Month 3: The End of this Sabbatical?

Month 3: The End of this Sabbatical?

Trips to Anaheim, then Las Vegas, and New York after two days at home; it all sounds pretty amazing and makes for a happy life story on Twitter, right? Here’s the real-life part, at this juncture, the only way that I could have the freedom to attend these events is by giving up $11k/month in income for about $2k/month of variable and unguaranteed income. Also, that “Change Yo Life” personal savings account that I started two years earlier is pretty close to empty. However, I believed enough in the necessity of this sabbatical and reflection time that I was willing to throw up my hands and say, “F*ck the money.”

Savings account balance aside; I’m beyond grateful to be in this place where I’ve had time to think, grow, and live life on my terms. After I returned from two weeks of near-constant travel at the end of October, I found myself with a big block of free time that I could spend how I wanted.  Personal development and paid writing it was.

Mindset, Limiting Beliefs, and Other Goodness

One of the more influential books that I began reading this month was Marie Forleo’s “Everything is Figureouttable.” This book prompts me to think about mindset, beliefs, what I deem impossible, and what fulfilling my full potential or living my best life would look like. I’ve also started actively seeking out times when I overreact or feel emotional distress and digging a little deeper into these insecurities to uncover some of my limiting beliefs for better self-awareness and personal growth.  Here are some of the limiting beliefs that I’ve discovered so far.

  • #1. Want money? Then forget about personally rewarding work.
    I have this deep-seated belief dating back to childhood that I can only make money by doing work that fits into specific and narrow categories of work that pay wells that I don’t enjoy. If you heard me walking around #NetApp INSIGHT, telling people that I wanted to get paid for doing work that I would do for free is a pretty big personal win.
  • #2. Shhh. No one wants to see or hear you.
    Okay, this one is a doozy for me and probably the source of lots of time spent in self-flagellation and internal turmoil. When I got irrationally angry at a fellow Toastmaster’s that canceled my scheduled speech, if I dig deep enough, I see it trace back to feeling worthy of being seen or heard.
  • #3. My failures are because I’m are not enough.
    Narratives around my perceived failures, like being a shitty podcast guest get the shame add-on. For instance, I failed at this because I’m not well-spoken enough. The explanation is never something actionable like I wasn’t prepared, but more of a deficiency within me. My life coach prompted me to say out loud. “I’m not a good judge when it comes to me.”

Sharing these limiting beliefs feels heavy, but the upside of recognizing them is freeing. When I begin to descend into one negative inner voice narrated spirals, I can sometimes pause it by asking, “Is it true?” Odds are if it touches on any of the above limiting beliefs, it’s bullshit.

What’s Next?

Judging by my savings account, it’s safe to say that I’ve reached the end of this sabbatical.  I haven’t ruled out returning to a more traditional job if it aligned with my values and provided opportunities to focus on areas that I love most, like writing and community. However, I’m not abandoning this quest to create my best life.

The odds are that I’ll continue on this solopreneur path, though.  These past few months, it’s become clear that freelance writing alone isn’t going to cut it. Stay tuned for the next few months as I explore how to create different income streams that allow me to stay on this path. Training? Substitute Teaching? Monetizing my blog? Short-term consulting? I’m willing to give it all a try. Really, though, I’m hoping to turn some of these explorations into blog posts that might help others contemplating or embarking on their own journey.

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If that wasn’t enough awesome-ness, I’ll also re-share some of my fave blog posts that chronicle life lessons and adventures on this “best life” quest.

 

Becky Elliott

After dropping out of a liberal arts college that focused on reading and discussing the “Great Books”, Becky Elliott found her way to a career in IT. For 20+ years, she has held a number of roles in Dev and Ops, and the area in between the two. In working for organizations in which poor security practices can cost lives, she’s an ardent believer in integrating security through the entire design process. Becky holds a number of industry certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
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