Professor Gibson
Thought Bubbles

Life Change, Failure, or Growth

Hello Life Planners,

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. When do you know it is time for a change? How do you cross the line from who you were to who you will become? Is it a line or more of a gradient?

In my life, it’s been a bit of both. There have been times when I woke up the next day profoundly changed. But at other times, it is a slow burn until a moment of realization that everything is different. By the way, what a strange feeling to go from one reality to another. It’s almost like removing something from your eye; everything seems clearer in a way you didn’t experience yesterday. It can be a profound and life-changing moment.

Lately, I’ve experienced the small burn of change. My mission statement for my life, which I wrote in 2021, no longer fits me. As I became more honest with myself, I realized it never really fit me. It was a version of me, a version others see and cast on me. But it wasn’t who I was, deep in my soul. It didn’t fit right in the depths of my essence, where no one but myself lives.

Here is my 2021 mission statement:

God put Sarah on this earth to see, acknowledge, and connect with the hidden beauty inside the square pegs, so they feel seen, heard, and blossom into their own unique individuality.

Not bad, but it felt like I was wearing someone else’s coat. Yes, it worked, but something was off. However, in my anxiety and need to belong, I accepted it. I figured my “gut feeling” was just a phase or a reaction to change, and it would disappear. Plus, I didn’t have any better ideas at the time. But in 2023, after an epiphany, I finally worked up the courage to rewrite it.

Did I fail the first time? No. I wrote what was right for me at that time—the key phrase being “at that time.” When it no longer worked, when I came up with a better idea, when I did a deeper dive, I rewrote it.

Had I been afraid of failing, I might never have taken the time, admitted my mistake change, and found a statement that truly felt right. Do not let fear keep you from developing and growing. I did not fail—I grew.

Failure denotes that I did something wrong. Growth acknowledges that I did something right. Flip your perspective. Or, as I used to tell my daughter, change your attitude. Get out of your own way and start living your life on your own terms.

Pulling back the layers, I found that I thrive in navigating the in-betweens of life. I am very comfortable living between opposing views and walking the road of change. This is no surprise, but it was still a revelation. I genuinely believe I was put here at this time of a digital revolution because I have something unique to offer.

I am sure I will rewrite this statement in the future as I grow further, but for now, here is my current mission statement:

God put Sarah on this earth to work with the tension of the in-betweens and navigate a road of change so that she can offer discernment and invention, tradition and innovation, strategic thinking and decisive action to bring about individual and collective flourishing in those she meets and works with.

Always remember it’s never too late to rewrite the plan for your life. There is no shame in doing so; it’s not failure, just growth.