Dealing with stress, long hours, overwhelm, and pressure of contributing to our joint household finances made me make this expression!!
Four years ago, towards the end of 2017 to 2018, I went through an identity crisis.
I was a new mum on maternity leave from a corporate job…
In late 2018, I sat with this feeling of confusion, lack of purpose and slight depression. I’m wasn’t clinically depressed, but some days I really wondered what the actual impact of the work I was doing was.
I took a CBT ‘Low Mood’ course run by the local council after telling my doctor I was just feeling so low a lot of the time and didn’t feel fully myself. The course was, to my surprise, really good, and helped me take some practical steps away from the safety net of a corporate job and regular pay packet to the uncertainty of self-employment.
Being a cog in a very big wheel in my job at Microsoft meant that I was finding myself getting lost in the parts of the mechanism that were simply inefficient. Yet going it completely alone I felt total lack of structure and accountability- I felt like I was stuck between 2 worlds- without the training to work freelance but with a fierce desire for independence which left me wondering how I was going to make it work practically.
This post is all about the steps I took in my journey to move away from this feeling of depression and lack of purpose.
The first step I took was realising that my identity was shifting- becoming a mum was a catalyst for a process that started a few years earlier. I found it hard to be motivated around deadlines I didn’t set – for projects I felt I ultimately had little to no ownership of- I wanted to do work that made a tangible difference in the world. I felt a bit like a prisoner being told to dig a hole and they refill it, only to do it again. (A bit dramatic, but my need to have true ownership is one of my core values!) The work was easy enough to do and my colleagues were lovely, but there was a nagging in my heart that this wasn’t ‘it’ for me.
This had been draining me, and I got to the point where I had to let go of my need to always be ‘productive’ and bringing in a certain amount of money each month. My mental health was more important. So I finished up my role with Microsoft in October 2019 and didn’t find another job to go straight into- I took the leap and trusted that things would work out. I had 2 months of pay in my last pay packet in November.
I allowed myself a full month off, whilst I was taking a few online courses learning more about the business side of being self-employed, I wasn’t marketing my services or taking on clients.
Realising that there were certain days I naturally wanted to work more than others, and some I just needed to rest. While I’ve tracked my cycle since I had my son three years ago, I soon realised without the external structure of a corporate job, with set hours and deadlines I was even more affected my own cycle. I also found it fascinating understanding this more- in a really practical way- our bodies are amazing and only after having my son- creating a new life did I fully appreciate it! I started to realise when I allowed myself the rest my body asked for on certain days, I was able to be much more effective the rest of the month. This isn’t a weakness- it’s a strength. Everything is set up for the more masculine 24 hour cycle. Whilst our cycles last longer and we have longer periods of needing rest. The same is true of men- it is just split up over more days in shorter periods. We all need a balance of rest and activity- after all, no one can claim they don’t need sleep!
I found I was doing certain things because they were ‘logical’ or made sense based on my background and experience, but not because I really loved doing them. I realised I didn’t want to quit the safety of a corporate job only to set myself up in a new trap of working often just as long or longer hours and doing work that didn’t fill me up. I may as well return to a corporate role if that is what I was doing. When we chose self-employment or setting up a business, it’s certainly not the easy option. Sometimes I think we are mis-sold this dream of working anywhere any hours as a solopreneur, but the reality is often long hours at home, alone, wondering if it will all work out. I reconnected with my Core Values of Freedom and Purpose and knew I had made the right decision.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t supporting me, but I needed to have an open conversation around how our family finances were going to work over the next few years and what our joint life goals were – a bit of a reassessment. I’m a bit of a geek and I like having annual reviews and monthly goals. Knowing that his salary was able to cover our basic subsistence and putting an agreement in place of what I would contribute to the joint account which ended up being less than half of what I was putting in on a monthly basis when working in my old job. We needed to see this as an investment in our familiy’s future. Whilst there was going to be a period of time when my earnings were less than my corporate job, I felt it was possible to grow a business whereby income could exceed my old wage once I’d invested the time in growing it (and through it myself!)
So, I’ve always had things around me like Tarot cards, crystals and a strong belief that there is more to life than us simply being a more advanced form of animal that dies and goes into nothingness. I never thought it was something I could particularly talk about.
I almost felt like it was a bit of a secret I had to keep in case I offended anyone when sharing my beliefs. A side-effect of being a people-pleaser!
However, over the last 2 years I’ve done a lot of work with coaches and spiritual guides and realised that this now needs to be a non-negotiable part of my life- when I don’t have a spiritual practice or take time out to honour that side of me, I have noticed I start having vivid sometimes very lucid and painful dreams- like it’s shouting for an outlet to be expressed.
I’ve had readings by several mediums as well as my Astrology chart report and Numerology report and interestingly the finding that KEEPS coming out of these sessions is that I really need to use the Intuitive Gifts I was born with. I have a sixth sense, and instead of hiding it and being embarrassed by it, I am now starting to own it.
Being alive at this time on earth right now- I don’t believe it’s a coincidence- I believe many of us chose to be here now for a purpose- that’s something I’ve always felt very strongly.
If my journey resonates with you and you would like to be mentored by me, check out my 1:1 Services page, or for a supportive community experience, check out my membership The Intuitive Business Academy.
I found reconnecting with my core values really helped me make aligned decisions that felt right and to trust them even when I was outside my comfort zone- like way out!