Unlearning and freedom: what helped me pave the way to finding my purpose

Piracanga - greta-ma.com

Uncoupling my internal clock from the Mon to Fri 9-5, and my self worth from my job title were crucial parts of my (ongoing) journey of honing in on my essence and how that relates to my work.

When I gave up my corporate marketing job close to 10 years ago (I like to call this my retirement but more on that later), I was full of enthusiasm for what was coming next: travel and freedom, learning about what a more meaningful life might look like for me. My first long travel stint was 8 months long and involved beautiful countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and more. Not bad, right?

I would however get this daily feeling of unease at around 9am in the morning. Surely I should be at a desk right now? I would sometimes be in the most beautiful place in the world and still have a stomach tied in knots because I felt like I should be somewhere else. Like I should be doing something more useful.

Add to this lots of feelings of lack of worth attached to my absence of job title. A few months previously: “Marketing manager for an international brand of luxury hotels”, sounds good right? Then: “Mmm I’m traveling and figuring out what’s next”. I found not having a job title to hide behind tough.

It honestly took me years of training to uncouple my sense of worth and belonging from having a job and a fancy title that goes with it. And years to really escape the 9 to 5 in terms of being able to decide on my own hours and be present with whatever I choose to do. Sometimes I still find myself tied to a desk for longer than I need to be.

So what’s my point here? Our conditioning with working hours starts at school and continues for years. Same with the idea of job titles and self worth. Freedom from those comes with time and repetition. It’s just how our brains work. And it’s deliciously worth it 🙂

What is your relationship with your working hours and job title?