“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard
I heard this great quote yesterday in the book “How,” and it made me think about the freedom and anxiety I’ve experienced since quitting my job at Chevron in 2006. When I left my job, I, for a split second, experienced total freedom. I could do ANYTHING I wanted, go ANYWHERE I wanted. I say a split second, because once I was opened up to trillions of possibilities, I became paralyzed. If I could go ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING (barista in New Zealand crossed my mind!), that was extremely exciting but also extremely daunting. I experienced total dizziness when I thought of how many things I had to choose from, which moved into a bit of anxiety.
So I narrowed it down. What do I have? I had a romantic relationship based out of San Francisco, I could use that as an anchor for my freedom. I had an engineering degree that I wasn’t keen on using in a traditional way, so that was out. I liked government, massage therapy, hammer throwing, so I moved in those directions.
Lately, I opened myself up to more dizzying freedom, with extreme anxiety right on its heels. I decided late in 2010 (you might recall), that I was tired of being broke and wanted to instead try being filthy rich. I figured it was worth it as a chapter in my life’s experiences. 2011 found me heading in the direction of filthy rich, which meant climbing out of a valley of business/personal debt via a bankruptcy and starting fortune-building from scratch. All I knew was how to put my intention out there and start tuning into possibilities for income to come my way.
It has not been a snap-your-fingers-and-it-appears process, nor would one expect it to be I suppose, given my long, varied, and sometimes sordid relationship with money. It has meant different things to me in my life throughout the years and I suppose I’m still orienting myself so that I can actually be very useful and receive money (appreciation).
Anyway, late last year I had set my sights on two business endeavors that might start to bring in the kind of income I am shooting for. Unfortunately, they didn’t produce the kind of results I was looking for right off the bat so that outcome put me into a bit of an anxiety attack. I opened myself up to the possibility that these things may not be where I should be focusing all my energy, which again opened me up to the “dizzying” feeling of having “freedom” once again to decide where to put my efforts. It feels so nice to have a plan, and so awful to have a destination but be map-less.
As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” When you put yourself 100% in charge of your financial future (as opposed to relying on a job with a set income), the responsibility and vigilance is your burden to bear, and you must become more closely attuned to the energetic signals the universe has for your choices and direction. It requires massive creativity, sensitivity, and courage.
Dizzying at times, but, O, the places you will go…