Follow Your Dreams… Even if the Journey Makes you Uncomfortable

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Girl before a white door in fear of the unknown My friend David graduated in 2012 with dreams of working for a PR firm in a major city like New York or San Francisco. But, unfortunately, post-graduation life wasn’t so eager to hand him his dreams on a silver platter.

So, he stayed in his hometown and worked for the next year to save money. During the summer of 2013 he landed an internship with a PR Agency. The agency was headquartered in New York, but his position would require him to move to San Francisco.

So, for an internship position, he packed his bags and caught a plane from Ohio to the Bay Area. For the first three months, he stayed with a family friend and during the next three months he lived in a hostel.

My friend was hired as a fulltime junior account executive in December 2013, and just last month he finally moved into his own house with roommates.

Although David didn’t really know anyone, he picked up and moved nearly 2,500 miles from his comfort zone to pursue his dreams. He wasn’t afraid to be uncomfortable.

Then we have Tierra, also a 2012 graduate with hopes of moving to Washington D.C. and attending graduate school. And although she was accepted for the fall 2012 semester, she could not afford to move from Phoenix to our nation’s capital.

But, Tierra didn’t give up on her dreams. She deferred her enrollment for one year and moved in with a friend in L.A. There, Tierra worked four jobs—including roles as a barista and retail associate—to save money for her pending move. This young lady had a bachelor’s degree, yet she worked multiple odd jobs just to get by.

Finally, in May of 2013, Tierra was able to relocate to DC, find a few roommates and begin graduate school.

Like David, Tierra wasn’t afraid of being uncomfortable.

Rewind back to 2011 when another friend of mine, Demetrius, graduated from college. He took a step out on faith by moving from the southwest to the east coast (New York) for an internship. Demetrius worked there for one year, even having to take on freelance jobs to make ends meet. He was finally hired on full time and then promoted after another year.

In just two years, he was able to double his salary, be promoted multiple times and even purchase his own apartment.

David, Tierra and Demetrius weren’t afraid to be uncomfortable.

A CareerBuilder study last year found that 44 percent of workers said they would relocate for the right job. Yet, 41 percent of people who relocated experienced loneliness and doubt and 16 percent felt homesick.

But the study also found that a whopping 77 percent of workers who relocated over the last year reported that they were happy with the move and didn’t regret their decision.

Workers said they experienced the most benefits of relocating in the following areas:

  •  Making a fresh start (30%)
  •  Making new friends (31%)
  •  Having new experiences they wouldn’t have had anywhere else (29%)
  •  Earning at a higher level gave their family more spending options (27%)
  •  Better long-term career opportunities (22%)
  •  Area was nicer and schools were better (19%)

I think it’s always inspirational and encouraging to hear “success stories” because it shows us that things are possible.

Of course, the choice to relocate to follow your dreams isn’t always so black and white when you have a family or other responsibilities. But, if you’re young, a recent graduate, single with no kids, or just don’t have many real obligations to your current residence, I ask…why not?

If you are a recent graduate or unmarried with a family, now is certainly the time to travel and experience new places. Don’t settle for where you are if it’s not helping with the pursuit of your goals.

Life is about taking risks, and on the path to achieving your dreams you are bound to be met with adversity. That doesn’t mean you should allow the fear of the unknown or the uncomfortable feeling of stepping outside your comfort zone to stop you from pursuing your goals.

As the saying goes, If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Even if you take a risk and it doesn’t work out, you can always try, try again.

Besides, the most successful people today reached this status because they weren’t afraid to try new things, step out on faith, strive to reach their goals, and most important, be uncomfortable.

By Shala Marks