Don't Fight The Light
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
Anyone that lives in a large, urban city, will understand the concept that I’m about to share. See, I grew up in the Midwestern, small city of Flint, Michigan. Yep, that Flint, the one with pristine, and clean water for all to enjoy! I kid, but Flint will forever be part of me, and part of my story. Shout out to my BEDROCK people. I’m a #Flintstone for life. Now if only our politicians would do the right thing and get my people some clean, lead-free H20! #FlintforFlint
But I digress. See, when I moved to Chicago 20 years ago, I found myself moving through the concrete jungle on foot and noticed that people walk with fierce intention in these streets. You walk a long city block, you get to a corner, and depending on your path, if that light is turned red and the crosswalk doesn’t say go, you don’t sit and wait for it to change. No way. As my then boyfriend, now husband taught me, “Erica, don’t fight the light.” Now, some of you don’t understand, so let me be clear. Don’t fight the light is a message to not stop when the light is red, but instead pivot, go left or right moving to the next block, and go down the street and on to the next corner in the direction of your destination. Don’t fight the light is a method for not wasting time, not accepting “STOP” as an answer, not waiting just because there’s a sign that says “pause." It’s a mindset that says, “Oh, you’re not going to catch me on this corner catching all this crazy wind. Nope! I’m keeping it moving till I get to where I’m going.”
I mention this because I also see “Don’t Fight the Light” as a metaphor for life. I bet I’m not the only one who has run into a proverbial “stop sign” in their life. To be clear, allow me use my personal experience as an example. About 2 ½ years ago I decided to leave my job at a great organization, one I loved dearly and which I had poured my heart and soul into helping a friend build. But, as the organization began to level up, it became clear to me that much of what I loved about the role was shifting to what the organization needed, but in a way that no longer fit me. So, in wisdom and faith that I’d find my way, I resigned, and going back to my metaphor- I started walking down to the next block of my life.
I wasn’t quite sure where my end goal was, but I did know I was seeking PURPOSE. So, I kept it moving. I thought it was that I would be led to a new job, another opportunity for me to build a vision in partnership with like-minded people as I'd always done. But every time that I came to a corner in my job search, guess what…..I hit that STOP sign.
So, what do you do when you see STOP? Do you keep standing there, waiting for the light to change? OR, do you PIVOT and make a move to the next block.
Well, if you know the end to my story, you know that I spent 8 months, pivoting my way through. Rather than STOP when I heard the many rejections during my job search, I kept it moving. It wasn’t easy. I felt the strain, the financial burden, the self-doubt and my inner critic questioning, “am I good enough?” But…I still kept it moving. And I found that as I did, people began to come to me for things they thought I was good at which I loved like facilitating workshops, teaching engagements, mentoring opportunities, and career coaching. As I kept moving to the next block, not stopping at the light along the way, I found exactly what I was called to do. And with that, PURPOSEFULL SEED, my executive career coaching and consultancy firm was born.
"The only move that matters, is your next one." - Jenny Blake
My favorite book about career transitioning is PIVOT by Jenny Blake. Jenny says, “the only move that matters, is your next one.” I believe she’s right, and that it lines up with my mantra- “don’t fight the light.” If you refrain from looking at the proverbial stop signs as things that are holding you back, but instead as moments that are propelling you to a new block that you would have otherwise never seen, then you will eventually find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t fight it when barriers come your way. Instead, embrace them. What can you learn about yourself while you walk this new block? What is life trying to teach or tell you that you need to know? And then, when you do get to the corner that says “GO” you will know whether in fact you should cross, or keep it moving in the opposite direction.
Don’t fight the light folks. Keep it moving. Stay focused and move down the block with intention. I know the hawk (or wind for those of you not from Chicago) is on your back. But if you allow it, it can propel you forward knowing that what you’re looking for is right around the corner.
If you need thought partnership to get there, don’t hesitate to reach out to PurposeFULL Seed. We have a lot of experience supporting our clients to achieve the transformation that they seek. Interested in a Free 20 minute career coaching consultation: Click HERE! or, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how I can support you. Also, feel free to comment below about your experience fighting the light. I’d love to hear from you.