If you have read a few of my other articles you may already know that I have recently quit my job. When I told people about the change I received a puzzled look on their faces that shows exactly what they thought about my choice, he’s crazy. Maybe I didn’t do a good enough job explaining my intentions of never working another job again or maybe they just didn’t want to believe that someone could turn off the faucet of income and expect to turn it on at a higher pressure without the usual 9 to 5. Either way it doesn’t matter at this point in time because there is no going back to the old way it’s either sink or swim and I don’t plan on drowning. Sometimes in life you will either be presented with or intuitively see an opportunity to better the way you live it and due to the constraints of time you will be forced to decide between opportunity and safety. How will you choose? I say remove the safety net and learn to use your failures as opportunities. Let’s go through why you should get rid of the safety net of security, seize opportunity and live by the singular drive of self-belief.
Overcoming the Fear
When people forego an opportunity or give up on a dream that they once held dear it is usually due to the fear of failure which stems from the fear of the unknown. Some may get as far as sticking their toes in the water just to get a feel and then scurry off at the very hint of a possible setback. Setbacks should be used as indicators of adjustments that you need to make towards your plans and not be viewed as the end of your opportunity. Becoming upset or depressed when things don’t go your way is a guaranteed way to fail, instead use these obstacles as part of the overall puzzle of success that you must solve to get where you want to go.
A job is seen as safe because of the consistent check and perceived stability of it. However, someone else always controls your fate in that you don’t see another dime unless they provide the opening for you and what happens when the people controlling the company mess things up and then jobs become expendable? That in itself is a moment of opportunity in which you must decide what route to take, another job or self determination? If you accept the easy route in lieu of what you truly want out of life you are only succumbing to fear. Do not accept something as gospel because the conditions within society have made it seem that way. Oh a steady job is what’s important. NO! You are what is important. Making it okay to let fear win is accepting mediocrity and to live your life caged.
Removing Your Safety Net
There are plenty of stories out there of people who gave up on what was expected of them to pursue their passion and what they had a real drive to accomplish. For example, while reading a book about Bill Gates and the founding of Microsoft I was especially intrigued by the story of Bill’s decision to drop out of Harvard and start a software company. What Bill sensed that the other people that questioned his decision didn’t was that the field he loved (software and computers) was ready to explode and if he did not start at the moment he did by the time he graduated from Harvard it would be too late and his competition would already have a leg up, losing ground that may never be regained. Now Mr. Gates didn’t come from a poor family so if he failed the consequence might not be dire financially but would he have returned to Harvard defeated if his new company went belly up? Doubtful, as we have seen with his enormous success, the belief which he has in himself is too great for a failure to hold him down very long.
Think deeply about your life and analyze the things that insulate you from taking a chance on your dreams. Is it your job? Your friends perhaps? Or maybe it is just your mind playing tricks and not wanting to put itself in an uncomfortable situation? Think about if these things have become a hindrance or if they can still be utilized towards your advancement.
You may never get a period of time when all of the stars align and make you feel comfortable to take a chance on yourself. The extra money you were hoping for so that you could start your own business might never show up but what resources do you have at your disposal? Look for creative ways to use what you already have and then employ them to take the risk. There won’t always be that moment of now or never like Bill Gates had and when it’s not around then you have to force the issue on your own terms.
Utilizing the Hunger
Once the illusion of complacency and safety is gone you will find your self in the mind state of sink or swim. Before anything you did to achieve was out of leisure or short bursts of creativity now it is done out of pure necessity. Does this negatively affect your creativity? Hardly. If you have come this far and placed yourself in a position where you must hustle or die you are by nature not a weak person. By that virtue alone you will not fail, your life will be consumed by an overwhelming sense of purpose because you feel it every single day that there is a mountain to climb. Your creativity is at an all time high because you have to think about how you are going to get to the end result by doing lots of little things in the short term. What others might consider failure you will take as simply a way that didn’t work and take that into consideration on other projects you do in the future.
This method of trial and error can allow you to see things that others will not be able to take advantage of because they have not yet let go of their fear. When the majority of people are static in their lives you will have the ability to adapt in different environments, bad economic climates, and different social situations. When your path in life is decide from within external forces will never destroy it they will only alter the means by which you get to what you desire.