A year after I left my last corporate job, to become a full time entrepreneur, I came back into the office to see some people there. I remember talking to our receptionist about the insecurity and uncertainty, that sometimes plagued me along my journey, and she said to me: “A job doesn’t mean security. You could lose that in an instant. The truth is there is no such thing.”
Wise words, indeed.
People talk so much about security and certainty – financial, career, life. What if there really was no such thing as ‘security’? What if it was just a word we use to hold ourselves back from pursuing what we really want? We talk ourselves into staying right where we are. Better the devil you know.
So what is security really about?
FEAR. The false sense of security that we’re clinging on to is because we FEAR the unknown consequences of what might happen, giving that all up. All of a sudden, the future seems uncertain and our mind begins to run rampant with imagined worse case scenarios. That can be paralysing.
We must never forget that our brain is designed to keep us safe. To protect us from the unknown. This served us well once upon a time, when we had to run from lions or real and present danger to survive. However, nowadays, in the absence of lions, what is keeping you stuck?
What we can learn from Covid-19
It is often the big tests that come along in our life that spur us into action. That cancer diagnosis, the death of a loved one, or a global pandemic, such as Covid-19.
What we can observe is that uncertainty (especially that produced out of the blue, in relation to ‘security’ we took for granted) creates panic, anxiety and stress. All of those emotions lead to a flood of adrenaline and cortisol coursing through our bodies. It can lead to us going into ‘survival’ mode.
However, you can also look at in a different way and use this time to redefine what you want and what is important to you.
How can you stop security holding you back?
1. When a crisis occurs look at it as a reset opportunity
The time you have now, perhaps, whilst you’re in quarantine, could be an opportunity for a reset. So that when you look back on yourself 3 months from now, you may look the same on the outside, but you could be changed inside. Remember, pressure changes matter. Like water subjected to extreme heat, the molecular structure, when the water cools down, is completely different from what it once was. How do you want to change?
2. Instead of questioning your desires, ask ‘why not me?’
If you’re currently re-evaluating what you have been doing over the last few years, it can be good to take the time and reflect on what you really want. Instead of thinking about how hard it is to achieve your dream, ask yourself ‘really, why not me?’ Why couldn’t you be the person to make money doing what you love?
Don’t you love the story of the underdog that hit rock bottom and then made good? Why wait until hitting rock bottom? Ask now, what do I want.
3. Remember one of life’s certainties – our time is limited
You don’t have a choice about how long you live, but you do have a choice about what to do with that time. If you are not happy, you have the power to create a different life. And don’t assume that you will be able to do that in 10, 20, 30 years time, because we just never know. Awareness of mortality is not necessarily a negative thing – it just encourages us to make the most of our time.
What small thing can you do today to start moving towards a different future outcome?