In one of my recent articles I talked about being afraid to make a change. I talked about the main reasons for it falling into two main categories: that we are afraid it might not work, or that we are afraid it actually might work. In this short post I would like to talk techniques. How to make that proverbial first step into the brighter future if you are still shivering from fear?
To begin with the good old classic: worst-case scenario. Let your worried mind go nuts and picture the most horrible and the most devastating scenario. What will happen to you? Live that picture through! Feel (!) your fear! And then brainstorm for all the possible actions you could take in order to rectify the situation. In other words, how can you return to the status quo? Frequently it is not that difficult, but anyhow – rarely it is impossible.
Now the next step would be to draft the best case scenario. Shut up your internal critic for a moment and dream it out big time! What if everything goes much better than you hope for? What would be the ultimate success of your intended actions? The brightest future?
Famous American life coach Marie Forleo also suggests the so-called “physical test”, yet that requires you to listen to yourself very attentively. The idea behind is to listen to the reactions in your body when you are contemplating the change you are about to make. Do you “lean forward” or “lean backwards”? Do you feel yourself cramped inside or excited (although scared!)?
But ultimately what you can do is to just give it a test-run. So you want to become a freelancer and work from a coffee shop instead of a dusty office? Take a vacation at work, but skip the relaxation and register yourself at the freelancer’s website. Try to get the first client. Try living the life like you picture it. Even if just for two or three weeks. Or you dreamt of becoming a chef. Good. Go get a temporary job at the kitchen of a local restaurant. It is of course a test-run, but still a real-life one. You get to feel it, you get to try it.
The caveat to the last step is in the interpretation of the results. But it is less about the results and more about the feeling. You see, it could happen that a co-working place is far from the dream workplace you had in mind, or working on your laptop under the palm tree in fact sucks… Try it. If after trying you feel the excitement, maybe that’s your way; if there are still more doubts – move on and keep on searching.
As a final touch, you could also try the “30 second braveness”, where you prepare everything and then just “close your eyes and jump” (be it send a letter of resignation, confirm a job offer, propose, file for a divorce, whatever first step you were about to take).
Trust me, when prepared and “in water”, you will figure it out how “to swim”.