The response people initially had, when I was moving away from the last (huge) chapter of my life, working with my old contractual company was pretty bleak ; “why go completely solo when you could be safer with a little work?” Do a little work on the side, but don’t take the risk!
What they were saying was; “Jump! – but take the backup parachute”
My reply? at this point, there’s probably no time (and certainly no space)
I feel, when you want to achieve something, there is always an inherent risk, it is scary, it is uncertain, but you need to have 100% confidence in yourself that what you are doing, is going to work.
And sometimes, your calculated risk involves going it with just your wing-suit on.
A lot of the time, each tiny little risk we take, doesn’t work – completely at least.
We don’t really learn a lot from most of our successes, not unless they are littered with set-back, mistakes, failures and detours,
Fortunately, if you are afraid of failing; You can totally avoid failure by deciding to not even try; However if we don’t try, we don’t fail, we don’t learn and we don’t develop.
Failing is a more valuable tool than any amount of “didn’t trys”, be it a training regime, a lifestyle improvement or a business venture or sparking up a new friendship, all posses a huge reward, but come with an inherent risk.
Here’s what my diary has looked like recently.
Monday: Didn’t try
Tuesday: Didn’t try
Wednesday: Didn’t try
Thursday: Didn’t try
Friday: Didn’t try
Saturday: Didn’t try
Sunday: Did not try.
I’m guessing you’ve got weeks that look like this too. you might not even notice them, but once an idea, a desire or an opportunity rears it’s head, your subconscious starts logging it in it’s diary, day in, day out.
“Dear diary, I really want to feel healthier, but today I didn’t try”
I know exactly why I didn’t try, why I didn’t want to upset my comfortable balance.
Fear, Sadness, Anger & Disgust we’re at my control panel.
Did you watch Disney Pixars Inside-Out?
The film struck a chord within my, perhaps overly analytical, hyper empathetic head.
It shows us, that we can’t suppress these feelings, the story focuses on showing how, without sadness there can be no Joy, without the “negative feelings and emotions”, we’d be a dull, somewhat blank, automated canvas.
All of our best memories, our success and our learnings are shaped by embracing all of our emotions; if we do nothing but try to avoid fear – the fear of change – the fear of failing – the fear of looking stupid – we achieve nothing, we stay the same, we are like a stone carving left unfinished; but the result of allowing us to be afraid, accepting sadness – and sometimes being a little angry, can lead to being in a happier, more comfortable place.
Am I afraid that I won’t earn as much money? That I’ll have a lot of work to do? That no one will be interested in me as a solo act (or double act as the case will be, but more on that another day!) – Yes I am!
Am I sad that I have left behind a lot of colleges and beloved students? – Absolutely, It was THE single most rewarding part of my work.
Could I have avoided everything? – More than likely.
But imagine what my diary would look like in a few months time.
Did I seek support and input from other people? – Yes I did, people who had done what I was considering doing as well as people who had decided not to do what I was considering doing.
My contracted period at work was ending and I had a decision to make, take the comfortable option , but no longer do what I wanted to do – or …
Embrace the fear.
And as the credits were rolling – I was confident I had made the right choice.
And I was worried, afraid and sad.
What was the last risk you took and, did it pay off?, or did you learn from it?
Rich ‘still watches kids movies’ Sennewald