Ditching The 9-5 Mindset-Not The Usual Advice

Ditching The 9-5 Mindset-Not The Usual Advice

Are you struggling trying to ditch the 9-5 mindset? How come? What exactly is holding you back?

Hi there. Hope this post finds you well.

I won’t lie. I’ve had a rough week. Not only because I have been struggling to ditch the 9-5 mindset, but for the first time in over 4.5 years I had to call in sick.

I had to cancel 2 whole days worth of massage clients. This just does not happen to me.

I don’t get sick.


Well, not very often anyway.

But, since there was no way I was able to go to work or do much of anything really for 2-3 days I was left with no choice but to sit and contemplate a few things that have been on my mind lately.

Precisely, what I need to do to ditch the 9-5 mindset for good.

No, not my bad procrastination habit, or my horrific time management skills. This goes deeper. Way deeper.

I would like to share what I have learned over the last week. Okay, learned might be a stretch as I am sure that somewhere deep down I was already aware of a few things so let’s say, consciously acknowledged instead.

Spending Time Sick In Bed Can Be Good For You

It started on Wednesday. I was feeling particularly tired, presumably because I haven’t been sleeping particularly well. Halfway through my day, I wanted nothing more than a last-minute cancelation so I could have a nap. Well, since that rarely happens it came as no surprise that Wednesday would be no different. So, I muscled my way through the rest of my day. Came home and was in bed by 7 pm. Again, this was no surprise.

The surprise came Thursday morning when I woke up, rolled over, looked at my husband, and declared that I was not going to work that morning. I then sent him to retrieve my phone and some pain meds. I needed to text my receptionist to cancel my day.

I felt like I had done a round or 2 with Connor McGregor. Everything hurt.

That was 6:30 am Thursday. No one would see or hear from me again for another 6 hours. At which time, I again texted my receptionist and had her cancel Friday’s appointments as well. I ate some soup, took some vitamins, and went back to bed.

A few hours later as the rest of the family was getting ready to go celebrate Diwali with our neighbors, I ate more soup, replied to a couple of messages, cruised Twitter, and was fast asleep before the family got home.

Friday was better. I only slept about half a day but didn’t do much, other than laundry.

Saturday I started a blog post to publish Monday but wasn’t feeling it.

It is now Sunday and I am feeling great.


I wasn’t really digging the previous blog post, and I have had all these crazy thoughts and ideas running around in my head so I am writing this one instead. Prompted by the fact that for 2 days I did absolutely nothing but sleep and think. And laundry.

I Had To Let Go Of The Guilt

Now, I know I said that I haven’t had to call into work sick in almost 5 years and that is true. But there have been other reasons I haven’t been able to make it to work.

  • House Fire 2018 (it was minor but dramatic and still had to deal with insurance and find a temporary place to live so I missed a day of work)
  • Shoulder Injury 2019 (missed a week with that one, ouch!)
  • Dental Emergency ??? (can’t remember when exactly but it was after the shoulder, missed a day)

And that’s it. Every other day of work I have missed has been a planned day off.

What did all these days have in common?


I would feel so incredibly guilty.

Guilty because someone would have to deal with angry clients that were having their appointments canceled.

Guilty because I felt I was letting clients down.

Guilty because I knew it could be weeks before a client would be able to book into my schedule again.

Guilty because sometimes things happen that are out of our control and you just have to deal with it when you should be at work instead.

There was always so much guilt.

I felt this guilt for the same reasons when I started blogging. Whenever someone talked about blogging full-time or quitting the 9-5 gig, being your own boss, and being free, etc. I would feel extremely guilty for wanting that for myself and my family. I couldn’t even imagine quitting my job.

Oh, the guilt for letting so many people down.

Then a couple of months ago an incredible thing happened. A situation occurred that led me to do something I said I wasn’t ready to even think about doing. I adjusted my schedule and changed my hours effective January 2022. I will go from seeing 24-28 clients a week to seeing 16-20 clients a week. Some clients will have to adjust if they want to continue seeing me and if they don’t that’s ok.

Can you guess what I am going to do with all that free time?

I’m going to blog, write, and work on a couple of other projects that my husband and I have in mind.

And do you want to hear another amazing thing?

Last week, when I had to take those 2 days off because I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t feel one bit guilty about it. There are quite literally 5 clinics within a block of where I work that offer massage therapy. Also, I am only responsible for my children’s and my wellbeing, no one else’s. From now on I refuse to feel guilty for putting my family and myself first.

I also don’t feel guilty at all that I haven’t read or commented on a single blog post other than replying to a few comments on my own blog, haven’t written anything except my daily journal, the blog post I started yesterday, and this post, or that I haven’t worked on my other projects since last Monday.

Now that I am feeling better and over whatever was ailing me I can get back on track and get things done.

Letting go of this guilt that has been plaguing me for so long has been incredibly freeing. I am so excited for the new year and having more time to work on my blog and pursue other interests which will pave the way to ditching the 9-5 forever.

But I also realized that guilt isn’t the only thing I need to deal with.

Sunrise over Long Lake Alberta

Does Your Personal Life Keeps You From Moving Forward Professionally

For the last couple of months, I have felt stuck in my blogging.

Stuck in the sense that even though I have an idea of the direction I need/want to go, changes I need/want to make and a timeline of when I would like it done by I could not shake the sense of vagueness I was feeling.

You know that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and you’re all confused and disoriented? You try to find your way to the washroom in the dark but you can’t gauge where the door is, or the light switch. You fumble around and everything seems to be just out of reach until the cobwebs clear and you realize where you are?

That is how I have been feeling the last couple of months. Like I am fumbling around in the dark and the things I need are just out of reach.

Or more specifically, the ideas and concepts I want to execute are just flickering images at the edge of consciousness that I have been unable to grasp and formulate into concrete, structured plans.

