Change is scary. Diving head-first into a situation is scary. Fear of the unknown is scary. But the scariest thing of all? Regret.
Fear will consequently lead to indecision and paralysis. Sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step, yet the overwhelming anxiety of defeat can leave you spinning your wheels for months or even years.
Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?
Lose your job? Can you find a new one? Could you learn a new skill set?
Declare bankruptcy? Would this be a time to find creative ways to generate a side hustle?
A relationship ends? Could this be an opportunity to focus on personal growth?
Behind on rent? Might this be a moment to re-evaluate your finances and budgeting strategies?
You “fail.” Can you ever truly fail? What is the lesson here? Can you strategize more effective ways to approach this situation?
Gentle reminder: Don’t let fear be in the driver's seat.
Adversity comes with growth. Use it as a teacher and guide. Allow it to challenge your resolve. Be open to change and know that whatever you’re presented with, you will come out stronger and more aligned on the other side.
Allow me to share a personal example:
I have been enchanted by Wanderlust since I was 16. We took a family trip to Mexico and I was instantly enthralled with the music, culture, people and food.
While the “Mexico” I experienced was a far cry from the rich diversity that the country boasts outside resort walls, it nevertheless set my heart ablaze with the compulsion to explore on an international scene.
How could I travel for free?
Eight years and 13 countries later, I decided that being a flight attendant would be the most cost-effective way to see the world.
I got an interview with a company overseas, quit my job, sold my belongings, bought a one-way ticket and headed off to begin my new life.
No job. No housing. No return ticket. No backup plan?
Sound crazy? Crazy is where the magic happens.
How did it end? Did I nail the interview, become a flight attendant and never look back?
Nope. Not even close.
While the recruiters at Ryanair did find me charming, they did not continue with my interview process on account of my visible tattoos.
I didn’t see that one coming.
I walked out in a daze. I hadn’t anticipated flying to England and leaving my whole life behind only to be turned away because of a few foot tattoos. Now what?
I felt the momentary pangs of embarrassment and shame, foolishness and despair. I had confidently told my family, friends and employer that I was getting this job. The idea of returning to Canada a “failure” was humiliating.
That was just a story I told myself. I wasn’t a failure. I had taken a chance. While the result wasn’t what I’d anticipated, it had been a valuable experience. I decided to use this as an opportunity to do what I love, travel.
A week later I left London and headed to Abu Dhabi to visit my best friend.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I drank gold-flaked cappuccinos, swam in bioluminescent lakes, went on a desert safari, partied until sunrise and immersed myself in another culture.
Suggestions had even been made about applying as cabin crew with a local airline.
On my second to last evening, we went camping in the desert. There was a moment in the early hours before dawn that I sat alone on a sand dune. The entire world fell silent and I was transported to a space of awe and stillness. I watched in wonder as the first slivers of sun began to creep slowly over the horizon; it was magic.
I sat in contemplation. My time in the UAE had been chaotic and eye-opening, wild and crazy, incredible and unforgettable.
A thought came to me then, “I will NEVER live in this country!”
Two years later, I moved to Abu Dhabi.
Life lesson 101: Never say never.
I flew for Etihad for exactly one year. While I was contracted for three, the airline and lifestyle weren’t what I had anticipated, nor was living in the Middle East. Both were far more demanding, challenging and frustrating than I had ever experienced. I promised myself I would stay for at least 12 months and then I could pursue something different.
Life lesson 102: Not all that glitters is gold.
My time in the UAE taught me immeasurable life lessons, patience, will power, sanity, humanity and resilience. It also reaffirmed that I am a BADASS!
I set an intention, tried, failed, fell down and picked my ass back up. I could have let my initial setback derail me. Instead my perseverance led me down an entirely new path. Life didn’t go as planned but by keeping my goal in focus, I got more than I could have anticipated.
Life lesson 103: We don’t always get what we want but we always get what we need.
Moral of this story? Just go for it.
Set audacious goals. Go after them with reckless abandon. Don’t listen to the critics (you’re usually your biggest one.) Celebrate life as it shows up. Don’t attach to outcomes. Get excited about the journey. Most importantly, never give up.
As a final note: Successful people fail more times than most people try.
Now get out there and chase those dreams.
With Love and Light,