‘Tis Is The Question
Flex or Pivot? ‘Tis is the question. So it might not exactly be the kind of flex you are thinking, so let me clarify to be sure. Flex for the purpose of this topic is not referring to being flexible. I’m talking about the exact opposite in fact, actually flexing. In other words, flexing those muscles and standing your ground. You know, handing out free tickets to the gun show. LOL.
Sometimes it can be hard when we are on a desired path towards our vision to know when to flex those physical and/or mental muscles and stand our ground; or when to instead pivot and change paths. It’s a difficult decision for sure. But it’s also a decision we are all faced with and must make from time to time.
Change Can Be Difficult Yet Necessary
So let’s dive into when it can be appropriate or necessary to pivot or modify your current course of action. First things first. It can be extremely challenging to pivot sometimes! This is because sometimes we get so set on a specific pathway that we start to not see the forest despite the trees. I didn’t quite understand that saying, but thanks to the magic of Google I now know it means that we get lost in the details so much that we forget about the big picture.
After all, we’ve done so much work to develop a glorious vision and plan like we’ve talked about in some of the prior blogs and podcasts such as Goal Digging and Strategy. So changing our course after we’ve put so much back-breaking work and thought into it can be a little hard to accept (to say the least).
Life Is A Series Of Adjustments
But as my pastor preached on the podium last week, “life is a series of adjustments”. This is so true. The only thing that is unchanging in life is change itself. So changing is part of being human. And obviously since so much of our world involves change, then it only makes sense that we must change and pivot from time to time accordingly.
So change is hard. At least it’s hard for most people, because it often requires moving out of your comfort zone which can be downright terrifying at times. The reason it can be so scary is because it is often associated with the unknown and the natural fear that comes along with going into the unknown.
So the first thing we need to ask ourselves when we are deciding whether to Flex or Pivot is: What is stopping us from pivoting if our inner guidance is pointing that direction?
Conquer The Natural Fear Of The Unknown
And dig deep here. Because sometimes fear can be lurking underneath perfectly logical sounding excuses, which can make it a little hard to detect sometimes. So if you start hearing negative self-talk such as the following: “I don’t have enough money”, “I’m not young or energetic enough”, or “I’m not qualified or capable enough”. If these types of negative self-sabotage start popping up in your brain, don’t be alarmed first off. This happens to all of us! Welcome to human-hood.
However these excuses we tell ourselves of why we can’t pivot or change are often rooted in fear that must be conquered. Read the blog or listen to the podcast Into the Unknown to Conquer Fear for help with overcoming this type of fear if you find that it’s holding you back from necessary change.
So first thing when making the decision on whether it’s time to pivot or change course is to truly understand what is holding you back. If the answer is rooted in fear, then move forward anyway. Don’t ever let fear alone stop you or hold you back. Beat that bad boy off you.
What Is Your Odds For Success?
Another thing to reflect upon when deciding whether to modify your action steps or change course is to determine your likelihood for success on your current path. Basically you don’t want to just keep banging your head against a closed door over and over again when the door is padlocked, chained and reinforced with pure American steel. Continuing to bang your head against the door is most likely not going to open it in this case, right? Plus it will probably end up hurting you as well.
So take a step back and examine the situation. Albert Einstein defined Insanity as: “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. So if you’ve continuously tried to open that steel door with your head and you’re not getting anything but a headache, then it’s probably time to pivot. Even if pivoting just means grabbing a power tool or some dynamite to assist you on your pathway through that door. So pivoting doesn’t automatically require us to change our vision, we may just need to change our methods or action steps to increase the likelihood for success. It just depends on the situation.
Now if you’ve tried every appropriate action possible and you still can’t get the door open, then you may actually need to change your entire pathway. Because your existing pathway may not be right for you in this instance. So you can only try to force a pathway or door open for so long before really looking at it from an objective, big picture perspective to realize it’s actually not your door after all.
It May Not Be Your Door
It can be hard to accept sometimes, believe me. But not all doors are right for us. Don’t worry though if you find that the door is actually not your specific door, because there will be another available which is perfectly constructed for you. You will just need to pivot and adjust to find the door meant for you in these circumstances.
So sometimes we may change course or pathways altogether because external forces make it impossible to move forward, and we then need to find a different pathway or door which is better suited for us. But other times you may be fully able to break down and go through that door, but you still may make the decision not to do so and pivot instead.
You Can Choose To Change
You may come to the realization through your own inner guidance system that the door is just no longer your door or pathway. Or your priorities might change, and you may decide to focus your attention and will power on what has become a higher priority in your life. Making the decision that you no longer want the pathway you are currently on is also perfectly ok. You get to make that choice!
These types of decisions based on your own free will can be the most difficult! Because it’s not an external force stopping us from moving forward toward what we thought we really wanted. We are in fact making the decision for ourselves.
It’s Ok To Cut Your Losses
So it’s not an easy decision at all. Because most of the time when we are on a certain pathway, we are fairly invested in it. We’ve often already walked that path for a very long time. And we can even continue on the course if we so choose. But what happens when the existing pathway we are walking is something we realize we no longer want or is no longer serving our highest potential?
This can be an especially difficult scenario when you’ve put so much into walking your existing pathway and are therefore hesitant to give up all the ground and miles you’ve already covered. You may start questioning: What about all of the sweat you already put into walking that path? And that “sweat” can take many forms such as money or time already invested. It can be difficult to feel like you are walking away from your efforts or taking a loss even if the other path you are choosing will be 100% better for you than the one you are currently walking.
There Will Be A Brighter Path
There is naturally going to be the fear of the unknown when you are changing pathways. But if a pathway no longer feels like it is serving or fulfilling you, you are selling yourself short if you don’t change paths. And only you will know when this is the case by listening to your inner knowing or intuition.
There may also be other clues such as constant negative thoughts which are causing emotional unrest or instability. Or being on the wrong path can even cause lack of emotions altoghether. If you are starting to feel emotionally closed off inside, this is also not a good sign that you are currently on your right path! Your right pathway should feel fulfilling the majority of the time (even though you will still have difficulties at times).
When you are on the wrong path and need to pivot, you may also start getting many more obstacles and objects thrown into your path which is often just God’s or the universe’s way of telling you it’s time to pivot. Ultimately though, the decision comes from within you.
You Make The Final Call
This brings me to my last point which is the decision is not anyone else’s but yours when it comes to your own life choices and goals. You can’t let others or the fear of what they may think of your decision stop you from pivoting when you absolutely know it’s the right thing for you. The same goes if you decide that you should flex and stand your ground instead of change your course.
Whether you decide to flex and stay the course or you decide to pivot, there is most likely going to be others who will disagree with your decision either way. You are pretty much always going to have nay-sayers when you are forging forward toward your vision. Or on the flip side, you will also have others who won’t want you to change or pivot when you’ve decided you need to change pathways.
You can listen and consider the advice of others, but you must make the final call based on what is ultimately right and best for you. Don’t try to follow the herd in these situations, because it won’t work. You will end up lost and confused kicking yourself for not listening to your own intuition.
You Are The Leader Of Your Own Life
Deciding whether to flex or pivot requires leadership, in every sense of the word. Leadership of your own life; and leadership over your own path towards your vision, goals and success. You are the leader of your own life! No one else. It’s got to be you babe.
One of my favorite leaders, Oprah Winfrey said the following:
“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
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