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Creating Courage from Death of Identity … here is how!
I keep getting asked why I left my job. Or I’m told how brave I am to have taken such a bold step. So much so that I feel inspired to share a bit more about it.
First of all, and you may have already experienced it yourself:
- The cognitive dissonance that comes from just getting on with life and work while holding on to internal excuses as to why it’s perfectly justified to ignore the state of the world can become very exhausting. At least in my experience, it takes a lot of energy to pretend day in, day out to not see what the world we live in is trying to tell us, “We can’t keep doing what we’re doing. Change is here, it feels uncomfortable, and even though we live in a time with a strong preference for quick fixes and easy answers, there are no easy answers.”
But what are the options?
- Well, as I can also say from my own experience, the moment you decide to end compromising with a status quo you do not particularly admire and that you already positively (or deep down) know is unsustainable is a very liberating moment. A large amount of energy is freed up and can suddenly be reapplied to boldly step up, and be curious, creative and courageous again. Unfortunately, such a shift usually seems quite impossible until serious health issues or tragic life events wake people up. Yet it is possible to allow yourself to unplug before disaster strikes. In fact, more and more people do. I’m one of them.
And yes …
- … between holding on and letting go is a space filled with uncertainty and possibility one must be willing to enter. A place that is downplayed in many self-help books and quick-fix coaching approaches. Based on my experience, claiming it’s a walk in the park is a lie. It is both a challenging and rewarding place where you can learn to let go of “old stories,” outdated parts of your identity, and outdated scripts in general. A place where you realize how much space suddenly opens up when you break out of dated and limiting mental models. It’s also about closing doors and opening new ones. For me, the rewarding aspects clearly outweigh the negative. It’s like a breath of fresh air and very empowering to suddenly express what feels most true and aligns with one’s values, rather than playing along and hoping that the current state of the world doesn’t end in a total disaster. Particularly as it is a vain hope given the lack of true progress we are experiencing at the moment.
- Even if it can make for a somewhat uncomfortable journey at times, I am convinced that the answers to our growing challenges cannot be found by sticking to outdated scripts on this side of the pond, but by opening up, setting our sails wisely and enjoying the ride!
Maybe it is still brave to go down this path. But maybe it’s even more brave not to? That’s what it feels like to me, anyway, and I truly admire everyone who has the nerve to stay put.