Continuing on from last week's "Don't burst my bubble" column, here are four more things you need to know when you are contemplating big, bold, brave new moves:

People's opinions are just that - opinions - not facts.

They might speak them to you as if they are the truth, but actually they are just an opinion, and given it's your life we are talking about here I am going to give the deciding vote to you. Your opinion on what's best for you and your life trumps their opinion every time.

Get qualified expert opinion that you can use with discernment.


This is expert opinion that you are probably paying for, or at least is at a professional level. Maybe it's your bank manager, an architect, or the co-ordinator of the training course. Ask lots of questions, resolve your doubts in qualified opinion and facts. Get as much data as you need, refine it, ask questions and then use it with discernment.

When people pour cold water on your plan it is often saying more about where they are at in life.

Basically it's their stuff they are projecting. Maybe they are risk-averse, so the idea of selling up and moving to the country or changing careers is terrifying for them. That's fine, for THEM, but it doesn't mean those moves are inherently risky or terrifying in any way for YOU. Also, it can bring up a load of insecurities when you make a bold and decisive change of course. You signing up for that marathon can make them feel like maybe they should get their ass off the couch too. It might be completely subconscious and unintentional but your shiny new plan is knocking up against their own insecurities, and they don't want to take action themselves. It would be easier if you just put your trainers away and didn't do the marathon after all, thanks very much. The easiest thing for them is if you shelve your plan. Their anxiety is reduced if you retain the existing state of affairs and both stay on the sofa. Clearly it goes without saying that this is not a good enough reason for you to give up on your heart's desire.

There are some really change-resistant people out there. They are into retaining their grip on the status quo and they don't like that disrupted.

If you start changing stuff it can mess with other people's world view. It has a flow on impact on them, which they don't like. Again this can be completely subconscious and unintentional, and come from good-hearted people who really think they are helping you out by highlighting a heap of pitfalls you haven't even realised. Actually it's much more about their own resistance to change. Which is fine, but again, that belongs to THEM.

Trust your gut.

I've said it before, your body is a really wise guide. It will be whispering to you about whether this plan of yours is a good idea or not. You will know, deep down, if it's the right call for you. Listen to your gut instinct. It is a far truer and wiser guide than any external person's well-meaning opinion. Listen to your gut, it knows. Trust it. Your gut instinct will never let you down.

Of course the ideal is that when we are about to make change or go with an exciting new plan or way of life, all the people around us heartily agree and are on board 100 per cent. That there is a Mexican wave of approval echoing around us from day dot. The likelihood of course is that there won't be. Some people will be on board, and some will not. Some people will think it's a brilliant plan - others will not. And that's totally okay. Trust yourself, trust your own capability to do really sound due diligence (and actually do it - be smart, do the numbers, take the tests, work the budget) then in the end trust in your gut instinct and your desire for something more. Trust in your instinct to grow. To stretch. To reach a little higher. Because I will tell you this for sure: Some of the best, most rewarding decisions in life may look the craziest to other people.