It may be possible that you feel trapped right now, so how do you remain true to yourself in moments like this?
The most important thing I can tell you is not to give up: positive changes begin with one small step, a step into the life you genuinely seek.
‘’You start by starting’’. I saw this quote somewhere, and it made total sense. But I prefer to think of all the excuses NOT to start, not to take that risk, not to follow that huge, brave dream. Does this sound familiar?
I would like to tell my story, but there are a lot of reasons why not to:
- What if nobody cares about what I have to say?
- I am not confident that this is the right choice for me
- I am concerned that my website is not done
The list continues… and that is just the basic stuff. But if I dig deeper, harder questions come to my mind: Who the hell do I believe I am, saying that I am a life expert that has all the world’s answers? There are a lot of people that are already doing the same thing I do, people who seem more skilled and are certainly better at it.
Is it risky or already late to change something? And what if I don’t succeed? Isn’t keeping the status quo much simpler and safer?
How To Stay True to Yourself
I was the typical sad, unsatisfied corporate professional two years ago. I was a lawyer for a couple of years before I quit to become a business leader for law firms. Meanwhile, I had a great career, according to most standards – I was well paid with plenty of independence and flexibility, responsibilities, and recognition. However, I felt totally unsatisfied and stuck.
I kept feeling like there has to be more to life while dreaming of leaving my job to travel around the world.
Ignoring my friends’ and family’s concerns as well as my own self-sabotaging talk, I just went for it!
It took me several months to plan the journey. However, the outcome was a one-way ticket to Mumbai. In addition, I saved finances for my travels and a few months of post-trip costs, donated all of the things I owned and headed to an unknown direction.
The trip turned out to be like nothing I expected, but rather everything I dreamed of. I felt the everyday thrill of waking up not knowing what surprises were awaiting me.
As a result, I made some new friends, climbed on stunning mountain tops, stumbled upon spectacular secret beaches, and tried exotic new dishes.
In other words, I felt the magic that freedom has and it was unbelievable, and I will always be thankful for this journey that changed my life.
By no way am I implying that such radical change is what each one of us needs. In other words, it is actually the simple, consistent steps that show the best results. It is probably not a good idea for you to take off to India to mediate for a month or go on a 5-day vacation near your home. But what are the small changes that you can begin making today to be on the right track for reaching your dreams and goals?
That all-or-nothing mindset can keep you trapped. That is why beginning with 5 minutes of relaxation (or start a journal, exercise, play the piano) a day is much better.
Thinking about the end goal might feel complicated, but inevitably you will have no more excuses not to take the initial simple first step.
After that, I hoped that I had found the right balance by swapping New York for Austin, and the strength, and big Law’s overwhelming negativity for the innovative and trendy environment of a Tech company.
But the reality is that I am not so certain I did. I still feel guilty for not making enough contributions. The thought of working for a large corporation still restrains me. I still want to travel around the world. I still don’t know what my purpose is.
Something I can say with confidence is that leaving my corporate job and New York to travel the world began in my mind and then needed action, one simple step at a time.
You may feel nervous, unsure and scared. Therefore you are measuring the risks and benefits of taking a step. Or maybe not, but you are certain that a different result is what you want. Something stays inside of you until you can no longer avoid it. You intuitively know that the nest’s comfort is not enough anymore.
You need to leap if you are more scared of staying than leaving. That is when you have to stay true to yourself.
What is it that keeps holding you back? Your weight? Some addiction? A relationship that is unhealthy? Suffering from depression? Unsureness and anxiety? Handcuffs made of gold?
All of these obstacles have realistic solutions, but most importantly, you must be willing to take risks, make a leap towards a brighter future and always remain true to yourself.
Therefore, the trip can be bumpy, and sometimes it’s the wrong jump and you simply fall. Some failures take more time than others to heal from. But on the other hand, avoiding risks by never leaping is also a type of hell on its own.
How can you stay true to yourself as you follow your call?
What is the change that you know you want or need in your life?
What kind of small step you could take tomorrow, next week, next month?
I would love to hear more about what it takes to stay true to yourself, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below.