June 15, 2014

Rachel Strella

What You Should Know Before Overhauling Your Life

Overhaul lifeFor those of you who have not had a chance to learn of my recent journey, here’s the scoop:  In April, I moved to Norristown, which is outside of Philadelphia.  This move was personal and professional as I’ve left behind my lifelong home and all that came with it including my spouse, my family and my friends.

I’ve written a few posts that led up to this transition and a few about my experiences as I navigate this journey. Most people are shocked that I’ve decided to make this change while others are actually inspired.  The latter reaction has been both unexpected and humbling. I’ve had people tell me they are motivated to make some big changes in their life after hearing my story. And some are even moving states away to pursue a new life on a leap of faith.

I will always encourage others to pursue something outside of their comfort zone that they really believe in. But I also feel a responsibility to tell them about the reality that awaits. Here are a few things you should know before embarking on major life change.

It’s not all roses. Whoever determined that nothing good comes easy should get a gold star.  With any transition, there will be challenges – and many of which you won’t anticipate. Sometimes they come in a flurry of chaos. And other times, slow and steady (and often just when you think you’re over the hump). Overall, it gets easier, but there will be days and moments that will threaten to overwhelm you. Just remember, these feelings and challenges are temporary and will get better with time. Keep pushing forward while having the patience to understand that it’s a long-term process!

There’s no instant gratification. There’s no ‘a la peanut butter sandwiches’ and ‘poof’ - a new life unfolds in front of you, filled with happiness.  There’s a silver lining to anything, but the reality is that change is a process. The journey is part of what will ultimately make it worthwhile, but you’ll need to stay the course.

Others will doubt you. Change – especially surprising changes – can come as shock to people close to you. Some consider how it will affect them and may even personalize it.  There will be countless others who doubt your decision. Overall, I’ve found that the folks who doubt you the most are often the ones who don’t have the courage to make a change themselves, so they try to undermine those who take risks.

You’ll doubt yourself. Let’s face it. Change is scary. It requires us to leave what’s familiar and safe. There are times when things will get tough and you’ll doubt your decision.  I’ve personally doubted myself relentlessly. In fact, I can recall days where I went through a roller coaster of emotions and doubted myself several times in one day.

So now that I’ve shared all of the things to be aware of, and you haven’t run away yet, read on. Because, rest assured, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The troubles may seem never-ending, but in reality they are not. My journey is far from over, but I’ve not giving up now.  And neither should you.

I read a quote on a picture the other day. I don’t know the author, but it resonated with me. It’s a motto for my life now – for this change and all the changes to come.

“The best thing you can do in life is follow your heart. Take risks. Don’t just take the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what might happen. Don’t have any regrets and know that everything happens for a reason.”

I personally believe that life is too short to wonder, ‘what if…’

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2 comments on “What You Should Know Before Overhauling Your Life”

  1. I love your honesty and openness in this post Rachel and hope others are encouraged to follow their hearts or at least be inspired to re think their lives. Having made similar changes and major upheavals in my life sometime ago, I agree that the journey has its rewards and setbacks. But the greatest thing is 'to be honest with ourselves" as this givers us the freedom to develop, understand and reach our full potential.. Congratulations on posting such a heartfelt post and for sharing your feelings! Life is about taking risks and see what lies below the surface.

    1. Hi Midge,

      You're absolutely right. We need to be honest with ourselves in order to pursue a life of authenticity. I believe happiness is possible for everyone - no matter what circumstance. We just have to have the courage to embrace it.


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