[Photo by Daniel M Viero]
For years I lived my life like a scared little monkey hanging onto 2 branches. I was too scared to let go of my first branch so I could grab the second. I wanted a career change. A career change so that I could live life according to my values.
The challenge I faced
I would spend 6 years of my life hanging on to two branches. The safe option of my teaching job and the exciting alternative of entrepreneurship. As tight as I might hold on to the safe branch, while I reached for the exciting one, I would inevitably slip and fall each time. The cycle I repeated for those 6 years was climb up, hang on, slip, fall.
I had various opportunities to change direction and let go of that safe branch. Each time I was too scared, and possibly a little inexperienced, to see the opportunity for what it was. I thought about what I would lose if I failed. I blamed myself for being in that position and stuck with what I knew, too afraid to have a go. Each time I climbed that tree again, it became more and more obvious that I needed to let go and swing.
Find the courage to make a change
The area of my life I wanted to change was my career. One of my motivations for changing careers was to work my own hours so I could spend more time with my kids while they were young. I have always been clear on my values but I wasn’t prioritising those values. My actual self and ideal self were two completely different people. I eventually let go of that safe branch and swung. Here’s what I did, and what you can do, if you want to live life according to what’s important to you:
- Order your values from most important to least important.
- Work out how many hours per week you typically spend on each area of your life.
- Create an ideal schedule where the time you spend each week reflects your values.
- Pick out the things you can start doing now and take action.
- Look for new opportunities in the other areas of your life so that you can live closer to your ideal. Hint: you may need to think outside the box.
- Using the power of your mind, put yourself 20 years into the future and compare the two paths.
Believing in yourself
This career and lifestyle change was a huge leap for me. Because I chose to live and work in a non-traditional way, I met some resistance from people close to me. I needed to have a lot of faith and confidence in myself that things would work out. It was very scary, but surprisingly exciting at the same time. I never knew how things would turn out, but then, no one does. Through clarifying what success and failure meant to me, and creating the belief that attempting this challenge was a must, I developed a mindset that I couldn’t fail.
What is at stake for you if you continue on your current path? What will you get in the long run if you change now? Let me know below in the comments, or drop me a line on Facebook.
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