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How To Live Your Passion: Stop Thinking ‘Familiar’ Means ‘Easy’

There was probably a time in human history when venturing into the unfamiliar was a bad idea.  If you foraged for food in a forest, then yes, trying a new red berry that no one else ate was probably a recipe for disaster.

We’re a little past foraging for berries now.

And yet – people like sticking with what they know. 

Do you know why they always tell you on airplanes “remember, the nearest exit may be behind you”?  In an emergency, people’s instinct is to exit through the same door they entered.  Even if it’s far away or dangerous to reach.  That’s why they have to label other doors “EXIT” with red lights and point them out.  People will stick with what’s familiar even if it kills them.

They’ll also keep buying familiar things even if they aren’t the best option.  They’ll keep eating familiar foods even if it’s making them sick.  They’ll keep doing same job every day even if they want to jab their eyes out.

The kicker:  When you ask someone to change, they usually turn into an excuse machine.

I’m too tired.  I’m too busy.  I will be bad at it.  I don’t know how.  Something awful could happen.  It might hurt.

Having a valid excuse for something is not actually a reason not to do it.

Yes, exercise is hard.  So is having heart disease.

Yes, running your own business is hard.  So is working all day at a job you hate.

Yes, creating relationships in the community is hard.  So is having an empty client calendar.

Staying with the familiar seems easy only because the downsides are familiar.

You’ve already figured out how to cope with the bad parts of life as you know it.

But if you decided to run a marathon, you don’t know how you’d handle the time committment, the training, the exhausted legs.  You don’t know what would happen if you sent images into a competition and people said they didn’t like them.  You don’t know how you’d deal with the stress of being the world’s greatest wedding photographer.

You don’t know how you’d handle the bad parts of a new adventure, so you’re content to also sit out on the amazing parts.

This is crazy.

The next time you catch yourself making excuses for not making a change, stop.  See if you can’t find a reason why it’s actually familiarity and not ease that’s holding you in place.

There are times and seasons for everything.  If you gave birth yesterday, then today probably isn’t the day to launch a new marketing campaign.  Be sensible.  But please, oh please, don’t settle for ‘easy’ now.  You’ll just be setting yourself up for ‘hard’ later.

Try the unfamiliar.  You may find you’ve been walking right past the best fruit in the forest.



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  1. Nicole Cross on January 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    First of all, how does this post not have any comments? This is exactly my biggest, baddest habit: hanging desperately to the familiar. And I don’t think I’m the only one. I just found your blog today and there is so much great stuff I can’t stop reading. Thanks for this post.

    • Jenika on January 25, 2012 at 4:34 am

      Aww, thanks Nicole!! 🙂 I appreciate your kind comments and I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the blog. Hope you find it useful!

  2. evette on February 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you so much!! This is what I needed today! I was getting afraid, but after reading this I feel so much better. I feel as though God had sent me into this direction. Looking forward to reading more. Blessings!

  3. Patrick on April 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Wow, what a great read. I also found your site today and can’t stop reading. It’s all very interesting and informative

    • Jenika on April 30, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Thanks Patrick! Glad you’re enjoying the posts! 😀

  4. Cheryl on September 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Excellent and exactly what I need to push the purchase button for From Portfolio to Profit Engine. Thank you.

    • Jenika on September 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks Cheryl! I so appreciate the comment, and I hope you enjoy the e-book! It’s full of good stuff, and please keep me updated on how it goes! I can’t WAIT to see what you do!

  5. Frank on June 27, 2014 at 4:53 am

    This is awesome stuff…a much needed one for me … Cheers !

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