I want you to get inspired today about making a change that feels scary to you. It feels right, but it also feels scary. I have a new client who I will call John, who has been teetering on the edge of making a radical career shift for …well, it turns out years. John has been wishing and waiting for years for that perfect moment. He’s been waiting for the perfect time; for the perfect opening in that field; for the kids to be a bit older; for so many things. And just when one thing is solved (he’s saved a six month money buffer for instance) another fear will occur that will keep him frozen in place.
John is lucky. He actually knows what his passion is! But – despite that he is still as stuck as can be. Stuck by thoughts like this:
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“What if I start the job and they don’t like me?”
“What if they ask me to do something I don’t know how to do?”
“What if I’m not as good as it as I think I’ll be?”
“What if I choose the wrong company, you can never be sure, right?”
And so on.
John’s issue is that he is expecting the change to come without any sensation of risk at all. A naturally cautious and super sweet man, he loves to do a great job, feel valued and has been a very longstanding loyal employee. This move (in fact any move in that context) is going to feel very scary to him because it is challenging his very comfortable cosy comfort zone.
So, here is the question: do you want to feel comfortable, or do you want to feel connected, engaged and living in your passion? Because those two things, at least initially, are likely to be mutually exclusive. You can have one but not both.
Look: here is the reality. When you make a brave change there is going to be a lot that goes your way and feels better and more fulfilling that you ever imagined. The thing I hear most from my clients is “Oh Louise, I wish I had done this YEARS ago!” Once they are living the change and it becomes their New Normal – they can’t imagine what on earth they were scared of!
The other thing, the bigger thing, is this – there are bound to be little niggles and issues that come up with a big change. It. Is. Inevitable.
But – here’s the other thing. These little niggles and challenges that come up – all they are are bug fixes. They do not, repeat NOT, mean your decision or brave leap was wrong.
All it means is you have a bug to fix. You just need to refine your procedure for getting clients processed. Or make sure you dedicate more time to adult socialisation. Or have more support from your accounts or whatever it might be. These are all solvable little bug fixes that only come to light as you start rolling out a new programme.
When Apple release a new iOS there is ALWAYS an update a few days later to fix the inevitable bugs that come to light. Do Apple wait until it’s absolutely incontrovertibly 110%perfect before they release the new iOS to market? No. You better believe they test the hell outta it, but they know they CAN’T catch every single bug – but they go to market ANYWAY because they have absolute confidence in their ability to react quickly and fix any unforeseen bugs as they come to light. If they waited until they had ironed out every possible permutation they would never have gone to market. We would still be on those shitty old Nokia’s! It’s not about absolute perfection, it’s about “really, really good and we will adjust as we need to”.
“Tweaking as we go” is an integral part of the process of expansion and growth.
It’s the same for us. It’s the same for John. He’s a smart, capable guy. He’s laid all the groundwork and done his due diligence around this epic career change. Waiting for perfect is not helping. It’s stalling. It means he is never going to market. Yes there will be a few things that come up that he hadn’t anticipated, but that’s life. If he trusts in his ability to swiftly iron out those niggles as they arise he can confidently move forward. If you can view those few bug fixes as an integral part of anything new – not a reason not to do it – but an integral part of trying anything new – then you can move forward in confidence, safe in the knowledge you ARE on the right track and you have the smarts to figure out the odd bug and niggle as you go.
It’s not “wrong”. It’s not a road bock. It’s just a routine bug fix.
Think about surgery. Channel Greys Anatomy for a moment if you haven’t spent much time in a hospital. They talk about “routine complications” all the time.
Bugs that are inherent in that kind of procedure, but not as a reason not to do it. So common in fact they are “routine”.
They know there is a possibility of complications, they minimise the risk where possible, but they still go ahead with the surgery. They don’t wait until there is zero risk before going ahead. Yes there might be complications, but yes, this is still the right choice, and yes we back ourselves to handle any complications as they come up.
Know this: the “Right Path” for you, following your passion, is highly unlikely to come with the risk of no post rollout bug fixes or zero possibility of a routine complication. It’s just not how it works.
When you know in your heart and your gut that you are making the right choice for you – courage is about making that leap despite those possibilities not surrendering in the face of it.
The right choice does not equal “no complications possible”.
So – know you are smart and capable enough to handle whatever bug fix comes up, and do what’s right for your heart and soul.