Lessons From Stepping Out Into The Abyss

It’s amazing how quickly your life can change.

Thanksgiving 2018 – my longterm girlfriend and I were spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my family.

Christmas 2018 – My belongings were moved out of the apartment of no-longer-my girlfriend into storage, and I was on the road beginning a year-long tour of Founders Live cities, starting in Boise, Idaho.

This is not a woe is me post.

I recently announced I am going on 12-month world tour. This is a post to describe my experience stepping out into the first few weeks of my journey and what I have initially learned from taking the biggest risk of my life to date.

stepoffcliff

What scares you is usually the most important

I was terrified to lose her, yet in the end, it is exactly what happened. The moment I realized the relationship I had been in for almost five years was coming to an end, things started to shift. For so long I was unwilling to acknowledge the space between us and what had crept in.

What crept in? From what I can gather at this point it was the emergence of (small but growing) success and the reveal of a vastly different potential for my life on a global scale. The past Nick (and some of his baggage) was hindering present and future Nick.

This realization also scared me. It’s easier and somewhat safer to pull the covers over your head and just stay where you are. Closed off. Safe. Warm. Comfortable. (No, I will not change!) It’s tremendously more challenging and scary to look at your potential, evaluate it from all angles, accept it and commit to seeing it through no matter what.

So that’s what I have done these last few weeks, and it’s just starting to take shape for me going into 2019.

[Nick note – I’ve been asked a few times what my biggest fear would be if I died and then was asked immediately in the afterlife what I regretted the most. My answer: not reaching my utmost potential during my time in this world – and then being shown that potential and how much more I could have done, impacted and achieved. That feeling would be devastating.]

Am I worried about how I’ll navigate the world during this next year? Sure, a little. But I can tell you this – I am overcome with intrigue and excitement about tackling the challenges I am now faced with and using different means to get to the end I have been dreaming about.

Embrace uncomfortable until it’s comfortable

Think about your life. You wake up (usually) at the same time. In the same room. Have your same morning routine. You (most likely) go to an office or your same place of work each day. Return to your residence. You (might) have a significant other who you enjoy spending time with. You have a mailing address!

Not me, anymore. This is incredibly unnerving and it’s a shock to the system. None of those things are constant in my life now. I am now moving through the world much more fluid and the only constant is change. This uncomfortableness is something I am now working to get comfortable with.

You know why? The best in the world at their given profession excel usually when they are extremely challenged and are placed in uncomfortable situations. Excelling at this moment is what sets them apart from the crowd. When others break, they bend. When others run, they stand and face it. When others quit, they work harder. This is why they are the best.

That’s what I am doing now. I left a cushy Seattle apartment with a crazy nice view of Lake Union with a great person at my side and a constant and dependable everyday lifestyle to embrace the uncomfortable world of year-long travel and life challenges. I am committing to building a company throughout this experience and place myself in uniquely challenging experiences so that I emerge as one of the best in the business.

Be your own best friend

So here I am, out on the road. New places to live, sometimes on a weekly. New beds. New pillows. New cities. New faces. Short-term friendships. No life partner. No pets.

Just the road and the radio.

In these times you notice little things you normally wouldn’t in your normal expected your day-to-day. Things are quieter when you are alone. Things can be more peaceful. They can sometimes be more lonely. Scary even.

But the biggest thing you notice is how much you need to be your own best friend. You need to learn how to uplift yourself and treat yourself well. It’s pretty much your only option since you are stuck with yourself through this journey. And it is exactly what I needed. I wasn’t my own best friend and it was starting to crack me in my core. I needed a change.

So this is my biggest lesson to date: My 12-month journey is as much about finding my best-friend self than it is about finding more Founders Live users and new cities. Sometimes we have good days. Sometimes we have bad days. But we’re getting along and growing closer each day.

Cheers Mate – it’s going to be one helluva year together.

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