I know that you’re in new space, and that the change that accompanies it is hard. I’m also sure that sometimes you wonder if this is what you really wanted, or if you have what it takes to make it in this new endeavor.
Let me assure you, you do. You’re a lot tougher than you think you are. You are choosing to confront your own limitations, and to take a step beyond your own comfort, and there’s a great strength in that alone, a deep strength.
I remember the day I left my job to pursue real estate full-time. And, by the way, it was a good one – company truck, expense account, health benefits, a nice salary and commission bonuses based on monthly performance – the kind of job that you’re not supposed to leave. Quitting that job meant that I had to spend $1000 to repair the engine on the 99 Toyota Camry that had been sitting in my parents’ driveway for about a year, and that was left there because I couldn’t afford to fix it.
I had reasons to quit that job, though. My lovely wife had just had our fourth child, and besides needing to make more money, I wanted to do work that I loved. When I drove away from that job, I felt a mixture of exhilaration and panic. As excited as I was to pursue my dream, I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to feed my family and pay the bills in a commission-only job.
Growing up in a small town in North Texas, there were some consistent words thrown around in my formation as a young man – work ethic, character, integrity. For some reason, I felt like you either had these things, or you didn’t. I never viewed them as things that could be developed. You were either a hard worker, or you weren’t. You had character, or you didn’t.
I went to a conference later that year, and the speaker talked about developing your work ethic. As silly as it sounds, I thought, “Oh…I guess that is something you can develop.”
My paradigm began to shift. Just that simple change of mindset affected the way I approached the world. I stopped being mentally defeated when I didn’t meet my own idealistic goals about character, work ethic, and integrity, and looked at my failure as a way to make myself better. I started observing rather than judging, and when you observe things, you can view your inadequacies as challenges, and then create solutions.
As it is with all new paths in life, this one doesn’t feel right – it doesn’t feel normal. Let me assure you, though, it doesn’t meant that it’s not right for you, or that you’re not cut out for it. It merely means that you have a new set of challenges, and a new set of skills to develop. Begin to be an observer, and simply notice what’s going on in this new area of your life, and especially notice what you tell yourself. You have what it takes, and you are a lot tougher than you think you are.