Don't sit still
In the words of a random meme I came across about 6 months ago:
“If you don’t like where you are, change it. You’re not a tree.”
Despite the obvious point driven in this statement, the fact that I’m a human and not “a woody, perennial plant,” it left a huge impact on me.
More often than not, we feel stuck. Sometimes it's a job, relationship, or habit that isn’t necessarily bad, but isn’t bringing much good into our lives either. And we sit around wondering why our situation isn’t what we’d like for it to be. So we start looking for things to blame- our lack of resources, mentor-ship, self-control, or even self-respect. This search for blame comes from either the fact that we are underestimating ourselves and our abilities, or we are underestimating the work that is required to live out whatever our dreams are.
So what do trees have to do with the problem?
They’re stuck. Unless someone comes along and replants them, they have to stay where they are indefinitely. The good news for us is, we don’t!
If we don’t like our environment, we can move. If we don’t like our relationships, we can network. The key to change is willingness. Here are some realistic arguments to combat what (in my opinion) are the two excuses for not making a change:
I’m Not Qualified
Breaking news: no one is born qualified. If you have the gift of knowing exactly what it is that you want to do, there is no reason that you should feel stuck. Begin to teach yourself the things you need to know in order to get there. Start with small steps. If you want to be a graphic designer, read blogs on how to learn on your own. If you'd like to pilot a startup, start writing a business plan. Take some time every morning and add to it.
If it is something you love, you will want to glean knowledge in the field and it will feel like more of a hobby than work. You don’t need formal business experience in every industry. If you believe that you were built for something great, everyone else will too. You just have to be willing to work at it. #teachyoself
I Don’t Know What I Want
I get this. It’s so understandable to be afraid to make a change when you don’t know what you want that change to turn into. This is where you need to do some research- on yourself. I know that sounds odd, but learning about yourself and really understanding what makes you happy is so important.
Take personality tests. I never knew I wanted to be in business until I had a friend do a personality profile on me and all arrows pointed to marketing and sales. I was studying English at the time. Maybe start by asking your peers what they think seems important to you. You would be surprised how easily people can pick up on what truly makes you tick. Sometimes there is a dis-connect between who you think you are and who you actually are. This can come from trying to fulfill other people’s expectations, fitting into a ‘norm’, or just getting too comfortable. To make a change, you have to be interested in knowing yourself, and be ready to love whoever that person turns out to be.
Understanding that we were made for greatness is the key in all of this. There is something inside of you that is unique and will bring a strength to the table that no one else can. If you are willing have faith in risk taking, to work hard, and to be brave, there is no reason you should feel stuck. After all, you are not a tree.