We’ve all heard the phrase – Don’t burn your bridges! Today, I’m here to challenge that thought.
Most people have a sense of security in the familiar. Sometimes the fear of the unknown or the fear of what may go wrong prevents someone from making a change to their current path. We can be our own worst enemies at times. We have fabulous imaginations and can come up with a million reasons why staying put, or not changing would be “safer”. But is that the best for us?
Sometimes yes, but…
We have all known or heard about the person who lost their job and was devastated, only to move forward and be a tremendous success in doing something completely different from their former profession, and truly what they felt they were called to do after all. When the familiar is no longer an option, and everything has the same fear weight, it opens doors and creates a certain freedom. Each option in front of you has the same issue – maybe it won’t work, maybe my friends and family will think I’m crazy for trying this, maybe I’m not going to be good at this. At the point when the familiar has disappeared, your proverbial bridge has been incinerated and you are given no safe harbor to sit in, you must do something.
There is a certain commitment that comes when you leave yourself no choice but to succeed. A shift often occurs where fears or the possibility of failure no longer have a place in the equation, the path you have chosen has no option but to succeed. You may need to adjust and tweak your plan, but some version must succeed or else! It’s the going home story. Your car may break down, you children might get car sick, you may have to stop at the rest areas a million times, but you are still going to get home. You’re not going to change your mind or ultimate destination, there is no other place to go but home. You haven’t burned any bridges, however, it’s inconceivable that you would decide, nah, not going home, we’ll stay at this hotel in Jersey for the rest of the month, maybe we’ll go home another time, this is good for now. You are getting to the destination of home no matter what.
Burning bridges is not always the best option, but it can be a great tool to help you push yourself to stretch and reach your true capabilities. Burning the bridge commits you to being vested in the success of the outcome. You cannot learn to swim by holding the edge of the pool, you need to let go and trust your strengths, and of course obtain guidance when and where you need it, but the best instructor cannot help the student that will not release their grip. You must let go of the familiar and jump into the pool.
The question I have for you, which bridge is giving you the safety that is preventing your growth? Is it time for you to set fire to it?
Here is a little spark to get the fire started.