In our work this year with a board of directors, all seasoned veterans, the Director of Finance retained us for individual coaching. He believed he was in a phase of ‘restlessness’ in his personal life, which was spilling over into the professional world. He described his daily condition of edginess, a lack of harmony, a feeling of constant nagging, but he couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. Restlessness is not an uncommon experience. Often times we may not know what it means, but feel a huge discomfort that something is out of order. What causes it?

Inner restlessness is not tied to chronological age, financial wealth, or gender. Frequently, it can occur after significant experiences of upheaval such as, career disillusionment, divorce, home relocation, surviving a traumatic event or illness, even the death of loved ones. Many people have reported that occurrences like these have proven to be defining moments of what is earnestly meaningful.

Whatever may be calling you or nagging you for change will be a journey of exploration. Think of your exploration as a personal phase of discovery. Give yourself permission for the time to evaluate and examine the following areas:

  • Take a deep look into your current activities, personal interests, and professional associations. Have you outgrown any of these memberships? It is possible that your values have shifted with experience, nationwide events, and long or lost relationships. Your needs today may be different with regard to generosity, self-worth, compassion, or unconditional service than they were when you were a fledging member. Investigate groups that share the same values you treasure. Leave those that do not meet with your needs now.
  • What is the predominate mood you currently have in the state of restlessness? Are you feeling anxiety, a sensation of resentment, an awareness of melancholy, or an overwhelming level of dread? Emotions such as these can indicate that an area(s) of your daily life that burden you. If so, identify where these emotions are coming from, a specific location, a specific person or group, or a specific responsibility that you need other resources to help resolve.
  • What and where are the resources that can give you relief? If your mood is a sense of urgency, an intuitive sense of unfinished business, or an increasing
    perception that you need to get involved in a humanitarian mission, then you have the foundation for great contribution. Your inner gears are spinning so that you are ready to make events happen. Find the cause that you can be proud of participating in and find fulfillment.
  • Look beyond financial rewards. Certainly you will want to maintain providing basic financial support for yourself and your family. However, look intensely into your present occupation. The company may pay you adequately, but enough to make you feel appreciated and truly needed in your work position? Reflect on inner interpretations, then new perspectives. We all have belief structures that we live from and use for our existing worldview. Scrutinize the stories you’ve fashioned about how the world is. Do any of these stories sift out reality?

“When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view. “ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Recognizing the Signs for Change