We all have a choice when we are not happy or fulfilled. We can wallow in our misery, or we can choose to make a change. We can continue to feel trapped, diminished, and overwhelmed, or we can choose a road travelled by those we admire.
Call it following your dreams. Call it taking a leap of faith. Call it whatever you want – there’s a moment when pursuing your goals where, to change your life, you need to step past the point of no return.
That can be a scary prospect, especially for those of us who are calculated, thoughtful decision makers.
However, sometimes the hesitancy to take that fortuitous step forward can be the stumble that gets in the way of your success. That hesitancy, called ‘your comfort zone’, keeps you where you are right now.
In this article, we look at what it takes to really change your life. We will challenge you. Are you serious about your own complaints, your own unsettled concern for your future, your own need for accomplishment before you’re dead? Ouch, that’s blunt.
No Risk, No Reward
Renowned Louisiana painter, Walter Anderson, once said, “It is only when we take chances, when our lives improve.”
Let’s break this down. You’ve spent long hours thinking about what you want out of life. You’ve weighed the pros and cons, done a lot of self-reflection, and attempted to settle on a path forward you think would best suit you. Rather than work for the same boss, the same company, and the same old routine that, albeit stable, isn’t serving you anymore, you have choices.
The risk you need to take to change your life may not be reckless, but rather, fulfilling. Like Anderson suggests, it’s time to take that chance on improving your life, if you really do want to change your future and your fortunes.
Everyone Experiences Fear
Chances are that the hesitancy holding you back from changing your life is rooted in fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Humans are often powered by a survival instinct that lends itself towards the known and the stable, causing a fear of anything that might shake up our existing routine. Even if shaking it up is exactly what we really want and need.
So, the question is, ‘is our dream just a dream, or do we have the courage to make it reality’?
Some of the factors that cause fear when considering career options include:
- Fear of the unknown/uncertain.
- Fear of the cost.
- Fear of failure.
- A lack of trust in your own judgement.
Challenge Those Fears
You’ve probably heard the moniker, being brave isn’t lacking fear, it’s acting in spite of fear. And that’s true. But it’s easier said than done.
The important part of acting in spite of fear is challenging your thoughts and applying logic. First, to the situation. Then, to your own self-doubt. If you’ve done your research, and judged your own skills and strengths objectively, it’s likely that logic will dissuade most, if not all, your fears.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What risks do I face?
- What are my plans if those risks come to pass?
- What is my exit strategy?
- What do I stand to gain?
- Am I willing to sacrifice to achieve my goals & dreams?
- Can I see the road to prosperity, happiness, control, and fulfillment on my current path?
Once you can answer these questions, you’ll find the risks a lot less frightening.
Purpose defeats fear. Find Purpose. Decide.
There Are Others
A second method of dealing with fears is to think about other people you admire. Write down five people you look up to, or where you aspire to be similar. Then reflect on each of them, one at a time. Did they go for it? Did they bust through their fears? They had them too. Did they knock down barriers? Did they take the risk? The answer will be a resounding yes on all counts.
They are no better than you. They just decided. They just went for their quest.
Is Your Dream Worth the Bet?
What is your quest – more money, freedom, security, time for yourself and family, control of your future?
Most of us spend our lives working for other people’s gain. That’s usually not our dream. Often times, we are living something less than our dream to create a stable income, when our families depend on us, when loans need paying off, and so on. However, if you are serious about changing your lot, and if you’ve reached a point in your career where you have the means and the path to make a bet on your dreams, you owe it to yourself to try. Maybe it’s even your duty.
That is, if changing your life really is important to you.