Stepping away from comfort is never an easy decision. However, it is essential to our growth as both human beings and professionals that we continue to expand beyond our limits. The details, timing and specifics of one’s transformation may not look the way we imagined, but most things in life rarely do.
So if you’re reading this article racking your brain for a sign that it’s time to change, consider this it. And while you’re at it, check out the six one liners below for some inspiration along the way.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be only afraid of standing still.” — Chinese Proverb
(Technically the first two examples are more than one sentence long. However, their messages are so important, that you’ll probably agree in our decision to make the exceptions.)
If action is an indicator of life, then stagnancy, by its very nature, is an indicator of death. And while feeling comfortable may sound like a good thing, it will never replace the fulfillment that comes with growth. Unfortunately, if we aren’t moving we cannot develop, and when we cannot develop, we eventually forget to strive.
“Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” — Eckhart Tolle
Since the onset of social media it has become increasingly easy for everyone with access to the internet to compare their lives, and yes their careers, to those of millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, this subconscious and perpetual game of comparison has also helped to wreak havoc on both our mental health and professional development (which is in many ways what makes this quote so damn important).
Regardless of where you stand on your path, your health is everything. Is supporting yourself necessary? Of course. However, there are hundreds of ways to do that. So, if you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing, then by all means, change it. However remember, that no career, even and especially the ones you see on Instagram, is without moments of stress, frustration, loneliness and struggle. That is a facade created by the filter that is social media. When you can find joy within yourself (outside of career, romantic relationships etc.) you will be in a much better position to find joy in the external. It’s really that simple.
Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” — Tony Robbins
The truth is that career, like anything else in life, is not meant to be a linear path. There will be times that you doubt where you are just as much as you question what you’re doing. However, if you can determine the fundamental pillars of what you want from your profession, you will be in a much better position to make it happen. Over the years the details will most likely change, so having the foresight to be open to the ebbs and flows is essential.
“Wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.” ― Paulo Coelho
Connecting with the things that spark joy is imperative to a life well lived. And so, if you are fortunate enough to identify such passions within your career, then you owe it to yourself to move in that direction. After all, as Paulo Coelho says, “that is where you’ll find your treasure.”
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Change is scary. In fact, it typically feels like a weird mixture of having a rug pulled out from under your feet and being forced to stand naked in a crowd of strangers (maybe even all at the same time). So, when we think about actively choosing that path of unknown, an understandable downward spiral of “what ifs” makes perfect sense.
The thing to remember in the midst of that chaos, however, is that even when we are comfortable, we don’t actually have it all figured out. There are no “definites” in life, we simply tell ourselves otherwise in hopes of feeling better. Ironically though, if there is no real way to control the future, then there is no surefire way to avoid it, either. Putting one foot in front of the other in pursuit of your goals is really all you can do. So, forget the “plan,” and have faith in the process. Deep down, only you know what’s best for you.
There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.” — James Cameron
While taking a leap of faith is one of the the most frightening actions a person can take, it is oftentimes also one of the most rewarding. And so regardless of what you decide in the specific situation you are in, remember that it is never too late to be brave. After all, faith is a powerful thing.