We actually fear freedom…
Day by day we go on with our lives wishing and begging for more freedom. There are forces pushing at us that come from our careers, politics, relationships, and just about every other force that could come with any sort of decision. We continuously dream of different ways to increase our freedom and tell people constantly what we absolutely “need” in order to achieve freedom that will make us happy. But at the same time, we fear freedom.
Freedom usually comes with many potential risks that scare us enough to stop moving forward. There could be the risk of losing your significant other with a decision you need to make. There could be the chance of losing you job because your boss might not approve of something you want to do. Or there is the chance that the decision you make could negatively impact your income that could have a downstream effect on your family.
It is because of these potential risks that at the same time we wish for freedom, we will not confront it or move towards it because we are scared.
Seth Godin has written about how we fear freedom in a few of his books. In his book What to do When It’s Your Turn he tells us that it is always our turn to act and make positive contributions to the world. We don’t need to wait for someone else to say “youre up next!” We all need to take our turn without being told and to break through the barriers and fear that comes with taking a leap into the unknown. Godin says that we need to keep all the voices in the back of our mind out of our decisions and that if we learn to ignore the negative noise coming from nowhere, then you can react with positive steps towards whatever your freedom is.
[IT’S YOUR TURN…AND ITS ALWAYS YOUR TURN]
An example, is one that is the largest barriers for entrepreneurs, making the leap to starting your own venture. There is nothing more free than being your own boss. You make the rules, you guide the company, and you have the chance to make a positive impact on people’s lives through your products and services. However, there are many fears that prevent most entrepreneurs to reaching their true potential. There is the fear of not having a steady income. The fear of creating something that no one likes or wants. There is also the standard fear of failure, in a world where the failure rate of startup companies is over 90%. All of these fears are what prevents us from having true freedom that we desire and crave.
A smaller example in the modern world around the risk of freedom is the simple act of asking your boss to “Work From Home.” Unfortunately, previous workforces have helped build a stigma that working from home really means… sitting on the couch and watching Netflix all day, in your bosses mind. This has now caused your managers and bosses a negative feeling towards slowing you to work from home, since they don’t know if you will actually be working. Me and you both know that working from home can help increase your freedom by not having a boss watching you constantly while you are working. However, because of this fear of your boss not liking you working from home you may decide not to ask in the first place. Now of course if you do not provide any deliverables to show that you were truly working from home then you just shot yourself in the foot for the opportunity to gain that freedom back again.
So with all of these fears, why would you even think about pursuing freedom? Its because its your turn. There have been many people who have pursued freedom in the past, and they have all made it through to the other side. Sure, they may have failed a few times in the process, but they did not stop trying.
If you truly know what freedom you want, then go for it. Don’t let anything stop you and take the leap. You may experience failure, but what you learn is going to prevent you from making the same mistake twice.
So the next time that you complain about what you “Need” in order to be free… take the next step towards freedom and don’t let fear stop you.