Moving on can be really scary.
When I was in the process of making my own huge career leap, a song I hadn’t thought about in years suddenly came into my head one morning (a Sunday morning, as it happened!).
No coincidence—this was right at the no-turning-back-now time when I needed to hear the message of the song most.
The song was “Move On,” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sunday in the Park with George.
In the song, George, an artist, is totally stuck because he feels he has nothing new to add to the world; nothing to say that hasn’t been said.
Then Dot, his ex, shows up to talk to him.
Well, sort of.
It’s complicated and involves what I’ll describe for brevity’s sake as time travel. I won’t go into a thorough explanation of all the plot points that lead to this song—that’s all you really need to know.
Through this song, Dot gives George a powerful pep-talk-kick-in-the-ass combo based on her own bold leap into change.
Even if you’re not into musicals, “Move On” is a perfect career change anthem.
This song is actually also a great right-wrong relationship anthem…but that’s a story for another day! It’s also a great anthem generally for scary changes and choices. Click on the link below to listen as you read on.
“Move On” from Sunday in the Park with George (song starts at 1:22)
Stop worrying where you’re going. Move on!
If you can know where you’re going, you’ve gone
Just keep moving on.
I chose, and my world was shaken–so what?
The choice may have been mistaken;
The choosing was not.
You have to move on.
Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be.
Look at all the things you’ve done for me:
Opened up my eyes
Taught me how to see
Notice every tree!
Understand the light!
Concentrate on now!
I want to move on . . .
I want to explore the light.
I want to know how to get through
through to something new–
Something of my own!
Stop worrying if your vision is new.
Let others make that decision . . .
they usually do!
You keep moving on…
Just keep moving on.
Anything you do, let it come from you–
then it will be new.
Give us more to see…
A song can be a powerful friend when you’re in a major transition. Let’s break this one down and look at some of its golden points:
1. I chose and my world was shaken—so what. The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not!
No matter how much research you do, no matter how much planning and analyzing, there are some things you will never be certain of until you leap.
Some people stay stuck for years and years in a place that’s wrong for them because they are so terrified of making a mistake.
If this is you, know this: there will never come a time when you can be 100% safe, or certain of the outcome.
What you can be certain of is that if you don’t do anything differently, internally or externally, you will stay stuck right where you are.
Stay in action. Keep moving forward. And then, once you leap, embrace the journey, adjusting as you go.
2. Look at what you want, not at where you are, not at what you’ll be.
Figure out who you are at your core, and what you want to create for yourself.
And—pay attention now!—be that “who” NOW.
Don’t wait to be who you are until your external circumstances change.
Yes, get the support you need to consider what you want in the future, and make the best decisions you can to make your future desired outcome most likely.
But don’t let “where you are” or the image of “what you’ll be” stop you from being who you are and creating what you want right now, every moment.
3. Stop worrying if your vision is new. Let others make that decision; they usually do.
So many people, including many of my clients, want to find or create work where they can make a real contribution—but they get sucked into the limiting belief that any idea they have, or anything they have to offer, has already been done.
They don’t feel unique enough, or special enough, to stand out from the crowd.
What’s more, people hide their uniqueness in their attempts to fit in, please everyone, stay safe, or create something that they think others want.
Each of us is already unique, and if you can truly tap into your own truth, it will be new—something that no one else could offer.
When you are standing in your own truth, giving that gift that only you have, you can release the need for others to approve.
It is so true—anything you do, let it come from you—then it will be new.
When I started blogging, I was stuck thinking that with all of the brilliant writers and bloggers out there, I would have nothing to say that hadn’t already been said.
Then I realized that this kind of thinking was holding me back from moving forward and sharing myself, adding my unique voice to the choir.
There is a reason that so many writers, bloggers, and great thinkers are talking about the same ideas in different ways—it’s because these ideas are fundamental to transformation.
Since the beginning of time, philosophers have been debating the same great questions.
So it makes sense that we, as a community, are thinking about the same ideas and then sharing our own perspectives. The inspiring Marie Forleo has a great way of framing this: “Be the vessel and not the source.”
My clients often doubt their own potential for contribution, saying, “Who the hell am I to think I have something important to say, or something of value to share?”
Never forget: you have something inside you that the world needs.
If you are letting fear hold you back, the people who need your contribution–the people who are waiting for what you have to share–won’t get it.
If all the leaders who inspire me had been held back by their fear of having nothing new to add, I wouldn’t have had the benefit of reading their incredible writing or hearing their inspiring voices.
4. Opened up my eyes…taught me how to see…notice every tree! Understand the light! Concentrate on now!
As you’re going through change, be present in your life—not living in the past, or in the future.
As you take steps forward on your road to create and grow and move on, notice every tree along the way!
All you have, for sure, is this moment.
And this one.
And this one.
All you ever have is now.
So stay present…and move on.
There’s nothing like a powerful, inspiring song to encourage you as you keep moving.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from YOU. What is your career change anthem? What are you holding back on doing or making, for fear that it’s already been done? What decision are you not making, and what’s holding you back?
Who do you know who needs this article? Share generously!