Life is full of opportunities and possibilities, and making radical changes can bring about incredible growth and transformation. But how do you know if it's the right decision? If you're considering leaping into the unknown, it's essential to understand the nature of change and the risks associated with the change you wish to make.
This guide outlines six key things to consider before making a radical change in your life, so you can make sure it's the right decision for you.
From taking stock of your current situation to evaluating the potential outcomes, this guide will help you navigate the seas of change to make the best choice for your future.
With the right attitude and preparation, you can make sure your leap into the unknown is a success.
Evaluating Your Desire To Change
Before making a big decision, looking at your current situation with objective eyes is critical. Why am I considering this change?
If you're feeling stuck or dissatisfied in your current situation, making a change can be a great way to kick-start a positive transformation in your life. However, suppose you are considering the change to shirk responsibility for something currently happening in your life. In that case, a change might not be right for you until you deal with the situation.
Taking stock of your current situation will help you ensure that a radical change is right for you.
Now that you know the why behind your change, you can go a little deeper and explore the following questions:
What are your top three values in life?
Values are an essential and often part of our lives. When dissatisfied, something is most likely bumping up against a value. Understanding your top three values helps you align your change with the values you want to embody.
What do you really want?
Now that you know your top three values consider what it is you want. I emphasize the word, really, because many of us have a want underneath the want. For example, perhaps I want to be financially secure, but the 'really want' is freedom.
Will this radical change move your 'closer to' or 'further away' from what you really want?
Change for the sake of change is not productive, and if you genuinely want your change to last, you must consider if it guides you closer to your longer-term vision of your life.
What do I need to stop doing and start doing to make this change?
Making a change is seldom a case of just doing things differently. Of course, you will have to do something that you are not doing now, but there will also be things you need to stop doing. This is equally important! Make two columns on a page and start looking at what you will need to start doing and stop doing to make this change a reality.
Now you are ready to evaluate the potential risks of your change.
Considering the Risks of Making a Radical Change
First, it is essential to establish that every change has risks and benefits.
Before making a significant change in your life, you must understand the potential risks. There are few things in life worthwhile that do not harbour an element of risk to them, and identifying the potential risks increases the possibility of success exponentially.
Be honest with yourself and understand how failing could impact your life. When making radical changes, the risk of failure can be high. This reflection is not to deter you from taking on the change but only to realistically look at the consequences if things don't work out.
Now take some time to evaluate the risks associated with being successful. Don't glaze over this part, as it is equally, if not more important, than the adverse risks.
I think of the client who lept into entrepreneurship after decades of service with a reputable and well-known employer. They sunk their life savings into a business and were successful. He said to me in one session, "I used to think I worked a lot before; it seems like I work 24/7 now."
He underestimated how passionate he would become about his business and how much time he would invest. The company was being successful, but he felt he was not.
Building a Support System
As you embark on a radical change, it's crucial to have a support system in place. This support could come from friends or family or paid help or support like personal trainers, coaches or counsellors. Perhaps the change you are taking on requires the support of an expert.
Any way you look at it, most radical changes require support, and it can be easy to forget that when we get swept up in the excitement of change.
A support system will help you manage your emotions and feel confident in your decision. It will be your go-to place when times get tough and the people you celebrate your successes with.
Being intentional about creating the support system is important and merely saying, "Yes, I have a lot of good people I can tap into," isn't enough. Instead, identify them individually and what role they will play in your change.
You may be surprised as you take the leap on how important this is.
Making a Plan
Any radical change requires a plan. A plan will help you manage your expectations, timelines, finances and any other resources that you may need.
Diving in without a plan is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure and leave you feeling alone on your journey. Of course, you don't have to have every detail and step mapped out, but you will need to understand your next steps.
When you make your plan, it is an excellent opportunity to talk to others who have trodden into the territory you are considering going.
Here is a short list of questions you can ask
How did this change impact your life?
What areas of your life did this change affect the most?
Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
What cropped up during your change journey that you did not expect?
Is there a resource that you wish you had during your change?
Overall, was this change worth it?
Reevaluating Your Decision
Things change; that is one of the most significant truths of life. Heraclitus is credited for saying, "Change is the only constant in life." This ancient philosopher clearly describes the dynamic and ever-changing movement of life.
Why is this important to know?
As you move towards the outcome, things might change, so flexibility and adaptability are vital. Maybe you have to adjust your approach. Perhaps it is your support system or even the outcome you want to achieve.
When your change becomes a fight, it might be time to take a small pause and reevaluate your decision.
One of the biggest roadblocks to a successful life is the inability to change direction. This can lead to myriad issues as you apply rigid principles to your change. Yes, resilience is required when leaping into a radical change, but it doesn't have to be a down-and-out battle.
Please resist the urge to make it that hard for yourself.
As we have established, making change is an important way of positively transforming your life; at times, change can be challenging. If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of change, take a breath. However, there is a reason why you want to take this leap; maybe it is because you are following your heart, you want to live a life of passion and creativity, or you just want to improve your health.
Remember, change is a process. It is a journey you are on whether you choose to be or not. Change is always happening, so it would serve you best to articulate the type of change you want. Don't let fear stop you from taking the leap. Breathe deep into that big beautiful heart of yours and take the first step to the life you long to live.