Crew Coach: Get comfortable taking those first steps in a new direction

Apr 16, 2017 by Rob Gannon

Crew Coach: by Capt. Rob Gannon

We all go through change and transitions in our lives. Some get thrown in our faces suddenly, and others we can think about and plan.

This is an area I’ve been working with for the past eight years as a coach, this process of planning and just dealing with transitions. I have written about this topic before here, but I don’t believe I’ve touched on these points in the process that I regularly share with clients.

We all know that sometimes just starting a process can be the toughest part. Sometimes it can seem tough because we don’t know where to start. But here’s the thing: If we think a lot about a change or transition, we’ve already started. Change begins on the inside, and now it’s time to bring it out.

This is also where the battle can begin. Our conscious minds, our thinking, and our egos and inner critics can start putting up a bigtime firewall to keep and put us in our place. These forces must be recognized for what they are but also must be overcome.

A true desire being brought forth and nurtured is truly more powerful than the excuses and noise of a mind that has been subjected to years of negative conditioning. If it’s approaching transition time, get on the right side of this battle in the head. To help us get clear and to be able to move forward toward transition time, here are a few tips for putting together a reinvention of ourselves.

First, write down your explanation about why you’re making a transition. Don’t write a book here. Try not to get off track with a long story. Edit it down to the main strong points. People and companies do mission statements all the time. Consider this a transition statement; clear, precise and on target. Maybe highlight how to apply skills to a new domain. Also, what driving force or theme keeps coming up? Remember, these are little but important exercises in gaining clarity to understand what we are moving into.

Next, what’s the value you bring? Write down a few sentences identifying the unique knowledge or skills you have that others in your new profession might not. We can also bring a trusted friend in here to help us see our positive and valuable skills. Sometimes our modesty or a lack of self-confidence can hinder us from seeing our true value. Those of us who have been in the yachting industry can really use the unique and intriguing experience of that life and the skills that life requires to separate ourselves and spark interest in folks outside the industry. I can personally attest to this. When I coach someone outside of the yachting world, there is definitely a fascination or at the very least a curiosity about the yachting life. We all can make that work for us in transitioning into many different professions. This very point ties into the next step.

Third, find your common thread. We are not rejecting one identity in favor of another; we are transitioning across a bridge linking the old and new brands. Work on how to articulate that. Again, I can use my own experience with this. If I am speaking to a group that may not be familiar with coaching or the captaining of a yacht, I can clearly articulate the connection of the two and how it was a natural progression for me and can be of value to them. I know this holds true for everyone from this industry but we have to be able to communicate and articulate it clearly and authentically.

All three of these steps can be worked on and shaped before making any life-changing transition. The beauty is we can continue in our present positions but, instead of wasting time complaining and doing nothing, we can begin our process. Begin the process of growth and moving forward by just writing a few clear thoughts about the new you. This isn’t hard or scary stuff. This can be pretty cool and fun.

It’s good to let our creative imaginations out of their cages, to prepare to spread our wings and fly. So don’t be afraid of getting clear. Clarity is the wind that can fill our sails.

Enjoy the voyage.

Capt. Rob Gannon is a 30-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach (