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When "How"​ Turns Into Playing It Safe

When "How"​ Turns Into Playing It Safe

Lately, have you been feeling like you have to figure out: HOW?

  • How do I stay connected and not lonely with social distancing?
  • How do I date when I can't leave the house?
  • How do I get work done when my day is filled with status meetings?
  • How can I build a business without networking in-person?

Oh...Wait...That last one is mine.

[Related: Two Questions to Maximize Your Achievements by Year's End]

Yes, I've been thinking a lot about the "how" behind things lately. It's my default. (I am an engineer by college training.) Figure out how things work and then you can figure out how to make them work for you. At least, that's what the engineer side of me thinks and believes.

With where we are today, there is more behind why I'm looking for the "how" in the world. In 2019, I took a leap, a big leap for me. I decided to go full-in on my coaching business. No safety net of a full-time job other than coaching.

Similar to many people, 2019 was a hard year for me. I was super excited about 2020. I was ready to take on the world of the unknown to the point that I even told my coach that my intention for 2020 was to explore and embrace the unknown and unexpected.

Wow, did I get to embrace it! And so did everyone else in the world. No one could have predicted that we would be facing a massive pandemic. We might have expected that the elections would be interesting and challenge us similarly to the 2016 elections. Yet, who would have known that we were all going to be on lockdown? Scared and unable to connect in-person with people? Who knew?

Now, we wonder: Did I pick the wrong time? Should I have waited another year? Did I make a huge mistake? Am I ready for a promotion in the midst of all of this? Should I still relocate my family after this is over? What should I do?

Taking a step back, I realized that these are major, but normal, life transitions. They are exciting, exhilarating, scary, and challenging. They bring with them a touch of anxiety, hope, fear, and maybe doubt. Toss in a major world crisis and they become scary and challenging, and may even feel like a big mistake.

[Related: Practical Wisdom for High-Power Situations]

For me, the thoughts running through my head oscillate between the normal level of fear for starting a business and a world-crisis-level of fear. Should I play the "safe" card and go find a job? Or stay the course?

What I know is that playing it safe isn't usually the answer. I'm meant to stretch and grow. You are meant to stretch and grow. Our dreams are worth pursuing, no matter what is going on around us. We can keep going and we don't need to know the next step. We don't need to know how or even where we are necessarily going to end up.

What we need is to believe.

Believe in ourselves. Believe in our journeys. When we choose faith, we can let go of worrying about the how. We can let go of worrying about how we will get somewhere and whether that is somewhere we want to go. We will reconnect to our internal guidance and find that we are spending our days doing things to build an amazing life.

I am choosing faith. Faith that each day that I take action toward building my business will bring me to the next stop on my journey. Faith that my intuition will guide me. Faith that my intuition will see doors that I might not have found if I focused on the how and the where. Faith that there are no mistakes, but paths to explore.

What will you choose?

[Related: How to Be an Unstoppable Woman]


Jamie Martin is a life and leadership coach who helps women who have been going and going and going for so long that they feel like they've lost themselves. She helps her clients give themselves permission to put themselves first, create a plan, and go after their dreams.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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Community Discussion
Lynne Wesonga
Lynne Wesonga

Love this. Changed jobs in the midst of the pandemic and that got me thinking about whether or not it's the right move. When I took a minute to just calm down, I was able to focus on why I made the leap in the first place and how much the work excites me. Granted, I will still have to navigate the challenges that a new job throws my way but I'm excited.

April 24, 2020

Kelly Morgan
Kelly Morgan

"How do I stay connected and not lonely with social distancing? How do I date when I can't leave the house?" I really relate to these first two questions! It's been very nearly overwhelming. Embracing the unknown and unexpected like you said has been a challenge. Things have been too unknown and too unexpected for my taste, but believing in yourself and knowing that you'll come out the other side is so important.

June 2, 2020