Why I’m So Damn Afraid To Follow My Passion

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Notice: This post will be highly philosophical. Hopefully I can inspire someone.

Do you make a difference to the world?

Why do most people spend decades in careers they don’t like?

You have to wake up to an alarm clock every day and meet up in your cubicle between 9 – 5, or you’ll risk losing your job. You have to perform meaningless tasks every single day. I mean, would you make that report for the boss if you didn’t get paid for it?

Let me ask you something. How much difference do you feel like you contribute to the world every day?

I’ll answer for myself. I feel like I don’t do the slightest difference to the world. If I quit today, anyone could’ve replaced me within a month. So, I work as a project manager and try to operate my projects smoothly. The things we build will improve someones life, but I can’t see it. I can’t feel it. I want my work to get remembered.

My biggest passion in life

I want the word to be my greatest power. Words is not a new invention. They’ve existed for a long time. But what I find meaningful is to create new meanings and overtones to totally normal words. Put together words and combine them so you get a feeling of harmony when you read those words. The order of the words is not a coincidence.

I myself, as I’m writing, don’t know where this blog post will end. Actually I don’t even know the conclusion of this post yet. I sit down with a theme in mind that I want to write about, and I just type in something. If both I and the readers knew the conclusion to the post from the very start, it would be a boring post.

I write to find out.

First one word, then two, a sentence, a paragraph. And the most important thing is to show up every day. I learned this technique from my favorite author, Haruki Murakami. And it’s never too late. Murakami started to write seriously when he was 31 years old. He discovered his passion in the middle of a baseball match.

The satisfying crack when the bat met the ball resounded throughout Jingu Stadium that day in 1978. Scattered applause rose around me. In that instant, for no reason and on no grounds whatsoever, the thought suddenly struck me: I think I can write a novel.

And then he started. He worked on the novel every day until it was finished. He enjoyed this kind of work so much that after he finished he just had to write one more novel. Today he is a world famous author. But remember that he started with a single word. If he can do it, both you and I can.

I am not an experienced writer. Actually I didn’t start to write before I comitted to share this blog online. For a long time I was really afraid that others might not like what I had to share. And I still am. But I share it anyway.

It’s getting clearer and clearer for me for everyday, that my destiny is to become a writer. And the reason I pursue FI, is so I can write full time. Wow, now I’ve shared it online as well.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m really seeing things so differently than everyone else. Most of my friends doesn’t want to quit their jobs.

I started to listen to THE INFJ Personality Show, and the podcast confirmed my view. That INFJ’s often feel insecure no matter how good they are at their jobs. I really started to learn who I am thanks to this podcast (and yes, I’m an INFJ-introvert).

For INFJ’s, writing is basically the only way we have of truly explaining ourselves.  My highly sensitive nervous system is flooded with stress chemicals in conversation with people I don’t trust, and the brain is overwhelmed by too much information. And the people introverts trusts is not so many…

Why I’m so damn afraid to follow my passion

Think about it, both you and me have somewhere else we’d rather be in life. So why do we stay where we are? Why do we continue to work 9 – 5 for 50 weeks a year when we don’t love it?

I will tell you something (and this is to myself as well).

Your’e actually free to leave. You can give that two weeks notice whenever you like.

But we stay. After some decompression in the weekend, we show up on Monday.

We stay because we’re too afraid to see what’s out there. The 9 – 5 is so safe, so that we can live our lives on autopilot.

We owe ourselves something better. All these other things we want to do – we owe it to ourselves to at least try.

Maybe you biggest dream is to explore some of your business ideas. Just do it. Take a year off from work to pursue your dreams. Will you fail? Probably, but at least you tried. And I’m sure you had fun all along while trying.

And isn’t failing a part of life? You will never know if you will have success unless you try. As long as you tried your best there is nothing you can fail.

What is the worst thing that can happen?

For me I think that the worst case scenario is that I have to return to prison (work). But I’m already working, so actually my worst case scenario is a scenario without any downsides.

Of course, I will lose up on my savings goal for the index funds. But with a year off from work I can explore my dreams, and even make some small bucks out of it too. And if I don’t, there is no shame in returning back to my job.

Do you remember as a kid when you were told in school to try your best?

That still applies as an adult: Try your best. Staying in the job you don’t like because you’re scared, that’s not trying your best. Is it?

Starting that business idea you’ve dreamt about, that’s much closer to trying your best than sitting in your cubicle thinking about it.

Think about how many billions of dollars that are out there. You don’t need billions. With 1 million invested I would say you’re set for life.

But I don’t think you need that much to live your dream life either. My investing target is 600k $ invested in index funds. If I use the 4 % Safe Withdrawal Rate, this means that I can withdraw 2000 $ per month for the rest of my life.

But what if you instead made 500 $ for some random jobs you did every month? Then you would only need a portfolio of 450 k $.You could start a business that you loved working on, even if you earn way less than your current day job. Then you don’t have to invest so heavily anymore, because you’re already living your dream life.

Visualize your success, not your failures

Then people worry about jobs. All the time. What if I can’t get another job? Do you know many jobs that are out there? I’ll tell you exactly how many. A lot. You don’t need a lot. You just need one.

