Biting Off a Small Piece of That New, Scary Commitment

This is it, time for you to take the big leap. Time to finally commit yourself fully to your passion project, to move to that exotic place, to start that business you’ve been dreaming of. Whatever you’re moving toward, you’re ready for it to happen this year. There’s just one problem: you have stage fright.

It’s an all-too-common scenario. You get caught up in thinking about how big a change is and you’re stuck frozen in your tracks. You’re not the only one - it’s a major reason why so many people around you are NOT following their true passions. The issue at-hand: perceiving and planning for a big change as though it’s something that needs to occur as one, big, scary, immediate shift.

Perceiving your dreams as a single big shift can be a symptom of getting caught up in the “grass is always greener” mentality, which is the idea that once you accomplish something in particular, all of life will suddenly be better for you. After further inspection, it’s not difficult to see how romanticizing over that big change could lead to some scary questions: How do I know I’ll even like it? Where do I even start? When will I finally be happy?

Our advice? Ditch the perception that a big change needs to be a dramatic 180, and start enjoying the journey while you make real, incremental progress. Then begin to make change, right now.

So let’s address those questions and put your mind at ease:

1. How do I know I’ll even like it?

Building up a dream as the answer to all of your problems can leave you vulnerable to unforeseen consequences. Convinced that you need to quit your office job and become a digital entrepreneur in order to be happy? How do you know that’s what you want? It’s significantly less risky to gather this information BEFORE quitting your office job, and most people who do end up leaving their jobs spend some time hustling and testing out their new venture as a side job first.

Test out your new aspirations - when Beth decided to leave her marketing career to work in outdoor education, she spent about a year volunteering as a guide and going to outdoor skills training classes. If your dream is to make money while traveling the world, start by taking some trips and practicing your skills. Rehearse the lifestyle you want, and if you determine it’s definitely for you, make a plan to start taking bigger and bigger steps toward it - little by little, until you can officially quit your day job.

2. Where do you even start?

You’re standing looking at the next mountaintop, and you have no idea what’s in between the two peaks. In what direction do you even start? How do you get there? Maybe you think you should be able to just flip a switch to make it happen. Maybe next month or next year you’ll have the clarity to transition your whole life. Not only is this a risky way of thinking, but it can make your goals seem insurmountable, leading you to delay action indefinitely. 

What’s one action you can take today to get started? Take persistent, imperfect action every day, and you’ll be surprised how quickly it starts moving you in the right direction.

3. When will I be happy?

When the future is the gold standard, how does the present moment ever stand a chance? When you do reach that big goal of yours, what’s to stop you from immediately shifting focus to another lofty goal? Humans are programmed to constantly think about the future in order to survive, and that hedonic treadmill is an unfortunate side effect of this is that we miss out on the present. 

Instead of striving for the future, put some good thought into what will fulfill you and make you feel successful, today. When you have mindful goals that incorporate your values and daily actions that act out those values, you’ll find your happiness is closer than you thought.

 

As you dream of it, what would achieving your biggest goal look like in your daily life? What’s one small thing that can shift TODAY to get you closer to it? Start making those shifts now, taking smaller steps forward, and you’ll be reaching your goals before you know it.

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It's time for YOU to happen to the world.

Don't wait any longer as the world happens to you - it's time for you to flip the script and take ownership of your life path, leading you to balance, fulfillment, and ease.

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