Augh! Talk about frustrating.

But hey, nothing that spending a couple of days sick in bed won’t solve, right?

Actually, I have been mulling this one over for a while, the last few days just demanded that I stop avoiding the issue.

What issue is that you ask?

The issue or issues in our personal life that prevents us from moving forward professionally.

Face them, deal with them. The sooner, the better. You don’t want to be stuck where you are because you are being held back in your personal life.

Unfortunately, these issues may be harder to deal with than any issue that arises in your work life. If you are lucky it may be a matter of acknowledging the issue and letting it go, but chances are it may need a bit more intervention.

They are often deeply buried traumas or firmly entrenched paradigms that serve only to hold you back. Seek professional guidance if you must.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make with this mumbo jumbo is that I have some personal issues that I need to deal with. Only then, do I feel I will be able to bring clarity to my plans and really push forward with my blog, achieving the life I desire.

So, if you are stuck and can’t put your finger on why sit with this and see what comes up.

Final Thoughts On Freeing Myself From The 9-5 Mindset

I caught the first fish 3 trips in a row

Some people will try to tell you that freeing yourself from the 9-5 mindset is easy but they would be wrong. They are either lying to themselves and you, or are still asleep at the wheel and haven’t done the work.

Changing your mindset isn’t like flicking a light switch on and off. It takes a lot of work.

Deep, uncomfortable, hard work.

Essential work that is necessary to grow and evolve into the best versions of ourselves and to live our best life.

Heck, I will probably still be working on it long after I quit my 9-5 and grow my online empire.

Fortunately, there are people out there who have struggled and successfully conquered the 9-5 mindset monster who can help you.

Sabina Lohr has a free e-book download from her website Freelancing Around the World that offers practical tips to make the 9-5 to be your own boss mindset shift. Yes, it says for freelancers but it applies to everyone wanting to be their own boss. I have read it a few times.

Ryan Biddulph from Blogging From Paradise also has a fantastic post “12 Tips to Sprint from Employee to Entrepreneur” which has some great advice. As Ryan would say “If you can own shit, you’ll be free of shit.”

If you really need a kick in the pants I came across an older post of Ryan’s on Janice Wald’s Mostly Blogging. It’s not specific to the 9-5 mindset but it will get you thinking. Again, Ryan writes specifically about blogging but these tips are easily applied to multiple areas of your life. I’ve bookmarked this one for when I am having one of “those” days. You know the ones.

Most people would be beside themselves losing 2 days of productivity, and normally I would be too. But I am not looking it at that way, not this time. Those 2 days forced me to acknowledge what was holding me back and to let go. While I don’t have it all figured out and I know the hardest part is yet to come, I also know that being forced to take a couple of days with no escape was just what I needed to move forward.

So you see, spending time sick in bed really can be good for you.

Please Leave A Comment

picture of SharlaAnn MatyjankaHave you conquered the 9-5 mindset monster?

What’s holding you back?

What steps do you need to take to move forward?

Any advice? Let me know in the comments. 

6 thoughts on “Ditching The 9-5 Mindset-Not The Usual Advice”

  1. Hi SharlaAnn,

    Thanks so much for the ebook and blog post shout out. I appreciate you.

    As for the guilt you felt, it genuinely creates all of the problems in our lives. We are all really light, love, generous service and the embodiment of joy. But fear fueling guilt causes us to step away from this experience to a more unpleasant life. Once we own our minds and dig deeper and deeper within. life will improve. We can and will shift from the employee mindset to the entrepreneur mindset and enjoy all of the freedoms this migration affords us.

    Excellent post my friend.
    Ryan K Biddulph recently posted…7 Tips to Build a Blog on a Tight BudgetMy Profile

    1. The shout out is much deserved Ryan. I loved the ebook.
      It is crazy how guilt can consume and cripple you. Then, just when you think you have dealt with the guilt here comes Ego, wreaking havoc. Fortunately, once you become aware there is no going back. You have no choice but to push through it. I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side!
      I appreciate you too 🙂

  2. SharlaAnn,

    I am SO happy to read this beautiful post and learn about so much powerful growth you’ve experienced in such a short time. Your story is really poignant and interesting and I appreciate you sharing it!

    Conquering your guilt is a major success. Our minds are so powerful and our mindsets so important. You’re making some big positive changes and that is wonderful. Currently I’m focusing on making positive changes in my life as well as accepting positive changes that have already occurred and finding it interesting that even though they’re positive, they can be hard to adjust to. I hope both of us will be able to adjust to and embrace our positive changes fully.

    I am also really thrilled to hear you’ve read my ebook a few times! Thank you for mentioning it here! I’m very happy to help. 🙂 You say at the end of your post that the hardest part is yet to come. Well, the best part is yet to come too! 🙂

    1. Sabina, I have absolute faith that we both will be able to adjust to and embrace all good things that come our way.

      I am very happy to hear that you also have much to celebrate in your life and yes change of any kind, even positive can be tough. We are programed to resist change at all costs.

      Your ebook has been a big help. Thank you for the book and your kind words.

      The best is yet to come for both of us.
      SharlaAnn Matyjanka recently posted…The 10 Best Time Management StrategiesMy Profile

  3. Hi SharlaAnn,

    Most people live their life as ‘Rat Race’ but they need to understand that this is not the 70s, this is the 20s and they have to shift their mindset from a 9-5 guy to entrepreneurship. Instead of living life without any purpose they should follow their passion and build a career in it. Because this is the internet world and because of it now every passion is now monetizable.

    Lots of love,
    your friend
    Ayush Mishra
    Ayush Mishra recently posted…How To Install WordPress On Hostinger 2022 (With Screenshots)My Profile

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