Lisa Lansing

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Why taking a risk isn’t so risky at all.

When I gave notice to quit my last job in the States, and my co-workers asked me about what I’d do for money and what I’d actually do instead of working there, I couldn’t give them straight answers. I wasn’t sure what I’d do, or where I’d live, but I knew I wanted to travel freely without being tied down. I knew I wanted to promote veganism but wasn’t sure how I’d do it. I knew I’d figure it out, though, because I wouldn’t let myself fail no matter what.

Taking a risk like quitting your job without knowing where you’ll work next, or how you’ll make ends meet, isn’t risky depending on the type of person you are. It comes down to problem-solving.

  • Are you the type of person to solve your own problems?
  • Are you self-reliant?
  • Can you take matters into your own hands?
  • Are you strong enough to handle difficult situations on your own?
  • Do you know where to look for information if you can’t solve a problem yourself?

How would you solve the problem of not having a job?

I’ll use this as an example. If you quit your job (or got fired, let’s say), you would need to sort out a plan (unless, of course, you have some money saved up). You would need to problem solve to sort out a new job or new sources of income. This would entail a lot more than simply posting on social media asking friends for job recommendations.

You’d have to go out and pound the pavement, literally. Visit every single business and ask if they’re hiring, even if they don’t have a sign in their window. Don’t beg for a job but do your best to convince these places they should hire you. Show them how passionate and motivated you are to work there. Give them your CV. If they don’t contact you in a few days, go back to the place and talk to them again.

Achieving goals is just like problem-solving. If your main goal is to find a job, do everything in your power to secure one. Don’t just sit at home searching for job listings online, get your butt out the door and visit every single business in the city. Figure out how to make this happen.

Learning how to solve problems requires experience dealing with situations, for sure, but it also comes down to self-confidence. If you are confident in yourself and take this proactive approach to finding a job, you’ll definitely find something. The first job you find might not be the most ideal, but don’t give up! Use this less than ideal job as a means to find a better one, and keep up your job hunt with the same enthusiasm that you had before. Don’t quit your search just because you found a job, especially if it isn’t exactly what you are looking for.

This is the attitude you need when working toward any of your goals. Be confident that you can achieve your goals, take action, stay motivated and never quit.

I’m confident and believe in myself to the point that I know I will succeed in anything I set my mind to. I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school lately (not anytime soon, but it’s still an idea) and I know I can make it happen no matter what.

I never wish my life was different, because if I want something in life I go out and get it or do everything I can to make it a reality. Nothing will stand in my way. If I were to say I can’t do something because of X or Y, I’m just making excuses.

But what if I’m not a confident person?

Tell yourself the opposite. Tell yourself over and over that you can achieve your goals and that you will. Don’t doubt yourself. Doubt will only prevent you from taking action. Taking risks isn’t so intimidating when you believe in yourself and you know you can make it work no matter the circumstance. Failure won’t be an option.

I don’t know where you are in your life at this moment. Maybe you desperately want a different job but are afraid to put yourself out there. Maybe you want to quit work entirely and travel the world. No matter your goals in life, don’t give up in the face of adversity. Acknowledge that you are taking a risk, embrace it and accept any challenge that comes your way with open arms. Believe in yourself that you can, in fact, handle any situation no matter how difficult it may seem in the beginning.

If you struggle with self-confidence, please watch this video. (This is one of my favourite TED talks.) Amy Cuddy teaches us that simply changing our posture to a more confident stance changes the way we perceive ourselves. Instead of ‘faking it till we make it’ (faking self-confidence), she encourages us to fake it until we become it.

It’s okay to be afraid initially. Quitting your job or completely changing your life means you’re trading a comfortable situation for an unknown one as you embark on a major life change. Just don’t let this fear paralyse you.

I urge you to not fear the unknown, however, because it always works out if you trust yourself. Looking back, I couldn’t predict what my life would be like a few months or a few years down the road. I always had a pretty good idea of how I’d like it to be, but inevitably my life ends up completely different than anything I could have imagined, and usually, it’s much better!

Remember that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Trust yourself and believe that you can. Telling yourself the opposite won’t get you anywhere, but telling yourself you can will motivate you to take action.

You can!

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