When I was little, I dreamt of being an IAS officer, a singer, and an actor. Yep, I had huge dreams. I was a studious person but not to an extend of dedicating my life to it, so how could I become an IAS officer? I loved music but seriously, could that be my bread and butter? I loved movies and TV series, so that meant I had to become an actress?
As I grew up I realized that though I loved some of those things and many others, they weren’t going to be what I did for a living. In the process of liking some things, I probably ended up discovering other things I was good at and passionate about, and decided to change my path as I went on and got to know myself. Some were the dreams saw by my parents for me and some were, that I acquire while being fascinated about the luxury they were providing. It probably happens to everyone at one point or another that, we get intimated by the outside beauty of the dream so much that we didn’t realize our inner passion for some other thing. So don’t feel like you’re the only one that has ever changed your mind.
The Common Misconception
When we get older and find that the one thing we truly felt passionate about and really wanted to do is no longer the best fit for us, some people in our life might think of it as giving up or quitting. It may not even be anybody else but us who thinks that changing your path is “quitting”.
Changing your path or dreaming a new dream is not equivalent to quitting or giving up.
This common misconception can end up making one miserable. I know I was. I felt that if I didn’t do what I had studied for, I was a failure, a quitter. I am an engineer and was a lecturer for sometime. Then I did my PGDBO and worked for a bank for a year. After my marriage, I wanted to study further but no one agreed to it as I was not suppose to leave Mr Husband behind and go off to some other place. I agreed to that but today I still feel bad of not following, what I wanted. I actually spent about a year and a half convincing myself and others, that why I was not working after studying so much? It was for a simple reason that I didn’t want to continue investing my time and efforts into something I really wasn’t meant to do. I was freaking’ miserable and today I know exactly why. I always wanted to do something of my interest. And when I had to do something which I never liked, it was more like a burden.
Here’s what I’ve learned: Changing your direction in life is not quitting; not changing your direction and staying in a situation you’re unhappy with is quitting. I know, it’s harsh, but your happiness is worth the fight, today I know for sure. It might be hard and the road might be bumpy at first, but you have to give yourself that chance and chase your passion! Even if it’s just as a side hustle at first, with enough heart, passion and commitment, you’ll get to your goal!
We all are complex individuals who are capable of change, who grow and mature and evolve, and sometimes that means that what we originally set out to do is no longer in line with the person we are or the person we’re trying to become.
It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s not being a quitter. It’s not being a failure. It is being human. Maybe you’ve recently found something that really makes your soul happy, maybe you’re thinking about a career change, that is OK! You have the right to change your mind, don’t make yourself miserable by sticking to something you’re no longer passionate about (unless, of course you have no other choice, in that case, find a way to slowly transition. Don’t go quitting your only source of income if you don’t have a solid backup plan. But build a backup plan and then stop making yourself miserable).
What You Can Do
Talk about It
If you’re having a hard time accepting the fact that your direction, dreams and goals are changing, talk to someone about it, bounce ideas off of your friends and/or family and see what they say. Maybe they will tell you to go for your dreams! Maybe they realize you could be happier by doing something else! They might even lend a helping hand with advice or support. The more you talk about it, the more you get to work out potential kinks in your plan as well! Like for me, talking opens my mind and I realize pros and cons of the topic of discussion. A thing cannot be always positive. It will surely have some negative aspects associated with it. Talking about it makes one better equipped with the negatives and I get the idea of coping with them. May be talking to your family or friends may even help give that last push one need to be confident enough to pursue this new avenue.
And Action (Plan)
Create an action plan. Especially if one is considering switching careers, creating a plan of action is the next thing one need to do. Figure out what steps need to be taken to transition to a new career. For eg; If you’ll be earning less money initially, think of ways to supplement your income so you break even (or hopefully even earn some extra money!) Planning is the most important thing of starting something new. It is the base that will act as the foundation of the big venture.
Try to think of all the little things you can start changing and all the little things you can start setting in motion now to get to your dream.
Like my dream job is to become a writer. So I take time to grow and learn the craft and do a little something every day that gets me closer to this dream or goal. When I first started writing, there were so many thoughts in my head that it was difficult for me to channelize them. But gradually, now my ideas have a smooth flow. I know, I have a long way to go , but I have taken this initial step which required lot of courage, patience and dedication. Sometimes I felt that I am not doing much, but then I look back at all the little baby steps and I realize that I have walked 10 miles already! Little things make big things happen.
The idea of this write up came when I was reading an article on pinterest. It gave me the concept and courage to write, about my passion and how I evolve in my skills of writing. I have the support and love of my family and friends, who gave me the push I needed to start something which I can owe up for. I have my daughter to look after and thus, I got the time and confidence to start something of my own. I want to tell her and all out there, that its ok to chase your dreams, no matter what age you are in and no matter what time you are in. Have the courage to listen and understand your passion and follow it. I want my daughter to follow her heart and be what she wants. I know that it gives an immense sense of independence and pleasure to follow your dream.
So go ahead and chase the unthinkable…