Feeling Ready to Change Your Life

Feeling Ready to Change Your Life

How do you feel ready to change your life, whether a big change or small? How do we stop pushing that point further and further along, keeping it in the vague future?

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There are some practical things you can do. For instance, if you want to move to another country you would of course have to do some research and make a few plans and probably save some money.  But, there’s a point where research becomes a trap, a way to procrastinate and avoid the scary part, which is actually making the leap.

This is where so many get stuck, and it’s not for lack of desire or even commitment. Can you think of a dream you’ve been thinking about and reading about and planning for years on end?   Where is the point that it stalls? Fear.

Our fearful, critical inner minds start throwing every worst case scenario at us at such a rate and with such force that of course we feel overwhelmed.  It doesn’t help that no matter how well we plan we know we can’t predict the future.

From my experience erasing this fear is not a real option. You have to be brave. You have to walk right through and get to the other side of fear.

I tell myself I only have to be brave for long enough to do that one pivotal thing and after that I’m just following along on the new path. Maybe it’s buying that one way ticket, or giving notice at work. After that one thing, your fear will morph into a weird fear/exhilaration as every other decision will just be following along from that first big one, smoothing out the edges and preparing your landing on the other side of that big fear.

I can tell you from my own experiences of moving across the country and across the world several times, as well as changing jobs and careers, that I never approach these changes without fear. I rarely really feel ready. But every time I have managed to be brave long enough to make the pivotal decision.

After making the pivotal decision (or rather action) there is a weird in-between period you have to navigate where you’ll wonder if you’ve just made a terrible decision.  Just focus on the fact that you’re doing this, this is for real, and you’re not taking it back. This is your new life, and you’re living it even when it’s scary.

In no time you will begin to disassociate with your life before the decision. Really, it’s kind of freaky how quickly this will happen.  Every time I’ve quit a job I’ve agonized for weeks over giving notice, even when I was in really terrible work situations. Yet, after making it official I almost instantly begin to disassociate in my mind. The job begins to become a part of my past, even if I’m still working that last week. We’ve all experienced this before, as school ended.  So, if you’re still having trouble making that pivotal action, meditate on that after-feeling, how you will feel when on you’re on your way. Show your subconscious that it’s not all krakens and seas serpents in those uncharted waters.

If you’ve gone through this or have something to add, please share?

What’s your hard choice?

Don’t you love TED Talks?  I just watched Ruth Chang’s TED Talk on making difficult decisions.  She really struck a nerve with me when she started to talk about the difference between floating through life, waiting to see what happens or taking the easiest route, rather than taking agency in your life.  When we make a choice, we also choose reasons to go forward with that choice, and maybe find or create more reasons.

I can certainly identify times in the past where I was afraid to choose and merely went with the flow (I think there’s a difference between choosing to go with the flow, because that’s the best next step for you and doing so out of fear). When I compare these times with other instances where I made a choice and then acted on it, driving myself down that new path, I can see the value of taking agency in my life and in my own choices.

This was a timely reminder for me, as i have been agonizing over some hard choices lately, worried about doing the wrong thing.  The points in her talk gave me some perspective and loosened the knot in my stomach.  I can see now that neither choice is inherently better, but one is better for me and I’ve been waiting around (going with the flow) hoping it would just take care of itself.  Time to get in the driver seat!

Even if things didn’t always go smoothly, it doesn’t necessarily reflect that you have made a bad choice, as there is no such thing as a guaranteed-success life path.

Have you floated along, waiting for the choice to be made for you? Can you compare that feeling with a time you made a more conscious, difficult choice? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.