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When Change Calls ‒ How To Identify The Perfect New Direction For You

Written by: Sarah McNicol, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Are you one of the millions worldwide evoked by your experiences during the last 2 years to reflect on your life, work, and priorities and wonder how you can have a better experience?

Maybe you have already decided a change is on the horizon.

If so, you’re probably experiencing some tension between letting go and moving on, and fear – what if I can’t make changes? and what if pastures new are worse?

Change is unnerving

Being on the brink of change is unnerving. Perhaps the worst place to be. Discomfort high, certainty low. Your lizard brain is in survival mode (it hates unknown territory) and it is impatient for action, solutions, and a return to business as usual.

You are likely asking yourself, what next?

Your lizard brain is likely demanding you have THE answer, RIGHT NOW.

It’s tempting to grasp at obvious routes forward. Open doors, known quantities, and proactive approaches. New job, business, self-improvement, house, partner, qualification, side hustle. There are plenty of articles, books, videos offering ways to get started.

Do nothing yet

What is less tempting, counter-intuitive even, is to do nothing…yet.

Well, do nothing except feel and notice.

The quality of our life is determined by how we feel physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. How we feel is strongly influenced by how we spend our precious resources of time, energy, and money, and who with. When what we do is aligned with our innermost desires, priorities, and values we feel alive, energized, content, and joyful. So, to move towards a better quality of life we must understand more about what nourishes us and what drains us.

To discover this, you must press pause on the analytical thinking and speedy action taking you’re used to. Those skills and strengths are not what you need right now. Instead, it’s time to lean into experiential and intuitive approaches.

Notice how you feel

Choices that will truly nourish and serve you are sourced inside not outside yourself, but many of us are living so fast we don’t know what’s going on inside. Your challenge is not to jump into creating your future straight away. Instead, be patient, stick with the status quo a bit longer and notice how you feel.

Notice how your body feels in different situations, with different activities, different companions. Notice your stress levels, energy, emotions, how your mind is behaving.

And listen. Listen for your inner voice. Call it your intuition, your soul, or your higher self. Whatever term works for you. Hear what it has to say about how your current choices are serving you.

Gift yourself some mindful moments

To connect with your intuition, gift yourself some mindful moments. By that, I mean uninterrupted time and space, free from distractions. Being not doing. It might be sitting in the sunshine with your eyes closed for a few minutes. Maybe taking a walk without a dog or podcast to attend to. Or spending 20 minutes journaling whatever comes up.

When you allow yourself the time and space, you will begin to hear and feel what’s true for you. Bit by bit the raw ingredients for your version of thriving will become apparent. You will also get clear on what to avoid.

This isn’t a time to identify your next career trajectory. It is time to identify what you desire in more general terms. For example, more autonomy, less travel, creativity, teamwork, shorter working hours, less/more responsibility, more impact, time for wellbeing, fun, relationship, etc.

In these mindful moments, helpful questions to ask your inner self about your current experience are:

  • What is working for me?

  • What isn’t working for me?

  • What would I like more of?

  • What would I like less of?

  • What would I like to stay the same?

Keep an open mind. Permit yourself to respond without judgment or censorship. Record your answers, they are your signposts towards a more fulfilling experience.

Breathe through the discomfort

One final note. Habit change is uncomfortable. My guess is as a high achiever your habit is to get things done, quick smart. Slowing down and tuning into feelings will take you right out of your comfort zone. It may feel very unpleasant. Stick with it. On the other side of this slow process, enduring riches lie.

In my Brainz article each month of 2022, I will guide you through an empowering change process. You can read part one here.

I will be back next month with help for your next step.

In the meantime, for bite-sized weekly servings of encouragement and guidance, plus a free self-evaluation to get you started, sign up here.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Sarah McNicol, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sarah McNicol is a facilitator, coach and innovative businesswoman. Her highly sensitive and versatile approach is under-pinned by 30 years of personal and professional development practise, working with thousands of individuals and teams in a wide variety of contexts.

Sarah provides guidance and challenge to help successful high-achievers unhook from the rat race. Re calibrate and tune into a more holistic, metaphysical paradigm to create more fulfilling aligned lives, businesses and careers fuelled by values, joy, inspiration, purpose, belief, meaning and self-compassion.



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