How it felt to work a job I hated vs. how it feels to be self-employed

I am nearing on completing my third full month of self-employment. It has thus far been freeing, terrifying, depressing, exciting, expansive, desperately lonely sometimes and an introvert’s dream-come-true other times, and an overall amazing learning experience.

One of the easiest ways to find out what holds us back belief-wise is to do a great big scary thing. All those subconscious beliefs, which normally hide in the shadows and sneakily sabotage from afar, will RUN OUT INTO THE OPEN… FLAILING. PANICKING. SCREAMING their stories at you.

BUT JEN! IF YOU FAIL, EVERYONE WILL LAUGH AT YOU!

JEN! YOU ARE NOT MENTALLY STABLE ENOUGH FOR THIS!

HE-HEY JEN. EVERYONE ELSE CAN HAVE SUCCESS LIKE THIS BUT IT’S JUST NOT IN THE CARDS FOR YOU! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!

Daaaamn, right?

I’ve been able to work through these (and many others) one by one, interrogating, defusing, rewriting.

These beliefs are “false news” as my friend calls them. “They’re like tabloids,” she tells me.

One of the most helpful things on this journey of rewriting beliefs and aligning with my abundant bad-ass self is for me is to have little ANCHORS for myself… Anchors to settle back into reality should I catch myself believing the tabloid’s stories.

I have a “GOD MOMENTS + MIRACLES” journal where I write the many, many miraculous and unexplainable things that happen. Coincidences, blessings, “random” influxes of cash, etc.

I have motivational sticky notes by my desk, and a support network who will help anchor me back to earth if I get lost in future tripping or fear.

I also write my future self emails.

Below is one I wrote while I was still in my corporate job. I wrote it as a reminder for future me if I was wondering if this self-employment thing was “for me.” It shares how it felt the night before going into the office job.

And what an amazing reminder that was for me today.

Wow. I felt heavy, dulled, forced. My breathing was shorter, and I didn’t want to wake up in the mornings.

In self-employment land, it can feel scary to not know where a next paycheck is coming from. That can feel terrifying. It’s one of the excuses people use to not leave the job they know they need to leave. They fear the unknown. The lack of stability.

But you know what? I prefer the discomfort and unknowns of self-employment over the pure misery I felt when keeping myself small.

The discomfort of this big shift has propelled me into growth I never knew possible.

Sharing videos, marketing myself, upping my painting game, following up on people who’ve expressed interest in the past whereas the comfortable thing to do would be hide on my sofa and wait for people to miraculously find me. I’ve even started standing up for my needs more in relationships and become way gentler (and also more disciplined) with myself overall.

There’s still plenty for me to learn, and there may still be nights where I hide under my weighted blanket until the debilitating fear lightens… But you know what? I can do it.

I am doing it.

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Some days, I paint. Other days, I write. And rap. And tell stories. And do comedy. And doodle. And [attempt to] bake. And, one week out of every month, I merge with my sofa and sob about mortality and things like the existence of air and how we can't live without it and how utterly claustrophobic that is to consider. I'm relatively particular. And this is a place for me to share ALL the quirks.

One thought on “How it felt to work a job I hated vs. how it feels to be self-employed

  1. How true

    This is also true if a person has a JOB that pays well …. and is afraid to be let go or fired…
    Suddenly the $ cash flow goes to $0.

    From $1000/week to $0 is a big scare !

    When working for self … the trick is to have enough BASE CASH FLOW … to cover living expenses…
    and the goal is to eventually get to a point of NOT WORRYING ABOUT INCOME…

    Then, we’re in the CREATIVE ZONE … without a worry about MONEY!

    Great article !

    W

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