How to Let Go of Your Life Plan and Choose to Be Brave Instead

valeriedenisephotos17of43 Have you ever sat down and mapped out your entire life only to have your entire life plan fail?

I know I have. And I’m not talking about a fail that was minute, I am talking about a big, epic, life-plan fail. You see, I did everything I was told to do and was supposed to do. I got decent grades in school, graduated, and got into a private four year university. The day I graduated high school I thought I had my entire life planned out, and that I was right on track.

Looking back, I see that in reality I was naive. To think I had my entire life planned out at such a young age was crazy. But is it? After all, everyone expects us to. We are expected to graduate high school, go to college, and pick a major that will determine what we are going to do for the rest of our life. The pressure is there, and we feel it.valeriedenisephotos14of43Well, what evolved after my graduation was not a part of my plan. My first semester into college I found myself at a cross-roads. So far, college had not been great for me. I was bouncing around different majors I thought I liked, I didn’t fit in, and I didn’t have any friends. The best way to explain it would be to say that I was a foreigner in a strange land, and I knew inside of myself that I was not supposed to be there. My cross roads came in the form of discovering my parents would not be able to pay for my college education, I wasn’t going to receive enough financial aid, and if I wanted to continue I was going to have to take out a loan.

A big fat loan to discover what I wanted to do with my life? No, thank you. As hard as the decision was, I dropped out.

A college dropout? That was NOT a part of my plan.

But you know what else was not a part of my plan? Going to Bible College, meeting the most amazing man and getting married, finding my true passion, and starting my own business. Those are real things that began to unfold after the unforeseen twist of events. And now, when I look back, I realize that while at the moment dropping out of college was difficult and it made me feel like I was a failure, in all reality I was being brave. Brave enough to say “this isn’t the life for me, and I am going to go on a journey to find out what is.”

And now, when I look back, I realize that while at the moment dropping out of college was difficult and it made me feel like I was a failure, in all reality I was being brave.

It takes courage to go on a journey. To say “no” to what everyone says you should do and to follow your heart. To work on your business evenings and weekends because even though nobody gets that it stirs you up on the inside. It takes courage to walk away from a cookie-cutter life plan to go and create your own. It takes courage, and courageous is what you were created to be.valeriedenisephotos18of20

Does any of this resonate with you?

Do you feel like you are called to follow a different kind of path than the one that was set before you? If so, here are a few steps you can take to pursue that:

  1. Write it down

Write down your dreams and visions. It’s okay, go wild! Write out what you are passionate about and what your most daring life would look like.

  1. Start with what you can

Now that you have a vision, you might feel a bit overwhelmed as to how you will get there. But I want to encourage you to start now and to start small. Do what you can with what you have. Is your dream to be a world renowned writer who gets paid to travel? Start a blog. Do you want to be one of the top chefs in the world? Sign-up for a cooking class and challenge yourself to cook every night of the weak. Experiment; and most importantly….

  1. Allow yourself to fail

Raise your hand if you are afraid to fail. Okay, everyone can put their hands down. We are all so afraid to fail. Especially because the internet has made it so easy for everyone to become aware of when we don’t succeed. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Failure is progress. Failure that doesn’t stop you, it takes you closer to your goal. Be okay with burning a few recipes, be okay with some articles being amazing and others being something a child would write. Be okay with not knowing exactly what you are doing all the time. It’s the only way you will learn to succeed. And as much as some people act like they know exactly what their life will look like in ten years, the reality is that they don’t. And you won’t either. So don’t expect that of yourself either and learn to be okay with it.valeriedenisephotos18of43Maybe you aren’t where you thought you would be right now. Maybe you took a detour. Maybe where you thought your passion was turned out to be wrong. Yes, you could continue walking down that path that feels wrong just because you already started to and don’t know what else to do. Or, you can be brave and choose to go on a journey. The journey to discover a life that is full of joy and peace, and fuels your passion. You have a passion inside of you, you have a calling you were meant to fulfill, so the question now is: will you choose to be brave?

Photos by Valerie Denise featuring Wildflower Roots 

Natalia Crawford

Yellow Co.

We are a community of women passionate about living creatively and bravely as Agents of Good!