LIFE

CHALLENGES SINCE QUITTING MY JOB

But First…

I think it’s important to cover the underlying reasons that led me to believe quitting my corporate job was the right thing to do for myself. I’ve always been a little more on the spontaneous side, but after living and working in the corporate world for about 5 years, I started feeling like I really lost the spark of who I am. I had become complacent and comfortable, instead of pushing myself creatively and living with that spontaneity that makes me who I am. And it was all in the pursuit of living a life that I felt like I ‘had’ to live. Whether we recognize it or not, there are a lot of us that are too scared to live fearlessly and spontaneously because our fear is holding us back. The exact reason will differ for everyone based on personal experiences, but it could be anything from fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown (once I make the jump, what will happen? will it be better than where I’m at?), fear of not being socially accepted, and fear of making mistakes or of failing. It took a whole year for me to convince myself that I was greater than my fear but I was determined to live my life on purpose, instead of just schlepping my feet around in it.

In the last 6 months of being corporate job-free, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what it truly means to follow your passion/follow the road less traveled. Although I haven’t regretted quitting the corporate gig, there was a piece of me that felt like this amazing journey would unfold in front of me, sprinkled with some challenges, but mostly a somewhat seamless, upward path to the finish line. I can say that it has been the complete opposite, proving many more obstacles and moments of defeat, than of victory or self-accomplishment.

Challenge 1…

One of the biggest hurdles has been to learn time management and self-discipline, which to be honest was a surprise to me. I consider myself someone who’s always had a good amount of hustle, so I thought creating a schedule for myself with my dreams at the center wouldn’t be a hard task to see through. But there’s something about that word discipline when it’s in relation to your personal dreams and passions. For some of us it’s easy, but I’d say the large majority of people struggle with it, regardless of how badly you want it. And to be honest, I’m still trying to nail down the exact reasons as to why this has been such a struggle for me, but I feel grateful to have learned what some of those reasons are while I continue work through the rest. A couple of things that have worked for me in terms of time management, is time-blocking my calendar on a day-to-day basis in order to hold myself accountable to those specific tasks. This also shows me how much time I truly do have during the day and how much of it I was wasting, without really knowing it. It also makes it a lot easier for me to say no to other things that are just a distraction – like chatting on the phone with a family member or grabbing drinks with a friend. If it’s not on the schedule for that specific day, it’s not happening – no excuses!

Challenge 2…

The second challenge I’ve faced is learning to let go – to be in the flow and to have faith that the universe has my back. Sometimes when we’re so in the thick of things in our life, we’re not able to view things for how they really are, because we’re so overly consumed by it already. It’s like we have blinders on that prevent us from having an unbiased opinion on our own life. Let me just say – this has been the BIGGEST hurdle that I continue to face. I will feel great for weeks, kicking ass and taking names, then somehow slip up and fall back into my old habits of fear-based thinking. Sometimes it takes an hour to realize, sometimes it takes days and sometimes it takes months. But I try to remind myself of the important thing: at least I’m still recognizing it and continuing to make the effort to change it. Not knowing or recognizing that a quality about yourself needs to be changed is sometimes the hardest part of the journey. The second hardest part, for me anyways, is learning to be ok with the unknown. It’s OK to not have every single step of your immediate future planned out. It’s OK to not know exactly where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing. This is where learning to trust is crucial, because focusing on the unknown will cause you to slow down on your progress. If you’re constantly second guessing and overanalyzing everything along the way, it will prevent you from feeling confident to move in ANY direction. Trust, be in the flow, and have confidence in yourself and the universe. It’s a state of mind you have to work on but it’s necessary to let go, in order to let new things in. My first big step in letting go was quitting my job, and now I’m continuing to learn how to live in that frame of mind, vs reverting back to my old ways.

Last But Not Least…

I’ll be honest. This draft has been sitting in my drafts folder for over a month, because I was struggling with both of the challenges I’ve listed above. But I wanted to write this in order to take you on my journey, AS I’m going through it. I certainly don’t have it all figure out yet but I’m committed to pushing through. As one of my idols puts it: self-discovery isn’t always pleasant and it doesn’t happen overnight. I try to remind myself that these challenges are a necessary part of the journey, and feeling their affects, and going through them means I’m doing something right. If I was just coasting through this, I’d be concerned. Because to me, that would mean I’m not taking big enough leaps or forcing big enough changes to cause any friction. I strongly believe that when you start pushing against the current of safety, your inner fear tries to protect you from the unknown and throws all these obstacles and moments of doubt in your way to lead you back to ‘safety’ (read: complacency, comfort-zone living). Learning to recognize those moments is a feat in itself but keep pushing! I’ve made a promise to myself, no matter how discouraged, uninspired or defeated I feel: I’ll continue to push through until my dreams are realized.

xx,
courtney

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