For the last fifteen years I’ve had the enormous privilege of supporting people in making significant changes in their lives. Whether you’re contemplating a big decision like shifting careers, going back to work, or starting your own business, or a smaller change like improving communication with family or friends, a common set of fears and behaviors surface when a big life change wants to happen.

These feelings often begin as whispers telling you that change is on the horizon. If the whispers are ignored, they grow into loud shouts to get your attention. And if the shouting isn’t acknowledged, the voices start to feel like bricks hitting you over the head. OUCH!

The key is not to wait until you have a concussion, but rather to honor the whispers and be proactive about the change that wants to occur.

If any of the feelings below sound familiar, KNOW that you are not alone! In fact, I think the body wants us to feel uncomfortable so we’re pushed to take risks and make timely changes in our lives.

If you’re in discomfort now, celebrate because it means you are ready to TAKE THE LEAP and start acting on the ideas that have been calling to you.

So how do you recognize the signs? You will know you’re ready to make a change in your life when you experience one of these nine thoughts and feelings.


You’re constantly looking at what everyone else is doing and thinking “their path is amazing!” The self comparison can begin to feel burdensome.


You feel burned out and resentful about your current situation. What used to bring you joy now feels like a burden.


You start to frame things in terms of all or nothing…you entertain extreme thoughts like, “maybe I should just quit my job and move to Montana to start a farm!”


You ping pong back and forth between two ideas, your inner critic kicks in and tells you that both are bad options, which puts you back to square one.


You start to rationalize that feeling underwhelmed, uninspired and bored is just part of life.


When you think about a new idea or a change you want to make, your brain instantly comes up with 20 reasons why it won’t work out.


You set arbitrary timelines to procrastinate putting your dream into motion with thoughts like, “I’ll suffer for another year, make money, and then I’ll make the change.”


You begin to make other people the problem…your boss, your husband, or your friend who is experiencing success.

And finally… HOPE

You know there is more to life. One day you recognize that your excitement is greater than your resistance, and you take the first step!


Johanna Beyer on Après, a career resource for women returning to work after a break.

Johanna Beyer is the founder and principal of On Your Path Consulting and specializes in working with individuals who feel unfulfilled with their current careers and are ready to create their next stage of work that is fulfilling, challenging and purposeful. Prior to starting On Your Path Consulting, Johanna received her Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA and her Masters Degree in Organizational Development from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Learn more about working with Johanna.


Après is a career resource for women returning to work after a career break or transitioning within the workforce. Reconnect with you professional self by searching job opportunities, getting inspired and finding resources, refreshing your skills. Sign up for our newsletter here

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