It’s been exactly 30 days since I knew it was my last day at work. Pondering over the decision, I remembered having such a hard time making it. First, I was nervous I would let my family, friends, and mentors down. I was so focused on what others thought that I had forgotten to put my own self first. (Does this sound like you too? Putting others first?) Secondly, I was also very scared because I didn’t know what was next. I remember everyone congratulating me when they first found out I left my job but I couldn’t quite figure out why. (I may have been the first unemployed black man being congratulated for leaving a job. No, but really.) Since leaving, the days have been filled with so much time. It’s always hard making a transition from working long hours to not doing anything. These 30 days have also taught me a lot about myself and how my decisions over the years led me to my breakpoint. Most importantly, I can say I feel at peace with myself 30 days later.
[Find out what I did 29 days prior to today: Leap of Faith -Click Here-]
Why it’s important to be able to make your own decisions
For some, it’s always been easier to listen to experience than to make your own decision. For the longest, I thought this was the path to having a successful life and career. What do I mean? Think about it. Mentors, advisors, or people older than you give you advice because they’ve done it before, right? They provide you with possibilities. Where they made mistakes, they’ll tell you. And where they made progress, they’ll inform you. Ideally, this sets you up for the best possible outcome to be successful.
I hope my point does not go missed. I am not saying experience isn’t the best teacher. I’m just saying sometimes experience isn’t the only answer. Our voice and gut can sometimes go missing. Think about this: Have you ever had all the facts on the table and it all pointed in the most clear cut answer (at least that’s what others experience leads you to believe sometimes). But deep down your gut is telling you to do the complete opposite. Your voice gets lost and you end up going with a decision which on the surface looks great but it’s just not the right decision for you.
For the longest, this is how I felt. The decisions that led me to my break point weren’t bad decisions; those decisions just were not the best option for me personally. What made it even more frustrating is that I’ve known this for the last few years. In the moment, it’s hard to argue against a well thought out and experience advice about your life from people you care about and that care about you.
Just because you receive experienced advice doesn’t mean you have to throw out your ideas, dreams, and visions you have for yourself. In fact, I think it’s more important to listen to your own voice and gut despite what the facts say. Trust me, it’s easier to live with a decision you’ve made for yourself than living a life full of decisions that others give you.