Step into Fear  

Step into Fear

I had become complacent. Everyday I’d go to work in my cubicle, help students with their lives, and look out the window to beautiful Downtown Denver.

Did I really just become another number in a mega-corporation? I was helping people every day. I was coaching students to success. I was imparting my strategies for a successful life onto dozens of people each day, but it wasn’t enough.

I was valuable. But I felt that tinge of restlessness– that feeling that calls to higher purpose.

I felt that feeling that you get when your values aren’t entirely congruent with your actions. My work went from fulfilling advisement and coaching into “activities,” “tasks,” “trainings,” “emails,” and “meetings.”   I got lost in the minutia.

My cup had gone from overflowing to half empty.

I practiced mindfulness, remained positive, and practiced gratitude, but it wasn’t enough. I needed to make a change.

It was time to step into fear.

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I walked into the office that day like any other. I greeted friends, associates, and colleagues enthusiastically. I sat at my desk overlooking the bustling downtown area and began helping students.

Then an email appeared in my inbox: “Optional Voluntary Layoff” My jaw dropped. Whispers spread like a wildfire through the over 150 cubicles on my floor. Was this really happening?

I texted my girlfriend (Now, my wife), who worked at the same location at the same company. She received the same message.

Limited approvals. No consequences. Pay and benefits. Man, that was enticing.

I’d spent the better part of 4 years championing, defending, and encouraging higher education. I was engulfed in it. I had nearly earned two degrees, found the love of my life, made many great friends, and worked with thousands of students and thousands of advisors. I’d led and participated in trainings on communication, leadership, goal-setting, work/life balance, emotional intelligence, change, influence, effectiveness, productivity, and more.

Suddenly, I felt the real gratefulness that I had for these experiences and I was afraid. Terrified. My inner monologue weighed my issues. “If I stay, to justify my decision, I’d be here a long while. If I leave, what if I fail?”

Some colleagues had already submitted their forms- a few were already approved, cleaning up their desks and saying tearful goodbyes.

I texted my girlfriend to meet outside. “It’s a great opportunity,” I said. “I think we’d regret not doing it,” I said.

Submitted. Approved. Now, what?

Half of my peers had left the building. I was working with nearly 300 students. What would happen to them?

I sent my last emails from that email address. I solved the most pressing issues from the students I worked with. I hugged countless coworkers, friends, colleagues and associates. I told so many people how honored I was to have worked with them.

I stepped into fear.

I focused on relationships. I set new goals. I re-calibrated my life. I found my purpose, again.

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Everytime I’ve made a leap, in alignment with my goals, I’ve landed on fertile ground.

Less than 4 years later, I married my love, have a miraculously amazing baby girl, published an Amazon Hot New Release children’s book, work 100% remotely in business and education, travel more for work and play than I ever have before, and know that life is what I’ve made it.

My actions feel more and more congruent with my values everyday.

But I’m starting to feel that tinge of restlessness, that pull– that feeling that calls to higher purpose.

It’s quickly approaching. It’s time to step into fear.

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This time it’s not about complacency, though. It’s not about a career change. It’s not about moving across the country or exploring more of the world or finding myself.

It’s about being myself. It’s about being true to myself. It’s about finding truth. It’s about loving. It’s about being love.

External change is hard. Internal change is harder.

But I know it gets easier. It is easier. 

3, 2, 1 GO!