*For the men reading, bare with me for a second, I have to make a quick “chick book” reference to set up this article, but I’ll be right back.
In the book Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert finally finds herself after a long reflection and soul searching process, while traveling the world.
Throughout the journey, she references a word that reflects her state of being at that time. At the end, her word becomes “Attraversiamo” which means “let’s cross over”. She was ready, at last, to own her truth.
Ok men, I’m back! From a bad relationship to an unfulfilling job, changing your doctor to your shampoo, change seems to be a difficult thing for many to make. In some cases “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” works. Let’s say you’re receiving money from the estate of someone who has passed on and the money will stop if you get married. Well, “it ain’t broke”… However, for many situations, change is necessary and inevitable.
What keeps people from crossing over? In the book Leadership On the Line by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky, they say, “Habits, values, and attitudes, even dysfunctional ones, are part of one’s identity. To change the way people see and do things is to challenge how they define themselves.” One of the first 3 questions (if not the first) people ask upon meeting you is “what do you do for a living?” Regardless of whether or not you are proud or enjoy your job, it is potentially a part of how you define yourself. So deciding to cross over into another career or switching jobs may feel like an unraveling of your identity. When someone asks you to tell them about yourself, what do you say? You start off with what you do for a living, where you live (or are originally from) and maybe talk about your children, if you have them.
In some cases, you feel that your identity is attached to another person. Without them, you can’t remember who you are. If you’re not caring for, arguing with, stressing about, having fun with, building a life with “Mike” or “Michelle”, who are you? When it’s going well, you don’t question it. However, if the relationship is ever in trouble, you may begin to weigh who you are with that person versus who you are without them. You begin to ponder what crossing over would look like and who you would be when you arrived. For more poignant examples of the need for change, please read the upcoming bestseller, “I Want My Vagina Back” by Dr. Pam Love (www.amazon.com).
Crossing over is not recklessly abandoning one situation, that you don’t want, to then go to the next. It’s simply realizing that there is a next step in your journey that you need to take in your evolution. Take a look. Reflect. Decide. And Attraversiamo. Let’s cross over.
Monica Cost is communications strategist, brand manager and respected corporate and motivational speaker. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a brand & talent management firm. Email her at: [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.