The Emotional Rollercoaster of Leaving the 9 to 5 Grind

Well, I just took the biggest leap of my twenty-six year existence! I resigned from the corporate world to pursue something bigger – something that holds a hell of a lot more square footage in my heart and soul than any corporate gig ever will. That big something goes by the name of Saint Belford – a Lifestyle and Wellness brand empowering others to design, build and live the life they want, without compromising their wellbeing in the process.

Just to be clear, it wasn’t the job itself or the people I worked with that drove me out of the 9-5 grind. I actually count myself pretty damn fortunate and #blessed to have been dealt such a good hand in the job market. The force that propelled me forward was the hunger to create something life-changing. It was an intense, relentless hunger that could not be satisfied on a part time basis. It was all or nothing!

There’s a price to pay for every pursuit and this project was no different. The currency? Time and energy, of course. People always forget the latter. We all carry on about how time poor we are when it’s really the persistent depletion of energy (doing what we don’t really want to do) that creates a barrier between us and our ambitions. Sure, there’s time after work and on the weekends, but where does one source an overflowing supply of mental energy from? How do we strike a balance, consistently?

Even though I could predict the conclusion, I was still a little curious to see if I could pull it off. After all, who wants to say goodbye to financial security unless they absolutely have to? I was very careful in my approach so as to not burn myself out and ironically shatter the philosophy I wanted to share with the population of hustlers. I didn’t go too hardcore. I took the night off whenever I felt exhausted and I knew when to stop. I tried my best to remain very conscious of my actions and my behaviour. And, in the event that this eagle-eyed awareness wore off, my partner would bring me back to earth by holding up a blaring red stop sign (AKA shutting my laptop and telling me to go to bed).

As the months went by, I became painfully aware that the time I was spending working on someone else’s dream (40 hours/week) could be put to better use. So, I began toying with the idea of leaving my job. I realised that if I wanted to turn my dream into a soul-quenching reality, I’d have to make a few sacrifices and pay up in full. No layby and no afterpay BS. I’d have to put my time where my mind was.  

Sometimes, you just can’t do it all and that’s okay. That’s not meant to sound disempowering. It’s how I genuinely feel. We’re only human and we need to remind ourselves of that fact. Once we accept that, we can figure out what really matters to us and dispense our energy accordingly.

So, I made a firm decision to resign. The next step was to say it out loud so that it could be real. Butterflies have been invading my stomach for years in moments of uncertainty and irrational distress. You’d think I’d be able to subdue the jitters by now? Nope. I mean, does anyone ever become immune to the stomach-swirling feeling that tugs violently at your gag reflexes? Doubt it. Anyway, that’s how I felt moments before I announced my resignation. I had even convinced myself that I was going to be fired on the spot. Yep, I can be such a drama queen!

Fast forward. It’s been five working days since I bid goodbye to my corporate life and it’s been far more emotional than I ever predicted. I didn’t think the social disconnect would kick in so quickly but it has. My insecurities have also paid me an unpleasant visit, but I guess it’s only natural to experience a hurricane of emotions when you’re flipping your life around and entering unfamiliar territory. It’s a big step. A big change. So how am I dealing? Well, gratitude is the only medication I’m using to silence the occasional doubt in my mind. I had the strength and the support to leave my comfort zone, and I’m feeling the fear and doing it anyway! Let’s see where I’m at in a month’s time!

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