It’s been coming up for me a lot this week: the eagerness to move forward, to take a few more steps on the journey toward a better and more fulfilling life. Oh, but what’s that right behind us? The fear, of course! Right behind the desire to take another step or two is the fear sweeping in, to say wait, what if you lose all of your work, what if it doesn’t turn out the way you’re planning, what if there’s an emergency and won’t be available for your loved ones?
Hello again, fear. You’re always there, waiting in the wings, when we take a step forward in our business or elsewhere in our life. I’m sure you can relate. For me in my life, here are some of the times it’s made sure to pay a visit:
- When we decided to buy a used RV and travel the US
- When we decided to start a theater company
- When we decided to stop workcamping and focus 100% on building our own businesses
- When we decided to spend the summer touring the Pacific Northwest
- When I decided to be a tour manager for a trip to Slovenia, even though I’d never flown internationally
- When we decided to return to NH and do a fully staged musical (even though we hadn’t done so in 4 or so years)
- When we decided to slow down our travel and focus on next steps
Every time we choose something awesome and bold to do, surprise! In comes the fear.
- Sometimes it’s a voice in our head telling us “can you really do this? What if ____”
- Sometimes it’s a well-meaning family member or friend concerned about our security or our safety
- Sometimes it’s a well-meaning person reminding us of how four or five years ago, x didn’t work
Our lives have been a series of calculated risks. We can never know if a particularly project or life choice will work out for us in the long run. Instead, we can carefully weigh our options, consider the level of risk vs. level of reward, and consider if the worst-case scenario is something we’re willing to handle and capable of handling. (And that worst-case scenario? It’s always useful to think about all the things we’ve been able to handle before, that we wouldn’t have predicted we could handle. We can get through almost anything, honestly. )
So if you’re considering a new step, whether it’s a career break, a new job, a kid, a hobby, going back to school or a big move, I’m here to tell you: feel the fear and do it anyway! If you’ve done your own version of a risk analysis, whether it’s a pros and cons list, a heart to heart with your loved ones or a gut check, and you’ve got whatever runway you need, it’s time to go for it.
After all life isn’t guaranteed, and we aren’t getting younger. What’s one step you can take toward your dream today?
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