What's The Alternative?


This essay first appeared in my newsletter, The Weekly Pep Talk. If you’d like to subscribe for a big old dose of positivity in your inbox every Sunday, you can sign up here.

I’ve been living outside my comfort zone a lot recently. I’ve been taking risks and making changes and doing lots of things that scare me. I’ve been making decisions that make me feel incredibly vulnerable, and admitting dreams that I’ve kept locked up for so long.

And it isn’t easy to do that. In fact, more often than not, it’s felt pretty damn terrifying. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying - about what other people will think, about whether my efforts will all be in vain. And at times I’ve felt like giving it all up and hiding myself away.

Because making changes can be overwhelming sometimes. Embracing our dreams can be challenging after years of suppressing them. And admitting them to the world is nothing short of terrifying. But the question I keep coming back to, the question I ask myself whenever I’m feeling scared, is this - what’s the alternative?

The alternative is that I pack all my dreams away in a box and give up on them. The alternative is that I keep settling for less than I deserve, keep choosing the options I don’t really want. The alternative is that I continue to waste this one unique and precious life I’ve been given because I’m too scared to make a change.

And honestly? That’s not the life I want to lead. I want my decisions to be made out of joy rather than fear. I want to spend my days doing something I truly love, rather than counting down the hours until the weekend. I want to make a life for myself that I’m truly proud of, rather than settling for whatever comes easiest to me.

Repeatedly asking myself “what is the alternative?” has helped me to build a stronger vision of how I want my life to look. Turning to that question when I’m feeling scared or worried has helped me make braver choices. And constantly reminding myself that I don’t want to settle has kept me pushing towards change.

And so this week, why don’t you ask yourself the same question? When you’re faced with opportunities that scare you, think about what it would feel like to let them pass you by. When you have big, brave decisions to make, consider how it would feel to settle for less than you deserve.

It’s not easy to get outside of your comfort zone and challenge the status quo of your life. But what’s the alternative? Settling for less? Living with regret? Limiting your opportunities? No thanks. You deserve better than that.