I put so much hate into my 9-5 that it actually drained my energy.

I’d complain to others, feel sorry for myself, and moan to my parents about why I just couldn’t f*cking quit.

I’d like to say this only went on for days, or weeks, or even months. But it went on for years.

One time I was so drained that I fell asleep at the wheel. When I opened my eyes, I was about to smash into an oncoming car, and I had to yank the steering wheel as hard as I could in the opposite direction. The car spun around a couple of times before coming to rest a few yards away from some trees.

I was shaken but I was ok. I was alive.

I was awake.

I drove home and curled up in the foetal position on my bed and just breathed.

I could’ve been killed. But I wasn’t. I was still here.

I was finding it difficult to accept how lucky I’d just been. That literally could’ve been it. I thought to myself “imagine if I’d just… died?”

I thought about my parents. They would’ve been destroyed. Obviously, I wouldn’t have been around to see them be destroyed, but picturing them being destroyed… I couldn’t picture anything worse. I cried.

I couldn’t let that happen to them.

I wouldn’t let that happen to me.

Because that’s what else I thought of. I thought about how much I hated my job, how unfulfilling my life was, how much I wanted to escape this reality… and I thought about how I wasn’t doing anything about any of it.

All I was doing was complaining, and feeling sorry for myself, and putting my problems on the shoulders of my parents.

And I was doing all of that because I thought I was entitled to success.

It’s not like I thought to myself “I’m entitled to whatever kind of success I want!” It’s not like I told other people “hey, I’m entitled to success!” But I was complaining and feeling sorry for myself and feeling jealous of other successful people so what does that say?

Because that’s what’s happening when you’re jealous of successful people.

It’s because you think you’re entitled to success.

You think you should be successful because they’re successful.

You think you should be successful right now because they’re successful right now.


They earned their success. You haven’t.

Not yet.

I didn’t want to accept that. I didn’t want to accept that I hadn’t done anything to earn any kind of success. Because that would mean that I wasn’t entitled to it, and that meant that success wasn’t guaranteed, and what if success wasn’t guaranteed?

Well, if success wasn’t guaranteed, then there was the possibility that I’d never be successful.

And I hated that thought. I didn’t want it to be true. But the truth doesn’t change just because you can’t handle it.

I felt like I was entitled to success because that would be easier than working for it.

Because… what if I worked for it and failed? What if I couldn’t do it? What if I couldn’t ever live the life I was constantly daydreaming about?

And there was the real problem.

The entitlement wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom.

Even being afraid to fail wasn’t the problem. It was just a deeper symptom.

The real problem is that I didn’t believe I was allowed to succeed.

And I’m not talking about other people, or society, or the world not allowing me.

I’m talking about me not allowing me.

I didn’t believe I was allowed to let myself succeed.

Maybe that seems strange to you. Maybe you think it’s ridiculous. Maybe you think it’s bullsh*t.


If you’re not taking action, it’s because you’re not letting yourself. @Matt_Hearnden (Click to Tweet!)

If you’re taking some action, but not taking big action, it’s because you’re not letting yourself.

If you’re taking big action, but not giving your all, it’s because you’re not letting yourself.

If it was ok for you to let yourself succeed, you’d either be a success or you’d be giving your all towards becoming a success.

So, if you’re not, it’s because you’re not letting yourself. Because you don’t think you’re allowed to be successful. Because it’s not ok for you to let yourself be successful.

When you accept that is when you can begin to succeed.

It’s ok to accept it. It’s not admitting defeat. It’s admitting that you want to let this go.

I only let this go when I finally admitted to who I really was.

I wrote down everything that was important to me. Even the things I was surprised about. Even the things I wasn’t sure I wanted to write down.

I put them in order of most important to least important.

I circled the ones that were most important to me and I wrote down why they were important to me.

After I was done, I sat back in my chair, and I looked at this list, and I smiled.

“That’s me,” I thought.

And then, right after that, I understood something.

“Oh my god… I can do all the things I want to do.”

I’d been daydreaming about leaving my 9-5, about working for myself and doing something I loved, about being a huge success… but that’s all I’d done. Daydream.

But now, that was going to stop. Now, I was going to start.

Because me saying “I can do all the things I want to do” wasn’t about capability. I knew I wouldn’t be capable, not right in that moment, because there was so much to learn.

Me saying “I can do all the things I want to do” was about me letting myself do all those things I wanted to do.

I was going to let myself live the life I’d constantly daydreamed about because, finally, I’d just admitted to who the f*ck I really was.

An entrepreneur. A man of action. Bold. Brave. Someone who took responsibility for his life instead of doing nothing about anything.

But, of course, it’s more than just about knowing who you are.

It’s about being who you are.

That’s real self-awareness.

And I was about to get the ultimate test.

The company I was working for told us they were offering voluntary redundancy. That meant, if we took this offer, they’d buy out our contract and we’d leave the company.

It meant we’d get paid to leave.

When they first announced it, what do you think my first thought was?

I’ll tell you.

“I’m taking it.”

No hesitation. No doubt. This was the right decision and I knew it with every bit of me.

I was proud of myself for thinking that. That’s what I’d wanted to think and I’d thought it.

But, of course, thinking “I’m taking it” and actually taking it are different.

Lots of people told me they were going to take it. They told me that they weren’t happy in their job, and that this would be a chance to work for themselves, and that they could maybe, finally, live the life they’d thought about living for years.

Of all the people who told me they were going to take it, how many do you think did?

I’ll tell you.


One person. Out of I don’t know how many. And even that person just went to work for another company.

These people knew they were unhappy, and knew what would make them happy, but refused to do what would make them happy.

What kind of useless “self-awareness” is that?

I did it. I took voluntary redundancy. I left that 9-5 world forever.

I took voluntary redundancy because I let myself take it. I let myself take it because it was the right decision. It was the right decision because it was a decision that was 100% “me.”

I knew it was a decision that was 100% “me” because I knew who “me” was.

Those people that didn’t make the decision they told me they so desperately wanted to make… it’s because they didn’t let themselves.

It’s not because they didn’t know what decision to make. They knew exactly what decision to make. But they chose to make a decision that they knew was wrong. Understand this and you’ll never make a decision that’s wrong for you ever again.

Are you seriously not going to let yourself do what you want to do?

Are you really going to get in your own way of living the life you daydream about?

Are you honestly never going to bother to accept who you really are?

What I’m saying is that it’s all you.

You’re the only person who isn’t letting yourself.

You’re the only person who’s getting in your way.

You’re the only person who can accept who you really are.

After reading all of this, you might be wondering what I’m doing now.

Well, I’m working more hours than ever before. I’m making much less money than I was before. I had to move back home, and sell my car, and stop seeing my friends as much.

I also get to wake up and be excited to start my day. I also get to write for hours every day, getting better and pursuing mastery. I also get to choose when I work and when I relax.

I get to do what I love. I get to work hard at something worth working hard for. I get to be happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been.

Finally, I’m successful.

Because I’m me.

Matt Hearnden is a writer from the UK. He mostly tells stories only he can tell. He blogs twice a week at www.matthearnden.com just self-published his first book:42. Matt writes every day because he loves it and because it stops him watching Netflix. And, probably more importantly, he plays basketball and has lots of tattoos. You can find him on Twitter, IG & Quora.

Image courtesy of Jared Erondu.