Some people have this innate comfort with life change. They not only readily accept it, but even tend to seek it out. As you can probably guess, I am not such a person. Up to this point in my life, I have truly thrived on consistency. Pieces of my life change as necessary, but for the most part I’ve happily maintained a certain level of “status quo” in my world. Until now. Now I am faced with so much uncertainty that if I truly stop and think about it, I’d likely decide to curl up in my room and lock the door.
Somehow, however, I’ve managed to avoid that reaction. Quite the opposite, actually, I’ve recently been having this sense of overwhelming peace with the change. I recognize my upcoming PhD program as my almost obvious next step and the moving to Australia part ends up being an added bonus. I’ve always thought I’d be the next Dr. Woessner in my family line, and now I’m finally on the yellow brick road to that Oz (so to speak). Don’t get me wrong—when I first found out, I’m pretty sure I cried to my parents before I even got the news out. But they, and every other person I’ve talked to since, have been overwhelmingly supportive, encouraging and in awe of the opportunity. I didn’t ask for approval or adulations, but I was getting them everywhere I turned and they lifted my spirits.
You see, having a strong support system in place is one of the most under-recognized keys to success. I know I can complete a PhD. I have the desire, motivation, intelligence and drive required, but of course I’m surrounded with doubts and fears regarding the vastness of change consuming my life. Though the excitement mostly outweighs the fear, I still have my moments, and in those moments I am able to remember all the people in my life supporting my decision to move thousands of miles away from them (wait, do these people even like me, or are they trying to get rid of me??). I think to myself, if my family and best friends can unselfishly support me chasing my dream, even though it takes me away from all of their immediate worlds, this has GOT to be a good thing.
Sure, there is a time and place for pushing yourself and finding motivation from within, but we all have moments of personal doubt and in those times support can be the difference between the will to go on, and the disastrous feeling of defeat. So whether you are preparing for a life change or starting a new exercise plan, surround yourself with supporters. Your energy will falter and your motivation will dwindle and in times like those, you need people who will remind you of the big picture and push you forward. You should always be your own biggest cheerleader, but there’s no reason you can’t have some backup cheerleaders ready to go.