Ok, I'm in a pivot...now what?

In my last piece, I wrote about the notion of pivot moments. We define these as the points in time when you know that change is happening or around the corner.  The article helped you to understand pivots and explore whether you might be finding yourself in one.

Today, I want to write about the different stages of pivoting.

Making Change Happen Vs. Change Happening To You

As I wrote, everyone has their own unique pivot moments.

Sometimes they are intentionally planned and exciting transitional chapters like moving to a new country or starting a new job.  There will be feelings of excitement or anticipation, and some nerves too probably.

But pivot moments can also ‘happen’ to you as well.  Circumstances may arise that are not of your own doing, or seemingly beyond your control.  For example, your business might be financially struggling, or an important relationship to you is breaking down, or you’ve just been made redundant.  Feelings here are likely to be confusion, despair and possibly even depression.

Understanding Change

The key to transitioning successfully out of any pivot moment is to understand where you are, to recognise how you’re feeling and knowing what to do next.

We think the best way to do all that is to look at a change curve, and understand where you are.

There are several variations of the change curve such as the ADKAR model or the Fisher Change Curve to name just a couple, and each will have a niche advantage over another in a given situation.  Some are designed to support people through a grieving period, whilst others might be used to guide employees through a big transformation within their organisation.

Ultimately though, they are all designed to help people acknowledge where they are and appropriately figure out how to deal with moments of change.

At Mavericks Unlimited, much of our work is focused on helping people through these sorts of moments.  As professional coaches, we work with all kinds of individuals who are navigating challenges and opportunities in their lives.   Through our blog, we provide our subscribers with the tools and resources to take action around these changes.

In a previous article following the presidential election win by Donald Trump, I shared a variation of the Kübler-Ross Change Curve to help people understand the feelings they might be going through at that time.


Developed by psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in the late 1960’s, the change curve model (also known as the five stages of grief) was initially constructed following her close study of terminally ill patients who were dying, or people losing a loved one.  She later expanded the theory to support a broader range of loss – job, financial, etc, and its applicability was extended.

As you’ll see from the model above, the change curve starts from a place of impact and shows the typical stages that an individual might go through on that journey.

A Path Out No Matter Where You Are

Although the model was developed for change that happens to individuals, we believe that it has a universal role to play in personal change management.  Where you are on the curve, and where you pick it up entirely depends on where you are in your life.  Consequently, your acceleration actions will be driven by these factors.

Let me explain…

If you’ve just lost your job:

Stages of the Change Curve

Possible thoughts going through your mind


“I’m numb/What will I do?/How will I pay my mortgage?”


“This isn’t happening/They’ll change their minds”


“Why me?/How could they do this?”


“I can’t get myself out of this/I won’t get another job”


“Ok, I’m here and I need to get out of it/What can I do?”


“I can re-train/I’ve always want to start my own business”


“I’m going to get a bank loan”


“It’s tougher than I thought, but I’m doing what I love”

Now, let’s assume you are in a different situation.

You’ve decided to start a new business – happy days! We’ll assume that any dissatisfaction with your current job has been dealt with in the early stages, and now you’re ready to act.  You’re in experimentation mode, and in a place to make exciting decisions. You're ready to step into this new world of opportunities!

Different, But The Same

The situations are extremely different from an emotional perspective; however, you’ll see that the change curve applies in both instances albeit just at different stages.  The brilliant thing though is that if you’re able to see where you are and work through the stages, both situations lead to ‘Integration’ and a potential life of success.

Not all stages will necessarily happen in order, in fact some may be skipped altogether.  Kübler-Ross stated that people always go through at least two stages, and most will experience a “roller-coaster” effect, switching around stages and returning several times before working through it.

The point is that we’re all human, we’re non-linear and so if we linger or get stuck, we just need to remember to keep working through it and we’ll move forward.

Whilst not perfect in every situation, the change curve is a completely accessible way to help ground people, even in moments of high pressure or stress.  It helps to give a base when the world around you is in flux, and that’s why we use it extensively within our work at Mavericks Unlimited.

Over To You...

Now that we've explained the change curve, do you see recognise yourself being in a pivot moment? If the answer is yes, have a think about the following:

  • Where are are you right now on the change curve?
  • What are your feelings?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • What one action do you think you can take to move yourself forward?

You possibly have the answers already, but if not, watch out for next week's post.  We’ll let you know how to take the first step out of each stage of the curve and then put a plan together that leads you to ‘Integration’ stage and towards a life you love!