Do you refer to your dreams and goals as schemes, or imagine that other people do?
Do you wait to share your ideas until you’ve come up with the perfect justification for changing course, confident that your friends and loved ones are comparing your newest declarations to previous ones?
If you’re the type of person to come up with dreams worth sharing, you might also be the type of person who is afraid of being a flake.
I just want to stick with something for longer than a year.
I received an email from a reader recently that echoed my own insecurities about flakiness, an insecurity I’ve learned is common among seekers and dreamers. It seems that many of us worry about being seen as irresponsible and worry that we’re really just too lazy or too weak to stick with something.
Here’s the deal:
Seekers are constantly moving.
We evaluate. We reflect. We are always open to new ideas and information. Our state of constant motion requires it.
And sometimes we change our minds.
The reality is that everyone changes their minds as they grow and move through life. Even the most stable person you know is not the same person they were 20 years ago. They’re priorities have been tweaked, their goals adjusted. The difference between you and them is that you probably take bigger strides and move more often, which makes your continual change more obvious.
It’s not unusual to change course.
When Jared and I first started talking about selling our house in Florida in order to travel for a year, I worried that I was flaking. We’d moved to Florida just four years earlier and had made quite a fuss about how important it was for us to leave our friends and family behind. It was hard to let go of the old dream of raising kids in Central Florida, but our new dream was a better fit for who we’d become.
Changing course is not necessarily irresponsible.
Steve Jobs dropped out of college.
So did Suze Orman. She also quit on her dream of owning a restaurant in order to pursue a career in investing.
Maybe you’ve come across new information that you didn’t have when you made your last decision. Maybe you’ve achieved one goal and need to set another. Maybe you’re not lazy, afraid of hard work, or wrong, but simply need to accept that it’s time to adjust.
What are you afraid of?
If you find yourself constantly thinking about making a change but hesitating, ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Are you running from the hard work it would take to stay the course – or worried about what other people might think of your decisions? If it’s a fear of work or failure that’s driving your desire to change, try refocusing on your original goals. Suck it up for a bit longer. But if it’s someone else’s opinion that’s haunting you, remember that almost no one is stressing about the decisions you make for your own life. Really.
You are not a flake.
You are someone who has the opportunity to live multiple lifetimes in one. You will have many adventures and delight your grandchildren (or your friends’ grandchildren) with stories about all you have done.
You only need to have faith in how you were made and the courage to take the next right step.