I am writing this post about 3 weeks out from wrapping up a job I love, moving from a state I have fallen in love with and throwing it all in to live out of a backpack for 12 months or so and travel the world with my husband before then relocating back to our home town on the West side of Aus! I am officially feeling all the feels right now! (Gulp).
For the first few months of my decision being announced everything felt pretty normal – kind of business as usual really. In the last few weeks though, we have gone to offer on my replacement (who I know will be fabulous!), my little Sausage dog, my BEAUTIFUL fur-baby has left us and gone back to Perth to be with my Mum and Dad, AND my apartment is in boxes and looks somewhat like a half-way house/crack den of sorts (by the time this goes to post, we will also officially be homeless!). All of a sudden, shit has gotten real. I am having decision anxiety. I am questioning myself in every sense of the word, and the little devil on my shoulder is having a field day trying to derail me telling things like “this is such an irresponsible decision”, “you have such a good job why would you throw it in”, “this is risky” etc etc.
It must be at this point, this pivotal, critical point that we so often back out of decisions. We question ourselves. We let the devil on our shoulder win and we back down. God knows I have done it many times – we let the conservative, conventional, risk free thinking overtake the courageous choice.
Even though I am sure these feelings are normal, its hard to shake and is taking every part of me currently to rise above and remind myself why I have made the decision that I have. Scenarios continue to play out in my mind of all the reasons this could go wrong, of all the things that I’ll miss by leaving, of a new person coming into my role and changing everything I’ve built up from nothing over 5 years, but it is at this point that I think we have a choice. Fall into the noise trying to take us down, or remind ourselves of why we are doing what we are doing. What is the bigger picture of it all? What is the wider vision and how does this decision play into that?
I am also using a framework, or a question tree as such that I created for myself a few years ago when my overthinking used to be chronic (LOLs, by the sound of this article, clearly it still is!). Whenever I worry that my fear might be taking over my courage and I might be looking for an ‘out’ or a way to back-out, I ask myself these questions and I write down my answers.
Firstly, what is the worst thing that can happen to you if you select courage over fear in whatever the current situation might be?
Secondly, what is the true likelihood that the worst thing that could happen, will actually happen?
Thirdly, what could you, or would you do to reverse things, if the worst thing above actually DID happen? What could you do to fix it?
Using this framework and in the context of what I am feeling right now, I think to myself that the worst thing that could happen is that we start travelling, decide it isn’t what we want to do, and we become unhappy or disappointed by the decision, regret quitting my/our jobs and wish we had never left Melbourne.
When I ask myself the second question about the true likelihood of me feeling this way, I think that it is pretty unlikely. Sure, maybe we won’t last the 12 months, but I find it highly unlikely we would start this journey just to hate it after a month. I love to travel. I love to explore. I am such a curious individual, so I can’t realistically understand why all of sudden that passion would disappear.
I then ask myself the third question. Let’s say that did happen, what could I do about it? How could I fix it? Well, I guess if we really decided we were unhappy travelling and missed our jobs and lifestyle so much, we could just come back. I had a gander on LinkedIn to fact check this, and the number of roles similar to mine out there that look great is huge. I then went onto realestate.com.au and looked at apartments near where I live now and there are heaps. Very worst-case scenario, if we wanted to and we regretted this big decision we’ve made, we could quite easily replicate our current life here again.
Hmmmmmmmm all of a sudden things don’t seem so scary. They don’t seem so fixed without room for change if required.
I find this practical framework really helps me work backwards and rationalise to ease my anxiety. If you want to read the rest of this article you can check it out HERE.
If you are someone who ever questions your own decisions and lets that little devil on your shoulder talk you back to “safety”, then try this framework. Write it down, start from question one and work down. I’m sure you’ll feel better after doing it.
If you’ve found yourself stuck in your own way – NOW is the time to get out of it. I can help you. Just ask me how. That is the first step.