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It is so scary to start up a whole new life to do what you love. For some, that is the hardest part -- getting past the fear to "just do it." How did you work up the courage to start?
Each of us views change differently and it depends on the type of change. Some changes are more traumatic and require a quick decision or adjustment, while most changes in our lives are subtle and we have time to think. And think we do, sometimes too much. Thinking too much, in lieu of taking some sort of action, can sometimes allow the negative thoughts to outweigh the positive ones and keep us in a holding pattern of stagnation and compounded frustration, which feeds our fears.
Motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins once said that people will do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. We can all look back over numerous occasions and see that we have made decisions based on this statement. How do we reverse this way of thinking and doing, and do more to gain the pleasurable experiences that we dream about in spite of some potentially painful experiences along the way?
Pain is usualy a reminder from some past experience, so a good way to start is to keep the past in its proper perspcective and be more of a present moment thinker and doer. Starting over is not always as bad as it seems and can lead us to some very pleasurable outcomes.
In my life, I've started over many times. Two divorces have led me to a very happy third marriage, at 60 years old (it's never too late!). I've pcked up and moved from state to state a few times: At 18, I left Ohio for Kentucky to college, then back to Ohio, then to Wisconsin at 22 for grad school, then back to Ohio. Then packed my books, clothes and music in my car and drove to California at 26, never to return to Ohio to live. After 24 years, I then sold or gave away everything and moved to Hawaii, with a one way ticket, at 50 years old. After shipping my car, I had $40 in my wallet and only knew two people in Hawaii. It was scary in some ways, with no job or income at first, but the snorkeling in warm Pacific water and beautiful clean blue skies were like heaven compared to the cold water and smog in southern California.
A whole new life, several times over, and no regrets. Every experience has been compounded on the previous one and become richer and more fulfliling. It's a very worn out cliche that experience is a great teacher, but the corrollary to this is that experience can only teach us what we're willing to learn, willing to risk and willing to reach out and take.
At some point, we have to assign a time line to our goals. Careful planning can help overcome fears, taking concrete steps toward a realistic goal or opportunity. Writing things down, putting dates on a calendar, making a list of people who are relevant to the goal and communicating with them. All this, hand in hand, with thinking happy thoughts, seeing positive outcomes and singing happy songs. If you see a potential stumbling block, be proactive in getting it out of the way or going around it, but don't let it stop you completely.
The fear of "just doing it" cannot be as strong as the courage of not only "just doing it" but doing it your way, according to your terms and your goals. You will struggle wherever you live, because there is always a cost of living, but on the up side, you are free to choose where you struggle. I chose Hawaii because it's a great place to struggle; the benefits are endless. When I went to Ohio for my 40th high school reunion in '08, it confirmed my decision. I couldn't wait to get back 'home'. I'm a Hawaiian now, culturally.
One of my favorite old time sayings is about the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Take the first step and then the second step will become more clear to you. And the third, and so on. There is no skpping steps, just like we can only live one moment at a time.
Good luck on your journey and your new life, wherever your intention leads you.