Alexis Grant is an entrepreneurial writer and digital strategist who left her day job to pursue her own business full time. She writes about how to make your own luck in her weekly newsletter.
You know you want to make a change — no, need to make a change. But you keep putting it off.
And while the BIG reason you put it off is probably because making a life or career change can be scary, most of us come up with more practical excuses, ones that sound reasonable when we say them out loud.
Here are three excuses you shouldn’t let hold you back, plus tips for overcoming them:
1. You’ve got too much going on
Often, that means feeling weighed down, maybe by responsibilities, maybe just by stuff. So ask yourself this: How can you simplify your life to make room for your priorities?
Don’t feel like you have to accomplish this in one weekend. Take baby steps: get rid of belongings you don’t need, cut out friends who stress you out, and look for ways to streamline and even outsource chores that take up too much of your time.
Soon, when the weight of all those responsibilities lifts — and you realize that most of those obligations are actually choices — you’ll find the guts to make a bigger change, the one you’ve been waiting on.
2. You haven’t saved enough money
If this is your lame excuse, you likely fall into one of two camps: always feeling like you don’t have enough money no matter how much you’ve saved, or truly falling into the red financially but lacking a plan for how to get out.
In either case, figure out exactly how much money you need to make your transition. Once you put a real number on it, you’ll have a concrete goal to work toward.
Then create a plan to get there. Conscious and frugal spending helps, but figuring out how to make more money is far more effective. Can you launch a side hustle? Ask for a raise at work? Use your skills to help others reach their own goals (and charge for it)?
In addition to coming up with a financial goal, set a time goal for yourself, too. When will you have as much savings as you need? What’s your self-imposed deadline?
3. You’ve put too much time and effort into the career you have now
It might feel difficult to leave if it’s taken you this long to get where you are, but the truth is, all that sweat doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not happy.
Plus, no matter what you do next, the time and effort you’ve put in so far will not go to waste. Why? Because it’s gotten you where you are now. Even if you don’t directly apply the skills that make you money now in your next job, something you’ve learned will help you succeed going forward.
Sometimes the big thing you take with you is an understanding of what you want in life. And just think, if you hadn’t toiled away at a job you didn’t like, you might never have figured that out.
One last tip for moving forward
With all this in mind, remember: It will NEVER feel like the right time. NEVER. The pieces will never ALL fall into place at once. So you’ve got to do what you can to prepare financially and emotionally, and then somehow make the rest of it work. Push through that fear to achieve your goal.
One hack that will help you get there is surrounding yourself with go-getters. Because if the people around you are taking their own leaps, that will rub off on you. It will make living the life you want feel normal, rather than a crazy stretch. You’ll begin to feel like doing awesome things with your life is the status quo, rather than being stuck in a job and city you don’t like.
So look around for the people who will help you move toward your goal, and don’t let yourself make any of these lame excuses. And soon we’ll be hearing from YOU about your escape.