What does stability really mean anyway?
What is it we’re really looking for when we use this word?
We look for it in relationships.
We look for it with our careers.
We look for it with our finances.
And to a certain level, at times we need it right? We might be planning to have a family, we might be raising funds to start a new venture, but rather than enabling us to grow and move forward, the hunt for stability & security can sometimes actually keep us stuck.
Stability kept me in the same place for many years.
I chose to stay in a job that over time no longer served the creative, expressive person I was, because I thought I needed the stability of a pay-check and I had become used to a certain amount of money every month and a certain type of lifestyle.
The fundamental problem for me though, was the only way I’d ever known how to create real ‘stability’ in my life was to ask for it from someone else;
from my boss,
from an organisation,
from my relationships,
and so I kept doing that. Over and over again.
I never dreamed I could actually take charge and create it for myself. I never even thought it was possible to give myself permission to think about what I actually wanted to create for myself. And so I just kept asking, or waiting, then asking, then waiting some more.
But I don’t think the real reason I got stuck was because I was continually looking for or trying to maintain the actual stability, financial or otherwise. I think the real reason any of us get stuck in a stable lifestyle is because stability is ultimately fucking boring. And it’s our boredom that keeps us small, dulled-down, playing it safe, but then eventually looking out from our little window of safety wondering what else might be possible for us out there in the rest of the world.
Any routine based around doing the same thing day in and day out that we don’t necessarily always enjoy but feel we ‘need’ to keep us ‘stable’, to provide us with security and control, is boring, boring, BORING
There have been moments when I think back to being in full time employment and wonder if that would be ‘easier’, wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have left so ‘soon’, wonder if I made a mistake jumping out to the net before being ‘ready’, but those moments were fleeting, because despite how hard self-employment can be, despite the ups and downs and the craziness and the occasional tears and the unknown; I wouldn’t trade it for safe, conventional, mind-numbing ‘stability’ for a second.
The thing is, we kind of kid ourselves that things will always be on an even keel when we’re feeling stable and safe. We kind of lie to ourselves that we’re going to be given a pay rise every year, or that we’re in control by choosing the familiar and secure lifestyle of the 9-5 (so we can squash our real dream into the weekends).
But the truth?
The honest, straight-up truth?
Stability is bullshit.
Stability isn’t real.
We have no control over our future once we’ve put it in someone else’s hands.
Companies fold, things change, people get hired to come in and manage you despite you sticking around and being loyal for years, and pay rises don’t happen because the ever-expanding company you’re working for ‘can’t afford it’, our health and priorities change, so do other peoples.
And when we try and cram our dream into those weekends after we’ve finished yet another week of stability? We’re too frigging tired. We’re broken. Our minds have been drained by office politics, responsibility that isn’t ours, and screen upon screen of soul-crushing spreadsheets.
I say screw stability.
Screw the supposed safety-net.
Because I can tell you right now that that ‘net’ doesn’t exist.
That ‘net’ can be an illusion that eventually turns into a little box that you have no choice after a certain point but to lie down in.
You create your own safety net, no one else can do this for you, but is the net you’re weaving right now beginning to look the way you want it to? Is it giving you a glimpse into how your future is going to be?
Is it what you really want or not?
If it isn’t, then how about jumping into the unknown more?
How about snuggling up to our fears more?
How about doing something crazy as often as possible?
Not one day, but NOW.
Because if you want excitement, if you want creativity, if you want happiness, if you REALLY want all the things you say you do, the amazing life you dream about, the location-free business and the travelling and having fun with the world, instead of being dictated to by it?
Then you’re going to have to say goodbye to your current idea of stability.
You’re going to have to say goodbye to allowing someone else to decide your worth, your value, your truth, how much you matter.
You’re going to have to ask the voice “But you’re not ready yet” to step aside and instead you’re going to have to take action and start now no matter how unprepared you feel.
Because if you’re serious about creating a ‘stable’ lifestyle where you can depend upon things working out, the only person that can do that for you, is YOU.
Ultimately the search for stability, the search for something we can rely on, comes down to one question;
Whose dreams are you building here, yours, or someone else’s?
It really is that simple.
And stability doesn’t come from investing in someone else, in another person’s vision or dream, it comes from investing heavily in yourself.
So which is it going to be?
Choose yourself. Empower yourself to make decisions that are in line with your values instead of being dictated to by someone else’s. And start stepping up and making the most of the short time you have left on this earth, and yes it’s getting shorter by the second, and YES the only eventuality is that you’ll die!
In a world where more and more we are being shown that we literally have no idea what is going to happen from one moment to the next, where none of us have a clue what’s around the corner, whre we have no control over anything, there has never been a better time to say screw it and go after that thing that you want.
It’s not going to come looking for you.
So put down the idea that you need to feel secure, let go of this crazy idea that you can control everything, and start taking action towards the thing that scares you most.
Feel afraid, square up, lose control, put the pedal to the floor, however you decide to do it, it doesn’t really matter.
Just kiss stability goodbye, and start now.