Somewhere in my late 20s, I quit a six-figure freelance writing career.
I left for a variety of reasons, but the biggest of them was that I wasn’t fully expressing my best self through freelance writing.
It was one of the reasons the “proper” adults wouldn’t understand. My mother thought I was foolish to leave a lucrative career where I was always at the top of my game, and without even trying to be, I might add. I was torn. Should I stay and keep making six figures every month to the detriment of my soul? Or should I leave and figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life without making any amount of money whatsoever?
Eventually, the crazy side of me took over and I left. Bye-bye, six figures. Bye-bye, top management positions. Bye-bye to a successful decade-long career of me just whizzing through the day like I always knew what was going on. Because I did.
So began the most uncomfortable three years of my life. Three whole years of not making any money just so I could “figure out” what I wanted in life. Oh, I did make some money all right. I jumped into a lot of things. I built affiliate websites that made some commissions from e-commerce stores. I offered content marketing services to so-called spiritual entrepreneurs. During the times I really felt the crunch, I took on odd jobs for a few months just to soothe the ugly fear-head that reared itself whenever I looked at my dwindling savings.
“You’re taking too much time trying to figure yourself out,” it would say. “Don’t you think it’s time you got a job?”
I wasn’t just broke. I actually felt broken inside. There were days when I would sit there and cry at my desperate attempts to get myself back together. Where did the girl who graduated top of her class and whom her classmates expected to be ultra-successful by 30 go? Where was the girl who just knew what to do and how to do things just because she knew these things go? Where was she, the smartass, the know-it-all, the bitch who seemed to have it all?
Apparently, she was gone. And she really didn’t have it all. She had not much, in fact. To the eyes of the world, she was making it. But inside her dark, lonely self, she felt small and insignificant and unsure about what she was meant to do with her life.
Did I regret quitting my six-figure freelancing career?
Not one bit. Even those times when I cursed the heavens about not showing up for those who have the courage to risk it all (ahem, me!) when they’re supposed to show up, I didn’t even think about trying to go back to my old ways. And not even on those times I cried myself to sleep ashamed at the fact that my boyfriend was now giving me money when it had always been the other way around. Nope, not one bit.
And I still don’t, even to this day. You know why?
Because those long, uncomfortable three years actually did give me the time and space to figure myself out. It wasn’t the journaling or meditating or staring out into space that allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It was the actual doing of things. It was the trial-and-error method to find out if something was right for me.
Right after college, I became a freelance writer. It was a fun thing to do, which is why it took me so long to realize that it wasn’t what I wanted to do forever. So I quit, and I began building affiliate websites, lured by the promise of financial freedom and living the laptop lifestyle. That didn’t take long for me to know that making money off someone else’s products and services wasn’t the right path for me. And then I thought of content marketing for life coaches and spiritual entrepreneurs. It took only a few weeks before I realized that the entrepreneurs I wanted to work with didn’t need content marketing services anyway. They do it themselves.
All of those side trips and detours finally led me down to something I had always known before but never fully acknowledged. I didn’t want to work for anybody. I didn’t want to promote other people’s products or services. I didn’t want to play second-fiddle to entrepreneurs as they went after their own goals. Nothing wrong with any of that, except all of that just wasn’t me.
What I want is to play it big. Not just in terms of making money—but, of course, making big money is part of it—but also and more importantly in terms of how I’m showing up in the world. What I want is for people to really see who I am, all of me, including the parts that shrunk to make way for other people’s expectations—those parts are flyin’ out the window, by the way—and the parts that know she was always meant to play big.
And you know why I’m sharing this with you?
Because you were meant to play big too. You were never meant for a life lived on the sidelines. All this sitting in the corner watching people as they soared fast and high? This wasn’t what you were born for. You were never meant for a mediocre life or for a life molded and sculpted to fit into other people’s expectations. You were meant to be you, and what you are is something so big and powerful that your human mind can’t even begin to fathom what it is.
The only reason you’re feeling small is so you can stop feeling small.
The only reason you’re feeling insignificant is so you can transcend your seeming insignificance and step into your power that’s a sight to behold.
And, yes, of course, making the decision to go big is going to be scary as fuck. You’re going to feel like shrinking further and further in the face of fear, but there’s really no way around it but to show up, nod your head at that fear like it’s just another stranger you pass on the street, and go big anyway. And every time that fear shows up, you can either choose to fall back to your old ways, or you can press further on, despite the lack of physical evidence that supports your crazy decision to press on.
And that’s good because you don’t need physical evidence. You don’t need proof of any kind that you’re doing the right thing. The proof lies within. Look deep. Go past your surface-level fears and ask yourself. Does it feel like my inner self is expanding, growing, and opening up? Or do I feel like she’s contracting, closing, slouching her shoulders and making disappointed sighs? You know which path is right for you. You always do.
Get in touch with your inner self. She knows what to do. She always does. On those days when you feel like you have no idea what direction to take, sit down, close your eyes, and look inside. The answer is there. You just have to make space for it. And make space for it every day for the rest of your life because that’s your inner compass right there.
And the best part about it? It never goes wrong. Your logical, rational mind can go wrong. It can fall into illogical, irrational ways when you’re deep in fear. But your inner self isn’t contaminated by fear. Your inner self is your own personal connection to wisdom, to consciousness, to God itself.
And that, by the way, is the single most important reason why you can’t play small. It’s literally unnatural of you to play small. In the grand scheme of things, it’s actually impossible for you to keep playing small. Somewhere along the way, whether in this lifetime or the next, you will feel the urge to go big—in whatever sense the word means to you.
At first, it’s gonna feel like a tiny nudge. But the more you ignore that nudge, the more life will come at you with a push and a shove and a huge blow in the face just to make sure you don’t ignore it this time. It’s not just a wish. It’s a compulsion coming from your soul—one that there’s no way you can ignore. And I know why you’re here. Because you’ve felt that compulsion coming a long time ago.