Last year's election was all about change. People wanted to see changes in government, healthcare, and more. Change was the theme.
Now change bothers some folks. They get so comfortable in their rut that even if they are headed down the wrong path, they will stay on it because it doesn't involve any change.
People sit in a room they hate because they don't have the energy or the inclination to change the furniture around or to paint the room.
As for me, I LOVE change. I routinely move offices every two years. It's a chance to clear out old stuff and get a fresh start. I move where I live a lot too. I would buy a new house and move every two years as well if I could talk my wife into it. I have lived in my current house for five years, which is an all-time record for me. Change is exciting for me. It gives me a chance to start over, to clean up and clean out, and to go to work on a new place. I make changes in my own life often as well. I like to try new things and go new places and do things I haven't done before.
However, the reality is that most people won't change – even when they know they should. Why? Lots of reasons. Fear is certainly one of them.
Years ago I read a great little book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. Read the book when you can, but just internalize the title for right now. You are going to be afraid. No way around it. I am afraid quite a bit of the time. Yep, even me! When I appeared on CNBC's The Millionaire Inside as one of the world's leading money mentors along with David Bach, Jennifer Openshaw, Keith Ferrazzi and Robert Kiyosaki, I felt some fear. I am totally confident when I walk on stage to do my speaking no matter who the group is or how big the group is or what topic I am going to speak about. I never think twice about it. When I was shooting my show Big Spender, I was always confident in what I was going to do and I never broke a sweat over the experience. However, this was different. I was in a foreign environment with renowned experts, and I was going to need to hold my own on the topic of money. My heart was beating a little hard. Despite the internal questions I had about my ability, I walked out on that stage with confidence, grabbed a stool, and did quite well. In fact, looking back at it all, I was pretty amazing. I was scared, but I blew through the fear and conquered the situation. I felt the fear, but I did it anyway.
While I am often afraid of what I have to do, I am even more afraid of not doing it. In my audio program Get Out of Your Own Way!, I talked about the ways people sabotage their lives, with one of those being “Not Recognizing Consequences.” If there are no immediate external consequences for nonperformance, I create my own. No, I don't punish myself or ground myself for not doing something. I just create the consequence of disappointment. I am disappointed when I don't achieve what I set out to achieve. Not when I've done my best. I never beat myself up for doing my best. I am only disappointed in myself when I have done less than my best. However, I am most disappointed when I don't achieve something simply because I have been too afraid to even give it a shot.
To begin a journey and not make it is forgivable.
Not to begin the journey at all is unforgivable.
What is the worst that could happen?
This is the question I always ask myself when I am afraid to do something. If the worst that can happen is “I'm going to die,” then I don't do it. But that is rarely the answer to anything I am going to attempt. Usually the worst that can happen is that I won't do as well as I had hoped for. Or I might embarrass myself. Is that really so bad? Even if I do it and do it badly, it is better than if I had never attempted it. So I go for it. You aren't going to die from going after more success, happiness, and prosperity either. Ask yourself, “What's the worst that could happen?” Then go for it. Besides, the worst thing that could happen rarely happens anyway.
Dara Torres, the swimmer, won a Silver Medal during the 2008 Olympics at the age of 41. I watched her in an interview with Matt Lauer where the topic was her age in comparison with other Olympic contenders. She said, “The water doesn't know what age you are, so just jump in and go for it.” The same applies to you as well. Life doesn't know, or care, how old you are or what other excuse you are clinging to, so just jump in and go for it.
Don't worry that you don't know everything. Don't get caught up in what might happen or might not happen. Don't be paralyzed by fear. Don't concern yourself with what others think. In fact, don't over-think the decision at all. When an antelope hears a lion roar, he doesn't continue to graze and think about whether he should run or not. He runs. No thought is involved. He instinctually moves. Become like the antelope because the lion is roaring. Move. Make taking action instinctive.
“The way to do things is to begin.”
- Horace Greeley
Do you know of changes you need to make in your life? Chances are you do. Then follow these simple ideas and get started. Face your fears and do it anyway. Change? Anyone can do it.