What the heck is “security” anyway?
From IRS to JOY
Written by Kelly Epperson
It’s been twenty-six years since I first started my journey into the work world. Well, I started employment at age fourteen at Mister Donut and babysitting before that, but my first “real job” was at the Internal Revenue Service after college graduation.
It was by all accounts a “good job,” Good hours, good pay, good benefits. Everyone told me a government job offered security.
Hmm. What the hell is security anyway?
One definition of security is freedom from fear or anxiety. I say that fear is part of life, no matter what job we have or who we are or what we do. More on that in a minute.
IRS basic training back then was classroom, textbooks and tests. I enjoyed that arena, my comfort level, and did well. After training, we started with office audits: Face-to-face interaction with taxpayers reviewing their tax returns and telling them they owed money when they could not substantiate their deductions.
As I drove to work that first day of auditing, I was anxious and laughed to myself. People receiving an IRS notice know fear and anxiety. They have no idea that the newbies on the other side of the desk are nervous too.
As with any job, we learn and settle into the routine. I got over my anxiety but I never enjoyed auditing. After the office training, we went out into the field, going to businesses to audit on site.
I’d go to different places and meet different business owners each week, but for the most part I was in a conference room, alone, with books and records all day. It was not exactly a fun job.
I knew this job was sucking the life out of me. The voice inside me said there was something better for me. Yet I stifled that voice. It was a “good job,” after all.
Little by little, bit by bit, my confidence in me grew. I knew that I didn’t want to stay at this job forever. Heck with “security.” I quit. I let go of the good to make way for the great.
I’ve learned that my security is in me. No job can promise anything. It’s up to me to find fulfillment. I’ve realized that fear and anxiety are part of life. I still get anxious from time to time. I still have fears, doubts, and insecurities. How I handle them is the key.
I’ve learned that life is indeed a journey. Mine has taken me from IRS agent to JOY agent. That’s pretty cool.
I could have listened to the masses and stayed. Instead I listened to me. Now I teach women how to listen to their inner guidance. Some will say that is not without fear or anxiety, yet they also are glad when they too let go of the good to allow the great.
My writing (originally had fear submitting my work) led to speaking (originally had fear with public speaking) which led to joy programs and coaching (originally had fear with “who am I” to help anyone).
If I had stopped when I felt anxiety, I would not be living the fun life I have now. We all can learn to work through the fears, to breathe and relax, to not get so caught up in ourselves. We can learn how to allow in the great.
As you contemplate fear and anxiety, as you contemplate letting go of the good to have the great, as you contemplate your life, what comes up for you? What “yeah but” retort do you have for me?
Some people look at me now and think it was easy for me. Wrong-o. Leaving a “secure” job was not easy. Leaving a “secure” marriage was not easy. Taking risks to put myself out there as a writer, speaker, coach was not easy. And because of that, I know what it feels like to be in your shoes. When the world is telling us one thing and our heart is saying something else – that’s not easy.
But it gets easier. Just as we learn and settle into a job, we learn how to embrace our inner guidance. We learn how to act on it when we know it is the right thing to do. We learn how to accept ourselves with ease, grace, and confidence.
We know there will be curves ahead and fear will greet us again. We know that have stepped out in faith before and more great came to us. We know it will again.
What do you really want for yourself? What word pops into your mind? Jot it down, Many women I work with say similar things. Peace. Freedom. Calm. Health. Wealth. Love. Contentment.
Write your word down on an index card and carry it with you. Every time you read it, tell yourself: I can have that.
Peace. I can have that. Wealth. I can have that. Love. I can have that.
What are you ready to let go of? What are you waiting for?
(Kelly Epperson Simmons works with women to create their life of joy. JOY JUMPSTART program launches August 27! http://kellyepperson.com/programs/ Write info@kellyepperson,com or call toll free 888-637-3563.)