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How to Stop Surviving and Start Doing What You Love

How to Stop Surviving and Start Doing What You Love

Clock in. Clock out. Head home. Repeat. Millions of people follow this same predictable pattern for years, or even decades. And while there’s nothing wrong with punching a clock and making an honest living, isn’t there more to life? Isn’t there something you’re passionate about that you’d rather spend 40 hours of your week doing?

Here are a few practical tips that will allow you to start living your life the way it was meant to be lived, by doing what you love.

1. Develop a realistic plan

“I, personally, didn’t want to wake up one day as a 50 or 60 year old and find myself still working at a cubicle, regretting that I never pursued the dreams I had for myself,” says Timothy Lee, owner of a San Francisco tap room. “Taking the first leap is the hardest part, but it’s worth leaving stability for what makes you happy.”

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While some people decide to simply quit their jobs and try something else, it’s not a good idea to give up a paying job without some sort of plan. Create a realistic timeline with sizeable goals that you can accomplish.

2. Find a way to monetize

We all have passions, but the truth is that some passions are more monetizable than others. For example, if you’re really skilled at developing software and want to branch out on your own, you won’t have much trouble finding clients. However, if your passion is knitting, it’s going to be much harder to make a living. It’s not impossible, but you’ll have to get creative. Instead of only selling scarves, consider teaching classes to people who are interested in learning how to knit.

The point is that you shouldn’t naively assume that your passion will sell itself. Before launching head first into your new life, think about the financial side of things and how you will make it work.

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3. Surround yourself with the right people

While the onus is on you to make a move and do the right thing for your life, it helps to have supportive people on your side. This is something Sara DiVello learned the hard way when she left her corporate public relations job to launch a career in yoga.

“Because your colleagues may feel just as trapped and scared, a dynamic can evolve where they can actually contribute to holding you back,” DiVello says. “Some co-workers were overtly discouraging, telling me I’d be back, that I’d miss it.”

If you can find people who are supportive and encouraging, it will be much easier to stay motivated and avoid giving up when things get tough. Thankfully, you will be surprised how many people will praise you for your choice to pursue your passion.

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4. Never take no for an answer

News flash: You’re going to get a lot of “no’s” when you first venture out on your own. People won’t take you seriously. They’ll tell you the industry is too crowded. They’ll complain that your prices are too high. They’ll want to see proof before they take a chance. The key is to never take no for an answer.

The most successful people in the world didn’t get to where they are because everyone told them yes. They got to where they are because they kept pushing through.

It’s time to take control of your life

Can you stand the thought of doing what you’re doing right now for another 20 or 30 years–or more? Or would you rather pursue your passion and be happy? For most of us, we’re just trudging along, paying the bills, and praying for the weekend.

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That doesn’t have to be your life. It’s time to make your dream a reality!

More by this author

Anna Johansson

Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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