A few years ago, I would have considered myself to be someone who didn’t like taking risks. I preferred to keep myself within the confines of my comfort zone and live my comfortable, predictable life. Predictability felt safe, and I really liked feeling safe. However, about 2 ½ years ago I decided that I was ready for something more out of life, and I knew that it wouldn’t be possible unless I kicked my comfort zone to the curb.
It wasn’t easy, but I gave myself the permission and freedom to take risks.
I decided that after 8 years working at the same company, I was ready to shake things up a bit. I was ready to break away from the transportation world and into the technology world. I was ready to leave the company that I spent nearly a decade working for to seek new opportunities.
I didn’t leave immediately, instead, I enrolled in a one-year web design certification program at a local university in order to learn my new craft. I went to school two nights a week after working long days at the office and I spent my free time working on class assignments. I was surrounded by people that shared my desire for web design and digital marketing.
Everyone was like me; working full time, and coming to the program in order to make a career change. There were lawyers, graphic designers, web developers, social media experts, and even teachers among us. We all shared a desire for change, the ambition to learn, and the dedication to make the sacrifices that it took to get where we wanted to go. We all gave ourselves the freedom to take risks, even though we had no idea what to expect in our careers in the years to come. We all had faith and felt that the risk was worth it. When it was finally time for me to take the leap, I did. It was scary leaving a company after 10 years working there, but it was worth it.
When your inner voice is telling you to “take the risk”, “make the change”,
listen to it.
Listen to what that voice is telling you. Don’t make any decisions right away, but don’t ignore the nag inside of you that tells you to step out of your comfort zone. Sit down and think about what you really want to achieve, regardless of whether or not it initially seems achievable or not.
Come up with a plan and take steps, no matter how small, to get you moving in the right direction. Seek out supporters and cheerleaders. My brother was a big support to me during my decision to change careers; so much so, that he and I enrolled in the certification program together. We encouraged one another and he constantly reminded me of the benefits of listening to that inner voice.
God puts ideas in your mind and people in your path to help guide you to your purpose. Sometimes, listening to that guidance seems too big of a risk to bear. But as Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The biggest risk is not taking any”.
Fast forward to today and I am SO happy that I listened to my brave inner voice that told me to go for it. I’ve grown my blog, learned a new trade, and now work in Digital Marketing and Technology…and I love it!
As I mentioned in a previous post, this year I’ve chosen the word freedom as my one focus word for 2018. Freedom to take risks is something that no matter how scary, can have amazing rewards. If you don’t already, trust yourself to take risks. Free yourself from the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone. What are you afraid of? You’ll never know what’s on the other side unless you open the door and look.