A few weeks ago I was interviewed by the lovely Lauren from The Multi-Coloured Collar. Lauren asked me questions about Little Grey Box and how moved from where I was in my old career, to where I am now, working my dream job. The timing of the questions was perfect because since leaving my job I hadn’t paused to look back over all the things that had happened since I left my old job. It’s really easy for us to get swept up in moving forward, constantly thinking of the next thing to achieve, that we kinda forget to celebrate the little and big victories that have happened along the way.
Answering Lauren’s questions put everything into perspective for me and reading over my answers, I realised all my hard work had been easily organised into the answers to 10 questions. Seeing things put so simply in front of me, made me realise how far I’d come but also made me realise how easy it is for anyone else wanting to do the same thing.
Like most people, I was working an office job. It wasn’t a career I had studied for or spent my life building towards, it was just something I had fallen into and it was very, very comfortable. It was easy to wake up every day, get ready and go to work then come home and prepare to do it all over again. My job paid me well, I had two bosses for a long time that I really liked working for and our work team was fun. Staying in that job would have been very easy, but it always felt like something was missing and for the longest time, I wasn’t sure what it was.
I started looking for the answers everywhere; in my friends and family, by reading books, looking for other jobs, researching career options, taking up hobbies and throwing myself into them. I looked for answers everywhere, except myself. I spent the longest time chasing my tail, trying to find someone or something to tell me what I wanted, when I was the only person who could do that.
By this time I had already been working on Little Grey Box for a few years, but just as a side project. There was no way I thought writing a blog could be a career or a ‘real’ job. Looking back at those thoughts now, I wonder why. Why is it that I didn’t think it was possible? Why did I think I couldn’t leave my job and do something I love? Part of it is fear, your usual assortment of generic fears like failure, embarrassment and loss of income.
The other part of it is because we’re quite often told that life is tough and you have to do things you don’t like. We watch people around us hate their jobs and vent about, rant on and on about how they hate their boss or their co-workers and we all just nod and agree with them, confirming to them that it’s just part of life. It’s the norm to hate your job, or at least dislike it and wish for another one. It’s also the norm to stay in your job because, damn son, you got bills to pay!
It isn’t the norm to quit your job and try something different. It isn’t the norm to have a job you absolutely love and, when we do come across people like that, we usually find a way to diminish what they’re doing. We say things like, “Oh she’s so lucky,” and, “I bet she works long hours and doesn’t earn much, it must be a real struggle.”
Luck has nothing to do with it. It isn’t luck that someone leaves their job, builds their own business from the ground up, pours their heart into it and makes it grow. That’s hard work and trust. It takes a lot of trust in yourself, your abilities, your dreams and your self-worth to do something like that.
None of this is intended to be a put down for people who don’t choose a different career path. It’s intended to share with you that it’s possible to do it if you want to. If you’ve ever dreamed of having a different career or taking a chance on something you love, then do it. All the fears and limiting thoughts you have are just that, thoughts.
When you really break them down and analyse them, there’s nothing you can’t overcome. Most of our fears are pre-programmed into us, they are things we’re told our whole lives and they radically change our ability to trust our instincts and take risks because we’re terrified of failure and embarrassment. But I’m telling you, from personal experience, it doesn’t have to be like that.
When you take a chance on yourself and trust your heart, you can’t get it wrong. There is no way to fail. Even if your worst fears are realised and things don’t go how you planned, you still succeeded because you had the guts to take a chance and try. Many other people won’t, but you did. Even that way of thinking should be a last resort, because you can and will succeed if you really, really want to.
Before I took a chance and made the leap, I was terrified. I worried if I didn’t get things right I wouldn’t just be letting myself down, but also my husband and my family. But all of them told me the same thing, that all they really cared about was my happiness and as long as I was happy, they’re happy.
So, I took a chance and followed my heart. Since that moment, every decision I’ve made has been based on what my heart tells me to do. Every decision is based on love and respect for myself, which may sound incredibly selfish to someone who hasn’t tried it before but is the best way I’ve found to make decisions. Since that point, everything has changed for me and it can change for you too.
Don’t let fear hold you back and don’t allow other people’s fears or beliefs to shape your decisions. In your heart you know what’s right for you, so don’t get caught up looking for answers in other places, because you’ve already got them, you just need to listen.
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.