Well-Being//

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in Search of Happiness

What happened when I left my job in search of something more fulfilling

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

A few years back, I hit a point in my life where my health was affected by my day-to-day, and I had to take a step back and reflect. I had a steady and high-ranking job at a bank, and on the outside, it looked like I had it all — a good income, recognition at work, and a high standard of living. But just before Christmas, I decided to take a leap and quit my job, leaving my comfort zone, and my financial security that came with my position. 

The truth was, I didn’t know why. I simply knew that it felt right at the time. Despite winning many in-house regional competitions and being awarded Manager of the Year, my gut was telling me that something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but it inevitably showed up in my health. I was taking more and more days off due to being sick, and my body was telling me that I needed a change.

I began asking questions and investigating why I was getting sick so often. After extended periods of reading, meditating, and soul-searching, I realized that I had just been going through the motions and routine of my everyday life. Once I truly stopped to reflect on the why behind my long work hours and stressful nights in the office, it became clear to me that something wasn’t working. I wasn’t truly fulfilled or happy.

So, I began to dig deeper to find what needed to change, because I couldn’t go on like this. I felt trapped on this merry-go-round of targets and triumphs — each day feeling I was under increased pressure to perform and exceed everyones’ expectations. When thinking about the small changes I could make to prioritize my well-being, I realized there was another way out — one that would include a bigger step. I decided to stop and get off the rollercoaster. I decided to choose my quest for happiness in place of what was familiar and comfortable.

The decision to quit felt like a rush of both excitement and fear. But  after I handed in my resignation letter, all I could feel was relief. The feeling of freedom far outweighed any doubts that held me back beforehand. 

New Year’s Eve was approaching, and I was nervous about starting a new year not knowing what to expect, but I felt excited to start a new chapter.

I enrolled in a writing course, which covered all styles of writing. I was in my element. Writing has always brought me so much joy and now I wanted to bring joy to others doing what I loved. It was my passion and my sanctuary, and it instantly felt like home. This course started my career as a writer. I was aligned with what felt right to my mind, body and soul. I had a purpose and a vision. And needless to say, the shift had a positive effect on my health. I felt alive, full of energy, and brimming with joy. I no longer got sick every few weeks. Instead, I laughed easier and more freely. I was in my element.

What I learned from the experience is that happiness looks different to everyone. There is no rhyme or reason behind it. There are no rules. And if you are feeling deeply unfulfilled and unengaged, don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith and step out of your comfort zone to do something new. You never know — it could just be the best decision you ever make.

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