What Are You Willing To Give Up To Have The Life You Say You Want?

We say we want change, but that’s not true. We only want the change that we want. We like surprises that we want. We want things on our terms.

But when you choose to do something different with your life – you choose to step off the beaten path and live wholeheartedly – you give up a certain level of control in the predictability of your life.

First, we give up the things we don’t want – the commute we didn’t enjoy, or the job we hated – and then the things we didn’t want to sacrifice come along. The holidays, or the nights out, or the ability to buy what you want when you want.

And this part is tough – watching your friends and family continue to do what they’ve always done, while the gap in your income feels wider and wider.

But this is all still part of the plan – you knew this could be a necessary, temporary sacrifice.

It’s all good.

Until it isn’t.

You’re tired.

You’re broke.

You’re in debt.

You’re doing everything you can think of doing. You’re doing the important inner work. You’re taking practical steps. You’re being proactive and strategic and still trusting your intuition.

You know you’re doing the right things. You know you’re on the “right” path. You know you’re doing meaningful, important work.  You know you’re helping people. You know you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

So why is it so hard?

Why does it hurt so much?

It hurts because you’ve given up certainty. You’ve created space for the unknown, you’ve given yourself the possibility of living to your full potential, but that doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen on any particular timeline.

As human beings we crave certainty – a reassurance that everything will work out eventually. The fairy tale ending that we are all promised. And the longer it takes for that to appear, the more afraid we are that it’s never going to come.

“What are you willing to give up to have the life you keep pretending you want?”

Elizabeth Gilbert

Are you willing to give up any sense of certainty on your path? To embrace the unknown? To trust yourself and the journey of learning you are on?

If not, do you really want this?

This beautiful, inspiring, unpredictable life, full of joy and meaning and purpose.

Do you want it?


It’s yours. As soon as you’re willing to let go. Let go and trust yourself. Let go of what you know. Let go of how it should be. Let it be.

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

John Lennon

This piece was inspired by one I wrote recently for ToGetHer Further – Managing The Emotional Rollercoaster of Career Change – which includes 7 simple steps to help you practice this art of surrendering to the process. 

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