Louise Thompson: Living your passion

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Don't expect it to come without a few moments of fear. Photo / iStock
Don't expect it to come without a few moments of fear. Photo / iStock

Many people are itching to do something different and live their passion. Start a new career. Run their own business. Work in a new industry or from home. Retrain in something totally unexpected. Live my passion! Live the Dream! Nail that life-work balance!

They talk about this a lot but ultimately very few actually do it. Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a time for talking, planning and researching. For figuring out finances and pros and cons. For weighing up smart, pragmatic decisions. But then there is a time for action.

And it's at this point that most dreams of living your passion are completely stalled. The dream becomes mirage-like as is shimmers out of reach. The talking continues, but quieter now.

What's the stalling about? Firstly it's about fear. Secondly it's about needing to see all of the steps in the pathway before committing to taking the first one. Both of these things are paralysing.

Fear kills dreams stone dead. It's the insidious voice of doubt that whispers "But what if you fail?" and then extrapolates it into an utterly paralysing story of being homeless and living under a bridge by Christmas. Fear is cyanide for dreams. When the scales tip and we start to believe in the failure story more than in our own capability to make it happen, it's all over.

So people wait. They wait for this voice of fear to be all quiet and sleepy before they make the leap. There will be no leap on that basis. If you want to wait for the absence of fear before making a choice, you will wait a lifetime.

They key is to believe in your dream, your capability and your resiliency more than in your fears. They say a calm sea never made a good sailor, and that applies here. No big change will come without moments of fear - it's whether you can steel yourself to keep navigating forwards that counts.

The second reason "living my passion" dreams become stalled is that people want much more certainty than is available. They want to know every single step on the path, in advance, before they will commit to getting on the path. Which, again, is like having no fear.

That would be nice, but it's not exactly practical. There will be twists and turns in the journey, some of them opportunities that are so good you couldn't even have imagined them, and, yes, a few curve balls too. But the thing is, you cannot know all these things in advance. Talk to people who are living their passion - did it all roll out in a perfect linear fashion, just as they expected?

I can guarantee the answer will be no. The way forward will have evolved. Chance meetings with people will have set off an unexpected but rewarding tangent, or sparked a new idea they had never thought of initially.

Living your passion is very much an evolving state of affairs, rather than a pre-set route to your destination. You cannot know all the steps in advance. But you can trust you have the wisdom and discernment to recognise them to take them when you see them. You cannot plan every single move in advance. But this should not stop you.

Don't expect it to come without a few moments of fear. Know instead that you are bigger than your fear. And don't expect to know every step before you begin, or you will never begin. Trust in your destination, and your capability to find it, then let the path unfold before you.

If you want to live your passion, at some point you have to take action.

- bite.co.nz

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