CHOOSE YOURSELF [Maker Monday Motivation 11.13.17]
I’d dreamed about it for years, been planning and preparing for months, and imagined the moment in my mind on repeat for weeks. Yet, I’ll never forget how scary it actually was the day I quit my job to start my own business.
That chilly November day in 2014, I walked into my boss's office, sweating, hands-shaking, heart-beating a million times a minute to tell my employer I was leaving. Leaving the good paycheck, leaving the stability of benefits, leaving a known workplace and a community of great coworkers. Sure, I’d left a job before, but this time was different. This time I wasn’t quitting because someone had offered me a better salary or more opportunity. This time I was quitting because I decided my better opportunity was to choose myself and take the leap to pursue a life-long dream.
Choosing myself was incredibly empowering and also amazingly frightening! That day I knew if I failed and my business was a total flop there would be no one I could blame or hide behind, no safety net of an employer and coworkers to support me day-to-day, and no guarantee to assure me I wasn’t making a mistake. That said, I was even more frightened by the possibility that if I didn’t quit, I could spend another year filling my sketchbooks with ideas and dreams and not get any closer to seeing them happen.
So often in life we believe we need someone else to give us permission to start something or we wait for an external person of influence to select us for an opportunity. The truth is, if we don’t take action and do what we can, when we can on our own, we might spend our whole lives waiting and never get any closer to our dreams.
The moment I realized that making my dreams happen was ultimately in my own hands and I didn't need to wait for someone to hire me, promote me or find the "perfect" job in order for me to start doing the work I wanted to do, was the moment owning my own business started becoming a reality. I started taking action and making small choices each day that over time helped me reach my goal. For example, I cleared my schedule of unnecessary social events and made the time to work on my business plan. I set my alarm early and took online classes before heading into work. I decided not to buy that coffee or glass of wine and instead saved money each month. Of course, roadblocks, and simply “real-life” things I didn’t get to choose tried to get in the way and make the journey more difficult, but ultimately, by focusing my energy on what action and choices I could make, in the areas I could control, moved me forward.
I believe it is possible for you to build the thriving creative life you desire, but it will take action. This week’s Monday Motivation Challenge will help you identify some ways you can start to choose yourself and as a result begin living the life you dream.
Take some time this week, free of distractions, to consider the following questions. Journal your answers.
- What does “choosing yourself” look like in your own life? How well are you doing this currently?
- Are there any not-productive, long-time patterns of thinking that are preventing you from taking action on your creative dreams? Could you reframe your thoughts so that they encourage you to move forward?
- Are there any creative ideas you have that you are waiting on someone else to give you approval to start? If yes and the ultimate decision does rest in someone else's hands, is there anything you can do on your own to move forward on this idea regardless of the approval?
- Is there any creative project or dream that you haven’t started because you keep telling yourself, “it’s not the right time?” If so, honestly ask yourself, do you think the “right time” will ever happen? Regardless of your answer, is there something you could do to create the space to at least get started on this project or dream today?
- What is one thing you can choose to do this week that would move you closer to making your creative dream a reality?
Choosing yourself is scary, but the alternative is even scarier. This week I challenge you to be brave enough to identify ways you can choose yourself. This doesn’t have to mean taking steps as drastic as quitting a job and starting a business, but this could mean making a little space in your week to work on your own projects or taking small steps that will move you closer to making an idea or project come to life.
Choosing yourself is often hard. Do it anyways!
I can’t wait to see what your future holds. As always, if you run into any roadblocks along the way or would like a partner to come alongside you on your journey I’d love to work with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
We’re in this together,