Take The Risk

Hey y’all – your response last week was touching and heart-warming – thank you! I don’t know about you, but it felt good relate to one another and know that we’re in this together. So here we go…(grab that notebook.)

Last week, we decided that we deserve better than a “Shouldy Life,” right? We committed to taking small steps towards living a life that we actually want. Maybe you started thinking about your dreams and you felt alive and on fire, just thriving with thoughts and ideas…until a small flicker of fear appeared and grew a little bigger the more you thought about it.

PSA: This is normal! Welcome to your human experience, where nothing (that’s actually worth anything) is easy. True fulfillment will not happen overnight, and that’s okay – there’s no set timeline for your journey. Take a deep breath in…and now exhale. Loudly. Seriously – do it right now. It just feels good. Trust me.

After I realized my life’s decisions were controlled by what I thought I “should” do, I started to see things differently. I started to take the time to actually think about what I really wanted in life – I wanted to begin to define myself and discover my purpose. How does anyone even begin to do this? If this question overwhelms you and you don’t know where to begin – just start thinking about what you don’t want to define you, and go from there.

For me, I didn’t like the way I was spending my time. I was teaching a few cycling classes per week, but I was employed full-time as a dental hygienist. While I absolutely loved my co-workers and patients, I hated that I had to show up every day and sit in an office knowing I was wasting my talents and gifts. Bottom line. I knew I was designed for something more, but I didn’t know what to do or how to get there…I didn’t even really know where “there” was, to be honest! I realized I was living a life where I was coasting and didn’t like it.

But what was I going to do about it? At the time, I was in the middle of a less-than-cordial divorce, unsure of what my financial situation was going to be, having no idea where I would be living, completely clueless of how much daily expenses were going to cost me. What if I couldn’t support myself on my own? What if I was making a huge mistake by leaving two “stable” things at once – financial income and a financial partner? Honestly, I hadn’t been on my own in five years – I couldn’t even remember what living alone and supporting myself was like. Not exactly the best time to quit my job. I was lost and stopped in my tracks by “What Ifs.”

One day, in a quite serendipitous way, I ended up talking to an old friend on the phone and informed him that I was going through a divorce – something I hadn’t told very many people yet. We started talking about happiness, and unhappiness, and the way I was feeling about my marriage, my job – my life! He empathized with me and told me about a book he had recently read that changed his thinking. 2 days later, it was in my mailbox.

The 4-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris. I read 50 pages of the book and put in my resignation the next day. It was a done deal. The book is amazing and very eye-opening in its entirety, but here was my biggest takeaway:

Tim asked me to define my best-case scenario for fulfillment. What was my dream? At the time, it was to be employed in full-time fitness, nationally training cycle instructors how to make people’s lives better through exercise and give riders the best experience possible, while writing my psychological thriller novel on the side. I would be a Master Instructor within my company, and I would publish a book that would later turn into a movie, clearly starring Ryan Reynolds.

(Hey, dream big, right? Again…my deepest self knew my desires, it was time to say them outloud! And for the record, my dreams have changed over the years, as have I – but that’s a story for another time.)

Ok, so Master Instructor, traveling, book-writing, movie with Ryan Reynolds. Tim asked me to rank this dream actually coming to fruition on a scale of 1-10. Wow – I mean, clearly this would be a 10! Can you imagine? Definitely a 10.

Then he asked what I would need to do to make this happen. Well, I would have to quit my job as full-time dental hygienist, go into teaching classes full-time to advance within the company and dedicate time towards writing my book. Great – then he asked, what’s the risk? If I did this – what would be the worst-case scenario if it didn’t go as planned? Well, I suppose I could run out of money, as I was leaving a six-figure salary to teach fitness classes, and I would have to go back to working as a dental hygienist at some point. Alright, on a scale of 1-10, how would I rank the risk? Honestly, I ranked it a 2. All of a sudden, the “What Ifs” started dimming as my 10 started shining brighter and brighter.

Ok, great – the dream is a 10, and the risk is a 2.

Why was I risking a 10 for a 2?

My mind was blown. I was never one for fast math, but those numbers just made sense to me. I was never going to feel fulfilled if I continued to not pursue my 10 out of the fear of a 2.

I chose to take the risk. My original plan has changed and evolved over and over again, and I would have never guessed I would have ended up where I am in this moment. And you know what – I’ve never been happier.

Take the risk. Don’t be bound by fear. I had fear and I had doubts – choose to use them as tools, and see them as necessary steps towards taking on something bigger than you can imagine. We’ll continue to dive more into this.

Get your notebook. Let’s do some math.

Note – my case involved my job affecting my daily fulfillment, but yours could be different! It could be a job or a relationship, it could be emotional, spiritual, or physical. I want you to think about what you really believe to be a big step towards finding fulfillment and start there. There could be many things, too! But pick one – the one you believe to be the most important – the one that pulls at your heart when you initially think about your dreams.

Describe your best-case scenario, where you be doing exactly what you want to do, feeling exactly how you want to feel. (Don’t hold back – remember, you’re just telling yourself what you already know. If you struggle with this – that’s okay! Just start thinking about it and be open to anything that might pop into your head and circle back.)

On a scale of 1-10, if achieved, how would you rank this?

What needs to happen in order for you to achieve this?

What is the risk of following these steps?

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank that risk?

Why are you risking a _____ for a _____?

There’s so much more to talk about, but I want to let that sit with you. Over the next few days, just be in tune with how much you find yourself thinking about the first question. I’ll see you next week.