Quit Your Job – Don’t “What If” Yourself to Death

What If – The Motivation Killer

If you are the kind of person who has goals, ambitions, dreams and big ideas for your life, then you know that taking risks is an essential component of success. Lou Buscaglia said,  “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”

Risk is a natural part of life and the bigger the risk the bigger the reward. I don’t think many people would argue with this point.

Here is the dilemma. When it comes to risk, many people tend to “what if” themselves out of any and every positive idea that might move them in the direction of their goals. What I mean by “what if” themselves is that they imagine all kinds of disaster scenarios that may or may not occur should they take what appears to be a risky action.

Here is a prime example:

I left a career position with a blue chip company to pursue my dream business. When I handed in my resignation letter, I had a number of supportive colleagues and some who were not so supportive of my decision. But even the supportive people would talk to me about my big decision and look at me as the “lucky one”. They admired my bold move but in the same breath would talk about how they wish they could do the same.

When I told them that there was nothing stopping them from doing exactly what I was doing, they quickly responded with their “what if” disaster scenarios…

“What if I don’t earn enough money to pay my bills?”
“What if I have medical expenses and can’t afford to pay them?”
“What if I make the wrong decision and open the wrong kind of business?”
“What if I have to work on weekends?”

Now I agree that these are all valid concerns given the conversation involved walking away from a good paying job, but the damage being done by imagining these things is where the real problem lies.

Not one of those “what if” statements assumed a positive outcome. Not one of those statements talked about all of the good that might happen in the person’s life if they were to walk away from a job they didn’t like in order to pursue a dream business.

While none of these negative scenarios had taken place yet, their mind convinced them that it was inevitable. The only difference between their mindset and my own, was that I was using my imagination to think of all the positive potential outcomes of leaving a job and pursuing a business. I was thinking ONLY of the positive outcomes. I was trusting.

They had the ability to trust as well. In fact they were already doing it but simply didn’t realize it. Every person does this every day.

There is inherent risk with every single action you take in your life. Every time you get into car, there is the risk of getting into an accident. When you go for a walk there is a risk of being mugged. When you go to a restaurant there is a risk of choking or food poisoning. When you take a shower, there is a risk of falling and hitting your head. The list is infinite!

The reason that most people don’t worry about these things is that we have come to trust that we are generally going to be safe throughout the course of our day. Unless something traumatic has happened, you probably don’t ever think about these kind of disaster scenarios.

Well the exact same kind of thinking is REQUIRED by the person who wants to pursue a big life goal and take action on the risky steps required to reach that goal. Could you lose money? Yes! Could you go bankrupt? Yes! Could you fall and break your leg? Yes! Welcome to life.

If you are ready, willing and COMMITTED to achieving great things for your life, then you need to change your “what if” questions from negative to positive?

What if I make it? What if I become wealthy? What if I save a life? What if I become free? What if I overcome my fears? What if I live my life to the fullest?

Use your imagination to picture your life from that perspective and boldly walk in the direction of your dream!

This Article Covers a Main Topic in My Latest Program Called:

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9 Responses to Quit Your Job – Don’t “What If” Yourself to Death

  1. Mark Butcher October 15, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Good article!
    I would suggest a short note about preparation before quiting. Add preparation and reduce risk as well as reducing ‘what ifs’. I know you took it as a given, as I know you prepared for your departure, but sometimes being over zealous could translate into recklessness.
    Great article, very descriptive and meaningful. keep them coming!
    Mark

    • Justin Popovic October 15, 2009 at 10:08 am #

      Thanks for your comments mark. And very good point.

      I am certainly not suggesting drastic action but more the mindset around having the courage to pursue your dreams. Any BIG decision should be taken seriously and I have outlined some excellent ways of doing this in my Quit Your Job program.

  2. Julia October 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    Thank you for a very good article, Justin. I quit my job just over a year ago to start my own business, and the economy went to pot. Since my business relies heavily on the manufacturing sector, it has been a tough year. What you said about the “what ifs” actually happened to me! However, things are turning around and falling into place now. I have been called a “hopeless optimist”, however this has not been my downfall, but my saving grace. The key to survival is the power of positive thinking and optimism. You have to look ahead and imagine success. Surround yourself with positive thinkers. Imagine yourself successful, and keep plugging away. It’s the entrepreneurial spirit!

    • Justin Popovic October 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm #

      Hey Julia,
      Thanks for your comments. You’re right, being a “hopeless optimist”, so to speak, seems to be a common ingredient of success among most entrepreneurs. But then, what is the alternative? Looking at all the bad things and deciding to give up? I guess that is always a choice but not one that I am willing to make. I’m glad things are falling into place for you. I look forward to seeing you back on the site soon 🙂

  3. Dr.S.Gomathi October 17, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    At any point of your life time, we may face events happening not to our favour, but that does not mean that one has to quit job for turning the events to his favour.If he is a very bold and courageous, one has to take the favourable and unfavorable happening in the same sequence.Do not quit. Fight for the ones and try your level,best to the maximum level and achieve what you wanted.At times , lack of maturity makes us to quit the job for inevitable reasons. be certain and definite in what you are quitting, never repent about the past.

    The title might be realistic, but when we want to live for many aspects and for others, Quit Your Job – Don’t “What If” Yourself to Death”-This is not the solution for putting an end to a particular job.

    ANY HOW NICE SAYING.
    Thanks
    Dr.S.GOMATHI

  4. Dr.S.Gomathi October 17, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    At any point of your life time, we may face events happening not to our favour, but that does not mean that one has to quit job for turning the events to his favour.If he is a very bold and courageous, one has to take the favourable and unfavorable happening in the same sequence.Do not quit. Fight for the ones and try your level,best to the maximum level and achieve what you wanted.At times , lack of maturity makes us to quit the job for inevitable reasons. be certain and definite in what you are quitting, never repent about the past.

    The title might be realistic, but when we want to live for many aspects and for others, Quit Your Job – Don’t “What If” Yourself to Death”-This is not the solution for putting an end to a particular job.ANY HOW NICE SAYING.
    Thanks
    Dr.S.GOMATHI

    • Justin Popovic October 18, 2009 at 5:40 am #

      I’m definitely not suggesting that people give up and walk away from challenging situations. In fact, its quite the opposite.

      My message is that there are way too many people in our society who hate what they do. They give away 8,10,12 hours a day, our of their life, to do something that they don’t enjoy. Why? Because they have not yet found their passion. I can’t stand to see it and I wrote this article to provoke people who might be in this situation and get them to start thinking about what they really want…then GO FOR IT

  5. Jordan December 15, 2009 at 11:20 pm #

    Great article Justin. Just what I needed to hear today. This march to success i am on can be an emotional roller coaster if you let it. I am going to change my what if’s as above…and I am going to add a positive when I’m… to it too.

  6. admin December 16, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    Thanks Jordan. Great idea for a positive change in your life. Having known you for a number of months now, I know you aren’t just talking but you have definite plans to implement this new change into your life. Congrats!

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