Knowing When to Open the Door and When to Close It

Knowing When to Open the Door and When to Close It

Do you know you want a change, but aren’t sure what it is? I know exactly how that feels because I have been there before. Maybe you want to leave your current job, but don’t know what else you would want to do. Or, maybe you want to shake things up a little in your life, but don’t know what to try. It’s a tough place to be in.

Here’s what NOT to do

Do NOT be afraid to take action. My natural tendency is to research. That means when I know that I want to do something or try something different I hit the web searching for information and ideas. Then, I get lost in the research. I learn more and more, but never take any action on the things that I am learning. This is actually a form of procrastination.

I’m scared to try something new so I use the excuse that I am “still learning about it” to feel better about not doing anything. This can actually make you feel better for a little while. But, before long you realize that you are stuck in the same place in life and haven’t done anything to make a change. The research you are doing doesn’t really matter unless you are putting the things you learn into practice.

Something can be learned from every opportunity

If you really want to make changes you have to start being willing to take risks and stop being so afraid of failure. The truth is not every opportunity is going to be for you but there are things that you can learn from all of them. When you start to look at it like this you won’t worry so much about feeling like a failure.

It took me a long time to reach a place where I really knew what I wanted to do with my life. Actually, it’s been within the past year that I have really gained focus. But, I sure tried a LOT of things along the way. I spent time on them and money on many of them. Some of them I wish I wouldn’t have done, but there were still lessons that I learned from them.

My past jobs and experiences

  • QuickStar – learned about personal development and what I never want to do in business (cold call acquaintances to trick them into meeting with me)
  • Mary Kay – learned that MLM businesses really weren’t for me
  • Auto Detailing – this was a short-lived idea with my husband (we still have many of the products we purchased 10 years ago)
  • Cleaning and lawn care – we ran this business for 5 years and sold it. I learned that I loved working for myself, but not outside of my home.
  • Preschool teacher – learned a lot about child development and strategies that I have used now as a mom
  • Bank Teller – learned a lot about customer service and business documents
  • Business Development Assistant – started to learn marketing and how to deal with c-level executives
  • Event Planner – continued to develop organization and planning skills
  • Certified home stager – learned things that helped me sell our house when the time came
  • Took the test to be a licensed real estate agent – also learned things that helped us get our house sold
  • Became a Certified Personal Trainer – was reminded how much I enjoy learning and that I could take on new things.
  • Travel Agent – started learning how to put social media marketing to work and this was the connection that led me to freelance writing.

What I learned

I am no longer doing any of the things listed above. Some were short-lived and others I spent years doing. All of these could be great opportunities for some people, but they weren’t the right ones for me to stay in. So, I have a choice to make. I can either think of each of these areas as failures and a waste of my time, or I can decide to look at the lessons that I learned from them.

Each experience I had built upon the next thing and the next all the way until today. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the lessons I learned along the way. In fact, many of the experiences that I had are the things that help me to connect with my current content writing clients. But, I had to learn when it was time to take a risk and try things and when it was time to walk away from other things I was doing. This included closing the door on some things that I really enjoyed doing to pursue something else I enjoyed even more.

Don’t be afraid to take action

If you are looking to change something in your life then get busy. Do some research instead of just jumping in blindly. But, you have to know when it’s time to stop researching and start doing. Some of the things that you try aren’t going to be right for you and that’s ok. Know when to walk away from those experiences and move on to something else. Every opportunity might not be right for you, but you can learn something from every single one. Don’t be afraid to take action.

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