How Letting Go of Security Changed My Life


“We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it” – John Steinbeck

A few years ago, I was living a completely normal life. I had recently finished school, I had a steady job, I was healthy, I had a lovely girlfriend and a large social circle. On the surface, I was living a pretty decent life.

And yet, it wasn’t the life I wanted to live. None of it seemed right to me. Yes, my job was alright, but I didn’t love it, and it certainly wasn’t fulfilling. And yes, I had a lovely girlfriend, but I knew that we weren’t right for each other. And yes, I had a large friend-group, but I didn’t feel truly connected to any of them. No aspect of my life was perfect, but I desperately held on to it because it was all I had.

Fear was controlling my life. I was clinging so desperately to the securities I had built up, there just wasn’t any room for what I really wanted. I knew that in order to get what I wanted out of life, I had to first rid myself of my crippling fear of losing what I had. I knew that my secure and comfortable lifestyle was standing in the way of me living life to the fullest.

And so I let it all go.

Everything. I quit my job, I broke up with my girlfriend, I said goodbye to my friends and family, and I sold most of my possessions. I then bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand, packed my last belongings in a backpack and decided to go nomadic for the foreseeable future. Basically, I was giving up everything I had always been so afraid to lose.

And that was exactly what I had always needed to do.

As I traveled, I realized just how ridiculous my fear of loss really was. I learned that I didn’t need any of the securities I had been so afraid to let go of; I learned that I wasn’t dependent on other people to survive and be happy; I learned that I didn’t even need a secure career to support myself. And after spending a couple of days lost in the wilderness due to a hitch-hiking screw-up, I also learned that I could get along just fine without so much as a roof over my head!

Sure, a lot of those things are nice to have (it gets a bit annoying sleeping outside when it’s raining), but I didn’t need any of them. And with that realization came a lot more freedom than I had ever had in my entire life. Since I wasn’t so desperately attached to a secure life, I was now able to explore and live my life the way I wanted to.

Since I wasn’t clinging so desperately to a secure source of income, I was able to explore alternative ways of making money that were more in line with the kind of lifestyle I wanted. And since I wasn’t desperately clinging on to the first girl that happened to come along, I was able to explore and attract much more love into my life. And since I wasn’t so deathly afraid of embarrassing myself and losing all my friends (quite a silly fear to begin with), I became much more outgoing and daring.

For me, the path to a fulfilling life was to embrace my fears and live out my worst-case scenarios. Through giving up all the securities I was so afraid to lose, I became free to live life on my own terms.

Now it’s up to you: what are your fears, and how are you planning to face them?

Photo by micadew

4 thoughts on “How Letting Go of Security Changed My Life”

  1. After experiencing a lot of painful events with relationships – one of my biggest fears now is trying to form connections with other people.

    And I felt extremely ridiculous, as I pushed myself to begin volunteering at a place where I have to build connections with people as we learn about the world together.

    …and I felt even more ridiculous on the day that I met the most perfect girl in the world – and was trying to answer her question.

    So I had to dig down, deeper than I even knew that I had, and find the courage to talk with her.

    – – – And now that girl is my fiance – and allowing myself to be vulnerable is what helps our relationship to thrive. *whew*

    Like I heard in a song one time, “The more I see, the less I know.”

  2. Such a wonderful article.

    Just like you, i also wanted to be free, to live my life to the fullest, to sing, to dance, and to do every thing that could probably make me happy, in fact this is the reason i have joined this blog.
    …but just like everybody, situations make me fail most times. but, all that doesn’t discourages me.
    I’ll win. it might take some time but I’ll win because i know

    “Winners win in spite of problems, not in absence of them.”

    Thank’s a lot again for this wonderful article.

  3. This is a perfect article on the way i am feeling at the moment but the problem is i cant let go of my securities. I have a well paid job and a wonderful girlfriend that loves me enough to spur me on and support me whatever i decide to do. I have a roof over my head and don’t believe the way forward would be to leave all of that. But i also feel unaccomplished. I feel like if i died tomorrow there is would be so much ive missed out on. But another problem is not a lot interests me. Yeah i occasionally go out with friends and get drunk but because of relationship status and being the man i am i cannot do things my friends do. I have had a look at hobbies online and none interest me. Its weird. I am a guy who likes to build things with my hand and see the end product but the way society is and while i am constantly busy i cannot bring myself to leave my job and start a restoration project. Life has me trapped and i dont know what to do. Any advice guys?

  4. Well done Mathias. Can relate to the way you used to feel. Security is a strange beast. Comforting in a way, but ultimately pointless if you don’t feel fulfilled.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *