Today’s post comes from Lauren, a lawyer from Sydney who is currently taking a break from law. Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your story with us ❤
I was sitting at my desk in my little cupboard office on the morning I published my article Why your worst fears are nothing to be afraid of. How did I have the audacity to I speak about conquering fear when it was the catalyst to my emptiness? Fear was eating me from the inside out. I had no right to even suggest that someone should leave the job that paralyzes them when that’s exactly what I couldn’t do.
I had asked myself over and over again, why am I unfilled? I’d give myself pep talks. Pull yourself together, you’re a lawyer. So many people would kill to have this job. I couldn’t figure out why I was unhappy. There are things I love about practicing law. I love being a lawyer. But there were things that just did not sit right with me. Some days I would have preferred to be punched in the kidneys than smile my way through another corporate lunch. And I didn’t know why. They were feelings I couldn’t explain. One ordinary Thursday morning, it finally clicked for me. I realized I couldn’t answer two really important questions:
- Why am I here?
- What is my purpose?
Making up trite answers to difficult questions to you sound like you know what you’re talking about, is the name of the game in law. Overcomplicating simple concepts to dance around the truth is what lawyers do best. But when I unwrapped the question, I couldn’t think of an answer that wasn’t a blatant lie. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned my fear and what was truly holding me back. Why can’t I leave? Why shouldn’t I leave?
I started to realize that the unknown does not need to be feared, it’s a matter of perception. Right then and there, I decided that temporary unemployment, new career objectives, and a new life was nothing to fear, but everything to be excited about. Conquering fear does not require a frontal lobotomy, as I initially concluded. Instead, it requires changing your mindset and your approach. Accepting that you don’t need to have the answers right now is ok.
The sense of sheer relief and liberation that I felt when I handed in my notice and left that day was utterly euphoric. Words cannot describe the wave of inner calm that washed over me. Knowing that I didn’t have to pretend I was off to a cheese making course, Husky sled racing competitions or UN Peace Conferences to try and leave work on time was empowering.
The absence of responsibility and concern has been delightful. I have space in my head again. I can think. I can read. I can eat breakfast without drafting court documents. There is true fulfillment and happiness in courage. This life is not a permanent fix. I have plans and I have big dreams that I’m going to make happen. Having some time off without an agenda to really think about what’s important to me in life and to decide my next steps has been an invaluable experience. As a hyperactive nut, it’s been a challenge. I don’t do that ‘relax’ thing. If I’m not multitasking then I must be asleep or dead. Having 70 hours of my week back has given me a new appreciation for time and life.
If you’ve found yourself dreading going to work but feeling trapped and unable to escape your situation, my question to you is: what’s truly stopping you from overcoming your fear? That’s not living. Don’t let your fear inhibit the way you want to lead your life. I no longer sit in a little cupboard office, wishing I had the answers and the courage to do something. I still don’t have all the answers, but I have courage. There is no price you can place on fulfillment, happiness, and health. If you’re stuck, stagnant, and aching with the sense of unfulfillment, know you have the courage within you to stand up and say, I deserve more than this.
My journey has only just begun. I’d love to hear yours. Don’t be a stranger, I’d be honored to help.
Recommended read to help with your call to action: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by Ken Robinson. Get it here.
Thank you so much, Lauren for sharing your experience with us. I and many others I’m sure, know all too well what that feeling is like. I’m so incredibly proud of you for having the courage to make the change you had been afraid to. I’m wishing you all you need to support you in your new journey. There’s no doubt you will be successful because if you can do so well doing something without knowing why you’re there, can you imagine what it will be like to make your dreams come true?
You can find Lauren using the social links below, just click on the icon to be redirected. Be sure to leave her some love in the comments and visit her blog.