During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw nearly unprecedented churn in the U.S. labor market: widespread job loss amidst business closures in the early months of the pandemic gave way to tight labor markets in 2021, driven in part by what many call the Great Resignation. During that time, the nation’s “quit rate” reached a 20-year high last November. A Pew Research Center survey found that low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement, and feeling disrespected at work are the top reasons why Americans quit their jobs last year.
On the heels of the Great Resignation came ‘quiet quitting’. Many of us were still working remotely, and that makes it far easier to feel less involved, less part of a team, with fewer boundaries of when work starts and when work stops. Quiet quitting, where an employee does the bare minimum to fulfill their job requirements but does not go ‘above and beyond’, is seen by some as passive-aggressive. Quiet quitting prevents people from finding jobs they love.
In my opinion, there is another factor at play behind both the Great Resignation and quiet quitting: fear. During the pandemic, fear prevailed: fear of becoming ill, of losing our jobs, and subsequently fear of missing out or wasting our time with the realization that life is short and sometimes unpredictable. Quiet quitting is the logical aftermath of the work-life separation that we lost during the pandemic when start and stop times for the workday became blurred and work encroached into our personal lives. This fear is a type of ‘FOMO’ because it’s a longing of wanting something more; of hoping to realize our mission in life; of needing to find our true purpose and spend our time propelling ourselves toward that true purpose at long last.
As you know, I’ve recently written an exceptionally well-reviewed book, Courage by Design, which will drop on November 15. The book’s main purpose is to spread the powerful message that by choosing courage over fear, we can achieve more joy, fulfillment, and purpose – in our careers, in our relationships, in our health journeys, in our lives as a whole. Truth is, we need courage more than ever in our word! And the good news is that courage is always there, waiting for you – it is your choice and your right.
One big reason I wanted to write this book was to bring discussions about fear out into the open. Fear is like a dirty little secret. We all experience it, yet sometimes it seems like no one wants to acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. There is a strange taboo against acknowledging feelings of fear, against acknowledging the inescapable reality that courage does not happen automatically but is instead a matter of choice and careful planning.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: Being fearless doesn’t mean an absence of fear; it means learning when and how to set fear aside so you can focus on something else you find more satisfying and fulfilling. This is also why I wrote an entire book about finding and flexing courage and overcoming your fears – it is a challenge, sometimes a daunting one.
The 10 + 1 Courage By Design Commandments book brings fear out from hiding and examines it head on: how does it paralyze us, how do we face it, even harness it for our own growth? And how can we help others do the same? There is also a guided journal that takes you through each lesson of the book with a daily exercise that spans an entire year.
Forget quiet quitting and instead find out what the real purpose of your life is. It is my great hope – and my overwhelming conviction – that by learning and practicing all 11 commandments, you too might just find yourself inspired to stir things up, to make the tough decisions that require you to overcome fear to live the vision of your dreams.