Dr. Colleen Batchelder

3 Ways that Quitting my Routine Saved my Career

We’ve all been there. When the clothes are piled high, and the dishes are forming a leaning tower of Pisa. Coffee doesn’t even touch the chaos. This chaos was my life just a few months ago. Each morning, I would wake up with the same ideology. I would hit the gym, hook up to my caffeine IV, and grinned my teeth into a forced smile. For years, I entered the same routine, and it produced the same results. I was running in circles and not even coming close to self-actualization. I was barely making space for self-care. After years of following the same routine, I realized that it was putting me closer to my grave than my goals. If I wanted to survive past 40-something needed to change. So, I threw in the towel and entered the race. Here are three ways that quitting my routine changed my career.

1) When I quit my routine, I started to own my decisions

When I quit my routine, I also quit making excuses. When I looked at my life, I soon realized that much of my busyness resulted from my own poor choices. My addiction to the chaos was keeping me stuck. It was easy to blame life, others, and circumstances, but I found that I was captive to perfection when I went deeper. My fear was keeping me stagnant and separated from my goals. I wanted to move forward, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I need to keep studying, keep researching, and keep hiding away from my purpose. My routine was comfortable because it was my protection. I could continue with life as a dress rehearsal without dealing with the butterflies of opening nights. However, this also meant that I would never enjoy the applause or the feeling of celebrating my accomplishments.

2) When I quit my routine, I started to enjoy my life again

For some reason, the majority of people believe that fun is a dirty word. I thought so, too, for years. I would pat myself on the back for another weekend of overtime, brag about working until 3 in the morning, or only having time for one date a year. I believed that this type of lifestyle would produce what I wanted. So, I buckled down and removed all distractions. I was Wonder Woman, and I was determined to check off my tasks list at any cost. I know what you’re thinking. Yes. I was severely unhealthy and needed to make some drastic changes. And that’s what I did.

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I stopped congratulating myself for toxic behavior and started to mirror leaders who have learned the art of balance. During this time, I realized that one of the ways to change is through mimicking. So, I highlighted books, watched TED Talks, and tried to be human. Here are some of my favorite quotes that inspired me to quit my routine:

  1. “Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that- and I’ll learn by doing it.” – Sheryl Sandberg
  2.  “We are all so afraid of uncertainty that we want a guarantee before we even try. We want evidence that if we take a risk we will “get the girl”. It’s a numbers game. To play any game, you have to start. To win, you need to keep going. – Mel Robbins
  3. “What we know matters but who we are matters more.” – Brené Brown
  4. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey

3) When I quit my routine, I started to reach my goals

When I jumped off the hamster wheel, I came face-to-face with my hangups and choices. It wasn’t easy to leave the addiction to chaos. It was exciting to live by the seat of my pants and boast about my busyness. I felt like I was accomplishing a thousand things at once. However, the only thing that I was accomplishing was running without direction. And that wasn’t something that I wanted to brag about to friends.

After years of living in the fast lane stuck in never-ending traffic, I decided to actually question my routine and save my career and my life from the chaos. I was over the madness. And I was ready to move forward and accomplish my goals. When I left my routine, I achieved my goals, owned my choices, and enjoyed my life again. It took a while to leave the comfort of my schedule, but when I did, I never looked back.

Dr. Colleen Batchelder
As a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and Consultant, Dr. Colleen Batchelder helps leaders create companies where Millennials want to work. Her doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives gives her an added edge because she approaches generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens. Connect with Dr. Batchelder on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. 
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