It is difficult to begin a new chapter in your life. You may fear that you can no longer go after your dreams, that it is really something you should have pursued while you were still young. If you chose your career early on, you may believe that it is all you know. You may think trying to change careers at this point is unrealistic. Perhaps you find yourself saying, “I am too old,” “too busy,” or “I am not that adventurous.” I am here to tell you, it is never too late!
There are many excuses that can justify not taking a chance or trying something new. Some dreams you may not want to pursue for legitimate reasons. For example, if you experienced a severe head trauma injury, you probably should not start a new career as a snowboarder. However, many are just good explanations to avoid facing the unknown.
Trying something new is scary. Stepping out of your comfort zone is daunting, no matter who you are, how old you are or at what stage of life you find yourself. If taking a risk was so easy everyone would have exciting and fulfilling lives. There are many factors to consider and it is not always clear cut in our minds. However, the formula to achieving your dreams in life is simple – listen to your inner voice and make a feasible plan based on your situation. What you gain will far outweigh the risk.
Anyone who has been divorced, laid off or lost a family member too soon can attest to how difficult it is to be suddenly faced with living a new life. Becoming a parent for the first time, second time or even the third time around is a life altering event that takes work and plenty of adjusting. These changes are a result of circumstances that you are thrust into and while transitioning you do what you can to get through it. Eventually you adjust to a new routine. In most cases you discover new things about yourself. You find strength you never knew you had and learn how resilient you are when faced with new challenges.
When you choose to take a chance and try something new, there is a tremendous amount of fear and trepidation. “Can I do this?” “What was I thinking giving up my career for some pipe dream?” “How am I going to make ends meet?” To be successful, you need to come up with a strategy that is right for you. You must take into consideration all the factors in your life and then execute your plan accordingly. There is absolutely no reason you cannot try something new at any point in your life.
My grandmother was 70 years old when she decided to go back to school to learn to read and write. She was from a time and a place (a small town Portugal) where as soon as you were able, you would go to work to help support the family. She could have easily used the excuse that she was too old to learn but it was very important to her dignity that she know how to write her name. She dreamed of reading the bible without depending on anyone to read to her or without waiting for mass to hear the parables which she so loved to recite to herself from memory. When a community center offered a group of senior Portuguese women the opportunity to learn to read and write, she jumped at the chance! With that action, she set the example for me for the rest of my life. Whenever I try something new and I find myself being negative or making excuses, I think of my Avó Joaquina who did not hesitate for one second at the chance to achieve her dream.
Everyone knows somebody who beat the odds, took a chance, tried something new and with perseverance was successful. Find that person in your life who is your mentor or your example and use their experience to inspire you to do the same. They are not stronger. They are not any more special than you. They just made the commitment to change and followed through. All of us have that power. We just need to believe in ourselves, take the necessary steps and we can make it happen!