Leaving the 9-5 mindset behind

Leaving a 9–5 job and starting in business for yourself can be daunting. This is especially true if your mindset isn’t in the right place, or if leaving your 9-5 job behind wasn’t actually your idea.

Maybe it was, or even is a redundancy situation that you’re going through, a business closure that is happening to you, a personal health issue that is affecting your ability to continue with your job, or maybe it is something else.

Regardless of what it is and who it is that is behind the reason for you leaving the 9–5 world behind, doing so can be tough! I’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt so trust me when I say, I know exactly how you might be feeling right now.

Working in the typical 9–5 world can come with some great benefits; income stability, regular working hours, clear roles and responsibilities defined, and a good work/life balance, amongst other things. However, it can also come with some negative impacts on your life.

Maybe, your work/life balance isn’t so ‘balanced’ and you’re spending more and more time in the office, working late, skipping meals, or family time to work on ‘important projects’.

Maybe, that pay rise that you have been told for the last 3 years that you’ll be getting for all of the extra hard work that you have been putting in, just isn’t coming into fruition regardless of how many times you bring it up with your boss, or you how often you threaten to leave.

Maybe, your mental health has taken a dive off a cliff because the growing pressure of workload is getting too much, because your boss is a bully, or maybe even, you’re just not happy in the work that you are doing and don’t feel like there is a way out.

Regardless, of what the situation is, good or bad, leaving the 9–5 world behind can, as I say, be very daunting. It can lead your mindset into an unfamiliar place, especially if you’re thinking of starting a business yourself rather than getting a new job doing what you have always done, or if you’re not actually sure what lies ahead for you next.

Mindset challenges can throw themselves at you out of the blue at the best of times but are even more likely to present themselves when you are approaching a fork in the road on your life journey and you’re in a position where you have to decide upon the next crucial chapter of your life.

No matter who you are, how successful you deem your life to be, how much money you have in the bank, or if it’s your decision to leave your 9–5 behind or not, your ability to manage your mindset can falter, you’re only human after all.

In view of this, I am going to share 3 tips to help keep your mindset on the right track so that you can give your chance the best shot at making the right decision for your next steps, whatever they may be.

My current top 3 mindset tips

1. Take time out — Taking some time out for yourself, a 10-minute walk in nature, reading a new book, listening to some inspiring and relaxing music, or doing some gentle exercise, may help do you the world of good and help to refresh what’s going off in your head.

If you have got a lot on at the moment or you’re feeling like you just don’t have time to take a break, let me tell you that you will waste far more of your time if you don’t take a break than if you do. A well-deserved break, time out to relax and unwind, can provide so many health benefits too.

2. Rationalise things with another person — Sometimes just getting stuff out of your head and getting another person’s opinion or even just having them listen to you, can help to rationalise things in your brain.

To start with you may just want a friend who can listen to you, someone who you are comfortable in being open and honest with, and who will keep your thoughts and feelings to themselves.

Later on, when you are trying to figure out what lies ahead for you next or you are feeling a bit better about things, you may want to come back to them, to update them on how you are feeling about the situation now that you have had time to digest things, and to get their thoughts and viewpoints on things.

You never know, you might even find that speaking to someone else sparks new ideas for you too.

3. Mind map your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations — Work out what is going off internally, how you are feeling, and what it is that you believe you are aiming for (your goals, dreams, and aspirations), by getting things out of your head and onto paper in a mind map process.

Work through each thing that you write down in turn, and take time with each to tune in to how they make you feel. What emotions and feelings come through, and do they cause you to feel happy, sad, anxious, or feel a level of discomfort as they are pushing you out of your comfort zone.

Once you have gone through things, put the things that cause you to feel anxious to the side, for now, they can be dealt with later. Instead, look at what you can do to work towards the others that are left over.

Think small steps, not large overwhelmingly big steps. Think about what is in your control and what you might need the help of others to achieve.

It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but right now if you’re not in the right head space, just focus on getting something done rather than letting your fears overwhelm you with the big stuff and feeling even worse. Accomplishing something no matter how big or small is going to help you feel better, no doubt.


I write this today as I’m sat reflecting on my own mindset, what makes me tick and what doesn’t. It turns out that a breath of fresh air was the answer for me today and it has helped put things into a lot more perspective. I’ve not got everything figured out but that’s ok. I’ve worked out how I am feeling, what I can do that is within my control and the first couple of steps that I am going to take with the things that I want to achieve next.

There are many other tips that I can share on helping shift your mindset but for now, these are my top 3. If you have any tips that you want to share with me, drop me a comment and let me know.


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