Will you regret it when you’re 80?
My husband, Richie, is a thousand times smarter than I am. When I’m up against a big decision and go to him seeking advice, he always turns things right back around on my own sense of intuition. He maintains that NO ONE knows what’s best for me better than I do. (PS. The same is true of each of you). “Natalie, will you regret it when you’re 80?” he asks (with a wickedly obnoxious little grin).
Allow me to explain.
I recently found myself on a chartered boat in the middle of the Carribbean Sea. Knowing I might never be in this place again, knowing that this opportunity was likely once in a lifetime for me, knowing that were I NOT to jump, I WOULD look back and regret it when I was 80, I stood up, and I dove in.
Are you on the edge of the boat? Is opportunity knocking but you can’t seem to bring yourself to jump? Afraid the water’s cold? Afraid of what might be lurking beneath the surface? Afraid you might drown?!
I get it.
Jump anyway. Or. . . be prepared to regret it when you’re 80.
I love the opportunity to look into people’s lives and provide heartfelt feedback and loving direction. I don’t have all the answers—not even close—but as I respond to your questions, I get the tremendous blessing of watching you soar, not to mention the treasured gift of self reflection and the beautiful byproduct of personal development. Because of this, I’m genuinely falling in love with Formspring. Here’s an example from today’s feed that illustrates this fear to JUMP. (Nope, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot.)
Ok, so WHY am I scared of success? Why am I nervous to be as awesome as I know I can be??? Why do people sabatoge amazing opportunities?? I have the potential to be great. Things are all lined up for awesomeness… I’m just afraid to take that step.
Not knowing your specific goals or challenges, I think it’s best for me to simply answer from my realm of experience.
I personally get really afraid of success because I know the amount of work it’s going to require. I crave simplicity, I crave clarity, I crave a calm, uneventful life. . . and I KNOW that the kind of success that is available to me (and to each of us) requires a lot of STINKING.HARD.WORK. Stretching, growing, risking: all things that success requires, come along with a fair amount of chaos, unpredictability, and confusion. It’s hard for me emotionally to knowingly opt in to all that is required for big change— big success.
I also fear failure. I really fear getting lazy and not being willing to consistently put in the hard work required to make big things happen in my life. It is possible to do and become ANYTHING. Even as a mother, I can have balance and success between my work and family life, but it takes A LOT of commitment, A LOT of consistency, and A.LOT.OF.EFFORT. The reality of everything can be vastly overwhelming to me (often to the point of damming me up completely).
A good way I’ve found to combat these feelings is to say to myself: “Will I regret it when I’m 80?” This material is 100% Richie’s. He’s so much smarter than I am. If I look at my goals and I say, “When I’m 80, looking back on my life, will I regret not putting in the hard work to achieve a, b or c?” If the answer is “yes” then I put on my hard hat and I get to work, no matter the cost. If the answer is “no,” then I reevaluate my goals.
The reality is, you have EVERYTHING you need to be successful. You have every resource, every ounce of strength, every minute of time you need. Each of us has EVERYTHING we need—right in this very moment. I really do believe that. We just have to have the complete confidence that we are on the right path. Once you’re sure, take courage, put on your hard hat, and have faith in yourself. You’re SO much greater, SO much more capable than you know!
Now, let me ask YOU:
Will YOU regret it when you’re 80?
Will you regret not following through on that nagging hunch? Will you regret not getting in touch with your authentic self? Will you regret not risking it all to go for that amazing dream? Will you regret spending your life in a job that doesn’t play to your unique strengths (a job you hate)? Will you regret not fighting hard for the success of the most important relationships in your life? Will you regret not giving your all to be genuinely HAPPY?
Will you regret not embracing your fears and jumping anyway?