I met a friend for a drink on a casual Thursday night knowing that it was to be a short reconnect session because I had a health coaching call about 2 hours later. I hoped that it wouldn’t feel rushed but I was attempting to make room in my life for two things that are important to me: engaging work and quality relationships. My friend’s week, topped off by news of a significant revenue loss, had been the fodder of nightmares. I wanted to be supportive.
It quickly became clear in the conversation that she is literally the last woman standing in a position at her employer with no other interoffice competition but also constricted support. Her body language conveyed an acute sense of despair and worry about an uncertain future. I asked: Is it time to make a move?
This is never an easy question. The protestations began immediately: I’ve worked at this job for 15 years. I’ve built a name for myself. My work is unique here. The salary is competitive. I’m not sure if I can go anywhere else and after all, every job has its craziness; so what difference will it make?
The bottom line is: humans don’t like to be uncomfortable and anything new and uncertain makes us uncomfortable. This is true of relationships, jobs, health, diet, love, finances, etc. We choose food based on what is already known to us, what we already trust and recognize, what our experience and our social network has qualified as acceptable. We stay in relationships (work or personal) that are comfortable, even if toxic. We buy things or don’t buy things based on the emotional response it provokes: “I can’t afford that”, “This item has real value”, “I could never spend money on a handbag that expensive". In reality, our risk tolerance informs our decisions - rational or otherwise. We all desire - in fact, we are wired - to pursue safety at all costs.
Yet, everything created has a lifespan.
Letting go of something that has history but doesn’t serve us any longer is a demonstration of resilience, a quality necessary for adaptation, improvisation and growth. Letting go frees us to accept new possibilities and opportunities even if we can’t yet qualify or quantify them. It frees us to move forward without the limiting factors of comfortability. It opens our world to the blessings beyond our comfort zone.
The real shift happens when we change our mindset from considering all of the things that we are giving up in our current comfortable life to releasing ourselves to make new choices, embracing the fact that we deserve to be happy and to define (and continuously redefine) happiness for ourselves.
Then, we can stop accepting the “obvious” choices presented to us by circumstances or past choices and instead we rise in pursuit of revelatory growth.