Welcome back Rebooters! Halfway through season 2 already – how did that happen? This week we thought we’d have a good dive into making the leap – it’s an emotive and sometimes frustrating expression, but it’s something we all go through, so we thought we’d tackle it.
The one with the snakes
Carla has a weird but useful analogy about this concept.
She freely admits to having been super dramatic when she felt trapped in her previous job (yes, we can hear the gasps of disbelief 😂) and as people have approached her since feeling similarly, she’s tried to find a way to express how it feels without resorting to “leap, and the net will appear”. Mainly because that phrase makes her want to throw things.
There’s inevitably discomfort when you’re going to make a change – it can feel icky. If it’s a big one, wildly changing your life in some way, then before it happens you’ll have some doubts about whether it’s possible, and whether you’ll ever actually make the change, and you can feel trapped and desperate and get really quite irrational about everything.
Shortly before the snakes of her acquaintance shed their skin for new growth, they’re a bit grumpy, less cuddly and more irritable. And this has become the way to describe that feeling of tightness and being trapped – you can’t go around it, you have to go through it – but it’s temporary and it serves a purpose, just like the snake’s old skin.
Paying those pesky bills
While we’re fully on board with the idea that self employment should be about creativity, freedom and fulfilment, we are also quite keen on the idea that it’s about paying your bills. Not just bills, and not barely paying them, either, but ultimately, those bills do need paying – and it’s wise to plan before a leap, accordingly.
There are of course no guarantees – as Sarah illustrates with her move to Canada, where she and her husband set a two year plan, and gave themselves the option to come home if it didn’t work in those two years.
For Carla it was having a small buffer following a bereavement – a few months’ expenses in the bank which meant she felt she could leave and take the step (or leap) into self employment.
What’s the worst that could happen?
No, seriously – what’s the worst that could happen?
You don’t want to expect the worst, but if you’re a planner, and you have a plan B, plan C, plan D and a half – you’re more likely to meet the worst halfway.
Life sometimes makes you make a decision – making the leap isn’t always easy.
What does it look like?
Gathering yourself, gathering your wits, shorten your reins and your stirrups, and urge your horse forwards – and then go with that energy as the horse jumps. This is how Carla thinks about it, and if you hesitate at the point at which the horse flows upwards to jump, you’re quite like to part company and end up on the floor.
Sarah’s non-horse version is the Vicar of Dibley puddle – if she didn’t jump, she’d never have known how deep the puddle was!
How much of our excitement and reluctance to make a leap is impacted by our previous experiences? If you’ve done something in the past and it’s not worked so well, it’ll make you feel a bit weird doing new things.
If you have hassle with small leaps (ordering new things and having problems with missing parts, for example), does this impact on bigger ones?
Tales of leaps & how they happen
Moving (around the UK, abroad, just generally moving house). Getting married – commitment, potentially forever, changing the status quo.
Is there a particular moment which counts as making the leap, or is it a series of small decisions which brings you to a big change?
Impulsive, being less risk averse, and doing mad things when we were younger (argh, did we get more sensible as we got older?).
Sarah moved countries in an afternoon, Carla said yes to a banger rally to Romania on a total whim, with someone she didn’t know very well at the time.
We discuss the discomfort before these decisions, and how we feel now about new leaps, and the mix of impulsive and planned.
If the discomfort causes you to make the leap, it’s not necessarily fear-based – is it commitment based? From buying a house to buying a new camera, doubt can creep in in the process of the leap.
How to know if the leap was the right thing
Does our self doubt get in the way of us knowing when we’re doing the right thing? We can sometimes allow our experiences and also those of others to get in the way of what we really want and what we know will work well for us.
Is making the leap connected to decisiveness? If you’re decisive and make leaps quickly, does the discomfort come afterwards?
Instinct and gut feelings
Even if there are questions, doubts, worries – if it feels right, it probably is. There are things you’ve done which if you look back and apply logic and reasoning, you wonder how you ever did them – and you certainly wouldn’t now.
We’re not going to say “leap, and the net will appear” – but we are going to say, look at the risks, weigh them up against what will happen if it all goes right, and let your instinct guide you.
The tipping point will come – at a different point for every person, but at some point your possible future and the associated risks will outweigh your now and the frustrations and issues you’re currently having.
What about when you can’t make the leap yet?
If you’re not yet in a position to make your move, make your leap – but you know you want to at some point – how do you deal with that?
If it feels like the right thing to do, then you have to find a way to do it in some capacity – even if you can’t make the full shift just yet.
Can you find a small way to do whatever it is that’s calling to you?
If your leap is something you (please excuse the grammar) can’t not do – you can’t leave it behind and it’s like breathing to you – then you will find a way, even if you’re struggling with feeling trapped at the moment.
Another way to deal with it is to find something you want even more in the short term – so you’re not shelving your dream or your plans, just turning your attention to something else you want or need more in the meantime.
Talking it out & other strategies
It’s good to verbalise what you want and where you’re headed – so that people can support you, but also so that you can work out if it is, in fact, what you actually want.
And we love permission slips, whether you give them to yourself or others, to accept that you won’t be able to do everything you did before, at least for a while.
What are you willing to give up (even temporarily), in order to have the life you love? A question that could be uncomfortable but could also hold the key to making progress forward.
It’s about making space for your change, and also realising that it might not look quite like you planned it to start with – and allowing it space to shift and settle.
Can you set a time for reviewing? A timescale after which you can look at things and see how you’re doing?
Think, plan, find your purpose and support. Maybe set a time limit, but always go with your gut and trust yourself – trust that you will eventually do what’s right for you – and make that leap!
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