Side hustle. Grind. Plan B. Whatever it takes.
Until a few very short weeks ago, this was my life, my safety and how I created stability in my world. In fact, I’ve written blog posts and articles about how back-up plans are instrumental in building solid foundations. While I’m still a fan of this modus operandi; always having a way out, can come at a cost. Dreams, true understanding and your divine plan may never fully materialize. It is important to be mindful of how and why we side hustle. I’d like to share with you how I’ve learned to recognize, use and master this particular coping skill.
“Whatever it takes,” shows resiliency and a willingness to get down to business to effect change. I highly recommend it in certain situations; paying off debt, while in school, establishing a new way of being, and in the beginning stages of building a new business, for example. And, Plan B, as a safety net, can absolutely save your ass when the wheels are coming off your wagon. But we must become aware of, and then master, this as a skill; rather than allowing it to become an addiction itself.
For this blog, the two areas of life that I will talk about, are healing from the experience of addiction of any kind and birthing your particular brand of purpose and magic into the world. Much of the time, one leads to the other.
When a human decides to venture into a life of sobriety, in order for them to realize a life of connection, there can be no side hustle or plan B. Years and years of disconnection, emotional numbing, and destruction requires that there be a clear channel in which clarity can one day arrive. They must, step by baby step, drop the idea of struggle and victimhood. There must be a willingness to give up old habits, places, and people even though this will appear, “hard.” Fundamentally, this process, is gradual. The decision; the commitment, is not. There cannot be half measures. Dedication to plan A, leads the way. Then, the way itself, is beautiful and magical.
This, I know; people who endure lives of disconnection have a core of warrior strength. When the way, or plan A, chooses them, that warrior strength shows up in peace, hope, gratitude, value and self-worth. There are no questions, there is no looking back. The amour of disconnection can be laid to rest.
In its place, the shining sword of purpose shows up.
Some people know exactly what their purpose is. Ultra-talented musicians Freddie Mercury or Dave Grohl come to mind. It’s as if the reason for their existence, music and to make humanity happy, found them. Birds and trees know exactly their purpose; growing, singing, flying and beauty.
For the rest of us, purpose can be elusive. Trying to figure it out can cause an existential crisis; be the source of joy and/or pain, or it’s a drive that we just don’t understand. Once we and our purpose find each other, then what? Sometimes, we run away, sometimes we embrace and sometimes we question. Some of us excitedly jump in without a life jacket, plan or support system. Next thing we know, we are working 3 side hustles, or go back to a “real job” only to experience dis-satisfaction and a feeling of “something’s missing”.
Often, out of necessity, we “sort of” live our purpose. Those side hustles and plan B’s can become an excuse, obstacle, or are so woven into our old identity, that they get in the way of real purpose and meaning.
If you have a history with the experience of disconnection through addiction, eating disorders, or any sort of unstable childhood or life experiences, I absolutely do not recommend letting go of your safety net without a plan. It is essential that you establish consistency, stability and most of all, a strong belief in your ability mixed with giant amounts of thought and faith.
Here are some ideas for you to step boldly into your life of purpose without causing yourself to become so fearful that you end up running back to the familiar before the magic happens.
- Get support from others. This is essential as you move into liminal space. Whether this is a therapist or business coach (or both), friend network (preferably those who have traveled where you are going) or your family, you’re going to need a cheer squad.
- Gradually, let go of the side hustles, i.e., you don’t have to quit all of your other jobs at once. One by one, release places, people and habits you no longer need. This may feel like the best way to maintain your stability.
- Pick a number. I’m personally going to do this, and only this. However, if my savings goes below this number, it’s time to course correct. Don’t let yourself lose the stability you worked so hard to create.
- Pick a date. I’m going to give all my focus and attention to plan A; as a matter of fact, there is no plan B, until a certain date. Again, you may need to course correct.
- Every day when you wake, choose trust, faith and how you are going to show up. You are at choice.
- You are the way. Your purpose chose you. In my experience, remembering this, and by following the guidance of your chosen support system and inner wisdom, any course correction needed will come naturally, long before #3 & #4.
- Do your emotional and thought work in order to hold true to your center. You need emotional fluency and the ability to question your own belief system to step into your life’s purpose.
- It takes a minute for life to catch up to your commitment. Breathe into the spaciousness created by dropping those plan B’s. Stretch, move, release and restore.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (whom, most certainly, lived his purpose) expressed commitment so eloquently;
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, and then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would have never otherwise occurred.
A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man (or woman) could have dreamed would have come his (or her) way.”
The magic of living a full life requires both flexibility and planning. We need to dream big and sometimes, just go with the flow. It takes skill, awareness, courage and perhaps some gentle (or not so soft) nudges from inner and outer sources, to know when it is time to leap out of the gilded cage of Plan B. Only you can know when the time is right to fully commit to “the way” of your purpose. Only then can it fully materialize. By learning to listen and understand the messages found in your body, emotions and intuition, you will then know the right time to fly.
As always, comments, questions and feedback are encouraged and appreciated. I know what it’s like to experience the heavy amour of disconnection. My “way,” is guiding others from that disconnection to belonging; to you. I’m here to support you.