Baltimore. October 31, 2017 3:09 AM
I’m blogging this morning with “Top Five” (a movie I can personally relate to) playing in the background and on my phone I had just downloaded and began reading the newly released Chris Matthews book on Robert Kennedy (A Raging Spirit). While most people would think doing three task at once is distracting, multitasking becomes a necessity when you work at 3am. Besides this is the crazy way my creative process works and we should always embrace what works for us.
It was while going through my creative process that I thought back to a conversation with a friend I had earlier in the evening. We were discussing our future plans to expand our startups and what it would mean to us professionally. Specifically, we were discussing leaving our full-time jobs (well-paying jobs with upward mobility) to pursue our passions. To most people leaving well paying jobs to chase dreams would be called crazy, insane, or foolish. To an outsider, what we are planning to do would seem backwards as our whole lives are predicated on our professional status. We are taught since we were young to go to school, get a well paying job, have a family, and retire. We are taught that is the proper way to have successful life. But we did not want that life, we wanted something more, we wanted to be happy vs. content, we wanted to be free vs. being comfortable, we wanted to escape The Matrix rather than comply.
Naturally, with any conversation around change, the fear of the unknown came up. I would love to say there is no fear or we should ignore our fears. But fear is real. The worse part about the fear of doing the unknown is there is a chance the fear is justified. Fear is a natural result of our evolution when fear ensured we survived a brutal world. Fear kept us from straying to far from “the herd”, kept us close to our tribe by making sure we stayed within the rules of society.
Most of us are afraid of the unknown because it could mean we may fail but failure can drive us to success. Failure is a possibility when we step out to try something new but failure is also necessary to be great. The world’s best athletes, inventors, entrepreneurs and creators have failed in their professional lives. However, it was through constant failure that they learned their craft, honed their message, and perfected their abilities. They did not give in to the fear of failure and that is what separates them from the majority.
When taking the leap to pursue our purpose and passions the fear of the unknown is a natural but it’s what we do with that fear that will determine where we land. Do we give in to the fear and go back to the familiar or do we take a chance and try to do something amazing. We must learn to give ourselves permission to be afraid but we must understand it’s our ability to choose how fear affects us that separates us from the pack.
My friend and I each had our own reasons for leaving corporate America and while we had shared fears of doubt we understood that our passion was far greater than those self-doubts. Our ability to speak with our own voices far outweighed our fear of losing income. Our freedom was far more important than the fear of missing any future promotions. Our weariness of yes men and an atmosphere of stifled creativity drove us to ignore our fears and pursue our passion. We decided not to play in the politics of corporate America but instead we would embrace the peacefulness of being ourselves and living our own truth.
Being authentic, living true to ourselves, and being free to express our voice far outweighed the fear of jumping.