Change is hard.
It’s even harder when it’s a big change — breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.
But even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial for us, it can be tough.
We worry. How do we know if we’re making the right decision?
We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?
We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?
Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 tips that should help you move forward and make a positive change in your life.
1. You’ll never have all the information
We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.
Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research … but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures and our need for information can be paralyzing.
Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward.
2. You need to have enough courage to trust yourself
We make all sorts of excuses for not making important changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves.
We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.
Give yourself more credit than that.
You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?
In the end, you were fine.
Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.
3. What’s the worst that could happen?
Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.
When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.
Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.
4. It’s just as much about the process as it is about the result
We’re so wrapped up in results. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.
Guess what? You’re allowed to change your mind.
Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place. It was arbitrary. You’re allowed to choose a new goal halfway through. Failure is not a destination and neither is success.
Enjoy the process of moving forward.
5. Continue to pursue opportunity
If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.
Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.
In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.
If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.
6. Effort matters, so use it
It sounds simple, but one of the of the big reasons we don’t make change is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.
Flunk that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have got an A if I actually studied.”
Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”
Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, well then we can chalk it up to laziness.
Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.
And the funny thing is, if you actually try — because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying — then you’ll win a lot more than you think.
7. Start with something manageable
You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.
Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?
Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications?
You don’t need to be a world changer today, you just need to make a small change in your own world.
For even more tips on overcoming fear and taking action, check out this article on 11 ways to make big changes with small steps.