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How To Create Massive Change - Support
The importance of support
Thanks to everyone who sent emails and messages about my previous post, "On Being a Writer." Many folks asked how I did it, not just what I did. It's one thing to say you've made huge life shifts, but they wanted to know how I found the courage to make the leap.
The following applies to anyone who wants to create something new in their life, not just to writers.
I honestly don't know if I can give a sensible answer, but I'll try. I believe the universe pushed me so hard that I was able to make the change. In other words, the thought of moving into the unknown became less painful than the thought of staying where I was.
Also, shifting to full-time writing and being my own boss became way less painful than taking on another job where I was catering to someone else's whims and moods.
Do I know where I'll end up? Do I know what's in store financially, career-wise, etc.? No, I don't. I haven't got a clue. And each day, as my trust and faith in something bigger grows, I care less and less. I know I'll be taken care of.
The key to change is removing the instilled fear of letting go of the known and trusting ourselves as we step into the unknown. For me, what started out as fear-based control is now turning into a trusting joy. There's ecstasy in learning to let go.
I do want to point out that the new life I created for myself didn't happen overnight. I'd wanted to move for at least five years. And I'd always wanted to be a writer, but I couldn't make the leap until this year.
We might leap in an instant, but it can be a long, uphill climb until that moment. Finding joy in the journey is key.
You might not be in such dire straits, but if you want to create enormous change, I have three suggestions. Number one is support.
You first need support if you're thinking about a significant shift like a completely new career with no guarantee of success or income, or moving to a completely unknown place.
This can come in many forms - if you're looking to start your own business, find a business accelerator you can be part of. Find other entrepreneurs in your field who've made the shift.
Facebook groups, local entrepreneurial gatherings - there are groups for everything these days. Try MeetUp.com. Just find others like you.
I joined Facebook and Next Door groups in Santa Fe before moving here. I read anything I could find online to get a feel for the area.
There are solo women's groups if you're female and looking to move on your own. I joined the over-40 Solo Female Traveler group on Facebook. I found support just by reading about other women traveling alone to different parts of the world. There's also Revel - a national group for women over 40.
Chip Conley's Modern Elder Academy is for anyone in midlife who's looking to change. The organization helps people shift in midlife. They have webinars and online gatherings you can take part in. They also have in-person get-togethers.
Why Support is Important
Humans, by nature, want things to stay the same. We want equilibrium. That means you'll probably get a lot of pushback from loved ones and many people you know. They'll tell you they love you but question your sanity.
Some of your friends will frame it kindly, but they'll let you know you'll fail if you try to change.
Other friends will be immensely supportive. My friend Meg sat me down one evening and said in no uncertain terms, "Go. Go now. If you hate where you go and it doesn't work out, you can always come back to New York."
It blew my mind. I'd never thought of it that way. I could always go back if I wanted to. And if I didn't try, I would regret it.
Regret can eat away at your soul.
Emotional support from others helps immensely, especially those who've done or are doing what you want to do - or can support your vision. It doesn't matter if your friends and family don't see your dream - as long as you find others to be cheerleaders.
Next week I'll discuss the second aspect of creating change - inspiration. Please let me know if you've made or want to make a significant change in your life. Or if you have any thoughts about this piece.
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