I’ve done it before. It’s not the first time and it definitely won’t be the last.

We needed to make a change to the project. The goal is still the same, but the road we take to get there looks a little different. We will get where we’re going and it’s really all good and still very exciting.

Still, pivoting a fascinatingly painful process. My best description for it is that it feels like I am moving in syrup and my brain hurts. Physically I am absolutely fine, it’s only a mental state. I told a friend, who’s also founder of a tech company – and he immediately understood exactly what I was talking about. It’s not just me, this is a phenomenon.

The syrup feeling. Like every little thing you need to do – from writing a simple email reminder to a coworker, through making a long-scheduled customer call that can’t be postponed any longer, all the way to changing those big strategic decisions you spent so much time arguing over last fall – it’s just so slow, and no matter how hard you push it you can’t seem to operate any faster. I still do not know whether I am actually working any slower, or if it just my perception that is different. I just know that for a couple of weeks, I had the constant feeling of getting absolutely nothing done.

Then, the brain hurts. It’s an odd kind of pain. There is no trace of a headache – except when the syrup feeling really gets to you after what feels like an eternity at your desk doing simple tasks at an excruciatingly slow pace. But at large, it is not the head that hurts, it’s simply the brain. Like the decision to pivot needed all of your braincells to switch the direction in which they were rotating, and now they just mentally hurt. It’s the oddest feeling, and I’ve very rarely had it elsewhere in life. Perhaps the closest I’ve gotten was seeing Fight Club the first time – when you at the end realize there is no Tyler Durden. Except the movie goes on to explain the whole thing and how it could happen – in the case currently in discussion, there is no explanation. No right or wrong. Your whole perception of reality just changed abruptly, and you don’t really know what it changed to, you just know it’s different. Completely different.

And yet, in spite of the pain, the annoyance and the frustration – and in spite of wanting to throw your laptop on the floor and storm out every 15 minutes – your love every second of it.

Why do we do this to ourselves again?

One Reply to “The pain of pivoting”

  1. Amin says:

    What a great explanation of what I feel theses days!! it couldn’t come into words better than you wrote. hope that soon everything will feel alright again 🙂

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