Last week, I touched on knowing when it’s time to persevere and when it’s time to pivot. Too many people get off track from the trajectory God has for their lives, simply because they missed the signal to pivot. We do this for justifiable reasons – loyalty, family, security, etc. But no matter how good our intentions are, if we miss the signal, we’ll find ourselves out of God’s timing for our lives. In fact, if you talk to anybody that has had to make a significant pivot in their life, they’ll tell you they wish they would have pivoted sooner.
As I listened to people this past week, it’s clear that a lot of people are sensing the need to pivot. It feels like our willingness to pivot is the accelerant that will fuel the turnaround God has promised.
So – if you find yourself needing to make a pivot, how do you do it successfully?
Five Principles For Making A Successful Pivot:
1. Your pivot should be strategic:
Pivoting isn’t change for change’s sake. Some of us are change junkies. We’re like dogs chasing squirrels; addicted to the rush of launching into something new.
And then there are others who hit the change button anytime things start heading south in their lives.
“Life is tough – let’s move! Then things will be better.”
That never, EVER works.
There are times when pivoting requires making wholesale changes to your life, but often it’s just a subtle shift that creates the change in trajectory that you’re looking for.
It might be a simple shift in alignment. You might need an experienced voice to help you get on a new track. Remember, bringing a new voice into your life is not an act of disloyalty to the people that are already there.
Sometimes, it’s about removing the things that are distracting you so you can focus on where you’re headed.
Or maybe God wants to shift something in your understanding so you can better position yourself to accomplish your purpose. I experienced this in my own life. When God spoke to me about my calling, I looked at it through my paradigm. But my paradigm was too small, so it limited my impact. When I began to see through His eyes, it opened up all kinds of possibilities.
So we have to be strategic.
Fortunately, as Kingdom-minded people, we have access to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We can tap into prophetic direction about where we need to shift gears through prayer, the Word, prophetic dreams and insight from trusted friends that hear God.
2. Stop and evaluate:
If you feel like something is off, the worst mistake you can make is to keep moving in the wrong direction. It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are if you are on the wrong road.
Instead, push the pause button and take some time to evaluate – what’s working, what’s served its purpose and what doesn’t fit with the future God has designed for you.
3. Persevere in God’s plan, but be flexible in your approach:
Remember, God’s plan is unchanging, but the where, when and how is fluid and needs to constantly be evaluated. Don’t be so married to your approach that you miss the signal that it’s time to make a change.
4. Put some hard metrics in your life:
Business people understand that success must be measurable. If you’re not making money, you won’t be in business very long. So good business people have a set of metrics that they look at daily to get a pulse on what’s working and what’s not.
But here’s a caution:
There is always a way to prop up what you’re doing so you feel like you’re successful. Some people equate busyness with success. But how much of our hectic schedules and endless meetings are actually productive?
Remember, activity is the enemy of progress.
- Do you know the 2-3 really important things that you should be doing on a daily basis?
- How much time are you spending on them? What’s a realistic picture of success?
- How do you measure it?
These are all questions we need to be asking ourselves on a regular basis.
Here’s why this is important: If your metrics are ambiguous, you really don’t know what’s going on. You could be doing great or you could be way off track. Without hard metrics, it’s impossible to know if you should pivot or persevere.
5. If you’re going to pivot – then pivot!
This year, my daughter started dance lessons. She really enjoys dancing, but sometimes struggles with fear and confidence. Recently, she was showing my husband and I a leaping spin she was trying to do. She started strong – and then she would pull up, afraid to commit to the leap. She’s at the place where she’s learning that successful leaps require that you go all in. You’ve got to commit to the movement.
It’s the same for you and me.
You might be afraid, but once you’ve made the decision to pivot, you’ve got to go all in.
Take the leap.
Act decisively, despite your fear.
Wrapping It Up:
Even if you’ve missed the signal to pivot, it’s not too late. You can never exhaust His willingness to help you get back on course.
Here are few things to think about:
- Is there an area in your life that you sense is off track?
- Be honest, are you using vanity metrics to prop up your life? Have you convinced yourself that busyness = effectiveness?
- What subtle shift in strategy might get you back on track?
- Who do you need to connect with to move to the next level?
- If you made a pivot, what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best that could happen?
If you sense God is calling you to pivot, I want to encourage you to set aside some time for evaluation. Don’t let fear of pivoting cause you to miss your turnaround. Get a plan of action and commit to making it happen.
It’s time to pivot!