I sat down a few weeks ago with a dusty cowboy. Literally, covered in dust from training mustangs all day. He started a non-profit that helps rehabilitate veterans through teaching them to work with wild horses. The entire meeting was so inspiring, learning how their cause was all about a hand up, not a hand out (praise hands emoji!). What struck me most out of all the thoughtful insight he had was when he said, “People and nature are similar in that they both will only change because of two things: pressure and time.”
This particular line struck a chord with me because it put words to something I’ve experienced often. When you’re longing to take that leap of faith into a fresh adventure, doing so can feel terrifying. But with some added pressure, we tend to jump harder, faster. And, after a bit of time, we can actually start to see our desired change.
As an entrepreneur, it certainly took time for me to find my groove. Creating that pressure was so essential to getting started though. When I decided to take my big leap, I quit my full-time gig cold turkey, and went after my vision of what I wanted in life. I did this because I knew without the pressure of no paycheck, I wouldn’t have had as much hustle.
I needed to feel the weight of my decision for my dream to fully be realized.
Sometimes, we have to be our own motivation. We long for a change, but find ourselves too comfortable to do that crazy, unstable, unrealistic thing we need to do. If you find yourself regularly waffling about a new direction, try these four ways of creating pressure to help yourself step into the unknown.
1. Set yourself up to fail
Trial and error is an inevitable part of a “new” anything. But, it’s in the errors that we really learn, and this takes time. You need to make mistakes to learn your boundaries, see if the new path you’re on is the right one, or if the new product you’re launching is worth all the strife. Allow yourself to embrace these “failures” by looking at all you can gain, not lose, from them.
2. Ask yourself - so what?
Recently, I got amazing advice when I was so buckled up by fear that I couldn’t step into a much needed, new direction. In the face of my doubts, my mentor said to me, “so what?”. So what if you fail? So what if you disappoint everyone? So what if no one even notices? He helped me realize that even when we don’t meet the expectations we hope for, it’s just not that big of a deal. We can only do our best, and move forward.
3. Create goals and deadlines
Everyone is constantly talking about how goal setting can help you actually see success and measure your growth. Well, you know what else goals and deadlines do? They create pressure! These milestones keep us moving when we’re not in the mood, or when we loose sight of priorities.
4. Be held accountable by someone
Accountability buddies are such a buzz concept that they’ve become a buzz kill. That being said, it is crucial you have someone, somewhere to ask you about your progress. Someone you will think of when you want to give up, and persevere because you don’t want to let them down. Being accountable to others brings another level of encouragement to our lives. One which we cannot create completely on our own, and will push us into a new space faster, with more heart.
As we pursue directions that are unknown, we can find ourselves walking straight into the darkest corners of our minds. The space where we lose motivation, and it feels impossible to get back on track. When you find yourself here, remember to not be worried by the little details. Instead, create some pressure to get moving forward, then rise to the challenge!
Photos by: Eun Creative