Change is scary

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Change is scary. It just inherently is. When you make a change, you don’t know how it’s going to end up. Yeah, things could get way more awesome or they could be terrible and you’ll regret it.  I took a big risk right after graduation, and although I’m sure one day I’ll realize what it was that I learned from the experience, as of right now I just regret it.

So, how do you know when to lean in and embrace a potential change and when to cruise along and forgo the disruption? When is the risk worth the potential reward?

I’ve thought about this a lot lately. It’s so hard to tell and a list of pros and cons can only go so far. The fear of failing can be stifling. It can leave you to settle with what you have now and not push for more. Change will disrupt your day to day life, and are you really ready for that? Will you be able to make that yoga class you enjoy so much still? Will it affect your relationships? And..will your dog like it?  And did I mention, what if I fail? What if I fail? 

The good news is, I’ve come to realize, that I’m only 24. Which is by far my favorite age thus far, with the exception of 4.. when I was still rocking natural white blonde curly hair.. I was adorable. (What happened?!). And at 24, change should be embraced. We should pick up the change, cradle it, give it a kiss and let it stay up late to watch cartoons. And why?

Because I’m only 24. I currently am unmarried (with no intention of changing that for quite some time) and without children. There’s no one relying on me. I don’t have a ton of expenses aside from a car payment and yoga bills. Now IS the time to experiment with change. To embrace potential new challenges that could leave you face planted in the cement with a bloody nose and a nasty scab on your knee cap. But, there’s time to get back on your feet. There quite literally is no time like the present.

But, you know what, it’s still scary. And a con list could be two pages deep, but your gut and your heart will still be in it regardless. So what do you listen to? Logic or your heart? In the words of my all-knowing best friend, follow your heart. Because now’s the time to make mistakes and learn a little.

Now I’m not talking risking your life by drinking and driving, #YOLO, drug experimenting or going home from a bar with strangers. Because that’s called being irresponsible, not risk taking. I’m talking real life changes. Like moving somewhere to pursue a new career, making a leap of faith in your relationship or seizing a potentially scary opportunity.

I’m about to be annoyingly vague.. but… I’m looking to make a few changes and hopefully have the opportunity to take a risk very soon that will maybe make me miss a few yoga classes, my dog might not like it and it might affect my relationships. But my heart’s in it. It feels right. It feels worth it. And frankly, I don’t want to live in regret of something that could have been.

Wish me luck in my vague reference to a risk that might not even happen?

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Make the bold move

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In the past week I’ve been encouraged to make bold moves in both my personal and professional life.

Professionally, I’ve made bold moves in my life before and frankly many of those did not work out. They resulted in disappointing emails, a lack of a returned call, and hours spent refreshing my inbox hoping for good news. Conversely, I’ve made some bold moves that have worked out. And those resulted in a career path change for the better, moving into a position I love and more returned emails and phone calls. I’m a relatively confident person when it comes to knowing my aptitudes, strengths and weaknesses. I’m self aware and openly admit the places where I need to improve, but also work to accentuate those areas in which I excel. Typically, I feel I can accurately assess the outcome of a bold move, therefore making these moves much less scary and more calculated.

In the personal life it is much more difficult to make those bold moves. Although the feeling of rejection from a dream job is heartbreaking, few things compare to true heartbreak. When you get turned down for a job or even just something at work didn’t pan out, it can shake your confidence level a bit. I know for a fact my confidence level was in the pits when I was applying for positions in a field I had no experience in. But when it comes to the heart, the implications stick with you so much longer. The lasting effects shape how you deal with future romantic encounters, even if you don’t know it is happening. Matters of love can’t be calculated, planned or schemed. They just happen. Emotions and feelings can’t always be explained nor predicted.

I missed an opportunity recently to make a bold move in my personal life, and I am disappointed in myself. I allowed past events to hang a dark cloud over my present and I never want this to happen again. On the professional side it is so much easier. Your confidence level might get shaken one day, and the next you’re getting assigned a new project that puts the spring in your step.

So this week I am encouraging myself to make a few bold moves in both my personal and professional life. To not let fear hold me back or shake me. I think we should ask ourselves “why not?” and realize those excuses you start listing off are simply that – excuses. In the words of Nike, Just DO it because this feeling of disappointment in myself for not making a move is not one I want to be very acquainted.