When we read about personal experiences, somewhere down the line every successful individual has started from the level — ZERO and worked their way up. They tried and failed in most of what they did and succeeded in a few. And these failures don’t matter to them ‘coz it is what made them who they are today. They wear these scars with pride because they are valued as much. Some of them left their highly paid jobs to do something they are passionate about. Some did not even have that opportunity to serve companies but they still made it to the top on their own.
This definitely makes you wonder if it is wise to stop where you are and restart from the back of the line. Especially when everything is going so well.
You end up battling with – Is this good for your career path? Does everybody who start-over has the ability to make it to the top? Would leaving a high paying job to work on something new be as wise a decision as they portray it to be?
Well, the answer is — The success stories you read or hear about are not to tell you which path you should take. They are to let you know that you can still make it even if it seems like the odds are not in your favour. The message they are trying to convey is that this path is not going to be an easy one. Talent alone will not take you far enough. It is not about the ability but about the attitude.
The challenge here is that along this path you are losing something very important — Job Security.
But this not only challenges your ability to get back up but also reveals something important other than your material interests.
They say ‘You learn who your true friends are when you have nothing’.
But the truth is, it tells you a lot about who YOU are and what YOU are capable of being. It teaches you something that no institution or organization will ever be able to instill in you even if they tried.
1) You Learn Humility
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less about yourself.”– C.S. Lewis
Starting from zero opens your eyes to all that comes with doing everything on your own, working around people who may not be as experienced as you are. Helping and supporting people around you.
Its all about being modest and kind about what you did and what you are capable of doing. This is not to save someone else from any despair but to save yourself from pride.
When pride enters your mind, you tend to feel like you know it all & you have seen it all. But have you?
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”– Socrates
There is always a lot to learn and if ‘your thoughts’ have the power to take it away from you then you are not yet ready for these big changes in your lives. Once you know that it only takes one wrong step for you to get to the back of the line, you start to respect everyone standing in that line.
When you start with something small you learn that even getting a coffee for anyone can change the dynamics of the relationship you have with them. This is a small step to understanding people, respecting their situations & beliefs. This will teach you to keep your foot on the ground at all times.
2) Desire To Learn More
Knowing that you know nothing unwraps the desire to learn. The curiosity to understand how things are done would lead to a greater level of knowledge. This will broaden your minds to reach new horizons and you will be able to identify new opportunities and will slowly clear your vision.
This helps you be more focused and disciplined enough to sacrifice a little sleep, weekend parties, Netflix, Game of Thrones (Well.. let’s just keep GOT off the list) and once you have this in you, half the battle is already won.
In my career, I have worked with 3 start-ups and let me tell you something, I have learnt more than most of my friends who have been working in various MNCs. It is true if you want to have a good start, start with something small which gives you an opportunity to learn more. It may not pay you with money but will definitely pay you with knowledge. And that I believe, is a good bargain.
3) Makes You Independent
This gives you a chance to work on yourself. The hunger of doing what it takes, learning all that you can. Finding something that you are passionate about can be a very lonely road. Not everybody is up for the challenge. And quite frankly, this road is better when travelled alone.
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”– Socrates
Once you start working for what you want to be. You start to think for yourself. You now know what you want to be and how you can make that happen. You analyze, learn, work, practice and implement them to achieve what you wish to attain and that would lead to a greater level of self-realization.
“Independent people look at what’s worked, learn from what hasn’t, set new priorities, and then move on.”– Jeanne Sharbuno
4) You No Longer Fear Failure
They say a child is born with only 2 fears — the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. For them, everything else is just a curiosity. As you grow older you add more to the list of fears.
The one fear we all tend to feed the most is the fear of failing. You very well know how many opportunities you’ve ignored just because you were unable to get over your fear of failing.
This may be one of the best things that you can learn from hitting “Rock Bottom”. The only way to move now is upwards. You have nothing more to lose and you end up giving your best and with all your heart. And when you succeed you realize the only thing that was the scariest in all of it was the first step. You realize that nothing in life is ‘that bad’ if know what you want and keep working for it.
5) You Learn To Be Patient
“Great works are performed not by strengths but by perseverance.”– Samuel Johnson
Starting over is a very slow process. You cannot expect big results in a very short time. It requires consistent efforts over a period of time to be successful. To know what you want and to keep working for it will open you up to situations which would be uncomfortable and painful. Just the mental drive to get to what you want will force you to be patient and to keep a positive attitude along the way.
6) It Builds Self-Confidence
All these trials and struggles will gift you the one attribute you will need to beat your competition — Confidence!! Stepping down is a strong step and you have already done it. Now, the more you work hard to get to where you want to be, the more confident you get in achieving what you dreamt of.
“With the realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”– Dalai Lama
7) You Start Loving Yourself
A step like this may change your life forever. If good, you are happy but if bad, you tend to stem the feeling of guilt. You end up questioning yourself, regretting your own decisions and blaming yourself for making mistakes. But eventually, you learn from your mistakes. You realize that you are only human and just like one, you are allowed to make errors. This is when you start forgiving yourself. And this is your first baby step to self-love. It is accepting the fact that you are not perfect and learning from all the mistakes to improve yourself.
Having a definite purpose and working your heart to fulfill that purpose is a true sign of loving oneself.
All these may not be the skills that will enhance your resume in job portals. But these are definitely the kind of skills that would drive you towards success. Slowly but definitely.
Originally Written for – Dabbler