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On quitting my job and freedom

[ 4 ] July 4, 2012 |

I sat at my beige desk, surrounded by beige walls and beige bookcases. The ceiling vent inexorably blew cold air on my neck, as it had every day for four years. I felt the beginnings of my daily boredom headache taking root as the afternoon stretched on, snagged and stuck on the eternal 2:33 pm.

My boss clacked up and down the hall. Each time, I tensed, then relaxed as she blessedly kept going past my office.

My life ticked by. Sometimes, weeks flew by without my awareness as I sat in my beige box, more life missed. More often, each minute had to be pried from my enraged, grasping fingers.

Sitting there was becoming more intolerable by the day. I was stuck, and I knew I couldn’t stand it much longer. I kept working, maneuvering, building–making a path for my exit. And then, finally, the scales tipped. My savings reached critical mass. My business started making money. My old house sold, cutting my monthly expenses by a third. I saw my chance at freedom, and I leapt at it.


Image by marynbtol on Flickr. Creative Commons license.

In a few days, it will be a year since I quit from my job. Life hasn’t been perfect since then–there have been some hard, scary, stressful times–but it is alive.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I got the courage to strike out on my own like this. Don’t I worry about making enough money? Don’t I miss having a paycheck and vacation days and full-fledged health insurance?

Well, of course I do. But for so many years, I trudged through life with my head down, just existing, because I couldn’t see any other option. I settled, I went through the motions, I worked for the weekend. It was ok while I didn’t know what else to do. It didn’t hurt; it just didn’t feel good.

Once I saw something better, trudging became unacceptable. I saw something better, and I had to try. Even if it didn’t work out, I didn’t want to be on my death bed, looking back and wishing I had lived my life.

So I took the leap, and it’s been the most awesome thing I’ve ever done. Because of that and because of Independence Day, July means freedom to me.

Stuckness can take many forms. Whether it’s soul-sucking employment, toxic relationships, a stifling overabundance of stuff, or just apathy and lack of direction, I want as many people as possible to get free and get moving on the life you really want, whatever that means for you. I hate to see needless suffering and struggle. To help, I’m offering to let you name your own price for Getting Unstuck this month.

Obviously, this isn’t for everyone. If you’re not stuck, or you’re not ready to dig deep or make changes in your life, this book won’t help you. But if you’re tired of grinding it out, marking time, and waiting on hold, it’s time to get in the driver’s seat of your life. This book will show you:

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  • How to release yourself from confusion, limiting beliefs, faulty assumptions, and needing to please everyone around you (so you can stop letting these things waste your energy)
  • How to get clear on where you want to go (so you can start working toward getting there)
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  • Bonus: Interview with Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt on getting unstuck financially

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In the words of U2, “Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby’s head.” Wherever you are and whatever you want in life, I hope you get what you need to be free, live, love, and savor.


About Cara Stein: I'm a Breakthrough Coach and Creative Director On Demand. I'm also an idealist who has stopped trying to play it cool. I offer alignment, clarity, and unshakeable belief in yourself—and then I help you bring your vision to life with great sales copy and graphic design.

Comments (4)

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  1. Dorena says:

    This post speaks to my heart. I was in the same situation and it has been 2 months since I left my employer. It was the best decision I have ever made. I wish you many blessings on your journey ahead.

  2. Ian says:

    Congratulations on striking out on your own and I hope it is a success. I am currently in a halfway house writing books and doing my blog posts on my website. maybe one day I will take the plunge but I’m also enjoying my job as well. best of luck to you

  3. Isaiver says:

    It takes courage to quit one’s job. I personally would want to look into your book. I’m in the phase where, little by little, I am building an online presence and will eventually quit on my job. Thank you for this post!

  4. M.G. says:

    I have been thinking about quitting my job for years, but could not get brave enough to do that. What helped was me being fired one day when company went bancrupt. That was a kick in a butt that I was missing! I had no other options but to do something – and I took a deep breath and jumped into a murky waters of Internet commerce (it was back in 1998). I haven’t worked for a boss ever sinse. And I can not even imagine working for someone else now. So, I completely agree with what you say here – Once I saw something better, trudging became unacceptable. That’s so much true! Thank you!

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