When it comes to scary situations, most people react one of two ways: fight or flight. Well, I’m here to tell you about a less common reaction: freeze.
Like a deer in the headlights or a possum playing dead, I freeze when met with extreme situations. As much as I wish I was a brave fighter or a fast runner, I’m much more likely to put my head down and hope the problem goes away.
Before I go further, I should say that I don’t freeze often. I’m very capable of solving unpleasant or difficult problems. It takes a special cocktail of awkwardness, anxiety, and frustration for me to freeze. Unfortunately, I found this exact combination at one of my jobs, and I started to freeze over the course of a couple weeks. When I found myself consumed by the anxiety, I made the decision to leave my position.
The quitting process sucks, but I’m learning some lessons along the way. For one, I’ve realized the importance of practicing what I preach. I always talk about pursuing passions, yet I found myself at a job that left me feeling empty. I had great coworkers and a flexible schedule, but I couldn’t overcome the voice in my head asking “why are you doing this?” I settled for “good enough” when my subconscious wanted more. Like it or not, my mind won’t let me settle.
So now I’m facing a new situation. With no schooling, jobs, or social obligations, I can apply for jobs anywhere I choose. I could join Dan in NYC as an analytics pro, or Austin in Washington as a software developer. The world is my oyster, and I can now explore the many things it has to offer. I’m equal parts terrified and excited, but I know without a doubt that this the the adventure I’ve been dreaming of for months.