So you are ready to make a change. Congratulations! Whether big or small, changes can be challenging because they force us to get out of our comfort zone and shake up the life we are used to. I am taking a leap of faith myself. I want to share with you my journey and the reminders that have helped me stay confident along the way.
In seven short weeks, I will be packing a backpack and leaving the country. My husband, who inspired this trip, myself, and my adventure-loving dog will be heading to Italy to live and work on a farm. Five years ago when this idea first took hold I immediately nixed any possibility of it becoming a reality. I had too many fears, doubts, and ideas about how terrible this would be for me and my career. Two years later, when I first traveled to Europe, I saw the potential and embraced the vision. Part of life is about taking chances and making big changes with the hope that it will be spectacular. It is okay to be a little apprehensive, but I challenged myself to not let that fear dictate my life.
Maybe you are thinking I am nuts (I don't blame you) or maybe you are thinking I am brave (which I have come to believe myself). It takes a certain amount of bravery to take a leap of faith, no matter how life-altering.
Here are the things I have reminded myself of while going through this journey.
Before the leap:
- Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? This is always a good starting point and something I frequently ask when I am making any change, big or small. If the answer is detrimental to my well-being or will have a negative impact on my future, I will not do it. If the worst that can happen is that I fall and need to pick myself back up, I know I have done that before, and I feel confident that I can do it again.
- Trust your gut. It is okay to feel anxious. I don't know about you, but when I am about to make a change, I tend to get anxious. Anxiety is completely normal and acceptable to experience when you are in the midst of a change. My body has a very good way of communicating to me whether that anxiety is "good" as in excitement or "bad" as in doubt. If you are attuned to the difference in these feelings this gut instinct can help guide you to the right decision.
- Talk to like-minded people and do your research. In the end, you are the one ultimately making the decision. It is completely normal to put feelers out there to see if what you are trying to do is possible, especially in the early stages of your decision to make a change. Talking to people who are like-minded and doing research can help solidify your decision, but always remember to make the decision for yourself.
- Don't let fear choose for you. Fear is an emotion that has the power to hold you back from pushing boundaries, exceeding limits, and growing. Maybe your biggest fear in making a big change is making a mistake or receiving judgment from others. Rather than letting that fear dictate your decision, again ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Having a comprehensive understanding of the potential consequences of your choice will help you feel more confident in your decision making.
Once you have decided to jump:
- Don't think about what may have been. Self-doubt, comparison, and worry take away from enjoying the decision you have already made. This will not be helpful to your end goal and will likely hold you back from embracing the change fully. Focus on the positives of the decision you have made and feel confident in it.
- Believe in yourself! Know and trust that the decision you made was the right one for you. If you need reassurance, remember that you have weighed the options and thoughtfully decided to take this leap of faith.
- Set up a support team to be champions for you. Ask for encouragement if you are feeling challenged, reach out for a boost if you need one, and share the excitement along the way. Be sure to surround yourself with people who are going to encourage and support you throughout this change.
- Be mindful of how you are feeling along the way. Check in with yourself, especially when the transition is new. Take time to breathe it all in and enjoy the journey.
Remember, if you want something to change, you have to change something! Good luck on your journey. I am excited to keep you updated on mine.