8th Dec 21 – An anxiety filled morning

I returned from my run this morning feeling good – full of belief and optimism. However, it didn’t take long before anxiety and worry started to fill my mind. My brain is in overdrive, constantly trying to figure out what I want to do next – but it seems the more I try, the busier and more jumbled my mind seems to become.

So after my shower I knew I had to meditate – one of the techniques I use to relax and bring myself back to the present; it didn’t have much impact. And here I am now – mind still busy – sharing my thoughts.

Here are some of the thoughts going through my head:

“people from my old job are laughing at me – leaving my job, and still haven’t produced anything of value”

“I’m going to run out of money and have to take a job I don’t enjoy”

“I don’t know what I want to do!”

“why is it so hard to have clarity?”

I have started to feel myself drift into a place where I’m lacking self-belief and doubting my abilities; and when you lose hope, it can start to spiral into dark places.

If I lose belief in myself, then it’s more than likely that my actions will reflect that, and it’ll become a self-fulfilling cycle. But there’s no reason for me not to believe in myself! I’ve overcome challenging problems in the past:

  • defeated depression
  • graduated with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering
  • ran a 1/2 marathon
  • completed the David Goggins 4 x 4 x 48 challenge and raised over £2,000 for charity
  • delivered projects worth in excess of £4M
  • etc.

It’s time to start believing again!

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7th Dec 21 – Everyone has their opinion

One of the hardest parts about handing in my notice was my fear of judgement.

“He’s leaving a well-paid corporate job – what an idiot.”

“He’s going to use up all his savings, what is he thinking?”

“He doesn’t have any work lined up for when he leaves, what world is he living in?”

“He’s going to do some travelling, is he not aware of COVID-19?”

“When the opinions of others do not matter, you have truly mastered yourself”

However, I eventually managed to overcome all of that and handed in my letter of resignation.

The fear of judgement hasn’t ceased – and sadly, either has the judgement.

Three months on from leaving my job, the opinions are starting to creep in from family members.

“Have you thought about what you’re going to do?”

“You should probably start thinking about getting back into work again.”

“You’ll get out of the habit of working, and it’ll be a struggle to get it back again.”

“I know someone who left their job and they were never the same again; eventually they ended up homeless.”

“You can’t do this forever you know.”

“Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.”

Lao Tzu

This journey is tough enough – this just makes it harder. I have to continue to believe in myself – believing that I’ll figure it out and make something of myself. As the chaos surrounds me, I need to remain calm and continue the process. All I can do is minimise the time I spend around those who put me in a negative state – but this is not easy when these are people I love.

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14th October 21 – No excuses

Dragging my ass to the gym on the regular is tough, and going for a run is even tougher. As humans, we innately want to conserve energy – this kept us alive thousands of years ago. But in today’s (western) world where food is plentiful, and we are largely sedentary, we need to overcome that inbuilt barrier.

Yesterday in the gym, as I sat on the bench having completed a set of barbell chest presses, I was moved emotionally.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young man with cerebral palsy making his way through the gym. I felt a deep sense of gratitude that I’d won the birth lottery, being born with no disability. After all, that’s all it is, luck!

I also felt an overwhelming feeling of inspiration! I really do have no excuses for not maximising every ounce of bodily potential. For this man, the process of simply getting to the gym must be more challenging than most peoples workout: getting out of bed, getting changed, driving, getting out of the car… not to mention the mental battle.

Respect.

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13th Oct 21 –The toughest decision of my life

It’s been six weeks now since I left my role as a Project Engineer due to a lack of fulfilment and alignment with culture/values – the toughest decision I’ve had to make. At 30 I was extremely comfortable, a good career ahead of me based on historic performance and promotion history. I pulled the safety net from under my own feet, and decided I didn’t see my long-term future at that company, or possibly even that line of work.

When I say the toughest decision – it was not a lack of certainty that held me back, but a struggle with the internal voices saying that others would judge me as stupid, a waster, weak, etc. Eventually, my fear of an unfulfilled life overcame my fear of judgement from others. If I didn’t do what was best for me, I felt I’d be filled with resentment and regret later in life.

It’s been tough mentally, even now that I’ve left; although I have no desire to return, I still hear those voices. Sometimes those voices are real – with some people close to me eager to know when I’ll be returning to work. I’m empathetic towards them – they want what they believe is best for me. 

Immediately returning to work without really being certain on what I want to do would be a recipe for the same outcome! I want to instead take time out – not just a few weeks – to clear my head of any subconscious beliefs that would lead me to do something to impress others.

Whatever I do next in life to make an income, I have to believe in! Work that I feel is important. Work that aligns with my core values and beliefs. Work that energises me. Work that I’m innately good at. 

A nice house, Range Rover, nice lawn, holiday here and there – that’s not the answer for me. For me, I want to be able to inspire my kids through my life story – not through materialistic possessions. I want to show them that it’s ok to take risks. It’s ok to not know and find out through failure (it’s not really failure). Do what you enjoy and find fulfilling – forge your own path, don’t blindly follow others.

Why would I play it safe when I have nothing to lose? I was born with nothing – and I’ll leave with nothing.

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7th Sep 21 – My final day at work

The day has come!

Having thought about quitting for several years, it’s now six weeks from the day I handed in my letter of resignation; my final day!

The biggest sign that this is the right decision for me is that there’s no sadness within me – I’m instead completely at peace with my decision. If there was any doubt in my mind, I’d have felt it as I went about my day in the office.

Contrastingly, all I feel is relief and excitement about what the future holds.

I now have a blank piece of paper, and I can create whatever future I want on it. The handcuffs are off — I’ve broken free. What’s stopping me now? Only me.

To many of my colleagues — thank you for the good times.

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