I never considered myself to be an ambitious person. Ever since I entered the job market and started work, all I ever wanted was to just be happy with my job. I never felt that I need to be ‘successful’ in the sense of climbing a corporate ladder, competing with others or trying to prove to myself that I can earn a certain amount of money.
I was trying to do my best, trying to fit in. I felt privileged that I was offered a job and I kept each of my jobs for years and years. The only reason to leave a job could be a relocation to another country – which, looking back, is very interesting in itself: did I really need to create a completely new life from scratch and have no other options than to let go of the job?
After ten years of such ‘serial job monogamy’, I was lost. I didn’t feel happy and could not figure out why. Am I being spoiled? I have a stable job in a great company, a nice salary… what more do I need? And what makes me feel entitled to ask for more? What if I go somewhere else and it is worse? Do I need to learn this the hard way?
So, of course, I tried to approach my situation from the perspective of gratitude. I appreciated my morning coffee with colleagues, all the opportunities to learn, and working from a warm and dry space. And maybe the next promotion or business trip would take away all my concerns! But it never happened, not in the long-term.
And then you hear that someone just quit and it feels like a dream. You want to scream If only I could do the same! but you feel you are not entitled to have such a wish because you are not that kind of person. You are not that lucky. You are not that skilled. You are not that courageous. Maybe one day, in the far future, when everything will be different, when you will be different, when the opportunity comes, when… Until you realize that nothing might be different or easier in the future unless you start doing something today. And to get into that momentum you need to acknowledge and accept what it is that you really want. This can be painful and difficult but it is also very liberating. It feels like no longer keeping a terrible secret from yourself – and that’s basically what it is.
The only way to move forward is through acknowledging your needs and making your own choices. Yes, I think I can’t do it but I also feel I need to. Yes, I think it is not going to happen without a long-term time investment and effort (and seems to be almost impossible) but I feel I have to do it anyway.
What would you do if money and resources would not be a concern? What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Once I allowed myself to feel what I feel; and acknowledged I had needs that did not match with my the original ‘picture’ of myself that I have created, something in me shifted. I did not yet know whether I was going to act upon this new awareness. But being connected to my truth has allowed me to live more freely and authentically. It has allowed my consciousness to expand and look into places it has never looked into before. And the opportunities suddenly seem to be endless. And when you have more options to choose from, you open up more. Your fear gets transformed into creativity. And making your own, resonant choice is just a question of time.
I’m not saying that everyone should quit their job. I just know that it was the right choice for me at the specific time in my life. Yes, I was really scared – but I was more scared that I might not do it and be in the same unfulfilling situation x years in the future. I finally made my own choice because I listened to my true calling and my true fears, not the ones constructed by society. Maybe I will go back to the corporate world at some point in the future. But this time it will be a conscious choice made by me knowing why I am making this choice and how this choice is going to serve my purpose.
So here are my recommendations about what to do, if you are considering quitting your job or making any kind of significant change in your life:
- Hire a coach, for example myself 😉 You might need someone to help you uncover what it is that you really want, what your values and your limiting beliefs are. This way you prevent ‘idealisation’ of your future choices and you will make sure you are making the right choice for yourself. Hiring a coach is easier than you think. I work with clients from all over the world via skype. It will change your life!
- Once you know what it is that you want, start exploring your options TODAY. Don’t wait until ‘things will get easier’, they most probably won’t. Don’t wait for your opportunity to come, create the opportunity! And the feeling that you are already taking steps towards your dream will make you feel lighter and happier every day, although the difference might be not visible from the outside.
- Consider the bigger picture. How can you perceive your fear of regret (of leaving your job for example) from the perspective of your whole life? Are you going to give yourself a hard time over this when you are 90 years old?
- Trust yourself. You are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. If something unexpected happens on the way, your future self will find a way to deal with it!