In a world of abundance, quitting your job isn’t scary. It’s only scary because you focus on the negative. You focus on the scarcity. What if you focused on the positive? Instead of visualising yourself building a bad blog, envision yourself building a good one. The blog might even turn into a profit.

There’s a lot of bloggers that manages to earn a lot from their blog. For example, when you reach 25.000 sessions daily, you can sign up on Mediavine for ads. They will pay you for placing ads on your side because you got a popular blog.

That’s win-win for both parts. You could also write an e-book that potentially could sell really good! There is a lot of upsides by trying to pursue your dreams, and if you think about it there is actually very few downsides.

Suddenly your profit gets bigger, and maybe you need to hire employees. Then you hire someone to manage your blog for a month while you go on holiday. While you’re on a holiday you get a new business idea. Maybe you want to open a web shop for a special kind of lamps they sell cheap in Asia, and you know there is no one selling those at home.

You expand. Build. Explore. New ideas arise and you feel inspired everyday because you devote your best energy everyday to those projects. Not those grumpy “after-9-5-hours” where you only have energy left to watch Netflix.

Why can’t you envision that? Why is that impossible? In a world of abundance, quitting your job is not scary. Not giving yourself the chance to get let yourself try out your business ideas? That’s scary.

Sitting at your senior home at 80 thinking, man, what if I had just tried to follow my dreams when I was young? That’s terrifying. We’re all going to die anyway, why not take a chance?

Don’t be afraid of sucess

Maybe your business idea do miserably and you go begging for your job back. I agree, that doesn’t sound like fun. But is that really what you’re afraid of? You’re staying in your cubicle because you’re afraid you might fail and end up in a cubicle?

But that’s where you already are!

Maybe what you’re afraid of is the success. Maybe you’re scared of being more successful than you ever imagined.

People often say they’re afraid of failure. That’s why they stay in the cubicle. But what they’re really afraid of is the success. That’s why they stay in the cubicle.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

Marianne Deborah Williamson

There is nothing to fear out here. At least, nothing scarier than the things you already face every day. Stop being afraid.
My fear goes like this:

-If I quit I will “lose” potentially 76 k $ every year + salary raises. I also fall behind at the “Compounding Effect” for my 140.000 $ that is invested in my index funds. In addition to that I have to withdraw aprox. 2k $ from my index funds every month in order to quit my corporate job. The problem is that my monthly FI-money is aprox. 500 $, and if I liquidate 2000 $ every month, I will deplet my account totally in 5-10 years!

Did you see what I just did? I visualized the worst case scenario. I assumed that if I quit my job, I wasn’t going to earn a dime ever again! That’s wrong!

I’m not going to chill around. I want to try to build this blog, and I have some business ideas that I want to try out as well. I think that I might manage to earn 500 – 1000 $ from some kind of work if I really wanted to in the start period. Because I got 50 hours (40 for my job + 10 commuting) extra per week that I can spend on work I find meaningful if I escape.

50 hours! Wow, how much time do I actually spend on this blog for instance in a normal week? 10? It’s not weird I don’t have a lot of followers. Because they expect quality content. And without time it’s impossible to make quality material.

Everything you’ve ever wanted is out here. In abundance. You want a million dollars? It’s here. Just floating around. Come and get it. If you stay in your corporate job you can only get it by saving lots over several decades. But if you start something for yourself there is an unlimited upside. You can earn so much more. And at the same time you can do work that you love.

You see, when you think of the bad things, that creates fear. That’s why you’re afraid. Instead, think of the good things that could happen. Imagine yourself succeeding. Imagine yourself happy. That creates excitement, energy and motivation.

And that’s how you should always be thinking, because if you pursue something real, nothing bad is going to happen. Life is not going to get worse. It only gets better.

It’s safe to stay in your job. It’s easy. You can’t fail there. Rather can you succeed there. Not ultimate success at least. Life goes by and everything stays the same. You complain a lot, but that’s life you say to yourself.

But one day, and I can guarantee you this day will come that you have regrets about playing it safe. For some this time will come in their 20’s, others in their 30/40’s and even some in their 50/60’s.

You will wonder why you didn’t reach for the sky. You will wonder why you didn’t write your story when you had the chance.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Feel free to contact me at: post@route2FI.com or comment something below.

Until next time!

Missed last post in the series?

Want free posts directly to your inbox?

Previous Post
Next Post

Related Post

4 Replies to “Why I’m So Damn Afraid To Follow My Passion”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. You have explored some big ideas and you are clearly recognising your negative thought processes.

    1. route2fi says: Reply

      Thank you so much! I’m really glad you liked it 🤗

  2. Hi there,
    So did you already prepare your letter to your employer?
    You can be glad that you know your passion (I don’t).

    1. route2fi says: Reply

      No, because we are expecting a child later this year/start of next year. And if I work fulltime, I will get 20 weeks paid vacation to take care of the child. So I delay some more 😊
      You should keep searching for it! Do you have some clue at all about what your passion could be?

Leave a Reply