One day, Jody Shield was sitting at her desk at the advertising company she’d been working at for a decade, and a voice in her head told her to quit her job. The voice was so strong she thought it was coming from someone in the room.
She soon realised, however, that she was talking to herself.
“Maybe it was my inner wisdom, but it was a voice,” she told Business Insider. “It was amazing because it changed my life forever.”
Shield now works as an intuitive mentor, life coach, and meditation expert, and released her book, LifeTonic, last month. By retraining, she has now worked with thousands of clients to help them transform their lives.
But the first transformation Shield dealt with was her own. After taking a few minutes to think about it, she realised if she was going to quit her job, she had to do it then and there. She just needed to trust that she could take care of herself if she took a leap of faith.
“I just knew in that moment that everything was going to be ok. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. There was this reassuring feeling that it was all meant to be,” she said. “I also knew that I had to act on the impulse to quit then and there, because every second that I didn’t act on it, I was losing trust in myself.”
Although going into the office of her boss to resign was one of the scariest things she’s ever done, Shield also said it was completely empowering.
If you’re thinking of starting over from scratch or quitting your job to follow your dreams, Shield has some tips for succeeding.
These are a few lessons she followed herself:
1. Trust your gut
Trust, Shield says, is an easy word to say, but it’s hard to do. She calls our gut feeling our “inner guidance system,” and apparently we are very good at ignoring it. It tells us to go and talk to people and take actions, but we stop ourselves out of embarrassment or fear.
Shield says that this energy from your gut then freezes in your body somehow, and this makes us lose faith in ourselves. The more we do this on a daily basis, she says, the more disconnected we become from ourselves.
2. Don’t wait for the perfect time
“Grow some balls and jump,” Shield said. “If you wait for things to be absolutely perfect in how you want them, it never happens.”
There will always be a reason not to try something. Maybe you’re in the process of buying a house, or you are thinking of having a new baby. Shield says she is always inspired by the people she meets who decide to make massive changes during the most difficult times of their lives.
“When you see people like that who have come from a lot of fear, maybe their partner is going through depression, or they have just given birth to a child a couple of years ago, and yet they are thinking about what’s next, it inspires me to keep going and doing what I do,” she said.
3. Put a plan in place
Before you do jump, though, have a plan in place. During the three month notice period after she quit her job, Shield built a website and started to clearly think out what she was going to do. She started to build up an idea of what she stood for, how her business would work, and what the benefits were for people coming to see her. A couple of years previously, she had started retraining behind the scenes on different methods and techniques like meditation, healing, and coaching and built up a “toolbox.”
“I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but it was what I was interested in,” she said. “So I decided to isolate what I was interested in and just spend some energy and focus on exercising that muscle, and gathering together a toolbox of things.”
4. Learn about people you admire
Shield also did a lot of research on the kind of people she wanted to be like before she took the plunge and left her desk forever. She watched videos from coaches and started to subconsciously model herself on them, so that she had inspiration.
5. Fund your undercover life
“I would suggest that if you’re wanting to leave the corporate world, just set something up on the side, and use the wages you get paid as a venture capitalist [to fund] this other kind of undercover part of your life, until [it] feels strong enough for you to make the leap and jump,” Shield said.
Some people just jump, she says, but these people don’t always land on their feet.
6. Accept that you will feel uncomfortable
Resistance is the force that tries to prevent growth and transformation, and you’re going to experience a lot of it when you start something new. Shield says that ultimately we are scared of change, so we create resistance which pushes us away from doing things that are good for us. She encountered a lot of resistance when she decided to quit her job, but she learned not to let it take charge of her.
“The only reason we get drawn back into old patterns is because of familiarity and comfort,” Shield said. “Whoever grew by being comfortable? It doesn’t happen.”
7. Find your cheerleaders
We tend to be our own worst critics. For this reason, Shield recommends you ask some friends who empower you to write down some of the things they like and admire you. Get them to send a letter or email with five things, and you can create a bank of motivational messages from the people who see the good in you and who know what you’re trying to achieve.
Just five minutes of meditation every day can help put you into the right frame of mind to make the best decisions for yourself, according to Shield.
People often tell her they don’t have time, but there are easy ways to try it out, such as with Shield’s YouTube videos. The more you try meditating, Shield says, the more of a sense of calm and wellbeing you’ll get.
“The brain needs space to detox and empty itself, and meditation, the first few times you do it, will provide a space for your brain to detox all of the thoughts that its holding on to,” she said.