Going down the path less traveled in life, or choosing to go off the beaten path, is not only challenging but can also be incredibly intimidating. You’re trying to do something that no one else is doing (or maybe very few others). As a result, you may have little help or guidance, and few people understand and can empathize with your struggles.
However, this is a courageous thing to do. Taking risks, choosing something different, and pushing your comfort zone are excellent ways to grow as a person and make a larger impact on the world, or even just on those around you.
Blazing your own trail brings about struggles as well as valuable life lessons. Here are some pearls of wisdom that hopefully inspire anyone considering taking the leap and venturing off the beaten path.
How To Choose the Path Less Traveled
Branching off to do your own thing doesn’t necessarily mean reinventing the wheel. Sometimes it just means that you’re doing something different than everyone else you know.
For instance, maybe your family is full of doctors and engineers, and you decide to become a journalist, actor, or artist. Perhaps everyone in your family works for the family business, and you want to start something on your own. Maybe you’re that crazy genius with an inventive idea that no one else can visualize and all you want to do is bring it to fruition.
There are many ways to push your boundaries, create a new path for yourself, or beat down one that no one has even thought of. The biggest thing is deciding to go for it.
Don’t Let The Opinions Of Others Hold You Back
If you truly believe in the path you want for yourself, you must ignore people who tell you not to or that you can’t. If nothing else, you owe it to yourself to at least try.
How To Stay Off The Beaten Path
Starting to blaze your own trail is one thing. Continuing on is another.
Be Prepared To Work Hard
There are no shortcuts and no easy way to accomplish your goals, no matter what path you’re on. However, traveling off the beaten path and creating a new one can be harder and take more work.
Prepare yourself for the mental, physical and emotional work you’ll have to do to keep going. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it, and knowing what you’ll have to truck through will make it easier for you not to give up.
Be Prepared For Obstacles & Hurdles Others May Not Have To Face
The road to success has struggles all over it for everyone. Creating a new path, though, may bring unique issues you’ve never had to deal with. On top of that, it can be harder to ask for help or find people to help you.
Just remind yourself that it’s a part of the process. All our struggles are there to teach us something new and bring us closer to our vision of success.
Find A Mentor
Traveling off the beaten path may make finding a mentor difficult, but not impossible. Remember, this person doesn’t need to be in the same field or have done the same thing as you.
You just need to have a mentor who understands what it means to do something different, is willing to listen and support you, understands your vision, and can push you and make sure you don’t give up.
Remember Your Why
Persevering can be harder than starting. This is especially true once you start encountering obstacles or don’t get the results you want right away.
You started down this road for a reason. Don’t lose sight of why you started. Remembering your why allows you to keep an eye on the end goal you’re striving to achieve. You can do this via journaling, regular check-ins with people you trust, and taking breaks to give yourself time to refocus and regain perspective.
Keep A Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is all about continuous learning and improving yourself. With each life lesson or business or career lesson you learn, be sure to look inward. Give yourself some insight into who you are and who you’re becoming; be aware of your feelings at those moments. Because as you grow, things may change, and that’s ok. That’s great because growth is progress.
Be Prepared to Lose Friends
In addition to you changing, the people around you will change.
Some of this will come naturally because as you grow, the types of people you want to be with, and those that want to be with you, will shift.
It can hurt, and it can be tough to lose people. As with any life-changing event, though, you have to understand that some things happen for a reason. Not everyone who is in your life is meant to stay.
On the flip side, don’t hold on to people who don’t want to stay. One thing that keeps people from progressing is that they are afraid of letting go. If you imagine the path you want to go on is through a door, you can’t take everyone and everything with you. Sometimes in order to fit and make it work, you have to go alone, or only with the things or people that matter most.
So, don’t be afraid to lose, and don’t be scared to let go. Sometimes that’s the only way you can move forward.
Going off the beaten path, taking the path less traveled, creating your own road…these are all different ways of saying the same: doing something unique that no one has done before (or maybe very few).
The world needs people who take chances. It’s a brave choice to go off the beaten path and can be difficult to stick with. But if you have the ambition and the drive, you owe it to yourself to try and give yourself a chance to succeed in a way only you will be able to.
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