Everything is going just perfectly! You’ve been offered that promotion you always wanted and you finally have the role you have craved. Fantastic. You drink the celebratory glasses of wine with family and friends. You are so delighted and secretly very proud of yourself.

Time passes and you must admit, its great finally setting the direction and doing things your way. You are good at your job and getting good results. The fast car is great and you’ve been on a couple of really wonderful holidays, the sort you wouldn’t normally have afforded.

Five years down the line, and it’s a different story. You have realized with a bit of a shock that now you’ve got what you’ve been working towards, there’s something missing. It isn’t just a question of the initial excitement wearing off and coming down to earth, after all you are still achieving all your targets. You are feeling empty inside. This can’t be all there is, surely?

You can’t talk to your work colleagues or anyone else really about this emptiness inside, but for once in your life, you aren’t quite sure how to fix this problem. It sounds very wishy-washy to talk about not being happy when you’ve outwardly achieved so much more than you ever dreamed possible. Yet this feeling doesn’t go away. It lies there in the dark, quietly existing. It’s a dead part in the very heart of you.

One sunny weekend, you are walking alone in the fresh air, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, the trees and the big blue sky. Its impossible to feel anything else but happy on a day like this. Alone with your thoughts, your mind starts to wander. How did I get it so wrong? When I have been so successful, why do I feel so empty? Then it hits you. You are at the top of a great career, but it’s the wrong one. You climbed the wrong mountain. What on earth are you going to do?

Well, congratulate yourself. You have finally hit the nail on the head and worked out what the problem is. Now you need to decide if you are going to do anything about it or not! Its not going to be so easy to get off your mountain, come all the way back down, find the right mountain and climb that one instead. That takes a lot of courage and though you know how to climb mountains, it might take you a while to get up a second one. Its totally up to you to decide if things aren’t really so bad after all, you aren’t prepared to face all the pain and disruption to your life and decide to stay where you are. Remember, doing nothing is a valid choice.

We are only here for such a short period of time and you may decide that you want to seize life and get back to a place of full “joi-de-vivre.” If you decide that you want to climb a different mountain, be prepared for a hard journey, but a very worthwhile one. Coming down is often harder than going up. Its going to use muscles you’ve not used in a while and it will feel very strange. Many of the people you pass on the way down are busy climbing the very mountain you are trying to leave. They will wonder what you are doing and won’t be particularly kind or helpful about what you are doing. They need to believe it’s the right mountain. After all, that’s where all their energy is going, they don’t want to see anyone abandoning ship. They may tell you that you are making a big mistake. So you will need courage and plenty of it.

Then you have to decide which mountain you are going to climb next. Pick one that nourishes you, makes your heart sing and brings you joy. Do your research well and make a plan. Get a good support team around you - either a coach to guide you or contact others who have made a similar journey. There are actually plenty of us around if you look carefully and most of us know how hard this transition is. We all have valuable tips to pass on!

Have you got all the skills and equipment to get up the new mountain? It may look the same as the old one from the bottom, but you may need a totally different set of skills to get up this one. Having climbed one mountain, you are well placed to climb another, so believe in yourself and remember your strengths, you may just put them to use in a slightly different way this time.

Speaking as someone on her way up her second mountain, I can tell you that this journey is probably harder than any I have ever been on (and I’ve been on several!) but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Good luck and happy mountaineering!

Author's Bio: 

Lisa is a coach specialising in helping her clients get through big scary changes in their life as painlessly as possible. She lives just outside London and coaches internationally by phone as well as face to face. With an excellent track record of success, she has always loved change and how people navigate their way through it. With over 10 years experience leading major change initiatives in business, through the implementation of technology, she has always focused on the people element of that change as without it, projects can never be considered successful.

Her blog can be found at www.bigscarychange.com The company website is www.thepeoplegardener.org