I never thought of myself as a serial leap-taker or massively big dreamer, but I’ve realised lately that I actually am. When I reflect on my life and think about the number of times I’ve moved or changed big parts of my life, it’s been many.
I’m sure a psychologist could enlighten me as to why I might be this way, but I’ll leave that for another day. What I want to tell you is that dreaming, changing life, risk taking and not just accepting status-quo can be exhilarating, fulfilling and definitely creates resilience.
I receive approximately one email a week from people seeking advice on making a big move with their family, similar to what we have done. I love helping others plan and execute their own adventures and talking about the logistics of what needs to be done to make it happen. The biggest part of a big move or change, however, is the mental obstacles that we put up and the massive fear of failure.
Innate in many of us, is the habit of comparing ourselves to others and also caring about what others will think should we not success or be thought to have failed. This has to be one of the most debilitating habits but also the most transformative, if you can get past it. If you stop caring so much what others will think, you can work past your own fears, take adventurous leaps and be more courageous than you ever imagined.
I arrived in Australia in 2001, on a 1-month trip, and met Rob on a boat. After a wonderful 3 days (more young partying than romantic sailing around the Whitsundays), we parted ways with a ‘let’s keep in touch’ and plan to reunite when I returned the following year, visa in hand. Two months later, I was back in Australia to continue my travels and was invited to come stay with Rob while in Melbourne. My philosophy then (and now), is ‘well if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back’. I still say this often and even did as I rose up the ladder in my career in Ad-land. In my career it came in the form of ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ or ‘If you don’t try, you’ll never know’. This has helped me get roles I may have thought I was underqualified for; it’s helped me overcome the fear of starting Habitots and taking the leap out of the corporate world. It’s helped me moved to Aus, move to France and so on.
The other helpful ‘mental trick’ is to break your leap into small pieces. Try something out on the side for a bit if it’s a career change or idea you have. Take an extended holiday or long-service leave and try it out. Or as we did with our move to France, we said we were going for 1-2 years and then we’d see how we went. This timeframe always helps with self-doubt and gives you a ‘way out’ if it all goes pear-shaped or doesn’t feel right. The likelihood is, it will turn out, but this helps overcome the fear and helps give you courage to just give it a go, even if only for a short time.
Dreams and plans can come in all shapes & sizes but the key to realising any of them is being intentional with your decisions and making a plan. The 20-year plan (I learned from my coach at the time, Shannah Kennedy) that I took our Simplicity Challenge members through, helps people see on paper, how quickly life flies by and helps you plan for change. By plotting big moments in your life, key birthdays, kids school changes etc, it helps you see where are the good times and not-so-good times to make these changes. For example, when kids get older and head into highschool, perhaps you don’t want to plan for your year around Australia in a caravan. Or perhaps when you turn 40 or 50, you want to plan for a dream holiday. If you write it down and plan for it, you can make it happen. I’ve said that at 50, I want to take my kids on a safari and when I plotted it on the 20-year plan, I could see that was a good time for their ages (8, 14 & 18 years old then) and it’s far enough away that we can save like crazy for it and make it happen.
So as you can see, I love a big dream, a plan, a leap, an adventure. With the right mindset and plan in place you can make it happen for yourself and your family. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately as I pull together the pieces of my course I’m launching, called Simply Living. I wanted to create something that wasn’t just about simplifying, decluttering your home, schedule and mind but also helped people think, dream and plan more intentionally for things they want to do. The premise behind this is that you can simplify some parts of your life, reduce mental and physical clutter to make room for amplifying the parts that are more important.
So as you start this month of February, the “January of Australia” (since everyone is on a beach or in holiday mode for all of Jan), I hope this spurs your mind into thinking and you into action to get those dreams on paper and find a way to accomplish them. Be it a photography hobby, a trip, a move or a career change stop doubting yourself, get pen to paper and if you need the help, join me in Simply Living that starts on Feb 19th, and opens for enrollment on February 5th (you can be first to know and get the early-bird discount here). You are entitled to feel less stressed & overwhelmed, be more motivated and fulfilled and make time to do the things you love.