Learning to Pivot When Things Change

Life has a way of throwing us things unexpectedly. How we react to those things has a big impact on how we feel.

Through this entire relaunch process while also balancing my full-time job, one of the things I’ve thought a lot about is making time for myself. I’m a firm believer in doing what is best for yourself, your happiness, and your health – both mentally and physically. 

That also comes with learning when you need a break or just generally putting some things to the side in order to focus and prioritize. You learn to pivot from work, to passions, to family when those things call. Sometimes, they’re not planned and happen unexpectedly. 

This past weekend my boyfriend and I took a trip to the Poconos in Pennsylvania to go snowboarding. I was so excited. I had never been and it’s something that was on my bucket list for so long. He, on the other hand, is already really good having grown up with it. 

I knew I was going to fall a lot while learning. I knew it was going to be a steep learning curve. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I prepared myself for all of that, but I still found myself getting frustrated and overwhelmed during the process. 

Natural feelings whenever you’re learning anything new, right?

I couldn’t figure out how to turn. I couldn’t figure out how to stop. I was scared to go down the beginner’s hill because I perceived it to be much larger than it was. Still, I pushed myself to do it. Or rather, Nick gave me the push I needed to try. In those brief moments where I was able to let go of the fear, I enjoyed myself. As much as I didn’t want to fall, I knew falling was part of learning. 

Except … when I fell the wrong way. 

When you’re first trying to snowboard, everyone tells you to be prepared to fall; to tumble; to feel sore. 

What you don’t think about is falling the wrong way. The area of the hill I fell on happened to be icier and therefore, harder. When I fell I landed hard on my tailbone, which prompted enough pain (and tears) that I knew I needed to just sit inside for a little while. Eventually, I went back out there, but when I fell again in the same area, the pain was just as bad and I couldn’t continue. 

My first day out there. How lame, right? I planned to get out there the next day and try again, but I was still in pain. In fact, I’m still in some pain while writing this post. 

I was upset. I felt like I ruined the trip. I was disappointed, but Nick reassured me that these things happen and sometimes things don’t go as planned. 

So, we needed to pivot. 

Our trip got cut short, I was on bed rest, and I, overall, felt very restricted. I like to live an active lifestyle, whether that’s something as simple as going for walks or more intense like going to the gym. 

Being home-bound originally got me down, but then I tried to make the most of it. I watched Frozen II, I put a lot of time into drawing on my iPad, and I spent a lot of time with Nick. 

Sometimes, you need to pivot when things change unexpectedly. Finding some sort of positive in the midst of a seemingly negative situation can seem difficult, but it’s possible. 

This is a small example of it, but the idea of pivoting is applicable in all aspects. Maybe it means leaving a job that’s making you unhappy to pursue another passion. Or, maybe it means getting to read that book you’ve been dying to pick up when you’re home sick. 

The reality of not knowing the future is that things are going to change the plans we have. We need to be able to adapt so that we can make the most of those unexpected moments. 

Pivoting is as much about your mindset as it is about actually pivoting. If you aren’t in tune with your body and your thoughts, they will eventually force you to listen. My body very quickly notifies me when I’m moving the wrong way, and things could have been much worse if I made the choice to go out and try snowboarding again. 

Of course, it’s much easier to think positively about things in retrospect. In the moment, it’s going to suck, but once you give yourself a chance to clear your head, it will be much easier.

So, if you’re in a position where you need to pivot, whether that be in your career or because of an injury, make it happen. It can be scary or discouraging at first, but you’ve got this. Hone in on the things that you can do, not on what you can’t. You may find a new pathway in the process. 

Keep growing, 

xo Alexandra


Photo by Haley Powers on Unsplash

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