one comes from identifying what exactly needs to be changed. We can’t deny what is actually happening so we all have to put on our “big-kid” pants for this one. There are many ways to do this but I recommend going to the true root of your angst. What is fundamentally wrong and how can you change it? Don’t focus on the peripheral details. Start with your core values and ask yourself if the current job, friend, lover is violating them. Clarity in this comes from a real wish and has to be deeply held by you. You have to figure out what is bothering you, why it needs to change and what you want instead.

2. Make The Jump This might seem like the hardest part but once you are fully convinced that you MUST do whatever the step is above, the leap is really not that bad. Many people procrastinate on this step of creating change because they haven’t finished the first step. If you don’t believe that the current situation is that bad, then there is no reason to change it. There is a certain amount of necessary desperation that it takes to get to the edge of this particular cliff. But you will probably be surprised at how easy it actually is to just jump once you truly believe it is not only the right thing, but the best thing to do.

3. Have Your Own Back Step three is the hardest bit because supporting yourself can be really tricky. You have to back yourself up because there is a reason why you’ve never made this change before. There are patterns we all hold from our history and experiences, ways we have learned do to things to survive and thrive.  Depending on the world you have created, many of the people around you might not make this part easy. You might have to cut some ties. Maybe just within yourself – with old ways of thinking – but possibly with others, who don’t understand or agree with what you are doing. No one likes to be the goldfish stuck in the bowl when the other has jumped out into the sea. The bad news is everyone can’t go with you. The good news is the ones who do will make you stronger. New habits and new people will often help but you have to practice having your own back.

The best part and possibly most challenging fact about change is that it is a process which never ends.  Once you finish this in one area, you will start it in another. Most of the time, I have various stages of this going on in multiple aspects of my world. But it’s the gig in this life. Our success as professionals, and dare I say our evolution as humans, depends upon it.

It’s been a long walk and you have been at this particular intersection for a while. And as you are standing at the corner and the light goes green, what are you going to do?