It’s 7-Level Sunday! After taking last week off, I am refreshed and ready to go! Again, be sure to check out the prior posts on Energy LeadershipTM to get up to speed.
Today I am thinking about the fact that clients frequently seek me out when they are in transition. Sometimes they are simply in a job or business that is not fulfilling and they don’t know whether to change. Other times they are seeking more balance in their life as it is. And sometimes people are already “in transition.” They either lost their job or simply knew that they didn’t want to do it any more. This can be a very stressful time. Much of the media seems to be committed to playing up this stress as well, making it even harder. However, if someone has the right outlook, attitude, perspective, or ENERGY, this can be an amazing time of growth and exploration. That could be an additional post (maybe sometime this week), but for now, let’s look at the default tendencies for response to this situation at the different levels of energy. Specifically, we will say that someone has left their job, under whatever circumstance, which was not a good fit for them, and they have 6 months of expenses in the bank on which to live. (Note, everyone will have a different idea of what 6 months of expenses looks like and means to them.)
Level 1 (Victim/Apathy) – I can’t believe this is happening to me (even if job separation was voluntary). What did I do to deserve this? I know there is something out there I am meant to do but I have no idea how to find it. Rather than focus on taking actions to find out what it is, I will likely be paralyzed, and spend my energy focusing on the fact that I am going to run out of money. Even though I have enough money to last me 6 months, I am unable to put the money out of my head for even a week while I do what I need to do to discover my next step, or even my passion. Likely this fear will eventually lead me to take a job back in the field I didn’t like, or I will find a similar job that uses the skills I know I can use, but at a lower pay or responsibility level. Then I will say “see how hard life is? I knew it would be like this.”
Level 2 (Anger/Conflict) – I also can’t believe this is happening at this level, but rather than feeling victimized, I am angry. I am going to show (___fill in the blank____) that I can do better. I am probably harboring resentment from my prior position, and I feel as if no matter what job or career I seek out, people are going to be the same way as the people I resent from my old job, so I better brace myself for that. I am not going to try for a better fit, or expect a better fit, because at the core I believe it is a dog-eat-dog world. I will likely also focus on when the money will run out, but less than at a level 1. Here I am focused more on the fact that I am “getting behind” financially, as I am comparing myself to those who I consider to be my peers, and if they are still working then I really worry. I secretly am happy when someone else is out of a job. At level 2, I may put a lot of energy into finding something else to do that I think will make me happier, but it is likely all evaluated through a filter of anger and resentment based on how things have gone so far. I won’t try a new position that I think might be the same, and I am afraid to try something different that I might not be great at, so I feel stuck. At this level I am very afraid of making a mistake and so I also don’t let myself explore too much before jumping in to the next thing.
Level 3 (Responsibility/Forgiveness) – At this level I move past actively blaming anyone for my circumstances, though deep down I do feel a bit angry and resentful, I am determined to move past that so I can be productive in my life again. I will give myself some time to work through some of what has happened so far, and actively seek to forgive any person or circumstance that may have caused my last job to feel difficult. I know that if I don’t do some inner work, I won’t be able to find a new role that really suits me. I will rationalize the reasons I am where I am so I can move on. However, I am still focused on “winning” in life, so I probably won’t give myself enough time, I’ll just look at the stuff that is really painful for me. In seeking out the new role, I am likely to reach out to my network for help (this is the first level at which this happens because at Level 2 I’d be too competitive to ask for help). I will probably find a role, or business, that is a better fit for me, and feel optimistic about the next step, but I am not likely to be highly passionate about it.
Level 4 (Concern/Compassion) – At this level I am likely very aware of the impact that my choices have on others. I may have actually chosen to leave my job because I knew that I wasn’t being my best self, and that this was negatively impacting the people in my life. Therefore, I am likely quite excited about the next step, but I am also very concerned about how taking time to figure out my path will impact my family (particularly if I have children). My concern for others can be very motivating for me to find what I love, and probably a career that makes a difference somehow. At the same time, I need to be sure that I am taking care of myself during this transition. I can easily get caught up into doing a lot of stuff for others and become distracted from taking the time I need for myself. I can also become resentful of the people I am doing this for (because I don’t feel I am doing it for myself) and that will drop me quickly down to level 2. Regarding my attitude about the prior job/career I have left, I probably feel a sense of compassion for the people/ company with whom I previously worked, knowing they were doing their best. I don’t take anything that happened personally, and so I am free to maintain relationships with people from my past life, and they can be a source of help as I move ahead. I will likely land in a place I enjoy, though eventually it will tire me out because I am giving so much.
Level 5 (Reconciliation/Acceptance) – At level 5 I am all about the opportunity. I accept what is, focus on what works about what is happening, and I refuse to entertain thoughts about what is wrong. I get excited about what might be possible, and I explore the options. I do not feel the need to resolve any issues from the past because I don’t judge anything that happened as wrong. I am excited about what the future holds. In the transition, I will completely put the thought of money out of my head. I give myself a deadline by when I will be in the new role which will allay my financial concerns, and then I don’t think about it again. I will give myself the time I need to explore different options, and I will test them out when possible (I am not afraid of failing at something because I don’t judge myself). I will likely connect with people to brainstorm different ideas for what I might enjoy, and how I can creatively make money. I absolutely love the process. I appreciate the people who take part in it, and I create from a place of “what’s possible.” I will probably land in a great job or business that inspires me. There is a chance that I may be excited about so many opportunities it will take me awhile to choose, and I may pick something that does not meet all my needs because I think it will be fun.
Level 6 (Synthesis/Joy) – I am happy and joyful about all that is happening. Different from Level 5, I am not as excited about what is possible in the future, I am actually happy in the present with everything that is happening around me. Rather than brainstorming with others or taking a lot of action to figure out what to do next, I will choose to go within. I may meditate and rely heavily on my intuition to tell me which way to go. I probably don’t explore a lot of options, because I am not trying to find the “best” thing. I know that wherever I end up will be a joyful experience, and I trust the actions my intuition tells me to take. I may get a hunch to call a particular person or read a certain book, and my next step will quickly reveal itself. I don’t give the money in the bank a second thought because I trust the next step and the money will come when I need it. I expend absolutely no energy on worrying. It also doesn’t feel like a big issue in my life, it just feels like any other time. I have an inner knowing that this is all perfect, and I feel intimitely connected to my experience as well as those around me. My emotions don’t lead me to create any kind of stories about the people in my present or past life, I just am.
Level 7 (Non-judgment/Passion) – At level 7 I am even further up the chain of not judging, I am completely in the moment, and I know that I will continue to create spontaneous and brilliant ideas as I am connected to source, where all great ideas originate. I don’t feel any sense of pride in this, I am simply passionate about whatever I do. There is no shortage or lack of ideas in my world. I will simply go about my day as I did the last, and when the idea appears I will follow it. If I resonate at this level (not many people are here for very long), I will not even put any effort into finding the next step, I probably don’t even thinking about meditating to bring out my intuition. I simply be and know that the next idea will come. I am in love with all of life.
You may have noticed that there are upsides and downsides to each level. With complete awareness, you are able to pick the level from which you respond at will as it serves you in any particular situation. Without knowing your situation, I advise you to pick the one that most inspires you that you still can see as possible, and start there. While we each have the ability to access any level, most of society resonates around a level 2. Therefore, some coaching to bring awareness is often necessary to jump to levels that likely sound most inspiring. However, we can practice being a new way at any given time if we are willing to give up our lower level thoughts of judgment, fear, and scarcity, again and again.
Have a fantastic week! Comments welcome – are you or have you been in this situation? What do you relate to here? What have you learned that may help others?