Quitting the job, you actually quite like, to chase after the unknown?
It’s not like you are desperately unhappy.
Yet that nagging feeling still rears its ugly head almost daily. Niggling away at you. The feeling that there is more to life, that you are destined for more. A little whisper in your ear saying be courageous, you have the potential to achieve greater things. The potential to make a difference, to do something meaningful.
Quick as a flash the self-belief and inspiration vanish. Apprehension, concern and panic take over. A voice full of crippling anxiety and fear. Fear over money. Fear over self-doubt. Fear over what family and friends might say. Fear over failure.
Maybe you aren’t destined for more. Maybe you’ve not got it in you to succeed in life doing what you truly love. Maybe your skills and strengths aren’t good enough. Maybe there is nothing more to life that your present state of being.
Stay in your little cocoon of comfort, potter along doing the same routine and keep telling yourself, “Well I won’t doing this job forever, I’ll find something better one day”.
Will you? When?
What if that when is now?
What if you shut down those excuses and took those brave steps towards your passions. Recognise your potential and maximise your strengths to live your life how you want to.
Exciting isn’t it? To truly feel alive.
How to be fearless
What makes others fearless and you not?
People become fearless when experiencing loss. May be a loss of a job. Or worse, a loss of a loved one. The loss may not even be directly related to themselves, but the sense of loss makes people change.
Because it is wake-up call. It wakes you up from the everyday mundane crap and highlights the important points of life.
When’s your wake-up call? Has it passed you by? What if it comes too late? Or never at all?
Your wake-up call could come when you are 64.
Are you prepared to take that risk? The risk that at the ripe old age of 64 it dawns on you that a large proportion of what you did in your life was essentially meaningless to you?
The answer…don’t wait for loss.
Find your own wake up call. Create a wake-up call.
I’m not saying go out and change the world. I am also not saying stop reading this blog and start your resignation letter.
What I am saying, is to begin to feel fearless, you need to let go.
Let go of the expectations that surround you.
Work towards something that is meaningful to you. Not meaningful to society. Not meaningful to your friends and family. Meaningful to YOU.
When you truly let go of these expectations you start to shift to a more fearless way of being.
Joining the pursuit
But you think change isn’t that easy, relinquishing the fear isn’t that easy.
Correct. It’s not.
You need to get to know you. Like really know you. Maybe you already do know you. If so, then congratulations.
But most likely, although you think you know yourself, you couldn’t list off your 5 top values right now, if I called you up and asked. Which is hardly surprising. When was the last time you were out for coffee and someone asked, “So what are your top 5 values you live your life by?”
Hardly an everyday conversation topic.
Yet every day, we get up and go to work for a company where we are expected to treat their values with exponential levels of respect. A level of respect that you almost feel you should recite them repeatedly in your head over your morning toast and peanut butter.
Why don’t we place any importance on our own values?
Determining our values eliminates another element of the fear. It creates a strong sense of self confidence and self-worth. When you take those brave steps, you will be so assured in yourself that you will know it is the right move for you. You will know this because you will know yourself so well.
In creating your values, it is important to understand that values aren’t something we can decide to be. They aren’t something we can work towards. They aren’t something we once were. They are who we are, and they are always with us.
Pen and paper at the ready
To have any chance of removing the fear you must find your values.
I would be flat out lying to you if I said identifying your values is an easy task. It isn’t.
It takes time.
Don’t Google a list of values and choose from them. This will not help. This will help order a selection of words as to how much you like them. This is not creating your true values.
Do take some time to think about your day to day life and the behaviours and emotions you experience on a weekly basis.
Work through the following questions. Make your answers are detailed. Write as much information as you can think of.
What did I do last weekend? Yesterday? Today?
Once you have answered those questions. Write down why you did it. Think outside the box.
Example (of what not to do):
- What: I went to work and then out to dinner with friends
- Why: Because I have a job and I had plans with my friends.
This is too vague and does not answer why you did those behaviours. Try another way of approaching it:
- What: I went to work and then out to dinner with friends.
- Why: Because my job is important to me and I get satisfaction from a good day’s work and I enjoy spending time with friends and eating out.
Now we are starting to work towards your values, although this is just an example. The more information you include the better and richer the values you create.
The second example could highlight values such as success and social aspects. But the interpretation of the behaviour is yours to decipher.
TIP: Taking your time to do your values right will pay off. The rest will be much easier. If you have words you truly identify with, then moving forwards towards your true passion will be a whole heap smoother.
Spark your imagination
Values are present in our everyday lives.
However, in the last few days (most likely) you haven’t found yourself in such a comprehensive range of situations that have exercised all your values. To really discover how unique you truly are, you must dig deeper.
Think about different situations. Situations in which emotions were more volatile than right now or the last few weeks.
Think about a time you were extremely happy, excited or anticipating something. Think about it deeply. Where were you, what were you wearing, what were you saying, what emotions did you feel, what were you doing, why were you doing those things.
Once you have truly put yourself back into that situation start to think about what values were at play in your interactions and behaviours. And what values were preventing you from interacting with the situation.
Write a list down of the values you think relate to each situation you can think of. Do as many as you like. The more situations you think of the richer your list of values will be.
Repeating this exercise for different situations will begin to develop a list of values that are important to you.
The same can be done for all types of situations and emotions. Experiences of grief, disappointment, disgust, shame, courage. Each time be sure to fully immerse yourself into that situation.
Last month an organiser of a workshop I was attending cancelled on the morning of the event. I felt annoyed and frustrated. However, on reflecting, I realised this was because I felt a lack of transparency and communication from the organiser. This highlighted one of my values – Honesty.
Now that situation may not have annoyed you at all. Or it may have been frustrating for different reasons. The important part is to reflect on your situations and determine what values were underlying your behaviour.
TIP: Values can be anything you like. There is no right or wrong to values. A person’s values could be people-orientated, exotic, wild and free, hunter gatherer etc. There is no limit. Values can be a whole sentence if that resonates best to you.
Once you’ve finished the exercises. Write a full list of your values, however long you need. Now prioritise the list of words. Highlight the top 3,4 or 5, whichever feels right to you and you are on track to affirming who you are.
This is the first step of many in creating a firm and true set of values. But it’s a great place to start.
Reinforce your inner strength
You have learnt several core aspects to achieving fearlessness.
There will always be doubters. Always people who don’t want you to succeed for reasons of their own. But you are more tenacious than that.
Read this. Learn it. Live by it:
‘Those who don’t matter, mind. Those who matter, don’t mind’.
Surround yourself with people who matter. This saying got me through changing my own career. And trust me. If I can do it, you certainly can. Focus on what matters to you and what gives you meaning. Whether it be family, career, health or fitness, your meaning is exclusive to you. There is no right or wrong.
Once you eliminate those fears from expectations of others around you then you are moving forwards in the right direction.
Take time. Figure out who you are and what a meaningful life looks like to you. When you truly know who you are, take those courageous steps towards your passion.
You can achieve anything you choose to set your mind too. Its making the right choice that is the challenge.
You will have days where you think what on earth have I done. You will also have days where you don’t know if you can do it.
But then, you will have days of inspiration. Days of such strong emotion. Days of pride and days of pure contentment.
And the journey is worth the result.