Wouldn’t it be great if life was just “ straight forward” i.e. you make a decision and go-for-it and it happens.  It often looks like it works that way for other people.  You read about the people who have made it in the public eye. They have moved up to  CEO, drive an expensive car, launched a “unicorn”, published a best seller and it looks like they sailed smoothly to the top ….until you get up close. Then you see the struggles, anguish, the pain, and the trials that they went through–  the companies they started that failed, the divorces, the health crises, the walls they smacked in to.  Life is messy!

When you are going through a career change or transition, or trying to start a new company, all kinds of obstacles seem to throw themselves at you.  You want to change careers, and that may mean more training, more expense, and restarting close to the bottom of the payscale.  Would your family support you if you did this?   You are pursued to take a great job several states away which would mean uprooting your family from friends, schools, church, neighborhood, extended family etc. How would that go over?    You are in college near completion of a degree and realize you hate it— do you finish the degree anyway?  What will your parents say?  You want to build a start-up and don’t have funds. Should you mortgage your house?  You are in a business with your best friend and the business is ruining the friendship. What do you do?  Career and life decisions are messy!

Big career/ life decisions force us to look at ourselves in a deeper way.  What is really important to us?  What do we value? What kind of experiences do we want to have? What do we want to offer the world?  What do we want our life to look like in 5 yrs?  10 years? What will we regret if we don’t try?  What is worth trying even if we fail?

Here’s the secret: What is critical in these situations, is to sit with the questions-and not rush. Messy is where growth happens. Messy is where we learn and stretch and find what we are made of. Messy is painful and wonderful.  Doing this will grow the roots of a very rich and rewarding life. Embrace messy!