In today’s episode of the Inspiration2Grow podcast I want to challenge your fears, in particular your fear of implementing change in your life. 

Are you adverse to change?  Do you like things to stay the same, be predictable without any surprises?  Does risk scare the heck out of you?  Do you come up with all kinds of excuses why you can’t make a change in your life?

By the end of today’s episode, I hope to inspire you to adopt a new attitude towards change.

Change makes us versatile.  Change allows us to move forward in life and experience both new and exciting things.  Learning new skills or working on your inner self can bring about changes you never knew were possible.

If you don’t actively work on evolving yourself, life becomes stagnant.
So, let me ask you this question…

What do you think of when I ask you to imagine change?  What comes to mind?

Most of us think of the small changes in our everyday life, such as New Year’s resolutions, those little promises we often make to ourselves that help make our lives just a little bit better.  Get healthier, fitter, smarter, practice more self-care, spend more time with loved ones, read more, get more fresh air.  Some people imagine travelling more, cooking at home more and trying new recipes, working out more.

But, then we take a look at the other end of the spectrum of change…the huge changes that have impacted the world.

Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Mark Zuckerberg, Marie Curie, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mahatma Ghandi, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to name a few. These great names (and many more) have made changes which influenced all of our lives as we know it in some way.

So, if you could see me now, image my arms stretched out to each side or imagine my wingspan.  On one end you have the small changes and at the other end you have the huge, massive changes people such as the ones I just mentioned have made.

The Range of Change =>=>

                II———————————————-THE MIDDLE——————————————————-II

But what about the area in the middle of this spectrum?  This is where few of us dare to go.  This is where the scariest changes happen and the ones that affect our lives the most.  No matter how many small promises you make to yourself or no matter how many people join Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta-verse…it is these middle changes that have the most impact on our lives.

I’m referring to changes that affect you for the rest of your life; changes that set you on a completely different path; changes that are nearly impossible to un-do.
These mid-range changes are often dismissed by the following statements:

-> Oh, I could never do it.  It’s too risky.
-> I just don’t have the time for it.
-> Yeah, maybe another day.
-> Oh, I’m comfortable where I am.
-> I don’t need to do this.

Here’s the raw truth -> change is NEVER going to happen with this attitude.  Change means moving from point A to point B, but it’s the transition that really scares people.

What if we didn’t fear change at all?  What if we decided to go against the norm, get out of our comfort zone, and leave the safety net behind us?  IMAGINE CHANGE

Our lives are pre-determined for us in a way.  We are expected to attend school, then go on to college or university, only to secure a job, buy a house and start a family.  The hope most parents have for their children, at least that was the case for me.

I would like to tell you about my personal story, one not many people actually know in detail.
I like to think I was your average teenager.  At school, I excelled in some subjects and had to work harder in others.  In my spare time, I held down a part-time job to earn and save for post secondary education, however I enjoyed spending my hard-earned money on clothes and jewellery – much to my mother’s dismay. 

During the final two years of high school, it was time to get serious about career choices and university applications.  This meant doubling down on school to achieve the necessary marks for the programs I wanted to apply for.  The only two things that were clear for me was that I loved teaching and helping other people and I loved sports.  During this time, the pressure to do well, get the marks I needed, make all the choices that would define my future, please my parents, ended up being too much for me and I landed in the hospital.  After all the tests were done, a tumor was ruled out as were a few other scary options. 
Lying in the hospital bed, I made a decision that would alter my life significantly.  I didn’t tell anyone about my decision.  I kept it to myself returning to school going through the motions like all my soon-to-graduate peers were doing. While the excitement about moving from home to start the next chapter of their education was taking shape, my mind was filled with anxiety.

Finally, the time came to choose which university would see me on their campus proudly sporting their sweatshirt.  My parents were quite happy to know that I had received 3 acceptances from 3 well-regarded universities.  My future seemed pretty rosy from their perspective. So, the three of us, my mom, dad and I agreed to set around the table to discuss the options and financial aspects of my next four plus years at university.

Little did they know, that I had much different plans for my life.  I had decided to do a complete 180 degree shift and chart a new path.  That was undoubtedly the hardest thing I have had to do – tell them their dreams of me attending university would not come true, at least not yet.

