Friday, July 26, 2013

Recognizing the Precipice

J.D. Roth wrote a great post yesterday about his recent conversations with Tess Vigeland after her courageous presentation at the World Domination Summit a few weeks ago.

The section on self-respect, about meeting your expectations but not those of others, really resonated with me. Doing what you know is the right thing and being met with barriers to progress and negative reactions slowly chip away at your self-worth. In my case, this shows up as trying to improve a system that refuses to recognize that it needs to be fixed. At some point, it is better to move on and find the next challenge.

But what about making a big life-changing jump without the safety net that we are all taught to prepare? Tess left her dream job at NPR's Marketplace knowing that she didn't know what was next but it was time to go. “It’s time to leave when you have too much self-respect to stay,” Tess said. When your job, or your life situation, no longer provides either the personal growth or satisfaction, it is time to make a change. When just getting up in the morning to go to work becomes a chore or you've just stopped learning new things, it is time to make a change. The amazing thing about Tess' story is that when she recognized this, she made the jump before she had her next big thing lined up. That takes guts, but it is also sometimes exactly what is needed for that next big thing to show itself. When she gave her talk at WDS, she didn't know what that next thing was but when you put that question out to the universe, it will respond and it is great to see Tess on her way with the her next chapter.

Like J.D. and Tess, I find myself at that point. What is next? I too am exploring possible courses of action and I'm both excited and terrified about making a big change. Ready to embrace the uncertainty and take the next steps towards living an unconventional life. The lack of safety net is potentially the most interesting thing about making a change at this point and watching Tess struggle with the ups and downs of her own transition is reassuring. There is life after big change and while it isn't all a "bathtub full of kittens", only by taking that leap do you get to see what's on the other side.

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