Jessica Soroky’s Guest Post #47: There is No Such Thing as Stability

stabilityI have convinced myself of something that simply is an illusion. In the past, I have talked about safety being an illusion we convince ourselves of with the help of our parents and society.

As we grow up, that illusion starts to change. As toddlers we are taught about “stranger danger.” As teenagers and young adults, TV shows riddled with murder, abuse, and every other form of fright to condition us to believe the world is a terrible place.

The truth is – there is no such thing as safety. Only I can create a sense of safety for myself.

Recently, I realized this concept applied to my sense of stability.

From as long as I can remember I was told that the goal of school was to get good grades to get a good job. The goal of a “good” job was to establish a retirement plan and work my way through 30 years of stable paychecks.

If you have followed my story over the past 47 weeks, you are well aware that I chose a different path.

Over the past few weeks, a question has been the center of my focus:

Where am I going to live and what contract am I going to be working on?

I had a choice to make: 300 miles west or 600 miles east. Each option had differing pros and cons. One of the biggest pros for one of the options was stability as the contract was longer.

I had conversations about what I wanted (this part alone will be covered in another blog post).

When I said the words out loud, “This one has stability,” it was greeted almost immediately with a laugh and then, “That’s just a belief you have.”

My reaction wasn’t pretty. I got mad and defensive, “What are you talking about, it’s just a belief? It’s clear to me this one is longer for a bigger company, therefore it’s safer.”

When it registered in my head what I had said, I couldn’t believe it. For the last three years I had fought a belief companies have when hiring externals, that the size of the company is somehow relative to their competencies.

I had somehow convinced myself of this exact same idea and was starting to realize it was a lie. My emotions began to boil — I moved into Shame, beginning to beat myself up. I felt as if I had let down my mentor, worse even – that I had insulted him.

I froze. If you have ever seen a turtle get scared and retreat into its shell, that’s how I felt. I wanted to hide. Not only did I not want to face what I had said; I didn’t want to face that I thought it.

I realized he was right. There is no such thing as stability – life happens. I want to master my response instead of relying on false beliefs.

Contracts can end at any time, shift, or change direction. I had made the choice a long time ago that consulting was what I wanted to do, and as part of that I had always accepted the risks that accompanied consulting.

What was different now?

It took me all night to calm down and start to look. Not only had I convinced myself that one option was more stable than the other, I also believed it would be an easier gig — a chance to start off new and wipe the slate clean.

The cognitive dissonance was this: Even though I wanted to believe all of these things, I really still wanted the other option. In that option I had the chance to impact numerous lives, build something brand new for a company, stretch my coaching muscles, and contribute to a company that has always stood behind me.

When I accepted that the things that drew me to the East were false expectations and cleared them from my head, only then could I see what it was I truly wanted.

If you are making a choice between the safe bet and a leap of faith, take the leap – there is no such thing as stability.

IMG_3285Jessica Soroky, CSM

Recently turning 22 years old, Jessica is already a Certified Scrum Master with two years of practice in agile delivery and team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

 

Posted in Responsibility on 07/30/2014 04:36 am
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