When I left my cushy, six-figure executive job for a life of passion (that often didn't yield a regular paycheck) last year, I was bluntly told by some people close to me that my decision was “wild and crazy.”
Well, I was ok with that.
In some ways, I think you almost have to be “wild and crazy” to get what you want.
Over the next several months, braced only with an optimistic and determined attitude, a smile and a draft of my business plan, I thrust myself out there in the big, scary world. I networked, marketed, and branded my business on the fly. I was relentlessly putting myself out there, and that meant facing the constant possibility of failure and rejection.
When my efforts were not immediately recognized, that shook my confidence and filled my head with doubt – about myself, my talents and my decisions.
I didn’t let them stop me.
The thing is, I was able to power through those dark times because I realized I had already overcome the scariest part of this journey: I took the first step.
It’s all downhill after that. Now I can only imagine possibilities of success and, most of all, fulfillment.
I'll be the first to admit that taking a risk is incredibly scary; yet it is the most beautiful leap of faith. Fear, coupled with brainwashed ideals of the ego, keeps us from expanding. Without overcoming our fear or the noisy ego voice, it is virtually impossible to make a difference in your life.
And don’t we all want to be a better version of ourselves?
If you’re thinking about making a change but are having trouble leaving the nest, ask yourself this: What's holding me back from taking that first, daring, scary, unpredictable step forward?
Then follow that up with: Can I overcome that fear?
If you can, you’re already halfway there.
Everything we do in life starts with baby steps. In order to make strides or progress toward your goals, no matter how big or small, you have to take the first step. Even if it’s the wrong one and you have to start over, at least you’ll have momentum on your side.
Here are some ways to get started:
1. Make a bold move.
Anyone can contemplate doing something. Doing something to actually make it happen is another level of commitment altogether. If you’ve always wanted to do or try something new or different, make up your mind that you're going to do it.
2. Rally up the support.
Whatever you're planning to do, whether it’s your first half-marathon, starting a business, asking someone out on a date, or pursuing your dream of appearing on The Voice, you'll need support. Gather your biggest supporters – friends, family, peers, and teachers – and lean on them to give you that encouraging push. They’ll be able to give you a little boost in confidence or hold you accountable.
3. Be true to yourself.
If you know you're following your heart with genuine, good intentions, you can do no wrong. Periodically visit with your inner voice and stay authentic. Avoid morphing into someone else’s dreams and agendas.
4. Have a good attitude.
Dr. M. Scott Peck said in one of his famous opening lines, “Life is difficult.” That's a great truth. If life inevitably presents us with challenging moments, then it's best to confront them with a positive attitude by always being in a state of gratitude. It will carry you through the hard times. I promise.
5. Have a little faith.
Nobody knows where this first step will take you. And who knows if it will even amount to anything? Nevertheless, you've taken charge of your destiny simply by taking that first step. The possibilities are endless. Have a little trust in the universe – know that everything will work out as it should.
Go ahead and take that leap.
Take that first, big, scary, awesome, life-altering, exhilarating step!