But I finally listened to my gut and got out of it in time.
The first time I ever listened to my gut was when it screamed at me to quit my corporate job. It knew very well that it was time to live a more purposeful life.
And that turned out to be a pretty wise decision, thank you gut.
That’s why I knew I had to listen to it again a few weeks ago when I was presented with an unforeseen opportunity: an offer for a high-paying job at a Fortune 100 company.
My pleasing personality got me to that point, and for the first time in my life, I did the real uncomfortable thing and said “no” even if it meant disappointing some people.
It was either I did that, or succumb to misery again.
See, right after I made a promise to myself to go full-time with Honestrox this year, I got a call from a close friend of mine to talk about a job opportunity.
I took the call on a beautiful starry night in the middle of France, back in September. As I sat there watching the night sky, listening to her say that she recommended me to her manager for an open role on her team, I overrode all the thoughts that told me not to pursue it.
Thoughts such as:
- I just want to focus on what I want for the first time ever
- Going back to an office job I’m not passionate about sounds miserable
- I made a promise to try and make something out of Honestrox
- I don’t want to take a job just because of money again
But I also didn’t want to let her down (I also told myself that the universe was sending me a sign that I wasn’t ready to go out on my own).
Plus, she was RECOMMENDING ME.
She had talked to her manager and apparently I was already making the top of the list. How could I say no to that?
The introvert in me that’s been seeking validation and social status since the beginning of time envisioned how amazing it would be to get the job offer.
Forget the fact that I ran away from corporate only a year ago, and knew in the depth of my heart that I never wanted to go back.
What did I do? I told her I was going to apply for the job. Duh! Pleasing Personality over here! I knew I didn’t have a chance to get it, so what was the harm in applying?
Pff, little ol’ me? Who am I to get such an offer, especially after being in school for a year? I found comfort in telling myself these things.
Fast forward to the beginning of December when I made it through the first interview.
At this point in time, I was all in – I couldn’t back out now.
It would be rude! Unprofessional!
What did it matter that I was forcing myself through this process? It didn’t matter because I told my friend I would.
This pleasing personality of mine has definitely gotten me into trouble before, but never as much as it did now.
All I wanted was to work on my website, not go back to a 9-5 job. I didn’t want to be tied down to an office, go back to all-day meetings that drained me, or let go of my creativity.
But there I was facing an entire panel for a second interview. I had to give a 10-minute presentation on how I would lead the project the role was in charge of, on top of answering four behavioral questions. I was grilled. It wasn’t pretty.
I told myself I didn’t get it. Except for a voice in my head that said that I would. Because even though I didn’t want it, I gave it my all as if my life depended on this job. I believe in showing up no matter what. At your most excellent self.
The next day I got the offer for the job.
My gut never screamed more than it did at that moment.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
WHAT HAPPENED TO FOLLOWING YOUR DREAM?
WOULD 80-YEAR-OLD YOU BE PROUD OF YOUR DECISION?
These are the thoughts that went through my head, see if you can identify with them.
1. If I don’t take this job, I’ll never get another opportunity like this.
2. I was recommended, how often does THAT happen?
3. Who am I to decline such a role, people would die for such an opportunity.
4. I am SO ungrateful if I don’t take this job, as if I’m too good for it.
5. What if Honestrox doesn’t work, I would have missed out on all that income.
6. There’s a pandemic going on for F-sakes! WHO ARE YOU TO SAY NO TO THIS JOB? YOU WANT TO END UP LIVING IN THE CAR?
You get the idea.
I was about to make a decision based on my FEARS instead of on my HOPES.
How many times have you done that? Played small because you didn’t believe in yourself? In your dreams?
How many times did you accept a situation because you were scared of the alternative?
How many times did you stand still, unhappy, because you were too scared to fly and be happy?
I didn’t want that to be my story. I didn’t want to go back into my comfort zone. And being an employee is my comfort zone. I know how to do that well.
What I don’t know how to do is believe in myself.
Or how to be fearless.
I declined the job offer so that I can force myself to believe in my ability to make it on my own.
No plan B.
Because at the end of the day, I have to live with myself and with my decisions. No one else does. And if I don’t believe in my dream, then there’s no one to fight for it.
I’m going to fight for it, and the first step is fighting through my pleasing personality.
Are you fighting for your dream? 2021 is right around the corner, it’s about time you do.