Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Facing New Challenges Without Fear

A friend of mine recently confided to me what she truly wanted to pursue in her life - which was not her current job she had since she graduated from college. She was not sure if she could yet be "good" at her true passion, but she was sure she loved it and wanted to pursue it.

This is my advice to her:

You will never know how good you will be at anything you try. But you are sure to have regret if you never pursue your passion.
Sometimes you have to jump in with both proverbial feet...grab the new passion with both hands. You could always hold onto your old job for a little while longer while gaining more experience. But I recommend making the big leap instead of trying to piecemeal and hold a fulltime job and a new part time job. I might not recommend this to others, but for working mothers with children to raise - you do not have the luxury of time for a job and a "half". You already have a full time job raising children. You cannot have and do 3 jobs well.

What gives me the nerve to say this with confidence? Here's why: I have been in your shoes.

Back in 2001, I tried holding on to my current job with one hand while trying to grow my new passion with the other. After an agonizing year of working 24/7, I finally figured out that I had to reach out and grasp my future with both hands. I could not possibly reach out with both hands if I was still holding on to the safety net of my old job with one hand.

So, I let go. I jumped. I let go of my old "safe" job and reached out with both hands for the new career. I am still molding and shaping that passion (the fun part), but what I did - making that leap - was invariably the BEST decision of my life up to that point.

Best yet, I have NO regrets because I know I tried, and am still trying. Let me repeat that. I have no regrets.

I would have suffocated in my old life, I see that now. But I could not see it then. I had to act on faith, without knowledge that I would be any good or any success at all.

If you are struggling with a decision - to remain in the "safety" zone of an old or existing job, or to pursue your passion, I say pursue your passion. It should not have to feel forced though. It may feel scary, but scary is a different emotion that feeling forced. If you have a natural passion and knack for something, having faith in the knowledge that your passion will feed your energy - will be enough to help you reach out and grasp your new, exciting future. Just like I will encourage my own children to pursue their dreams, the blueprints of their imagination, I encourage my friend, you, and myself to do the same.

Go for it. You may never get the chance again.

*photo was taken this year in St. John at Hawksnest beach, during our annual Professional Yoga Therapy training course that I wrote and teach to licensed health care professionals (PS Yes, that is part of my passion (changing the face of health care) I reached out for with both hands almost 10 years ago now, in living color)

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