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Detoxing from achievement

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's experience of "detoxing from achievement" during a sabbatical from their corporate job. It explores the author's addiction to achievement, the challenges they faced in adjusting to life without the constant validation of a prestigious job, and their journey towards reprioritizing their goals and finding joy in their creative pursuits.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Detoxing from Achievement

1. What were the author's realizations after finishing the first draft of their novel?

  • The author was disappointed that the novel was only 57K words, as they believed novels should be 70-80K words. They struggled with the idea of their novel potentially being a "novella" instead of a full novel.
  • The author was overwhelmed by the prospect of the extensive revisions required to turn the draft into a publishable novel. They had doubts about whether the novel would ever be good enough to get published.
  • The author experienced a "dangerous thought" about potentially having made a mistake in quitting their corporate job, as they missed the sense of safety, identity, and validation that came with their previous job.

2. How did the author's self-worth and self-esteem issues become magnified after leaving their corporate job?

  • The author felt like a failure as a writer, coach, and screenwriter, with rejections from fellowships and literary magazines, stalled business and Substack growth, and avoidance of networking events.
  • The author was tempted by LinkedIn ads for product management roles, lured by the promise of a steady paycheck and defined career ladder.

3. What was the author's realization about the expectations they had been carrying?

  • The author realized that their entire life had been driven by expectations of being a "good Indian daughter" - being physically fit, emotionally in control, achieving the highest level in their career, leaving a tangible legacy, starting a family, and emotionally supporting friends and family.
  • The author thought that quitting their corporate job would be enough to remove the weight of these expectations, but they found that the expectations were still deeply ingrained in their subconscious.

[02] Reprioritizing 2024 Goals

1. What were the author's updated goals for 2024?

  • Setting up their newly married life for success
  • Finding some source of financial stability
  • Healing from overachievement
  • Finding joy, progress, and discovery in writing again
  • Developing expertise in one writing form (currently screenwriting)

2. What did the author cut from their life to focus on these goals?

  • Took a break from fiction writing and fellowship applications, focusing on screenwriting and essays instead
  • Quit language classes, even though they wanted to improve their Spanish
  • Stopped requiring a morning walk as part of a "perfect" routine
  • Stopped training for running events
  • Cut out regular calendar events for "inner work," "networking," "reflecting on the sabbatical process," and "friend catch-ups," allowing these to happen organically

3. How did the author's approach to goal-setting and self-improvement change?

  • The author realized that they were trying to achieve some "perfect" ideal state, rather than working with where they were at.
  • They are now focusing on creating conditions for listening and allowing the answers to come to them, rather than constantly pushing themselves to figure everything out.
  • The author feels more comfortable with not knowing the answers for now and is focusing on self-unfolding rather than self-improvement.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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