Many people complain about the situation they’re in. (I have, as they say, got that particular T-shirt)
They want to get out of a stressful job, live somewhere hot and have money coming in from several income streams.
But they don’t have the one thing that will actually give them what they need to start actually getting out there and making the change.
What don’t they have?
My vision (a wonderful, crazy dream picture of life is its most perfect, beautiful form for me) is the one thing I couldn’t have made any changes without.
It’s what gave me the courage to ask my boss if I could go part time at work.
It’s what got me writing my resignation letter and booking my flight to Italy.
It’s what made me part with 90% of my possessions, leaving me with a few boxes for my parents house and two suitcases, so I could get on that plane.
It’s what gives me the discipline to keep practicing my Italian language skills every day, even though I'm in England for a while.
It’s what I keep coming back to re-align my focus.
But most of the people I talk to who want to make the changes I’ve done, or who are just start out on their journey DON’T have a clear vision.
They think they won’t get what they want.
They’ve created the sensible and realistic version (which isn’t what they really want)
They are trying to sidestep fear (Fear is scary but also brilliant: tells you lots of stuff!)
But Claire, I can’t bear to be disappointed.
I get it. By searching for what we want to leave as our most valuable work, gives us a feeling of vulnerability: opening up to your dreams.
Yet in allowing that vulnerability, we give light to the part of ourselves that needs to be strong, to grow. Even if it’s weak at the moment.
I’m not ‘there’ yet. I’m still in transition period. But as each part of the vision gets closer, it gets more joyful.
Consider these moments:
- The first time I was paid as a self-employed person (and subsequent times!)
- A workshop participant thanking me, saying how much I inspired them
- Monday mornings connecting with clients who have wonderful dreams and... hearing or seeing that moment when something shifts for them
- Every time I have a reply to my newsletter or a comment on my blog, or a retweet from Twitter or a Facebook like.
(If you're smiling in recognition of contributing to any of the above, thank you!)
You think that I’m disappointed with that?
There’s been moments over the last few months when I’ve asked myself: Would I go back? To a regular paycheque and the friendships I built up with my colleagues? To the warmth of an office and the comfort of a home (this was a thought I had when wheeling my two suitcases down countless Italian streets towards railway stations and realising, no, I don’t actually have a place I call home right now!)
Would I go back?
I’ve felt the pull of those things I had and considered where I was now and where I was going. I’ve felt scared, confused, torn, bemused.
Would I go back?
Not for a second.
And you realise, it’s so much closer than you think. As you move towards what you want, opportunities open up. You realise how much you have compared to what you thought you did.
This really struck me when I was STILL in my job and I had my first trip to Italy. I went for just two days and had the most wonderful time, writing on my new Macbook from my historic hotel room, in the centre of Pisa, having met a friendly Italian who acted as my personal translator and seeing the sea. I had a taste of the life I actually dreamed about just a few months before and it spurred me on.
But you HAVE to have your BIGGEST vision. However much it scares you. However much it seems impossible. You have to ask the most intimate part of you what it is you really want, if you could have ANYTHING.
We need a deep, empassioned picture to lean on during the times of bewilderment and confusion.
We need a scary, heart leaping picture to inspire us and remind us why we’re stretching ourselves and implementing change.
We need a warmth and love to our vision to guide us to our decisions.
We need to draw up a picture of what we see as exciting, a place of creativity and potential, with the freedom and joy that we desire, otherwise, it’s not going to be worth changing for.
We need the imagining of our most beautiful lives to be coloured in with all the details.
The type of flowers we want to buy, and the colour, pattern and textile of the tablecloth that sits on the kitchen table.
The tone of marketing for the business we dream of running and the kind of office we’ll have. The actual countries, areas or cities we’ll visit and the people we’ll help. What they’re like.
Yes, it will change, and that’s ok. It can be fluid. But our core purpose will cry out to us. You’ll hit on gold only when you allow yourself to search for it. Within you.
So what’s your vision? Have you got one?