Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
I have always been a fairly predictable person. For the past 16 years, I had worked at the same job. I got up at the same time every day, followed an organized routine in the morning, and went to the same 4 yoga classes a week. I ate the same thing for breakfast every day with a cup of tea and treated myself to coffee every Sunday. I was happy and I was comfortable. But then an opportunity presented itself that forced me to choose between my comfortable routine and a chance to follow a dream. Was I ready to take a leap of faith and shake up my life a bit?
A few months ago I was offered a job managing not one, but two cancer centers. I would have the opportunity to mentor and lead new nurses, provide education to staff and patients, develop new programs, and be involved in patient care—all the things I loved about being an oncology nurse. At the same time, I would be giving up my comfortable routine and giving up telecommuting. There would be less time for yoga and less time for writing. It would entail developing some new skills and creating a new role. It was both scary and exhilarating.
The prospect of being able to step into a new role was exciting. The idea of leaving my comfortable routine, however, was super-scary. I did a lot of self-talk, and I surrounded myself with friends and loved ones who believed in me. And then I realized something. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to get what you desire in life. It was time for me to get out of my comfort zone, follow my passion, and create a little chaos in my life. I decided to go for it, and I am so much better for it.
Whether it’s starting a new job, taking a trip of a lifetime, writing a book, moving to a new location, devoting more time to a hobby, or trying something completely new, it takes a leap of faith. How do you take that step? How do you know when the time is right to follow your passion and take that leap of faith?
7 Tips to Help You Take a Leap of Faith
- Trust your gut. This is your intuition—your sixth sense. Our gut gives us suggestions about choices and opportunities. It sends us signals letting us know danger may lie ahead, a choice may be the wrong one, or something fantastic lies ahead. It isn’t infallible but it does help us make difficult choices.
- Open yourself to opportunities. My new job did not just fall in my lap. In fact, I was not even looking for a job when it presented itself. I had been looking to build a team of like-minded people who could work with me in promoting my book, “The By-Your-Side Cancer Guide”. Someone suggested I contact the nutritionist at a large cancer center in the area. I am not comfortable with making cold calls but I took a deep breath and contacted her. We met to talk about my book, which led to her contacting her HR department, which led to a job offer to work at the cancer center.
- Don’t overthink. It is important to collect information and weigh pro’s and con’s when making a big decision. Know the facts before jumping in. But once you have made your decision, and you feel comfortable with it, move forward and don’t second-guess yourself. If the opportunity is something that would bring you joy, don’t find reasons why you won’t succeed. Look for ways in which you will succeed.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you. When you decide to take a leap of faith and follow a dream, grab an opportunity, or take your life in a new direction, you need people who will support your decision. These people do not necessarily have to share the same vision you do, and they don’t even have to share your enthusiasm for your choices. You want people who will give you honest input but will support your ultimate decision. You want people who believe you will succeed in whatever choice you make.
- Accept bumps along the way. Life may throw many hiccups our way. We may meet roadblocks when we take a leap of faith. Understand that this is part of life. Rather than looking at these as stumbling blocks, look at these as opportunities for growth and exploration. Slow down, re-evaluate, and get over that speedbump to move forward.
- Rid yourself of negative self-talk. This is the most important step along the way. You must practice self-care and self-love. Take time for yourself. Love yourself. Find a positive mantra and repeat it every day. Not all leaps of faith lead to rainbows, but a journey never started is an opportunity lost. Every journey is a learning experience and every leap of faith is a step toward a passion.
- Savor the journey. Of course we all want to reach that rainbow at the end of the journey, but we will miss so much if we focus more on the rainbow than on the sites along the way. Enjoy the journey so you can learn and grow along the way. Be grateful that life gives us so many opportunities and thank yourself for taking a leap of faith.
So go out in the world and follow your passion. Be fabulous. Take that leap of faith.