Turning Regret Into Action
Want to change something in your life? Start something new? Pivot one-eighty, but you don’t know how? Or you’re afraid? Maybe something else is holding you back. Most likely, the thought is completely overwhelming and I agree, but continue reading for some ways to break it down into bite-sized chunks.
You’re ready to take the leap, or maybe you’re almost ready. Change is scary. There are no two ways around it. Some people run toward change and love it and are excited by it but most of us do not. Most people like to be comfortable and know where our next meal is coming from or our next paycheck or both.
One of my favorite quotes is by Tony Robbins, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
From my experience: if we choose change, it happens when we’re ready.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Maybe you want to travel full time, but you can’t right now. Begin by embarking on shorter vacations. You want to move somewhere new but you don’t know where, start out by taking trips a couple times a year to destinations you think you may want to live. You could even rent or buy a used van or car camp and check out destinations that way.
Want to start a new career? Make a list of your pros and cons. Be specific. Examples: I want to be a digital nomad or work from home, I don’t want a nine to five; I want to manage a team, I’m looking to work in IT (or healthcare, etc.) Research the options. Will you need a degree or a certificate or will work experience suffice? Talk to other people who have the career or careers you’re interested in. This is an often overlooked step but I’ve found extremely helpful, even make-or-break helpful.
Bite-sized chunks win the game.
What happens when you’ve made the decision but you’re inundated with naysayers or even people who are excited for you but don’t feel they can do the same, even if they claim they want to.
You’re about to change your life, or you already have. A change or a series of changes so enormous that people in your life are excited for you or terrified for you. I wrote about naysayers here but what about the other responses?
If you’re doing anything out of the ordinary, you may hear responses like, “I wish I could do that!” followed by a litany of reasons about why they can’t. The ones that I’ve heard most recently are: My husband doesn’t want to move. My kids are too young. My parents are too old. I can’t afford it. I’m afraid. I love my stuff and I’m comfortable where I am.
Each of these excuses has a work-around but what they’re all really saying is, I’m not ready. And that’s okay.
I wasn’t ready until I was. And it took me almost fifty years to become ready. I recently asked a friend of mine who moved to Barcelona about seven years ago if he had any regrets or if he would have done anything differently. He’s in his sixties and he said his only regret was that he didn’t do it sooner. He’s not the only person who experiences this regret. Myself included. I’m about to embark on a lifelong change. I was born and raised in California. I’m fifty-five years old, I’ve lived my entire life here, and I’m about to move on. Truth is, I wish I had done it sooner, but I wasn’t ready. I had fears, or a partner who didn’t want to move, or a brick and mortar business with a lease that I couldn’t close, or a myriad of other reasons.
But the fact is that when you’re ready, no one can stop you.