Taking the Leap
This is a guest post from Maggie Hope
This time last year, I left my (very secure) job as a high school counselor to transition into full time psychotherapy private practice. I’d watched my mentor in college work as a private practice therapist and knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. I enjoyed my jobs at a college counseling center and then the high school, but I was always working toward private practice. I love being a therapist and couldn’t imagine a better way to fully embrace my passion than to be able to see clients full-time. Last summer, every part of my being knew that it was time for me to make the leap, whether I felt ready or not.
Isn't that the way it goes with transitions? Are we ever really ready to try something new? It's so easy to stay on the path we know - to continue to stay stuck in our old patterns because we fear the unknown. The fear of what we have to lose often outweighs our desire to try something different or new. We stay in a relationship that isn't right for us because at least we aren't alone. We keep the job where we are overworked and under-appreciated because we need the consistent salary to take care of our family and pay the bills. We avoid taking care of ourselves through exercise, diet, and hobbies because we are scared of what we might lose if we create a new pattern.
Now, of course, many of our fears may be at least somewhat valid. We do have to pay our bills and take care of our families. We need our friends and good support systems. Change can be scary and stressful. And, in real life, not every leap turns out better than we expected. In fact, I've often fallen quite hard and struggled to get back on my feet. While I don’t wish those moments on anyone, I know I’m stronger because of them. Each time I fight through failure and disappointment, I learn that I have the inner resources to succeed, and everything I fear feels a little less daunting.
Even if our fears our valid, often we have so much more to gain than we stand to lose.
~ The chance to find true love when we give up the relationship that brings us down.
~ The chance to pursue our passion when we leave a job that discourages us.
~ The chance to be more for ourselves and the people we love when we carve out time to do the things that bring us joy.
Aren't these possibilities, worth a little risk?
For me, striking out on my own and building my own business was 100% worth it. It’s an amazing feeling to continue “rising strong,” as Brene Brown names it in her book by the same title. There have been, and continue to be, plenty of long days and hard nights to get where I want to be. Even so, the contentment I experience on a daily basis by working a job I love is incredible. How wonderful to think that even in the midst of struggle and pain, there is so much more fulfillment to be gained by turning our focus to those people and things who bring us joy.
To learn more about Maggie's work, please see her website: http://maggiehope.com/