Why You Won’t Regret Taking a Big Risk (So Stop Waiting!)

“Um, yeah, so… I am not coming back.”

Uttering those five words changed my life forever. It was actually the first time I had said them aloud. Hearing them felt as if I had temporarily stepped out of my body and left a crazy person in charge.

I was 19 years old and talking to my mum in England from Sydney, Australia. I was on my “gap year,” a popular rite of passage in the U.K. that many students take — a year when you volunteer somewhere in the world between high school and college.

I had the certainty that only youth and foolishness allow. But I remained loyal to those five little words that ultimately shaped my future: Seven years later I was still living in Sydney, and now, well over a decade later, I can still say that it has been one of the greatest decisions of my life so far.

Was I scared? Yes! Was there any certainty for me? No. But here’s what you learn along the way as you make a few bold moves. There’s no certainty in life — ever. In fact, no one knows what is going to happen next.

What no one ever tells you is that you don’t have to follow a conventional path. You don’t have to live a life that other people expect you to. You are allowed to make the daring decisions you dream about — the ones that stir your soul and ignite your spirit. And that might just define your life in a way that dramatically improves it.

What’s Holding You Back?

As a life coach, people often come to me when they want to make a big change but are held back by fear. Some examples include:

  • Breaking off an engagement
  • Relocating (whether it’s from San Francisco to Singapore or New Jersey to New York)
  • Launching a side hustle totally unrelated to a day job and planning a corporate exit
  • Confronting a passive aggressive friend after years of tolerance
  • Spending the majority of their life savings on extended travel

I know someone who currently works as an executive assistant in an investment bank by day and designs and sells jewelry on Etsy by night. She puts every spare ounce of her passion into it and is gearing up to resign once she hits her savings goal in the spring. Bold move!

A couple of years ago a friend of mine broke off an engagement after six years together — and after a joint home purchase! — with just three months to go until the wedding. Bold move!

What do these situations have in common? They are driven by something almost greater than us. These moves might terrify us — fear thrives on the unknown — but we proceed anyway. Why? Because in these moments, what our heart wants becomes stronger than our fear. And what we really, really want to do takes precedence.

And Then What?

If you are considering a dramatic change, one that does not feel entirely practical or safe, ask yourself these questions:

1. How long have I been thinking about this?

The longer you have been considering anything, whether it’s getting a dog or moving to Paris, the more likely it’s something you truly want. What can seem to others like an overnight decision, like “I’m staying in Australia!” is probably a compounding of many thoughts and feelings over time. In my gap year, I lost my dad. My last couple of years in England were terribly sad for me while he was so sick. I wanted to start a new life in a new place.

2. What’s the worst that could happen?

Say you want to quit your job next summer and spend six months travelling through South America. What is the worst that can happen — you run out of money? And then what? You come back and find another job? And then what? Keep asking yourself “and then what?” until you come to a real, final, worst-case scenario. Is it worth risking? Your heart will answer.

3. What’s the best that could happen?

This is one of my favorite questions! I wish we would all dwell on this a bit more in our lives. My client who broke off her engagement went through a big transition. She ended up changing jobs and moving to a totally different neighborhood. Now she has a new love in her life and tells me it feels totally different. She says that everything about it feels right. She finally feels like herself.

Finish reading here: http://greatist.com/grow/make-bold-moves

Susie Moore is a confidence coach based in New York City. Sign up for her free weekly wellness tips on her website.

Originally published at Greatist.com.