Jumping in. Taking the leap. Stepping out.
All phrases that generally are attached to trying new things or doing that one thing that you’re hesitating about for some reason. Maybe it’s taking that job opportunity afar. Maybe it’s trying to start a family. To start dating. Getting that tattoo. Begin that passion project. It could potentially be moving to a different city, state or street.
I think we hesitate because it’s usually a high stakes situation. We don’t usually connect ‘taking the plunge’ when we are deciding between a salad or a fat attack burger (a very easy choice in my opinion), or if we are deciding between red or nude at the nail salon. The choices we are making are life trajectory based. We are making a choice that could alter our whole life.
I think they are hard decisions because many of these high stakes decisions take follow through, a commitment and/or an investment of some kind. If we are thinking about buying a house, we are living with that choice for the next 20 or so years. If we are thinking of starting a family and it works successfully, our hearts are changed (and our sleep patterns, back accounts and at times our sanity) forevermore. There’s a ‘no returns’ policy attached to many of these major life events, which naturally, make people wary and sometimes fearful of making them. There is a lot to lose, as a pessimist, but there’s also a lot to gain as an optimist.
If you’re an over-thinker, I’m speaking your language right now I’d assume. What if we buy a house and then one of us loses our jobs and we default? What if we can’t afford children? What if we get lonely in the new suburb/city/church/workplace? What if the new job isn’t as comfortable as my current one and I regret the change? What if I start a side hustle but it doesn’t take off? What if I break it off with this person but then I’m alone forever?
To be honest, I am not a huge over-thinker. I am measured in my choices, and I can be calculated and logical when making choices, but I wouldn’t say I stress majorly over change or life choices. I probably stress more over menial things which is silly! But I’m not up all-night making a pro and con list on the big stuff. I don’t usually fret about the flow on effect of a choice, unless it’s something that wasn’t sitting right with me from the start. I feel I used to growing up, but it’s something I grew out of when I quickly realized that change is always going to be inevitable and constant, and it is actually healthy for us to experience it.
There are no guarantees for anything in life, and there will always be a chance that things go terribly wrong. But in my experience and from what I’ve witnessed of people who are senior to me, things going dire are the exception not the rule. It also depends on how you measure how well your choice has turned out. If you do buy that house and one person indeed does lose their job, you still probably won’t end up homeless. If you start a family, you may have to budget your finances and keep things tight for a while but your children will most likely not be taken off of you. We are humans and we are generally pretty good at adapting!
Sometimes I think we fear most the absolute worst case, less than 1% likely scenario, but don’t stop to consider what the reasonable outcome will be. Let’s take changing your job for example. Yes, it’s likely it will take you time to settle into your new environment and it will take time for you to form relationships. That’s a fair point. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing it if it’s really on your heart to do it. It’s very unlikely that it will be the worst job you’ve ever experienced and unlikely you’ll be fired within a month of starting.
Your hesitation may stem from not being confident in yourself, which I truly get. When I began this blog, I was hesitant for several reasons – what if people don’t like what I write? What if people just don’t care? What if my writing leaves me too wide open for vulnerability? What if I can’t find time to write consistently? What is the blog dies after 3 posts? I asked myself these questions daily when I was creating my blog in its initial stages. I voiced these things and fears to my husband to which he said, ‘….so what? This is for you, not anyone else. If one person gets something from what you write, that is huge. Do it for you. If its on your heart, the other stuff doesn’t matter.’ So if you are feeling stuck and are hesitating on jumping into something creative or purely for you, re read what Josh said and apply it to your own situation.
It’s a common theme that goes around at the beginning of a new year, but I think after the year of 2020, with fires, floods, and a pandemic just to scratch the surface, we do indeed need to start jumping into new. Choosing faith over fear. Opting for adventure over comfort zones. To steer away from stagnation and stop waiting for the right sign/moment/season/time to live. Of course, we can still be measured and practical with our choices, but I think there is a huge difference between planning things out for the future and waiting and wishing for a future to come around and fall into your lap.
If it’s on your heart to explore something, it’s up to us to explore it. If you feel you need to change things up, start something that’s burning your creativity out of control, this is your ‘sign’ to begin, now. I truly think God honours action. We don’t teleport through life, we take the steps to make our life our own, even if they are small steps at a time.
There will always be a naysayer. There will always be someone who shuts down your idea by saying something ‘well meaning’ along the lines of ‘have you considered…’ or ‘just be careful…’ or ‘maybe now isn’t the best time to do x, y or z.’ I’m not saying you should completely discard their opinion, but I am saying listen to your own gut first. We have the gift of intuition for a reason, and no other human is in our head or knows what we want better than ourselves. Seeking counsel is wise, but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all.
What is on your heart to explore this year? Whatever it is for you, go out in confidence and start making those steps. Rally your village to support you and know you’re never alone!