As I write this message I am fresh off a call held for the faculty of the Co-Active Training Institute of which I am proud to be included. As the leaders reviewed the growth of the past two years I was reminded of how important it is to be prepared to pivot. To catch the next wave even if you didn’t see it coming.
In my new book Evolve Your Coaching Business there is a chapter called Positive Pivot. This title is a little misleading as I look at it today. The positive pivots I write about all had their beginning in something unexpected with the potential for disaster.
What makes a pivot positive? And why is this important anyway?
As I wrote in my last blog, failure often stops us from pursuing our dreams. I believe that failure is not in itself really different from success. Except for the shame or ego-driven feelings that come with it.
Success requires you to grow in ways that are often vulnerable. When you fail you also want to learn and grow, to take the lessons and make some changes, in other words, you need to pivot. To let go of how you thought things were going to go. What you hoped would happen. Grieve the loss, glean the learning and do some course correction.
I am inspired by CTI and how they faced the pandemic when all of their in-person courses were shut down. How they saw what they could no longer do and set their sites on what they could do. Going to online courses may now seem logical in hindsight. At the time it was radical and a huge risk of time, money and reputation. It has been a very positive pivot for all concerned!
What makes a pivot positive is that it will take you in an even better direction than you were originally headed. A positive pivot will come from your wise inner voice.
I held that inspiration this past week when I myself had to make a pivot. I had planned out very carefully a training course I was excited to offer. As often is the case with signs that a pivot is needed the signs came in various forms. People dropping out, people asking for something different than what was offered, people sending love notes that warmed my heart and directed my action, encouraging me to go forward.
There was one moment when I had to make a choice. Stay the course or pivot. In that moment I very clearly felt the difference between soul-driven and ego-driven. One set of thoughts was about how I would look, what people would think, blah blah blah. The other set of thoughts came with a feeling of strength, rightness – yummy feelings that came with no need for justification or consideration as to how the pivot would look to others.
I have an intuition that you and I are going to need to learn how to pivot more and more as we learn and grow and stand for our heart’s desires.
As a coach, I know this is what you care about most: helping others create a fulfilling life by succeeding in your own business and life so you can do that forever.
I encourage you to experiment with this. When do you know it is time to stay or time to pivot? What are your guideposts? How are you preparing to catch the waves you don’t know are coming?
There is an exercise I do that I just love when faced with a potential pivot.
I do a little geography work. I find a spot in my room to stand and inhabit the perspective of the current path, then I create a couple of more perspectives based on ways I could pivot. I always get a strong sense in one of those perspectives that guides me to make a good choice.
One of the best ways I know to keep myself grounded and able to pivot is to nourish my creativity. Recently I picked up The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron’s brilliant book written 25 years ago and two decades after I first read it.
One of her exercises is called an Artist Date. It was transformational when I first did them years ago and I have started again. I am taking myself on Artists Dates!
I would love to have you join me and hear how this book impacts you.