There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing. – Denis Waitley
I’ve never been one for risky decisions. In fact, I lived most of life avoiding big decisions in general.
Who wants to be bothered with stress that comes with it? Isn’t it nicer to leave the decision making to other people and just live life worry-free?
But living that way is not living at all. Thankfully, I realized that before it was too late.
A few weeks ago, I was unhappy, overworked, underpaid, and angry. I had a job that, although I liked at first, turned me into a grumpy old-looking person because of the sudden changes in work schedule and too much demand for overtime work.
It was also during this time that I became a freelance writer to earn some extra cash. But as I wrote and started my blog to practice my skills, I realized I didn’t just want to write, I needed to write.
Writing is my passion.
So here comes the classic story: A girl torn between her passion and her responsibility to her family.
The odds weren’t in favor of writing; the life-numbing job was paying the bills.
But there’s no drama here, because two weeks ago, after a year of working in a cubicle, I quit my job.
Needless to say, this was a huge and risky decision to make. Freelancing isn’t exactly known as the most stable job in the world, and I’m one of the family “breadwinners.” Surprisingly, when I told my mom about this decision, she supported it. Thinking back, I realized she must have seen how miserable I was.
So this girl got to follow her heart’s desire! Yey!
But what comes after the fireworks?
A few things you can expect after the fireworks
If you’re thinking of taking the leap and following your passion as I did, here are a few things you can expect. I hope that by sharing these, the prospect of living the life you want by following your passion won’t seem so daunting.
- Expect to be scared.
It’s amazing how many of people’s passions have risky natures. But it is just the way it, at least that’s the way society views it. Expect fear to come knocking at your door… and then lock it out.
The key is to accept your fear and face it. I did it by voicing it out to my mom and writing about it on my blog. Accepting that you’re scared lessens its power over you just as talking to a friend about problems makes you feel just a bit better afterward.
Another thing I did was compare it to a greater fear: The fear of growing old with many “what if” questions over my head. I decided that if I was going to fear something, it was regretting not taking the leap and following my passion.
- Expect to doubt yourself.
Sometimes, a small voice inside your head will tell you that you made a mistake and you’re going to screw up your life.
There are two things you can do: Listen to that voice or tell it to shut up.
I chose the latter. How? By working hard, keeping myself busy, and improving my skills. The only way to not doubt you is to make yourself better. Keep on writing if you’re a writer or keep on designing if you’re a web designer; read all those free e-books that you never had time to read before; exercise to keep fit and help you come up with more awesome ideas.
The point: Do something, anything, to improve your game.
- Expect people to ask “What the hell were you thinking?!”
Following one’s passion seems to be an alien concept to many. Leaving a comfortable, socially designed, and culturally acceptable way of earning a living just seems so incomprehensible.
Remember not to take it the wrong way. People will wonder and will ask, and instead of being vague about describing what you do for a living, flaunt it.
There are three advantages to this:
– It helps eliminate self-doubt and increase your self-confidence.
– It shows your pride in the work you do and perhaps, just perhaps, inspire the person asking into taking the leap as well.
– It can get you more clients.
- Expect to feel happy and genuinely satisfied.
That ache in your heart, that inexplicable longing you have? Those will disappear. Replacing them are happiness and satisfaction. Both will make you want to wake up every day and look forward to enjoying your passion. It will fill your days with excitement and wonder. It will make you say, “I wish I had done this sooner.”
It took me some time to find and finally follow my passion. How about you?