I don’t consider myself a risk taker in the traditional sense. I’m a big fan of helmets, life jackets and seat belts. I get nervous when anything picks up speed. I try to avoid trouble entirely. Reading this back, I recognize how awesome I sound. You totally want to hang out this weekend, don’t you? My friends keep me around because I bring them cookies and wine and Hottie Jim makes a killer margarita…
I imagine it does take a certain amount of tequila to tolerate my rule-following presence.
When I started talking about the possibility of leaving my job to do something else, it challenged this part of me; the part that finds comfort in safety, security and consistency.
I was scared to give up such a respected position that I had worked years to get to.
I was worried about the potential financial strain on our family.
I was concerned that people would view me differently – that I lacked ambition.
I was afraid to make a wrong decision.
A few days before I reluctantly gave my notice, my friend Emily sent me a link to Mark Manson’s website and to his piece on Procrastination as an idea for an article club we are a part of, not knowing how much it spoke to this very moment in my life.
Manson wrote, “The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid doing it… Generally, the hardest things for us to do in life are full of emotional resistance.”
I had already weighed out my worries and concerns. I debated and examined each issue to exhaustion and I made the decision with Jim that if working part-time wasn’t an option, I would quit. I knew this was the right decision. But that decision needed a strong defense against my raging self-doubt – that emotional resistance that would amplify its volume at 2:30 in the morning alongside my teething toddler.
After reading Manson’s article, I entered this space where I gave myself permission to do it anyway.
On giving up a respected position? I will be gaining a new one.
Financial strain? We’ll figure out a way to make it work.
How people view me? That’s their issue, not mine.
A wrong decision? So what? I’m smart and will come to the right one.
Hiking sandals and skinny jeans? Yes.
These are huge risks. But I’m taking them anyway.