Today I woke up in my new Barcelona apartment, did some writing on the patio, watched the sun rise behind the pink and tan stucco buildings, then walked through town past some famous Gaudí architecture to meet and co-work with fellow digital nomads at a cafe.
Truth be told? One year ago I never thought that this could be my life. I never thought I’d be pouring all this azúcar moreno on my “café con leche, por favor” while networking and typing away with people from all around the world. Yet here I am, improving my Spanish by the day. How did I go from a 9-5 in San Francisco to this #digitalnomadlife where I now travel, live, and work all around the globe?
I believed in myself.
Living a location-independent life is a new phenomenon, and as such it’s met with lots of tension and disbelief. Friends and family aren’t always able grasp the concept, and most everyone will think you’re “a wild one” on an extended vacation. More, from all those years of following societal norms, your mind is autoprogrammed to think the same.
You’ll be dragging around that imaginary corporate ladder, knocking people over the head all the way through the plane aisle until you can finally shove it into that overhead compartment. But you cannot let all this resistance stop you. You have to fight back, know that what you’re doing is what will lead you to your ultimate life of freedom, and believe in yourself enough to make it happen.
I fought past fear.
If you’re like me and just about every other single person in the entire world, you’re scared of failure and the unknown. But guess what? The only things these fears are good for are 1) living a mediocre life, and 2) keeping you from achieving your dreams.
As Jim Carrey said: “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised with practicality. My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12-years-old, he was let go of that safe job… I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
It’s time to get the off over your fears already. If you don’t, you’ll never be who you’re truly meant to be. No more excuses.
I considered my backup plan.
What was I currently doing? Living in San Francisco and working at a startup. What was my backup plan should I “fail” at traveling and working for myself? Move back to San Francisco and work at a startup. The thing I would do as my worst case scenario should everything fail was literally the exact same thing I was doing at that moment.
Now, can you really tell me that your backup plan is any different from what you’re doing right now? Oh, it’s not? Well then, my friend, you’re already living your worst case scenario. And you haven’t even given the best case a shot. There’s nothing more to discuss.