Break Free: 3 Steps to Leaving the 8-5 Life

During last month’s 31-day writing challenge, I wrote a post about taking steps toward leaving my 8-5 job. It had not occurred to me that I even was taking steps until I sat down to write for that day’s prompt. As I was writing it, though, I knew there was more to “unpack” than the five-minute timer was going to allow so I decided to write this post to start that unpacking.

Essentially, I want out of my 8-5 job. Not because I hate the job or where I work but because I hate the 8-5, work-for-someone-else, life. I’d rather work for myself however many hours I want or need to whenever I want or need to work them. And I’ve been wanting out for quite some time. So, I am now taking intentional steps towards making that a possibility and breaking free from the 8-5 life. Those steps are outlined below. My hope is that they’re helpful not only to me but to you, as well.

Step 1: Financial Freedom

Let’s be honest. Finances can rain poop all over your parade.

Perhaps you’re like me. You’ve got these dreams and ideas of things you’d rather be doing more than whatever it is you’re doing now. You might even have confidence that those dreams and ideas are actually going to make you some money (I’m still workin’ on that one, myself). You’re ready to cut the cord, break free, jump in and see what happens.

There’s just one problem.

You can’t afford it. The financial situation that you find yourself in leaves you wanting; …desperately wanting the math to be different, that is. Because if the math doesn’t work out, ain’t nobody leavin’ nothin.’

I hear ya. So, the hubs and I are working towards getting our finances in a place where I can leave. Those steps are:

  • becoming debt-free
  • building a fully funded emergency fund
  • getting a month-ahead
  • bonus: saving 3-6 months of income to live on once I break free

Having these financial pieces in place will allow me to break free without fear, guilt or stress.

3 Steps to Breaking Free - GraphicStep 2: Self-Discovery

I’ve been on a self-discovery journey since the day I was born. I suppose we all have, really. We are all constantly learning more about ourselves as we navigate our lives. In recent years, however, I’ve found myself being a little more intentional with the journey; especially this past year.

It’s great to break free from the 8-5 life but I still want to be doing something. I’m not one to sit around all day, watching cop dramas, drinking wine and snuggling with my dogs.

Ok, wait.

That’s not entirely true. I actually am one to do that, just not for very many days in a row. I get bored. Restless. Tired (funny because how in the hell does doing nothing make you tired?). And then I feel useless.

So, lately, my self-discovery journey has been focused a little more on what I’d spend my days doing instead of working in an office for eight+ hours every day. And I’ve been asking myself questions like:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I enjoy?
  • How could I turn it into a business?
  • Why do I want to even try?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers to those questions yet, though I have some ideas. But, I think that’s okay. As I continue to work towards financial freedom, I’ll be processing through these questions and have faith that, eventually, more concrete ideas will surface.

Step 3: Prayer

The legalistic remnants of my Christian upbringing wants to put this as the first step. I mean, it’s prayer. Shouldn’t’ that always be the first step in anything, for everything, always and forever, no questions asked?

Maybe.

But, I don’t want to get caught up in shoulds. Prayer being the first step in all we do in life is certainly not going to hurt anything but, whether it’s first or third or last…so long as it exists…I think that’s what matters most.

Inviting the Lord into all that we do is vital to living the full, abundant life, that He promises us. But, the Lord is a gentleman. He’s not going to butt in. Instead, He waits for an invitation from us to join in. He’s excited and interested to hear about our dreams and desires and He wants to breathe life into those that align with His plans for our lives. Prayerfully seeking His guidance invites Him into the planning process where He can guide our steps and lead us into that abundant life. It can also provide clarity when the path doesn’t seem so clear.

For me, I’ve proven that I have little-to-no-clue which direction(s) I should head once I break free. I am convinced that this is part of, if not the whole of, the reason I’ve been stuck for so long. I’m paralyzed by choices and have not been seeking the Lord’s guidance for direction. At least…I’ve not been seeking Him continually. As a result, I’ve not moved forward. So, I am committing to intentionally seeking the Lord and inviting Him into this messy process of discovering who I am, what I want to do and how I need to do it.

Closing thoughts

That about sums it all up. I don’t know that these three steps are absolutely going to take me to where I want to go. I won’t really know until I’ve tried them. But I do know that 1. they feel right and 2. I can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing and expect to get different results than what I’ve been getting.

That’s insanity. And I’m not down with that.

Are you?

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