It’s been harder than I thought.
At times I wanted to crawl into a hole and give up.
I still have days like that.
I don’t know what lies ahead but I am proud of myself.
For me, it takes more courage to be myself and live life on my own terms than any other act.
Many days I am still not sure what I am searching for and other times I feel I have great clarity.
I have learned to be kinder to myself.
A wise man once told me self-esteem is ‘empathy turned inward’.
I am giving myself more empathy and allowing forgiveness.
Most people love the thought of being a musical star. But they don’t love the idea of playing guitar five hours a day every day to get there.
Multi – millionaire? Yes! But the thought of bootstrapping it and risking everything for five years while learning to run a business? Not so much.
Being a best selling author? Wow! The thought of a daily writing process and constant rejection? That doesn’t appeal.
And that’s why more people aren’t rock stars.
It’s one thing to want the outcome – It’s quite another thing to want the process. And with career change or starting a new business venture on the side, you’re also usually grappling with the challenge of not really knowing what you want your outcome to be.
You want to be in a career or own a business you love.
But you don’t really know what that career would be, and the process of getting there (wherever ‘there’ is) looks unpleasant at times.
How can you take action on your career change when you don’t know for sure what you want?
How can you get started when you don’t know which direction to head in?
Start by doing things you enjoy and hanging out with people who inspire and excite you. And if you are already doing this, look for ways to ramp up those activities to a new level. You’ll try some things and realize it’s the polar opposite of what you thought it was, and sigh with relief that you’ll never fall into the trap of doing that again.
You will need a shift in perspective – from chasing an outcome to immersing yourself in a process.
In the simplest terms, without getting into the finances of it or your age or personal circumstances: what would you love to wake up and do every day?
Start doing it every day even if only in the smallest possible way.
Start connecting with people who are where you think you want to be. Drop them an email, request a 15-minute call, ask people you know for an introduction. Then ask them about their process. What is the daily reality of their day and their work? What is great about it? What is not so great about it? Get your head out of goal-mode and get with the process.
Understand life will not adjust your circumstances at any time soon suddenly making your career path or new business idea smooth and easy. It’s messy. You must demand what you want out of it.
This change, by its very nature, is a significant disturbance. It’s a major adjustment.
It’s uncomfortable to begin with. That’s why there seems to be so many reasons why you can’t make the shift.
Making a shift might require going to a networking event, attending a mastermind, going back to school for some classes, getting a certification or a mentor.
It will require changing your schedule.
It might require making requests of people you wouldn’t normally make.
It might require difficult conversations with your family.
It might require putting yourself out there in a way you never have before.
It may require spending/investing money on a course or program.
It will require vulnerability and finding a source of inner strength you did not know you had.
Those are all excellent reasons to stay right where you are, doing what you’re doing, behaving how you’ve always behaved. It would be very reasonable to decide to simply stay on the tracks.
Ask yourself what is worse, the pain of moving forward or the pain of staying the same? The answer to that question will tell you what you want.
Celebrate the fact that you’re growing and developing as a human being and have stepped outside a Groundhog-day existence. Experience what it means to shift and transform. Would you rather live 70 years or one year seventy times?
But if you’re hearing a call for something more, reasonable isn’t going to help you answer it. Reasonable settles. Reasonable gives in.
If you’re committed to making this year the year you finally start feeling motivated, inspired, and fulfilled by what you’re doing, it’s time to get a little unreasonable.
Yes, you might have to change your schedule. Yes, you might have to spend some money. Yes, you might have to get some new friends, have tricky conversations with your family, and push the boundaries of your comfort zone.
And in the context of living a life you love, that’s probably not too much to ask.
Be honest with yourself. Love yourself. Love and forgive others. Be true to yourself.