I am sometimes asked, how do you know when it’s time to make a change in life? It’s a great question. I don’t know when we actually know it’s time to change – but this is my best answer: “When staying where you are becomes more painful than making the change. When change is no longer as scary as staying stuck.”
Leo Buscaglia tells a story about two college students who died when struck by a car while walking across the campus. They left behind grieving families and friends, never having had time to fulfill their hopes, dreams and desires. Dr. Buscaglia asked his students what they would like to change about their lives and was surprised by their answers. They wrote about how they’d leave college to pursue their dream of being a musician or artist. How they’d make time take more frequent or longer walks on the beach. Repairing broken relationships. On the bottom of their papers, he wrote, “What are you waiting for? Why don’t you do it now?”
Why are we so afraid to change?
We live with the denial that one day we too shall perish. One day we will cease to exist. Perhaps we are frightened of changing and doing what we desire. Sometimes it just isn’t the right time. We will know it’s time to change when the discomfort of staying where we are is too painful.
I moved to Nashville to pursue my dream of becoming a songwriter. I had been living in Rochester NY and was very comfortable. I had finally graduated from college, gotten off of welfare, and secured a job. I could have stayed there a while but yearned to pursue my passion to write music. I was burning to spread my wings to fly but was simultaneously terrified. My spiritual advisor at the time was actually against my decision to move to Nashville. I was shocked she was not on board with my decision to pursue songwriting. She felt it was too risky, that I would be better off staying safe right where I was. That was when I knew she was no longer the right spiritual advisor for me. I had outgrown her because I was ready to go and she wasn’t ready to let me go. I went to Nashville. I wrote about my experience of moving to Nashville here. https://rabbicosnowsky.com/how-do-we-receive-guidance-god-speaks-through-other-people/
The part about making the change was not easy until it actually was. My struggle with “Go? Stay? When? Will I be okay?” became quiet when I was ready to take the risk. I had to listen for guidance. I was inspired by this article about knowing how to change your mindset in getting ready to change. https://www.keepinspiring.me/change-your-mindset/
I don’t think we can make a ‘wrong decision.’ If we trust that we are Divinely led, we cannot fail because even when we seems like we are failing, we are just learning and getting ready for the next success. Even death is not a failure – it is just another state of being. We have to be fully ready to lose the old comfortable way – and then become ready to embrace the new adventure that is before us, about to unfold.
There’s the story about a warrior who stood beside the battlefield, ready to go to war. A foot soldier beside him was terrified and marveled at the warrior’s calm demeanor. So he finally asked, “Great warrior, how can you stand there so confidently?”
The warrior replied to the foot soldier, “I always go into battle prepared to die. That way, I have nothing to lose and therefore nothing to fear.”
Can you really leave your miserable corporate job and go out on your own? Should you take the plunge and get married? Do you really want to buy that new house/condo/RV or are you okay staying where you are? Only you can answer these questions. Counsel with others is always a good idea but your willingness and ability has to be found within. The decision is between you and God (or your inner guide). Only you can know when it’s time to take the action.