It’s not a secret that I haven’t been doing what I am doing today from the beginning. Some people might call it a career change. I call it a life change. It wasn’t about updating a LinkedIn profile; it was about shifting the whole system — beliefs, values, priorities, goals and relationships.
This process is about small gains and baby steps. No one can wake up one day and know exactly what they want to change or what they want to work on in the future.
And rarely, there’s an isolated incident which triggers the whole change. It starts slowly like tiny little drops. It comes up in your mind on the bus on the way to work on a Monday meeting, waiting in line for your coffee … and these little drops start to grow slowly. Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself reading about others who “escaped,” then you see yourself picking up new hobbies or volunteer, then you suddenly start dreaming with your eyes open about another version of you.
No, this was not me at all! I just imagine that it happens like this. 😉
Because of my work and my way of being, I usually attract people on the fence of starting something new, whether it is a business or a side hustle or just change careers or countries. The most common fear I hear from all of them: “Is this my true calling, my passion? Is this the right move?”
And my answer is always the same. Why do we need to use so many big words like passion, life calling, purpose? When there are only a few irreversible things (for example, taxes and death), why does this business we are launching now have to be forever? Why does the new job need to be the last one? It doesn’t have to be!
Instead of putting pressure on ourselves, why can’t we look at these changes as curiosities? Doesn’t that feel suddenly lighter and better?
I know it’s not only the internal language, but more often, it’s also about the pressure we feel from the outside. Friends are curious to know what we want to do next. The mother is disappointed because we quit a good job; the librarian can’t find a job title to register in the system. And in almost all the situations, we struggle to give a background story. We feel the need to justify our “crazy” changes.
When it comes to dealing with the fear, I have two things to say to you:
1. Don’t quit your job just yet.
This way, you can be consistent with point number 2 below:
2. Take small actions every single day.
What qualifies as a daily small action?
— Buy a book about building new habits. And read it!
— Buy an online course.
— Save $10 per day.
— Get a new hobby.
— Join a new community.
— Learn a new language.
When it comes to social pressure and speaking to people who are projecting their fear of change on you, I have two more things to say to you:
1. Don’t give a — beep — about what they think about you. Sorry if I shock you, but this applies to your family, your bestie, your ex, your colleagues, your nanny, your neighbor — all of them!
Trust me, it’s for your mental health.
2. You can start using a different vocabulary. Next time you’re asked, “So, what do you do?” don’t jump and give them a job title, a status or drop a company or brand name. Instead, say something like this: “I am curious about this and that. I’m tapping into this. I’m lucky enough to be able to explore this and that.”
Believe me, it works. They will back off with the business card questions, and they will probably get more curious about you.
You might have noticed that I’m on a mission to help people doing what they want! This life is so precious and so short, and we cannot afford to lose time on soul-sucking jobs, in ugly places or in unhealthy situations and relationships.
What’s a small step you take today?
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