There seems to be a theme of change and transition happening at the moment. Almost everyone I speak to has either just gone through a radical change or is on the brink of making a decision in that direction. I write this as someone who has experienced this in pretty much every aspect of my life recently.
When I look back over the past four months it’s really quite astonishing to see how quickly and completely my life has evolved. While I was in the midst of these transitions they seemed quite challenging indeed. I want to share with you some things I learned about courage and faith.
If there is a decision you’re considering making that has been in the back of your mind (or screaming loudly in your face) for some time hopefully something I say here can help give you some direction.
Create some distance
Sometimes I’ll get an impulse or instinctive urge and in that moment it’s pure and clear and I feel pretty good about it. Then I put it through a few cycles of analyzing, doubting, questioning and asking others for their opinion and I end up not so sure any more. This is what helped me past my doubt. I thought to myself “Although this decision may feel all important and life-changing what if I could just put it down for a moment? What if I could create some space between me and it?” I did the best I could to give my brain the day off from deliberating. It might be hard for you to go a full day but even giving your brain a break for an hour can help immensely. This helped me regain some sense of objectivity and clarity about how I truly felt regarding the situation. There’s a reason that “sleep on it” is such a common piece of advice.
One way to create this buffer is to decide that tomorrow will be your day off from thinking about this situation or decision. After a night of sleep you wake up with a clean slate. When the thought comes creeping back in (which it most likely will) do your best not to engage with it. Treat it like a radio station that’s playing in the background that even though you can hear it you’re not focused on what it’s saying. It also helps to change up your routine and do something that completely removes you from the situation.
Have the courage to put yourself first
Something I stumbled upon during this time of change was worrying about how my decisions are going to affect the people around me. How is it going to make them feel and what if they don’t like the decisions I make? Often we would rather deal with the discomfort of staying in a situation that’s no longer in our best interest rather than letting someone else down. This is where the courage part comes in. Ultimately you have to put yourself at the top of your priority list and expect everyone else to do the same for themselves.
It also helps to realize that when others see you having the confidence to travel your own path it may inspire them to do the same. And that’s something worth getting excited about.
A lesson in Faith
Throughout making these changes I was forced to learn to have faith and trust in myself. It’s a little bit of the old adage “jump and the net will appear” but there’s a huge sense of freedom that comes from no longer having to weigh your decisions against other peoples opinions that makes it more than worth taking that leap. This challenging time you’re going through may be the very thing that will help you learn to follow your own lead and trust your own knowing. That's what it did for me.