In my Podcamp session last week, I talked about how making the transition from a job to self-employment is like swinging from one trapeze to another. Envision yourself right now swinging along on the job trapeze. It feels comfortable and has a nice big safety net underneath it. But then you see the self-employment trapeze swinging towards you, so you decide to grab it and start your new business on the side of your regular job.
Now you’ve got one hand gripped on the job trapeze and one hand on the self-employment trapeze, so what happens?
You don’t swing anywhere! You don’t advance further in your job and you probably don’t get very far in growing your small business.
Trust me, I can be scary as hell to let go to the job trapeze (because there isn’t always a safe net in the direction you’re going), but in the end, it’s the only way you can soar into the life that you really want.
As I’ve talked about on this blog many times, one of the biggest barriers preventing you from letting go of that job trapeze is fear.
I’m not going to sugar coat it for you—when you quit your job, be prepared for Pandora’s box of fears to open up and ascend upon you. You’ll probably be minding your own business one day and all of a sudden, you hear self-sabotage knocking on your front door. You ignore it for a few days. Then it gets louder. Reluctantly, you open the door and seemingly out of nowhere, your old friends—excuses, fears, set-backs and doubts—flood in and want to stay for dinner. This is when it becomes so easy to veer off track.
You see, when you’re trying to grow—personally, professionally, creatively or in any fashion—every fear you have surrounding that part of your life is going to show up.
The truth is, when you take the right action to follow your heart and start your own business, it is inevitable that certain fears will become your companion along the journey. That’s just a given. But, what you might not know is that when these fears arise, you know you are going (and growing) in the right direction.
What do I mean by this? Well, fears don’t come up in your life when you are stagnant. If you are sitting in an office, receiving a bi-weekly paycheck and easily paying all your bills on time, fears will fall to the wayside. It’s only when you are taking your life to the next level that you have to break through a barrier of fear to get to the other side. So when fears arise, it’s only because you are moving upward, forward and in the direction of your dreams. It means you’re on the right track!!
I’m currently reading Arianna Huffington’s book On Becoming Fearless and she has a great quote, “Fearlessness is about getting up one more time than we fall down. The more comfortable we are with the possibility of falling down, the less worried we are of what people will think if and when we do, the less judgmental of ourselves we are every time we make a mistake, the more fearless we will be, and the easier our journey will become.”
The key is to put in place the support structure that you need to get through these growing pains so that you can consistently pick yourself up, stay on track and make it to the other side.
And when you reach your goals and swing freely on your new trapeze, you will realize that you didn’t necessarily get there through outward accomplishments, but instead, through the development of your inner strength, your resilient will, and your unrelenting fearlessness.