We’ve just returned from a weekend in the magical city of Venice. It’s a city to be experienced at least once in a lifetime for it’s amazing history, architecture, beauty and Italian culture. I visited Venice for the first time a couple of years ago with my husband and really wanted to be able to share this magical city with my lovely mum – that’s me, my mum, and my daughter below arriving on a speedboat from Marco Polo airport! It’s all too easy to say “someday maybe soon” to the things we really want to do in life and too often we find that time never comes. And that’s why this month I’m about to embark on an even bigger journey which marks my biggest boldest move yet.
In just about one week, our family is trading the Swiss Alps for the Sonoran desert in Arizona as we prepare to start a brand new chapter in our lives, away from Europe and across the Atlantic pond. I’ve been living as an ex-pat in Geneva for more than 20 years and have dreamed of another big adventure for some time now. After lots of thought and logistical considerations (such as a direct flight to London to keep close to other members of my family), we’ve decided to uproot our lives and move to Scottsdale, Arizona. The city of Scottsdale promotes itself with the motto ‘Bring your passion for life’ and that’s what I certainly intend to do!
What’s interesting is that even though we made this decision after lots of careful thought, it’s certainly has not been plain sailing and those inevitable fears and doubts have risen again and again – what if we’re making a huge mistake? What if we don’t like it over there? What if the grass isn’t greener? Well, there actually isn’t much grass but plenty of new wonders.
The “what-ifs” are fear and doubt showing up but we shouldn’t mistake them for reality. The “what-ifs” can also be a convenient way of playing too safe and too small and never stepping outside your comfort zone to pursue your deepest desires. Whether you wish to make a huge change in your life or your business, I wanted to share with you my own 3 top tips that have helped me to commit to moving forwards even when fear came knocking at my door.
- Vision – hold on to your vision of what you really want to achieve and that vision has to be greater than the fear you’re feeling. Understand and stay connected to the big why behind the change. Why is it important to you and what do you hope to achieve that you currently don’t have? Find ways to stay connected to your vision through a vision board, a personal memento or an inspiring quote. Use my own personal litmus test to find out if the vision is right – when you connect with your vision, do you feel a mixture of nerves and excitement? I’ve always found this to be the best indicator that I’m on the right path.
- Chunk it down – change and growth can quickly seem overwhelming. Chunk it down into the smaller components and different milestones as well as celebrations along the way. Map out the plan of how you’ll achieve your vision and who is responsible for what and by when. My husband and I used a great online tool called Basecamp to get us started on the seemingly endless list of things to do for the move and keep us focussed.
- Get support – No big change is ever made in isolation and you’ll need both buy-in from all those involved and plenty of support along the way. Our friends and family have been a huge source of support to us, sharing in the excitement of having a new destination to visit even when they too are sad that we won’t be around the corner anymore. Support is crucial in any big endeavour – to reconnect you to your own vision when you lose sight of it temporarily, to help you through the inevitable setbacks and to challenge you to do more than you thought possible.
And in case you’re wondering… it is certainly going to be business as usual as we make this move. I’ll be taking a couple of weeks to settle in, get the children into their new schools, and, of course, get my lovely new home’s internet connection working and then I’ll be sharing with all of you my next big event which will be taking place this September.
So stay tuned. Scottsdale, here we come!
© 2012 Vanessa Shaw
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