Bravery Is Taking One Step, Then Another, And Another
What is the difference between leaving something that doesn’t serve you and running away? I think it is several things. The realization that there is nothing that you can do to change the situation. You can only change yourself, and if the situation doesn’t change when you do, then it is time to ask yourself “why am I still here?”
Years ago I had interviewed for a new job and was hired. The first hour of my first day at the new job, I knew that I had made a mistake. The owner of the company had a lot of issues with anger and how he treated his employees. He wasn’t the person that I had interviewed with, and when I interviewed he wasn’t in the office. If he had been, I would not have accepted the position. As an example, when he would walk through the office, he would pull out the fax machine paper trays and if the paper wasn’t completely full, he would start yelling and swearing at the receptionist – even if she had filled them up just five minutes before.
The Saturday of my first week there, I had come in the office to set up my desk with the various underwriting guidelines they used for several companies. While I was there, the owner of the company came in and we started talking. I had already worked for an owner like him, and I had sworn I would never allow someone to treat me like that again. So I told him very clearly that the first time he yelled and swore at me, like I had seen him do with others, would be the day I quit.
The day eventually came when it happened. I went into the storage area and grabbed a box, and started putting my personal things in the box. Shocked, he asked me what I was doing. I reminded him of that conversation and said I was quitting. As far as I know, I was the first person that he ever apologized to for his bad behavior, and he never yelled or swore at me again.
Now I needed that job to support my family. But I had made a promise to myself to never let anyone demean me again. It took a tremendous amount of courage to go and grab that box. I was determined to be true to my word to myself. I chose to love myself, over fear of losing the job and income needed to support my family.
So many of us stay in bad relationships – with our employment, our family, our spouse, our friends. We tell ourselves that we have no choice but to stay. But we always have choices. Our happiness starts with us, and how we not only treat ourselves, but how we give permission to others to treat us. I could only make that choice because I loved myself, and trusted that doing the right thing would work out in the end.
The job, the relationships with friends and family, this is not what makes us happy or unhappy. It is how we treat ourselves with our inner voice inside our heads. The way we talk to and about ourselves, is how we give unconscious permission for others to treat us. We cannot leave the key to our own happiness in the pocket of someone else. If we do, then we have given away our power and that will never lead to real true happiness.
How does our inner voice talk to us? Words like, “you are so sensitive, can’t you take a joke?”, or “how stupid can I be?” or, “how naive and gullible you are”, or “You are making things worse, this is all your fault”. “I am always that last choice, never good enough.”
You have to believe that when you leave the wrong people or situations in your life, that the right things will start happening. The only way to get that kind of trust, is to just leap in faith that it will work out. It is like the chicken or the egg scenario, they both happen at the same time.
If you’re brave to say “good bye”. life will reward you with a new “hello”. He also said, “You are what you believe yourself to be.
The only way to discover what you are truly capable of, is to take leaps of faith across the chasms and up into the heights of trees. It is what is necessary to push out the boundaries of your comfort zone, or to decrease the size of your tolerance zone, as the case may be.
Refuse to be confined in accepting a mere existence for a life. Existence isn’t real security, but is instead a cage. May your heart be brave, your mind be fierce, and your spirit be free.