When I’m contemplating doing something that scares me and I need a reminder of how taking risks can actually be rewarding and safe, I ask two questions:
What are the most important decisions you have made in your life?
Stuck? Here are a few of mine, for inspo.
– Quitting as a lawyer.
– Leaving Australia in 2002.
– Moving to Morocco.
– Staying in the Netherlands, through work and visa issues, a burnout and numerous existential crises.
– Spending time in Portugal to teach yoga retreats and surf.
– Travelling solo in the US and Brazil.
– Doing a year-long part-time yoga teacher training.
– Committing to move to California by 2019.
At the time, these decisions often seemed counter-intuitive, or just plain stupid. I have taken steps that have been contrary to common sense; not the traditional route. Some friends responded weirdly, defensively, or disparagingly. Which made the decisions difficult not just to make, but to see through. But in every case, the pull within myself felt so strong that to have chosen otherwise would have been a denial of who I am. Which meant that they were often still painful and scary and challenging – but that was better than the alternative, of acting differently out of fear.
The second question is this: how did the consequences of this decision change your life?
I won’t go through the whole list, but all of the decisions mentioned above have had profound and amazing consequences which have changed my life for the better. People I have met, places I’ve been, experiences I’ve had that have shaped my life into something far more amazing than I could have imagined.
But also on an internal level, beyond the scope of the Instie feed: these decisions have brought me so many lessons. Sometimes they offered me more insight and opportunity for growth than I was ready for. Sometimes they left me crying so hard I wailed.
But always, they taught me how strong and resilient I am. And recalling them gives me extra courage, to keep pushing and expanding this comfort zone of mine.