I remember going out to coffee breaks when I worked as an IT Project Manager dreaming about doing something else with my life and not knowing how I could retain the three weeks of vacation or how I would get health insurance. Those golden handcuffs were awfully tight.
The idea of stepping away from the security of knowing how much and when I was getting paid, felt terrifying. And so, I stayed…far longer than I should have.
Then I had a revelation, a tiny voice that whispered, “Dumber people than me have figured this out.”
I know, I know that doesn’t sound very nice, but it helped me put things into perspective. That if someone else could do it, then damn, so could I.
What those “dumber” people had was clarity around what they wanted, a belief in themselves, a willingness to try and fail, a goal they kept striving for and a community of people that provided support. I realized that deep down I loved and admired their ability to experiment and fail wildly.
Perhaps they weren’t so dumb after all. Perhaps the dumb one was me; maybe, just maybe it was my “superior” thinking that was getting in my way. My need to have all of my ducks in a row, or to understand and have a plan for all the variables. I was trading fulfillment and happiness for a regulated amount of vacation time that I still spent most of the time working through.
The negative voice in my head envied their willingness do things imperfectly and to learn through the doing. It wanted me to stay safe, keep things “perfect” on the outside and push down the excitement of possibility. What would happen if instead of listening to that negative voice, or overthinking, I took action?
About a year later, I made what would appear to be a fantastical leap. I quit my job, sold my home and moved to Chicago to perform improv. My life became a vacation.
Yes, there were many things learned along the way. There were equal amounts of success and failure. It was scary at times but not nearly as much or as often as what I imagined before making the leap.
Now, I start yet another adventure in Los Angeles as a speaker and mindset coach. I’m once again inspired by the “dummies” all around me.
Let me be an inspiration for you, trust me, if this dummy can do it, so can you.
What risk are you waiting to take? Leave your stories in the comments below. I love to hear your journeys.