Hey you! Yeah, you over there… with the faraway look in your eyes and the dissatisfied smile… You, dreaming of something better. A life less ordinary…
Let me paint you a picture:
5 years, hell, maybe even 2 years from now, you’re living the life you dream of. You’re working for yourself and travelling around the world, seeing all the things you’ve always wanted to, swimming in crystal clear waters and sipping vino as the sun goes down over another perfect day.
Or maybe your jam isn’t so much in world exploration as the world right outside your door. You yearn for roots and grounding. You dream of having a little piece of space to call your own, you want to build a cabin in the forest or a tiny home nestled away from it all.
Whatever your adventure, you’re stuck coming up with a way to get you there. So what’s stopping you?
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Lack of time
You look at the mountain of things you need to consider – you need to work out how to get going in the first place, maybe come up with a business idea to make you some extra cash, you might even need to learn some new skills or retrain – Working out all these details AND THEN having to actually follow through with the plan…think of the time it will take to accomplish!
You feel like it will take you FOREVER to realise a dream like that…
But let me ask you this:
Would you rather spend 2-5 years making all the changes necessary to give you everything you’ve ever wanted, or spend the rest of your life living a life of ‘meh’?
I know which I would rather.
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway” Earl Nightingale
Fear & Imposter syndrome
So maybe time isn’t the real issue. Maybe you’re scared… and that is OK. Sometimes it’s hard to just get started because of the sheer enormity of the task at hand. It feels so daunting – it’s one thing to dream, but surely you can’t actually live like that? These big dreams are for the rich, or just plain lucky…
I get it, it’s daunting learning a whole new skill set, there is so much to overcome, you don’t know where to begin and suddenly you are back to doubting yourself and feeling inadequate and like it’s only the cool kids who do this.
But you know those cool kids? The ones doing great things and living life on their own terms? Every single one of those people was once as scared as you are now. They have all been there. Don’t kid yourself into imagining that they’re special or in any way different to you, we are all only human and doing the best we can.
I promise, every great blogger, vlogger, freelancer, public speaker, influencer, designer, singer, coach and what-have-you started out as a bad one!
But consider for a moment creating a life for yourself which is filled with creativity, one where you get to call the shots and make the most of your days…
What’s stopping you? What are you scared of?
Feel like it’s all been done before? Maybe it has – but not by you! You have a unique and individual take on whatever it is that you want to do, and if you truly do want to do it, then you can’t fail to shine, because your enthusiasm will illuminate you!
The big dream killer – “Responsibilities”
Perhaps you feel like this is all just a pipe dream.
In the real world, you have responsibilities. It’s ridiculous and selfish to want more from life, it isn’t all that bad after all, maybe you should just grow up, suck it up and get on with it. Put aside childish things and be grateful for what you have.
A thousand times, no! If you have a yearning, if there is a song in your soul, if you have an urge to explore, then go for it! We’ve all heard it said that people seldom regret the things they have done, only the things they didn’t do.
Security VS risk
Listen, nothing is set in stone. Nothing is as big a risk as you suppose it is.
It can be hard to make changes, we are creatures of habit after all. But there are so many opportunities, so many paths, and none of them are dead ends! If the path you’re on doesn’t lead you to where you want to go or thought it would, then you get to choose another – this is your story!
You have a decent job and feel secure. OK, so you know where your money is coming from every month and you know exactly how much. That’s great, but do you have job security, really? Think about it. You have no way of knowing the future, you could get laid off and literally have nothing, best case scenario you have maybe a couple of months notice (although probably less..) so your job security really only amounts to say, 6 weeks of wages. Obviously, I’m not advocating just walking out on your day job and never looking back – you need some kind of safety net in place – but there is nothing to stop you just giving it a go. Start building up an online business alongside your regular job and see where it takes you for example.
Before the industrial revolution, working for yourself used to be the norm. People had a skill or developed one, they sought out business and did what they were good at. It’s only since then that the notion of working for somebody else became standard when entering the workforce.
Now, I’m not boss bashing here – I’m not even trying to put you off of working for others, just encouraging you to question…Why do we do things in this way? Why do we assume it is the ONLY way?
If you don’t fancy self-employment, is there a way you could find employment on a more flexible basis, working remotely?
Question everything! You are alive and expansive and your potential is vast! Get creative! Think outside the box!
The tide is turning again and the way we think about employment is changing, jobs are changing – people are discovering more and more freedom in finding and creating jobs for themselves which allow them to live life in the way they choose.
You have a choice. I can’t express this sentiment often enough:
You have a choice!
Don’t be that person who wakes up one day realising that so much of their life is already over and they’ve yet to start living it in any way that actually has meaning to them, please don’t!
Live your life! Light a fire in your soul and run with it.
So what do you want to do?
What did you want to be when you were little? Chances are there’s a clue in there – even if not an exact match – I, for example, wanted to be Michaela Strachan when I grew up…
Now, that clearly is never going to happen, but at the heart of that dream was a deep-seated desire to be close to nature. I longed to see the places she saw, travel to exotic places, hear the sounds of wild animals and smell the fresh, clean air – the natural world has always seemed so enticing. And for me, the ultimate blogging goal is to earn money while simultaneously going on adventures that my 7-year-old self would be delighted about.
What are you good at? Do you have any skills you could utilise? Sometimes the things we take for granted about ourselves and seem like second nature to us are exactly the right place to start when considering how to turn our lives around for the better.
For example, the language you speak…not really something you might consider an asset, but becoming an online English teacher is one of the most popular ways to earn a living for digital nomads, with the potential to have clients all over the world.
Are you a whiz on Pinterest? Have an eye for graphic design? Plenty of bloggers HATE Pinterest, let me tell you…but she is a necessary evil for us and as a result, some pay good money to have someone else deal with it. Virtual assistants are sought after by many professionals to do a wide variety of jobs, from managing their social media to organising their to-do lists.
Do you love to write? Creating content as a freelance writer offers you flexibility and an interesting range of topics to cover. Start small, set up a profile on freelancing websites like Upwork or Freelancer.
Be aware that none of these options are get-rich-quick schemes, but all are viable career options if you are serious about them. I intend to write some more in-depth articles about these and other options in the near future, so if the subject of digital careers has piqued your interest do be sure to check back for more info, and please leave a comment below if there’s something you particularly want to know!
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Still not sure what you want to do? Then maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead ask, what do you want to feel.
This exercise is a bit like having a vision board but cuts right to the chase by identifying, not the items on your bucket list, but rather the feelings these things evoke.
Brainstorm a list of words to describe how you want to feel when you wake up in the morning. Do you want to feel:
Write them down and look at your list every morning to keep you motivated. Remind yourself throughout every day. The beauty of this is that the more you focus on these words, the more you feel them, even before you’ve made any changes, but it also helps you to see the areas in your life that really aren’t hitting the mark for you. If something about your day to day existence is routinely making it hard for you to tap into these favoured emotional states, then you know it’s gotta go.
Sometimes when you find it hard to know what you want, it’s easier to start with what you don’t want.
Related reading: Affirmations – A Beginners Guide
Remember, and this is really important… You don’t need to make all your decisions in one day (in fact you probably really shouldn’t!)
You are thinking about it, and that is a great start. At this stage, if I have got you thinking about the possibility that your life is your own, and you juuuuust might be able to do something great with it, then I have done my job.
Just feel joy in the knowledge that you are one step closer today than you were yesterday.
Keep dreaming big, and watch this space….
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