Risk, change, and emotion

I had a really thoughtful new connection reach out to me after my first LinkedIn video asking for some advice. I really sympathized with his story because I understood what it felt like to be in that same mental space.

He recently resigned his successful, comfortable job of 8 years to join a new start up company that is risky and hasn’t taken off yet. He’s not sure if the launch will be successful, which worries him, but on the flip-side, if it’s successful, how fulfilling will it be to be a part of that launch!

He reached out to me and said saying goodbye to his current team was so difficult and his initial excitement from accepting the offer had died off and he was now filled with fear and doubt. I just struggled with this when I resigned from my current position two weeks ago. I was so emotional because the people I worked with were so great.

He asked me the ultimate question – how do I answer my internal fear and know I did the right thing? You need to answer your internal fear by recognizing you have those feelings, but also choosing to focus on the exciting, positive changes that are on the horizon. Sometimes there is no way to know for sure. You have to trust yourself.

It’s natural to question your decision after taking a risk or making a big change, but you can’t let the negative emotions consume you. There is a reason that you left that job, relocated, ended that relationship, etc. Whether it be growth, work/life balance, or a greater sense of purpose, at the time there was something causing you to believe in taking the risk. Believe in that reason. Use this fuel to see the change through and where it takes you.

The conversation we had was thought provoking, and he responded to my “advice” saying that I was wise and had helped him feel more confident in his choice. If the new job doesn’t work out despite his hard work and efforts, he will start the job search again. He will never lose sight of himself during this process – smart, passionate, driven. His job alone does not define him as a person.

Taking risks is good for us because it makes us learn and grow. It may work out and it may not, but we are better off for continuing to try and change.

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