Real talk, you guys. My friend and I found tickets to Cuba for $150 round trip, so like, f**k yeah we're going to Cuba! I was so excited. And then he booked the tickets. And I full-on panicked. Like, full blown panic. My mind rushed in with "You don't know this person that well! A whole week?? There's no reception in Cuba, you can't even call home! What are you going to do if something happens?!" And it didn't help that all my friends rushed in as well with, "Just text us every day!" (I can't) and "Well, you trust this person right?" (Instinctively, yes. Practically...we'll see?).
And there are a few realities here. First of all, yeah, this isn't the SAFEST choice I've ever made. But. It also has the potential to be a crazy, amazing adventure. Maybe even life-changing. Who knows?
The reason I tell you this story is because it's not uncommon to face amazing opportunities every day of our lives that can be really scary! Taking a trip. Going to dinner alone. Accepting a new job. Getting married. Having a baby. The reality is, everything new has the potential to be really scary. That doesn't mean you don't do it.
But then comes the question, how do you find the courage to step forward when you're so scared you might actually be shaking?
Do your research. The very first Google result about traveling to Cuba as a woman turned up reason to believe that it's actually incredibly safe, even for women alone. Crime rates in Cuba are low. Women have autonomy. The verdict is to use common sense and you'll be fine. The research you do, pro/con lists, all the details you think through, set the foundation for knowing ahead of time what you can expect. Most fear comes from a place of stepping into the unknown. Thankfully, you're not really the first person to do just about anything. You can Google or buy a book about pretty much anything. Do you research so you can step more confidently into the future.
Set your fall-back plans. As much as things often seem like there's no going back, that's actually rarely the case. What happens if the worst thing happens? Well, you course correct. If my traveling partner turns out to be crazy, I can ditch him. If Cuba ends up being a nightmare, I'll buy a plane ticket somewhere else. For you, if you move to a new job that isn't right, you can find another new job, or maybe even go back to your old one depending on the relationship. If you get one semester into your next degree and realize you actually have no interest in completing it, you don't have to keep going! There's always a new way to look at the situation.
Trust yourself. Which isn't easy! But if I didn't believe I could handle my own shit, I wouldn't be going to Cuba with someone I hardly know. I've traveled alone before. I speak a little Spanish. I'm smart and have good instincts. What reasons do you have to believe in yourself? Because you can handle your shit, too. Of this I am sure. Hot tip: Think of a time when you had to try something new and scary before. What skills did you use that time to see you through? I bet a lot of those same skills can be used with whatever you're facing right now.
You can absolutely live your life doing the same thing every day. But I'm willing to bet if you're reading my blog and visiting my site that's not how you dreamed your life would go. Stepping into something new can be scary. But it's also exciting. It's those experiences that push you to grow, to know yourself better, to evolve. But first you need to trust that no matter what comes your way, you can handle it. From that place of safety within yourself you can take on the world.
See you in Cuba!