“So when are you going back to work?”
If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me that question I could live on the money for quite a while. Even my daughter seems puzzled over my decision. Part of that is my fault; in order to blend in I’ve kept quiet about my finances so she doesn’t realize that, at the moment, I am doing okay.
I believe that my friends and family are so concerned because they believe that I am taking a major risk. They believe that I can’t afford to support myself on my royalties and investment income.
They believe that I will have a problem locating a job that paid me as much as I earned at the job I quit.
Eric West wrote a thoughtful piece on the subject of fear entitled You Fear Letting Go Because Humans Suck at Assessing Risk. If you’ve not read it, I highly suggest that you click on the link. Eric used minimalism to achieve his dream of downsizing into an RV so that he could travel full-time with his family. He has an awesome story if you are not familiar with it.
While Eric is focused upon our obsession with material things in his post, the fear of risk is prevalent throughout our society.
We fear needing an item (even if we never use it), so we refuse to throw it away.
We fear new places, so we refuse to relocate.
We even fear failure. This is why so many of us refuse to walk away from our public jobs to pursue freedom.
How to Defeat Fear
One of the best ways to defeat fear is to ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?
That simple question allows you to analyze your fear, to plan ahead for an unpleasant possibility. Bob Knight discussed this process in-depth in his book The Power of Negative Thinking. I believe that his book should be required reading for anyone contemplating a bold decision.
I have taken the advice from his book and applied it to my life several times over the years. I even applied his advice to think through worst-case scenarios as I made the decision to walk away from that job.
What is the worst that can happen in my case?
The absolute worst that can happen is that I will have to get another job.
The funny thing about that worst-case scenario is that any job I take in this area will pay me a higher wage than I received as a manager. Most of the entry-level positions in this area actually start out their workers at a higher price-point than I was earning when I quit. In fact, I received a job offer for a cashier position just yesterday. The pay was $1.00 more an hour than I was earning in my previous job.
That is my worst-case scenario.
What is the worst that could happen if you decided to pursue your dreams? Please share your scenarios in the comments below.