Tag Archives: Fear

Why I quit my job to jump into the unknown

Three weeks ago I quit my job.

I left my full-time, well-respected, comfortable, coveted, Vancouver PR agency account manager position without a new job lined up.

If you’re reading this right now and are thinking:

“WHAT, WHY?! She’s crazy, I’d kill for that job.” – please see response A

If you are thinking:

“Hell yeah! Good for you!” – please see response B

Response A

You’re right, I am a bit crazy. I’m also a bit irrational (as in, I don’t put up with irrational crap just to make others happy), sometimes overly optimistic (I’d rather look forward to the future than have the energy sucked out of me dwelling on the past) – and always passionate about what I’m doing (passion creates energy, which then inspires others to take action).

Response B

Thank you! As confusing and scary this new adventure is, I’m staying true to my values and even though I don’t have it all figured out, trusting that the universe will provide what I’m looking for along the way.

The real reason I quit my job

Every morning when I wake up, I think about what my day has in store. I go through my mental to-do list, think about how much time I have before I actually have to be somewhere, and determine whether or not I can fit in a workout. Generally, I have things to look forward and people to be accountable to, so getting out of bed is effortless – almost exciting even.

Recently, I woke up one morning and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I felt excited to get out of bed. After laying there for a few minutes, I realized I actually couldn’t recall what that felt like anymore. I knew at that moment, I needed a change and I knew it had to start with my work*.

*One important thing about me is that I’m a pretty passionate person. When I get excited about something, I’m told I radiate energy. I love that feeling. When I’m in something, I’m 100% in – I didn’t feel like that about my work anymore, which meant it was time to get out.

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The next day I walked into my boss’ office and gave my two weeks notice.

I immediately felt relief. Relief that I no longer had to deal with the internal struggle that was my loyalty to my job and the fact that it was holding me back from reaching my fullest potential.

Now what?

I have big dreams. I’m not sure what exactly I’m capable of, but I know that every time I’ve applied myself and put all my energy in one direction, I’ve never failed to thrive and prosper. I’ve registered my business as a PR and Comms consultant (yes, I’m open for work!), have a short term plan (to get as much experience and work with as many incredibly talented people as possible) and a long term plan (TBA, can’t give away all the good stuff in one post!) – and most importantly, to feel inspired and excited about getting out of bed again.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that last week I felt anxious, nauseous, alone and scared… but this week I’ve put those useless emotions behind me and focused on my support system and the opportunities in front of me.

I don’t know everything about this next chapter, but here’s what I know for sure:

1. I’m going to trust my gut. It sounds really cheesy, unjustified and unprovable (yes, that is a word) but your body tells you more than you might realize. Think about that feeling when you see a $20 bill that an elderly lady just dropped at the cash register and you watch a middle-aged man pick it up and put it in his pocket. You are conflicted because you know you should rat on the man, but he’s an adult. He knows right from wrong. What will he say, what will he do? Most importantly: What does your stomach feel like? Whenever I feel THAT feeling, I know whatever situation I’m in, it’s wrong and I need to get out or change it. This is a tried and tested philosophy that never fails.

2. I’m not going to under-value myself. This is one of the hardest obstacles any entrepreneur has to face. When you’re starting out on your own it’s a natural tendency to think ‘once I get enough experience and do a good job, clients will see how valuable I am and pay me more’… that’s like saying you’ll tip your pizza deliverer more every time they do a good job in delivering your pizza. You won’t. People want to save money. They won’t give you more unless you set your value and ask for it.

3. I will not stop learning. I’ve realized a lot about myself thus far in my career, and if there’s one thing I know for sure – I thrive in the unknown. It’s definitely a strength of mine which I’ve learned to leverage in both personal and professional ways. The day you stop learning is the day you die. I’ve got a lot more days to live which means bring on the new experiences!

4. I will not stop caring (aka I give a shit). Some call it perfectionism, I call it integrity. When I’m in something, I’m 100% in it. I see no point in pretending or pressuring yourself to do something or be someone you aren’t. That conflicting feeling is what generates self-doubt, insecurity and the feeling of being ‘stuck’ which I’m sure everyone can relate to. I care too much about things in general to become numb to my surroundings.

5. I’m going to be open to any and all opportunities. In my experience, the best experiences, the most growing and the biggest learnings have come when I’ve opened up my life to possibility. If you’re ever unsure or indecisive about the opportunity at hand, refer to #1 on this list.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . . In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” – Henry D. Thoreau

Call to action:

1. If any of this sounds familiar, I suggest you check out the podcast Where There’s Smoke.

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I’ve listened to many podcasts and read many books, and the topics and stories pulled together by host Brett Gajda are BANG ON. From success, courage, visualization, accountability, happiness and so many more – it helped me so much to hear these ideas and realize I am capable of achieving anything I dream of – and I’m no different than any of you.

2. If you’re reading this right now and can relate to anything I said above, please feel free to reach out to me. Tweet, email, comment, send positive vibes – however you feel comfortable, I’d love to hear from you and chat about what you’re passionate about and what you’re going to do about it.

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Filed under Personal Records

False Evidence Appearing Real

Have you ever want something so badly but were too terrified to actually put everything on the line and pursue it?

You aren’t alone – I scare myself out of things all the time. Can I actually do that run? Can I go to the yoga class because I haven’t been to one in months? Can I go back to school and actually pursue my career dreams? The list goes on and on… and then I tell myself the reality of it is, I can achieve anything I want if I want it badly enough. The only person holding me back from achieving it – is me.

People sit back and don’t take chances out of fear every single day. Fear of failure; fear of the unknown; fear of taking a risk. Fear is a human emotion that we cultivate within ourselves – the more we tell ourselves we cannot do it, the more we actually believe we cannot do it. It’s a perceived obstacle that holds us back and that act of inaction causes more doubt which leads to a larger sense of fear.

Do you see a trend here?

So now that you’ve told yourself that you are the only one holding you back… what are you going to do about it?

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I recently stumbled across this blog post, and I highly suggest you read their 5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Overcome Your Fears. I practice all 5 of these in one way or another (yoga is amazing for me!) and I particularly liked when the author said:

“It’s easy to believe that successful people are fearless, but the truth is that they have merely cultivated the courage to get through their fears. You can do the same, if you will just make the decision that you will not accept fears standing in your way.”

and

“Another side benefit of facing your fears is that you develop courage and self-discipline. This will have tremendous impact in how successful and fulfilled you are in life.”

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I’m afraid of many things – every obstacle I achieve started first with fear but then with the overwhelming courage to succeed. I know what I want in life and I’m determined to not let fear get in the way of my success. I realize that I am the one person who can hold me back and I’m the same person who will allow me to succeed, it’s all about courage and determination. My absolute favourite quote for as long as I can remember is from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

“…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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Now confront and chase that fearful goal you’ve told yourself you can’t achieve – because you can.

What would you attempt if you had no fear?

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Filed under Positive Reinforcement