I can’t even tell you how much courage it took to look them in the eyes and say, “I am not going to university.  I am going to get out and see some of the world first.”  There was complete silence and disappointment on their part.  How could I give up the chances that were laid out for me?  How could I throw away my life like this?  How was I going to support myself was one huge concern of theirs? What does that even mean, see some of the world first?

If telling my parents wasn’t hard enough, explaining my decision to my closest friends and relatives was just as difficult. To say they were appalled at my decision was an understatement.  And then came the questions or assumptions… If you quit your schooling now, you’ll never go back.  You’re giving up an amazing opportunity by not attending university.  Travel the world, why can’t you do that later, after you’ve completed your education?
There certainly was pressure to re-think my decision and ‘get back on track’ with my choices.  But, with every opposing opinion and flippant comment about how I was not thinking straight, my resolve to push forward became even stronger.

Fast forward to today…

I don’t regret a thing. 

Before my fellow high school students had graduated their post secondary education, I had seen many European countries, learned a new language, came in contact with so many different cultures – all of which I learned so much from.  It opened my mind and educated my in more ways than traditional schooling can. 
After living in Austria for three years, I actually did attend university and got my degree in Innsbruck. From there, I opened my own learning institution and became a household name in the area I lived and worked.

So, no, I did not follow the path expected by society and my family when I was 18.  I was not complacent and didn’t follow the norms of the time, which dictated getting a post secondary education right out of high school was the way to go.  I challenged these unwritten rules or standards or expectations if you will, I challenged what my parents wanted me to do; I challenged what my best friends thought I should do.
My choice not to attend university but rather give myself time and see the world is one of those middle range changes I referred to earlier. 

It was risky, brave, unprecedented (at least in family and circle of friends), very difficult at times, but worth every second. 
It impacted my life significantly.
It increased my self confidence 10-fold.
It showed me how to take risks.
It allowed me to rely solely on myself.
It granted me open-mindedness and understanding toward other cultures.
It paved the way to a very successful and fulfilling career.
It helped me grow and soar to new heights.
It shaped my future in the most amazing way.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the decision I made to go against what society thought my path and destiny should be.

So, I want to challenge YOU to imagine change.  Don’t allow yourself to become complacent with your life as it is currently.

I wish more people would fear complacency rather than being afraid of change.  There are numerous definitions of the term complacency, but I feel this sums it up best:

You are complacent when you have a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.  You feel safe, secure without the need to get out of your comfort zone.

Food for thought:  complacency breeds mediocrity and steals potential.  And you know, I am all about helping others achieve greatness.  I am not interested in average, I aim for the stars and I want you to do this too.  Staying within your cosy comfort zone will not allow you to reach your full potential either.  Don’t you want to discover what you are truly capable of?
Remember… life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

So, I want you to try new things, set out of your comfort zone and I mean way outside not just baby steps, take risks, do things in ways you’ve never done them before, and become obsessed with the fact that you have but ONE go-round on this planet as the you that is you, and just realize how precious and important it is NOT to squander that.  (modified from original Jen Sincero quote)

I realize the middle changes are the scariest, and they are also by far the most difficult to carry out.

It also takes a lot of courage to imagine change when there’s so much judgement both online and offline.  We have to brush this off, become tone deaf toward this judgement. 

It’s your life and you make the decisions. 

In fact, this is the exact sentence I used as a come-back when friends and family told me I was crazy to turn down the chance of a good university degree.  I boldly and calmly explained, “This is MY life and what I choose to make of it is totally up to me. If I choose to go back to university, then I will but not before I am ready.” 

So, if any of you have gone through one of those middle changes in your life, I salute you from the bottom of my heart.  You have my deepest respect.
You are some of the very few that made the leap before you could even see the safety net.

For those of you who are contemplating a major life change, use my story as motivation and encouragement.  You will grow in so many ways, trust me on this.

The first step is to imagine change, the next step is to take action and pursue it.

So, what do you intend to do with this one precious life you have?

That’s all for today, and thanks for taking time out of your day to tune in.

I will leave you as I always do…
In case you haven’t heard it yet from anyone today, let me be the first to say it…

You are so amazing and capable.  The sky’s the limit and I believe in you wholeheartedly.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,



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