As you all know, last year I decided to leave the security of my J-O-B and work for myself. I mentioned last week how that was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
I was leaving behind an almost 20-year track record of salary and benefits, a salary and benefits my family has always relied on. I can promise you I didn’t take the decision to quit lightly. I spent many sleepless nights thinking about every possible worst-case scenario.
But I knew the job I once loved no longer offered me the same meaning and satisfaction. I knew that coaching and entrepreneurship completely lit me up inside. I knew I was talking about my one precious life. And so in the end I thought, how can I not quit?
When I told my dad that I was quitting my job—the job that provided the salary and health insurance that supported my family—I saw the overwhelming concern in his eyes and I almost burst into tears. (Just remembering it now makes me teary!)
He said, “I’m really worried about you and your family. I think you’re making a mistake. You won’t have any security.”
And then I had an epiphany that hit me like a ton of bricks: I was no longer willing to trade my happiness for security. You see, until that moment, I had ALWAYS made security one of my top priorities.
Now I can’t even say that word without imagining air quotes around it: “Security.”
I’ve learned that I’m no longer willing to hand over my power and listen to everyone else but myself about what is best for me—in the name of “security.” (See? I just can’t stop myself.)
As a coach I see many of my clients struggling with this issue. Many of them get stuck when it looks like they’ll have to exchange security for their dreams—because they’re not willing to make that trade.
Here’s what I want them (and you!) to know: We’re hard-wired to crave security. Not only do we crave it as a matter of nature, it’s a matter of nurture as well: as we were growing up, a lot of well-meaning adults taught us to associate security with a steady paycheck.
But here’s the thing: No one is more interested in your security than you, and no one else is better equipped to provide you the security you desire.
You only have to hear a few stories of corporations laying off employees while executives still get big fat paychecks or “golden parachutes” before you realize the promise of security doesn’t amount to much.
Behind every such story there are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of employees who must have come to the painful realization that no amount of loyalty, no amount of years served, no amount of overtime or time away from their kids had earned their employers’ concern for their security.
So, who do you really want to rely on for your security?
Make no mistake: It’s hard to ditch the thinking that security can only be found outside of you—in a job—and not within. That’s why so many people find themselves stuck, hiding out, and spinning their wheels in a soul-sucking job.
But what I really want you to know is this: Your security doesn’t come from a paycheck, or a husband’s paycheck or a well-stocked retirement account. Sure, those things can be nice, IF you are in all other ways happy with your life.
But if you are not happy in your job, or in your relationship, or in any other aspect of your life, you’ve missed the secret to true security. Because that can only come when you understand that YOU are the creator of your own life, and that you CAN take steps to create what you want (instead of just letting things happen to you).
True security comes from knowing that even if you make a mistake or a misstep or some undesirable situation comes up, you’ll still be all right, because NOBODY can take away your ability to respond powerfully in any situation.
Sure, every move you make in the name of security has a positive intention. A well-stocked retirement account is not a bad thing!
But let’s face it—security can prevent you from creating happiness and success on your own terms. It’s the driving force behind a lot of fear-driven behavior that holds you back from living the life of your dreams.
And you need to look at the arguments for security as what they are—well-intentioned but specious reasoning—and then DECIDE if you want “security” or a life filled with meaning and connection with a side of uncertainty.
Because when you learn that you can create what you need or want no matter what—then you become truly secure.
And isn’t that the kind of security we all really want anyway?
Reprinted with permission from the author, Stacey Curnow. If you like this article and you want to give birth to your BIG dreams, sign up to receive her FRE*E eZine, Special Delivery, athttp://www.staceycurnow.com/blog/hello-and-welcome/.