I can’t think of many things scarier than reaching a crossroad in life. You know, that turning point where you need to make some big changes and decisions—or else things will only get from bad to worse.
When I decided to move out of my corporate Job in the year 2010 and venture on my own, was the first time I was at a crossroad of my own life. I can’t think of any other time scarier in life than at that point of time.
That was the turning point in my life when I had to make big decisions and be ready for some drastic changes in my own life. For me reaching the crossroad never did happen out of the blue. However, for many unlike me I am sure situations does come out of the blue and you might have to navigate yourselves to be sane and grounded.
What situation can be considered as a Cross road?
First things first let’s understand as to what is the actual meaning of a crossroad. The most common explanation for a crossroad is “a crucial point especially where a decision must be made” Now, this might not necessarily be a good or a bad decision. However, let me go ahead and give you some specific examples in life from my own experiences which can be considered as being at a cross road
- You are about to be fired from your job
- You are worried that Automation might take over your job in the next couple of years
- You are offered a promotion but need to relocate to a new place living behind your family
- You are single and worried that you might have to spend the rest of your life being one
- You are going through a tough divorce and unable to move ahead
- Your only skill set has become obsolete and you are counting your days
- You are unable to stomach the office politics and the pressure
- You are sick of the corporate rat race and want to come out of it
- Your business is doing great but you are scared to scale up
- Your health is deteriorating and you are scared to take some tough decisions
When you go through any one of these situations or more than one of these situations then it does mean that you are at a crossroad in life. It is imperative that you make your move and not stay at the same place thinking too much. You have heard this right ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss” and it does hold good with taking decisions during this phase of one’s life.
Have you heard about the deer and the headlight syndrome? Well, the deer is paralyzed due to the bright light shining into its eyes and before it’s too late it is unfortunately run over. Even though the deer had all the option of moving back, front or just sprinting away it usually do not move an inch because of the way its wired internally.
Probably in the open jungle this strategy might work more often with predators but in an ever-changing world something like this is nothing less than suicidal.
Now relate this to people who end up doing something like this in real life. Often, I do come across smart, educated people just staying put and not taking any actions. Remember that we are responsible for our actions and for our inactions.
When you are in the driver’s seat of your life it is possible that you might come to a cross road and not know what to do going forward. If you are at one or think you are getting there, then these pointers might just help from being run over.
Over the last one decade I have come across many who fall in this trap of not taking any actions when they are at a crossroad. There are quite a few for each one of them for not taking actions but listing a few from the top of my mind for your reference.
Logical Part Of Brain Shuts Down
When we are going through crisis often I do see that the logical part of the brain does begins to shut down. When this does happen then most will fail to think logically and often begin to ruminate and focus on things like overworking, over exercising or in some cases over dependence on addictive substances. You can refer this great article “How Terror Hijacks The Brain”.
Believe me none of this does work and the more you get sucked into this quicksand of own doing the more difficult it is to come out.
Fear Of The Future
When the past is not very bright it is bound to affect the future. Most of us make the cardinal mistake of assuming that when the past is not great, it also does transform into the future. However, you will be surprised to hear that the “past is never equal to the future”
We should and must only learn from the past and never make it blueprint of creating our future.
Low In Confidence
I did have an opportunity to meet a friend of mine last week. He was asked to leave his high-profile job without any notice and he was perplexed. When I did meet, him I was taken aback by his body language and demeanor.
He was someone who was always in the spotlight and a very prominent face in the print and visual media. I had seen his presentations and product launches many a times and was mighty pleased with his appearance and confidence.
But all that was missing when I did meet him in person after his job loss. He was almost tearing up and could not accept the fact that when he had given his all to the company all these years, how could he be treated like this.
Well to cut the long story his confidence was dented and he is still working on it and charting a new road map for his professional life. The point I wanted to highlight here is that if you are at the cross road with similar situations then it can get into your confidence and paralyses you from taking any further decisions.
If you are hearing this for the first time, then do not be surprised. I do come across many people who without knowing self-sabotage their own life. Now this might sound drastic, but hear me out. Most of them are not aware that decisions or no decisions they are taking is moving them towards self-sabotage.
There are many gifted and talented people whom you would have come across who would have thrown away their career, opportunity or in some cases their life through self-sabotage. I am not sharing these to scare you but to gently remind you that it is possible for any one of us to come to a cross road in our life at any point of time.
How you manage it and navigate yourself through this difficult times is all that matters. You can also refer this great article by Susan David “Don’t Sabotage Yourself” to know more.
If you could relate to any of the thoughts above and feel you do need someone to walk with you to help you navigate yourself through this crossroads, then do not think twice.
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Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about Leadership, Peak Performance, and Health & Wellness.