I made the leap from a very good job, with a lovely group of colleagues and doing something I could have stayed in for a while longer and progressed further had I wished. After all, I’d only been there just over 3 years and so there would have been future opportunities I could have chosen to engage in or apply for. Despite all of this, it just wasn’t enough anymore. I had changed and my life had changed. More than ever, I was aware that life was too short and you had to decide what it was you really wanted and go after it. So what have I learnt…
Being true to yourself
I had to make some, what you might call, ‘big’ life decisions. The very good job was one that 2 years earlier I had said was a job for life (having never had one of these before I thought it gave me enough scope to stay there for life). I’d always loved education and learning and research and teaching and this gave me all of that. I could have stayed there but I would have been lying to myself that it was still right for me. I’ve always had the utmost respect for those who are truthful and honest with me so I needed to honour that value and respect myself enough to know that it was time to take the leap. This was no longer the dream job and I didn’t have the same passion for it because I had changed and grown. I wanted more than a ‘good’ job that was ‘ok’ to be in.
Taking time to know yourself, to really know your likes and dislikes, your needs and wants, your non-negotiables, your dreams and desires is key. You need to believe that you know what’s best for you because even those closest to you might question your moves when you make such life-changing decisions. It’s when you get questioned or challenged that you have to own your choices and decisions. You have to trust in yourself that although it might appear a bit messy at times, and like you’re in it on your own, the leap of faith others might see as crazy will work out. If you don’t trust and back yourself how can you expect other people too?
Being kind to yourself
Things can sometimes take longer to fall into place after such a leap and it’s important to not fall into a mental self-sabotage conversation in your own head about yourself! It’s also easy to jump straight into the next thing to fill the void of work (voice of experience) without fully recognising the closure of such an important piece of your life. My work didn’t define me, I knew I was more than my job however I didn’t allow myself time to process or think about what that loss or closure signified. It was quite a significant event for me having always been an employee. Take time for you, your timeline is yours and yours alone. Life isn’t a race to be compared with other people, it’s your life to live as you choose and at the pace at which you choose and not to anyone else’s expectations.
Have a vision, stay focused but be open to new opportunities
You don’t need to know exact details of the new direction you’re heading in but you at least need to have a vision. Things can be overwhelming at times when you start your own business and you might think you’re going in one direction and then an opportunity comes up that can take you in another direction. That’s perfectly ok as long as the direction the opportunity takes you in is aligned with your overall vision and with your core values. My plan altered back near the start but the opportunity arose and as it aligned with the overarching aims of the company I accepted it. Looking back it has steered the direction of my ship, so to speak, to a course that I initially hadn’t anticipated being on. Opportunities present themselves all the time so know your values and your vision and if the opportunity aligns with them, and you can remain true to yourself, then go for it!
Learn from your actions
A lot of the time people say to ‘learn from your mistakes’ well I prefer to say learn from your actions given that I feel the majority of humans wouldn’t purposely go into something to make a mistake. Yes we make decisions and take actions but I would like to think we do that with our, and others, best intentions in mind. Hence the phrase learn from your actions. If you take action and you haven’t thought it through or if you take action and your mind isn’t focused on the action you are taking, then yes more mistakes may happen. The consequences of the action can vary but when you take action from a place of consciousness and consideration then the mistakes or errors are more limited.
Take time to reflect on your progress
There are days when you feel like you’re making progress and there are days where you feel like you’ve gone back ten steps. In order to help stay focused its important to take time to reflect upon the things you have achieved in that day, week, or month and now year! All too often it’s easy to allow the mind to focus on the things that haven’t yet been done and to the next thing on the list (the list that just grows and grows!). And whilst it’s important to have an action plan to bring the vision alive, it’s also important to take time to recognise your achievements and just how far you’ve come.
BELIEVE in yourself and DON’T let FEAR hold you back
On various social media sites I’ve come across the posts that define ‘Fear’ in two ways:
Fear Everything and Run
Face Everything and Rise
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s taken me a little longer to take action on things because I’ve unconsciously slipped back into the 1st definition. The trick comes in noticing your patterns and being aware that you’ve not done something through fear and that you’ve put a block up. Then having noticed that you’ve created a block the next trick is not to berate yourself for it. Then to consciously switch to the 2nd definition and to tackle that thing that needs actioning and to transcend that fear by facing it.
- Have I made progress? Yes!
- Have I learnt lots? Yes!
- Is the vision coming to life? Yes!
- Have I taken up new opportunities? Yes!
- Am I taking time for me and being kinder to myself? Yes!
- Do I trust myself? Yes!
- Am I being true to myself? Yes!
- Has it been worth the leap? 100% Yes!
I still love education, learning, research and teaching but now I get to do it for my own company.