Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography
Read time: 3 minutes
If you've been following along, you know I started a blog series recently called "The Entrepreneur Life" because I have received so many inquiries about how I quit my lawyer job to follow my jewelry passion (for more on that, head over to my "About" page here). It is my hope that sharing my journey will help others navigate a negative situation, career, or life circumstance. At the bottom of each post, I'll include some practical steps and "how to's."
The first post in this series was called "Mindset" and you can read that here. It's hands down the most critical ingredient to following a passion. The second most critical ingredient is courage. You can dream and dream (and dream and dream...) about a passion, switching careers, making an important life change, forever. It's quite easy! That's why nearly 100% of us have unfulfilled dreams. The hard part is taking the first step. That takes courage. And if your mindset isn't right, you aren't going to find the courage (see Volume 1 of this series).
Courage originates in the deepest part of our soul, in my humble opinion. It comes from that tiny voice inside us -- the one that's connected to the universe, God, whatever name you give the energy that makes this world go round. It's very easy to tell this voice to shut up (it's tiny afterall) and most of us do just that. Why is that?
I think it's because the pain of staying the same needs to outweigh the pain of changing before we take action. (Side note: I'm fascinated by this topic, so I've read a lot of books, listened to a lot of speakers, and done a lot of thinking on it. I won't go into how I reached this conclusion here, but send me a note if you're interested!). Change is Hard with a capital H. So many of us would rather love the devil we know than meet the devil we don't (aka change). That's why it often takes a very painful tragedy to propel a person to make significant life changes. We've all heard about, in one form or another, the guy who found his life's purpose after a near-death accident, or the woman who found her true self after a painful divorce, or the wealthy older gentleman who donated his fortune after a battle with cancer that taught him about the simple joys.
I'd love to tell you that I was an exception to the rule, but I was not. I quit my lawyer job and started getting "real" about the life changes I needed to make after my father passed away from a quick and aggressive battle with cancer. The thing about tragedies is, they bring you closer to that tiny voice inside you. After experiencing a major tragedy, that tiny voice gets louder and louder and isn't so easy to shut up anymore. And that tiny voice has a whole lot of courage. It's not scared of anything because it trusts that everything is happening in its own divine time and that we always end up exactly where we're meant to be. So maybe courage is, at its core, the ability to trust that all will be well.
Practical Next Steps + How To's:
Must we all go through a tragedy before we can start making difficult life changes that we know might lead to greater happiness? I hope not. And I think the key is this: the next time you are at your bottom (and you know what I'm talking about, we've all been there) take the first step. At that point in time, the pain of changing is less than the pain of remaining stuck at the bottom. If you wait until the pain passes and don't take the step, things will get a little better (as they always do) and you'll lose the courage. It's a cycle really. You feel awful, things rebound, you feel awful, things rebound. Gosh, I spent 10 years in this cycle when I had my legal career.
Cheers to mustering up enough courage to get to your greater self! All will be well!
And as always, if you ever want to chat or email me about this topic or any other, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography