I Stopped Chasing My Dreams the Way Everyone Expected Me To
If I told you I was working from home, as my own boss, you’d probably think it was great. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Over and over I read about people who are desperate to leave their nine to five jobs and chase their own dreams.
I enjoyed it for a long time, actually. I had a goal, and I worked toward it. I had a productive writing routine and lots of time to learn and hone my skills, all on my own schedule. I wouldn’t change anything about the last five years.
So why did I end up hating it?
The Problem With Pursuing Your Goals Without Caution
I took the route most people think they need to take: I made my dream my everything. Most people do, and it works for them. It didn’t work for me.
Before I knew it, I wasn’t a person who likes to write. I was a writer. Nothing more, nothing less. I became so focused on my work and making money that I accidentally ended up tying my entire identity to my goals. What does that mean exactly?
Before, it didn’t matter whether I completed a story or not. There were good days and bad days, and that was okay. After, it went like this:
Writing is good.
Not writing is bad.
Working means you have worth.
Not working means you’re worthless.
I remember the days I used to get up at seven, excited to write. The days when I walked through grocery stores impatiently because I wanted to get home to type a new idea.
Working used to fuel my passion for life. Now, productivity was fuel for my self-esteem. It was like a drug: I needed to take it to feel good and happy, otherwise, my mind was dark and my chest was heavy.
Working no longer felt good, so I avoided it. But not working didn’t feel good either, and that left me with crippling insecurities. Almost every night I found myself questioning my life and self-worth.
“I don’t know what to do,” I’d tell my partner, my sisters, anyone who’d listen. I felt like I was drowning, and no matter where I looked, there wasn’t a…