Sometimes unfavorable circumstances force people to start their lives over. Other times, discomfort, prolonged apathy, or perhaps even a deep longing for freedom motivates them to make a fresh start. A frequent challenge becomes preparing for others’ reactions to those choices.
Although I have frequently started over—career, location, and relationships—I never felt full prepared for the negative or unsupportive responses to my decisions. The bigger the change, the bigger the challenge. As a coach, I have invited clients to gauge the ‘rightness’ of their choice for freedom by the strength of others’ reaction. I have also suggested they be selective in whom they entrust their ‘rebel’ choices.
We each have our own freedom trail and have to write our own declaration of freedom.
People find comfort in routine—their routine—even if they feel miserable. When someone steps off the train of misery, they realize they have that choice, too, but the anticipated uncertainty feels threatening. As a result you, and your glorious choice for freedom, becomes the projection of all that they fear could go wrong.
Why would you leave a high-paying or high-profile job for the unknown job market?
Why would you change course from a degree you worked diligently for years to attain?
You should do x, y or z instead (pigeonholing or labeling you into what they want)
Be the mirror. We each have our own freedom trail and have to write our own declaration of independence. A fortunate few have the support of their tribe, but often this journey will be our own solo rite of passage.
A few years ago I felt I was on a bullet train heading in the wrong direction. I had worked hard for my career but felt empty as I toiled like an indentured servant in a windowless office, among other issues conflicting with my personal values. I had disavowed my internal commitment to honor my creativity, on my terms, and be of service in a way that nurtured me. I craved a life on my terms, and recommitted to living my life on a non-linear path. I stepped off that train with faith (and hope) in the unfolding path, while aware of my trepidation about the challenges ahead. The pain of staying stuck, though, exceeded the fear of the unknown
In truth, our life’s journey always remains a mystery. We can never rely on what we think the next step is. Our new role in this play of our lives may not even exist yet.
If I find myself amidst the noise of criticism—from others and my inner judge—I find a place to wait: Wait for the dust to settle, the fog to lift, and the waters to calm. In that waiting, I can conjure up strength, courage, and that ember of desire waiting to burst into flame. That seed of desire has been planted for a reason. It is my dream to follow. Or not.
I help A-types B(e) more. I believe you are the guru of your own life adventure. If you need a travel agent who knows the ropes and can ask you the right questions to prepare you, contact me for more information on private or groups sessions and seminars (online and in person).