How gutsy are you? Do you know that men happen to be bigger risk takers than women in some areas of life? Being a risk taker can pay off -- in career success, in financial success in life accomplishments.
I consider Julia Yarbough a risk taker.
Her life story will wow you and that's why I'm thrilled to have her as my guest blogger today. Julia is a broadcast journalist and owner of Julia Yarbough Media Group. She had been working at a South Florida television station when she decided to take a detour in life. Not all of us have the guts to take such leaps to remodel our work life balance but I think Julia's story will inspire you. Visit her at www.highwaytoahusband.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After disappearing from your television newscasts at NBC6 almost three years ago, I made a life-changing departure from the norm. Stepping away from my career I chose to let fate and destiny be my compass. I hit the road for a cross-country dream journey to explore the USA.
My best friend, CBS4 reporter Silva Harapetian, and I decided to become somewhat like Thelma and Louise and experience whatever life brought at us as we drove in my Nissan Xterra across 22 states, for ten months, canvassing more than 18-thousand miles. Being single and seemingly perpetually dateless, I had it in my head that maybe...just MAYBE by exposing myself to new places and people I might cross paths with my Mr. Right. Great plan, right?
Well, we traveled, I dated...more dates in those 10 months than in four years, and I met some great men. No serious love connection though, but my journey began to bring me so much more than I could have imagined. It brought me a greater appreciation for who I am, what I bring to the table and the understanding that it is within my own power to create the kind of life I want. In fact, we ALL have that ability!
Here are a few “tips” I would like to share:
- Be willing to step outside of your comfort zones. Sometimes achieving our goals requires us to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. To force ourselves to do things, go places and learn concepts that we have not previously been exposed to. Leaving my career, my income, my home, my friends, and daily patterns was about as far as one could go to step outside the comfort zone. The experience has made me stronger. More confident. More trusting in my own abilities.
- Make a committment to yourself to do something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Don’t just think and talk about it. DO IT! There is an incredible sense of empowerment when you realize the world won’t cave in if you put your needs and wants at the forefront once in a while. A cross-country road trip was a life-long fantasy. How incredible to see it through!
- Create your own Change. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you because you’ll probably be waiting a long time and will more than likely be disappointed at the outcome. You owe it to yourself to set the wheels into motion to create EXACTLY what you want for yourself!
- Make a list of what you are most afraid. Once you do this, challenge yourself to face those fears. With each step, you’ll discover you are becoming stronger, more confident, more capable of facing whatever life throws at you.
- Be authentic. I’ve learned that when we’re true to ourselves, it’s amazing the people and situations we attract into our lives. During ten months on the road, I learned that quite honestly, I don’t always like wearing a lot of make-up, or high heels, or always being “on” for the camera. I like Country-line dancing, I like driving my truck and it turns out, I enjoy fishing. Who knew?? I’m more real now, than ever. You will be, too when you tap into your authentic self.
- Be fearless in your approach to life. For ten months on the road, Silva and I faced fear head-on. From the simple fear of “where are we lodging for the night?” to “Are we lost and how do we get back to the interstate?” I dove into chilly waters to snorkel with Manatees in North Florida. We stepped into a Blackhawk Helicopter simulator. We camped (in tents) along the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park, Texas. We fly-fished in Montana, we river rafted in Utah, we joined Kathie Lee and Hoda on NBC’s The Today Show, we joined Caroline Manzo, of The Real Housewives of New Jersey to crash a wedding, and we worked as contributors for The Nate Berkus Show. All of that is SCARY stuff...but we embraced every single moment!
- Have fun. Don’t take life so seriously. SERIOUSLY! As a dear friend often reminds me, “None of us is getting out of this alive,” so stop stressing. Things have a way of always working out. My Highway to a Husband journey has taught me to live each moment with gusto and to embrace everything that comes our way. I like to say, “Life is journey, so enjoy the ride.”
I’m not quite sure where my life journey is leading. I've been remolding my life/work/balance with Highway to a Husband and carving out a new path. It's always interesting and sometimes challenging, but well worth it! I’m still single. No husband. No boyfriend. But boy oh boy is life full, exciting and satisfying. I know my Mr. Right is out there somewhere but I’m having a great time living life while he’s deciding to come find me!