I have a friend and colleague at work who has just announced his resignation after 15 years with the organization. He has a big, wonderful personality and a heart to match - he will leave a huge gap behind when he leaves. When I first heard this I was sad. But within about five seconds I was excited for him - excited about the world of opportunities & experiences that lay on the road before him. He is beginning a new journey, something that we are often afraid to do.
Have you ever noticed that when you hear about a new idea or product all of a sudden you see or hear about it everywhere? Coincidence, synchronicity or higher consciousness? Well, lately I have seen a few examples of people reassessing life goals, dreams, and aspirations. And a big example of this is probably my own experience in the last year or so. My depression was caused by a combination of things - chemical imbalances in my brain as well as a few things that just weren't right in my life. Because I knew that I had to take an active approach in getting better and maintaining wellness, I chose to look at what was working and what wasn't. Everything from my career path to my relationships to my goals in life went under the microscope - pretty much nothing went unexamined. As a result I learned a very important thing about myself: I am much more resilient and strong than I have ever given myself credit for. To be able to travel to the edge of life and back, while a horrible experience, showed me that I can survive through trying times. And I also learned to put things in perspective. When you have experienced the darkness like I have you sweat the small stuff a lot less.
Because of my experience and the lessons that I have learned as a result, I am less scared about taking risks in my life, risks that may get me closer to my dreams and goals. For example, I am currently working in a job that is temporary - it's a contract role that ends in a year. I may find something else at my company and I might not. And I am OK with that. I also took a big step toward my goal of becoming an advocate for mental health issues & wellness by starting this blog. In the process I discovered that I love to write - who would have thought?! So yes, I am less scared about things today and more likely to take risks. And that is a gift, strangely enough, that I received from depression.
A few blog posts ago I wrote about ANTs - the automatic negative thoughts that run through our brains. When you are setting goals or daydreaming about something you would like to do "one day", monitor your thoughts. Too often we tell ourselves that our dreams are silly or that we aren't smart enough or funny enough or "insert additional negative thoughts here." Stop it! Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Believe in yourself.
If you want to learn a new language, live in a foreign country, learn how to snowboard at 42, or start a blog, just do it - what have you got to lose? I think that much more is at stake if you don't try. So go ahead - take one step. It can be the beginning of a beautiful journey.