By the time I’m 28, I’ll have met my prince charming, we’ll be married with bambino, living in a house (you know, the kind a modest salary can buy in NYC), I’ll love my job, have great friends and life will be a peach.
Said the 22 year-old me a long daydream ago.
Flash forward to 11 years later: I’m 33, unmarried, living with mom and dad, starting a business…
And loving my life.
But if you’re like me and spend your entire life planning, you get how a plan not realized could open the flood gates to disappointment … or as one of my mentors, Christine Hassler, puts it: expectation hangover.
Thanks, but I’ll take my hangover the old-fashioned way.
Until recently, I thought I could plan my way through life but the reality is – I am but a co-creator.
At 29, after surviving the city dating scene, I met my prince, had a cozy studio apartment to call home, was traveling the world and making 6-figures.
Life was good, until it wasn’t.
The career was growing more stressful, less enjoyable and I was slowly starting to lose control (of what felt like, everything).
Weekends grew isolated; and my upbeat optimism was replaced with contrite doom and gloom.
After a couple years spinning on the misery wheel; hating my commute, my work and the byproducts of unhealthy habits and woman’s search for meaning that ensued …
I decided to pull the carpet and set sail on something new.
What I didn’t know upon this initial impulse was just what that would mean for my ‘comfortable’, comfort-zoney life.
It would mean uprooting from my blissful 400 sq. ft abode that welcomed me so warmly after each long day, leaving a job that had shaped my identity over the past decade (and the friendships that formed), shifting into a long-distance relationship and going without the stability of a paycheck and health insurance.
Did I really want to do this? Who am I to do this? I don’t even know how to run a business let alone start one.
These were a few of the many questions that filled my mind in the months to come.
Until suddenly, I started getting those ‘signs’ from the universe – the woo-woo kind you may have heard about? Those.
Certain people coming in to your life, songs and messages planting themselves right in front of you, glaring reinforcements that you’ve GOT to leave the job.
What I did next shocked even me …
I received all of the signs with curiosity and compassion, tuned in to my own woman-hear-me-roar intuition, set a plan in motion, packed up and left it all behind.
Side note: a firecracker success coach helped me build the confidence to take the big leap … I’m driven, but not that driven.
So off I went, floating into the unknown abyss of life-after-corporate.
There were mornings where I would dance around the coffee maker in my underwear; others where I couldn’t get out of bed. And not once, in the rollercoaster of emotions, did I ever regret my decision.
Needless to say, the future has never looked so bright.
I’m doing work that is a force for good in the world, I feel healthier than ever before (literally: my blood pressure is lower and resting heart rate is down 8 points … woo saa), my relationship is rock solid and I’m setting myself up financially for something a corporate job could never have given me in the long term.
Truth be told, being your own boss is no walk in the park, but I’d take my current plan over the day dreamy one – any day of the week.
And … those plans and expectations us humans tend to ALWAYS have? (No judgment – it’s our perfectly human nature)…
Well, I’ve learned to curb the need to control the stuff I simply can’t control. Life has its own magical way of unfolding and meeting you right where you’re meant to be.
Surrender to this and you can co-create the life of your dreams too – it just may look a little different than you may have once imagined.
Some may call it woo-woo.
I call it meant to be.
Thinking about taking the entrepreneurial leap? Here are my best tips:
-Read the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
-Watch the YouTube video ‘Jump’ by Steve Harvey.
-Find a Life or Success Coach to help you create an actionable, tactical plan and support your journey.
-Save as much money as you can (enough to survive for at least 12 months); I had enough for 6 months and regretted not having more.
-Have a core support system of family and friends who are your biggest fans (you’ll need them) and be prepared to lose others who won’t get it.
-Know that beautiful and tough days are ahead and patience, consistency and perseverance will set you a part from those who give up. The only way to fail is by giving up. Keep going.
-Finally, have fun and engrain the following poem in your conscious:
“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety. If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it.” – Rumi, 13th Century
Stephanie Hess is a Women’s Wellness Educator and Detox Coach for busy-and-craving-balance career girls.