This crazy decision to quit my job and move across the country started during a drive home from a Christmas Party. I was freshly pissed off by a friend and reflected on the past year of my life. Boiling with rage I couldn’t help but get even more heated when I looked at the progress I had made. Zero, I had made zero progress.
My life had been happy and comfortable but completely stagnant.
Where was the girl who lived outside her comfort zone? The girl who refused to play it safe and lived with a purpose? Who was this person that I had become? Complacent. Content. Ordinary.
After a lot of reflection, cursing at myself, and self-doubt, I knew I needed a change. At the time I had no idea what that change should be. I thought it would just take a career move or more positive thinking.
Then I visited San Diego and fell in love. After that short trip to the Southern California city, I was hooked.
I’m not going to lie to you, at first it was just a crazy idea. Just a really nice thought, similar to wanting to travel the entire world. It sounds amazing and you want to do it but it just never ends up happening.
However, the seed had been planted in my head. Then a chain reaction of events occurred, I told the world of my epic plans, gave my corporate job my notice, and there was no turning back.
It’s a scary decision
Let’s be real, it is an amazingly scary decision to quit your job and move across the country. It’s not easy even if you are somehow used to moving around all of the time. I am definitely not. I have lived the Washington, DC area my entire life. This is probably one of the scariest things that I have done.
I’ve had moments where I stop and think, what the hell have I done? I sit there scared out of my mind, stressing about the decision that I can’t undo.
Once you become comfortable with your day to day routine and where you live, it’s hard to convince yourself to leave. There is a lot of self doubt and uncertainties that plague your mind, filling it with fear.
- What if I don’t like it there?
- Will I be able to make friends?
- What if I don’t “make it”?
- Will I be able to find a job?
- What if this is all a huge mistake?
Not knowing what will happen scares people the most. It’s the uncertainty that stops people from leaving or making a change. Living the same way, no matter how boring or unfulfilling, is easy. Humans are programmed to live a life that is predictable because we believe it is safe. Safety = good to our brains.
I am consciously choosing to throw away all of the “safety” that I have ever known. This sets off a million alarm bells in my head. Change is hard and scary. It’s a daunting undertaking. However, I know that it will be worth it.
How did I build up the courage?
With this being the scariest and craziest decision of my life, I needed to build up a ridiculous amount of courage. These are some of the things that I did to push past my self-doubt and build the courage I needed.
remembered that What if’s are dumb
Like I said before, our brains are programmed to be adverse to scary and uncertain situations. Quitting your job and moving away is setting off alarm bells in your mind, to stop you from doing something where you do not know the outcome with 100% certainty. All of the scary “what if” questions making us anxious and scared are our brains trying to convince us to play it safe. Even though these hypothetical scary situations will probably never happen.
What your brain doesn’t realize is that we can’t tell the future and life is completely unpredictable. Our brains have just convinced us that if we go about living the routine way that we have, we are safe. When it is just an illusion of safety. Even if we live our lives in a predictable “safe” way that doesn’t mean life can’t throw us an occasional unpredictable curve ball.
We all have the ability to combat the unpredictability of our new situation by shaping the experience the way we want it to. If you are afraid that you won’t make any new friends, like I am, you can go to meet up groups or try to find friends at your new job. If you are afraid that you are not going to find new job, keep applying until you find one, tap into the people that you know there, until you do.
You have the ability to turn the scary what if scenarios around. You can’t predict what will happen but you can control the actions you take to make sure they don’t.
inflated my ego
Confidence is key to being able to take this chance. Without confidence and inflating your own ego, you won’t believe that you can do this. For instance, if you are told that you have to make a huge presentation to a thousand people on live television you will probably be so scared you want to pee your pants. Unless you are a professional speaker who gives speeches to large live audiences everyday. The professional would have amazing confidence doing this and would even be bored at the thought.
The amount of confidence you have in yourself correlates to how easily you are able to conquer your fear. You have to inflate your ego and remind yourself how amazing you are and how much you have accomplished. People have a tendency to forget how far they have come because they are so focused on how far they have to go. We also have a tendency to compare ourselves to people who have accomplished much more than us.
When I took a step back and thought about everything that I have accomplished, instead of how much I still haven’t, I saw a lot more than I realized. As a self proclaimed lazy person, I only put in just enough time, energy, and strength to get me to where I want to be. If I have come this far with only minimal effort, imagine how much I can accomplish when I put forth all of my effort?
Even after failing many times at a lot of things (including blogging), I have picked myself back up and tried again. I know after years of trials and many many errors that I can make it through a lot worse than quiting this job and moving away. If I can make it alive through all of the things I have experienced, I can definitely make it through this.
I am healthy and physical able to move across the country. I have saved up enough money to make the move. There is nothing tying me down to the area like a significant other or children to raise. The only thing I am leaving behind is my family but they don’t need me to stay. Excuses are just fake reasons we make up because we are too scared or too lazy to do something.
I know I convinced myself for a short period that I was happy here. I told myself I couldn’t leave my parents here by themselves. That there was no way I could find a better job than the one I have. Anything I would come up with to stop myself from moving is not legitimate.
There are plenty of people in worse circumstances that have picked up and moved. I have friends who were in a great amount of financial debt, who had a great relationship with their girlfriend, quit college after 2 full years, and were making 6 figure salaries who all picked up and left. If they can do it, I have no legitimate reason stopping me from going. The only thing standing in my way is my own fear.
reminded myself why I want to quit and leave
If you are thinking about quitting and moving it probably means there is something going on in your life that you don’t like. There is always a reason or purpose to making a huge change. Pinpoint that reason and use it to your advantage.
I love it in DC, my entire family is here, most of my friends are still there, and it will always be home. However, the culture of the area does not fit my personality. Everyone here is very concerned with what you do and who you know. While living here, I feel like I’m expected to be a certain person or model a certain lifestyle.
I have allowed those expectations to box me into the person that I am told I should be. I wear a fake facade and hide how I feel and really think for fear of judgement. This is not the girl I thought I was and it’s definitely not the girl that I want to be. Wanting to be myself unapologetically has given me a renewed purpose to leave this area and San Diego has given me the hope that I can do it.
Reminding myself of how much I don’t want to be here keeps me motivated to leave. If you keep your reason and the purpose of moving on to something else at the forefront of your mind, it will help you push past any fear.
Everything ends up working out
For most people in all aspects of there lives, things have a way of working out. It may not work out exactly the way you wanted it to or in the amount of time you wanted it to take but it works out. You are a very capable person (remember inflate your ego) who has kept yourself alive this long.
If everything has worked out so far, what is to say it will stop the moment you quit your job?
At the end of the day, when you take this big leap, everything will end up working out. You will be happy with your new surroundings or your new choice because you faced your fears and made it. Think about all of the other drastic changes you made in life? The anticipation is always scary, but you always end up making the most of the situation.
You want to make a change for a reason, making that change will and stepping out of your comfort zone will help you grow. It will work out because it always does.
if you want it – do it
As scary as it may be, if you really want to do it or know you need it (like I do), isn’t that reason enough to make the change? Unless you have a legitimate reason, not an excuse, nothing is stopping you but yourself. You are the only thing in your way.
Once you know you need a change, start building courage. Then take baby steps so that you won’t be able to back out. Eventually you will may come to a point where there are no other options, mentally or circumstantially, but to leave. I promise you won’t regret it after you do.
© 2017, Asian on the Outside, All Rights Reserved