5 Powerful Life Lessons We’ve Learned From Sophia Bush

After spending 15 years to make her dream of being an actor a reality, Bush realized it actually wasn’t what she wanted anymore. Here’s what we’ve learned from her decision to quit acting.
5 Powerful Life Lessons We've Learned From Sophia Bush

Imagine landing your dream job, but then after a couple years realizing you don’t want it anymore. That’s what happened to actress Sophia Bush recently.

After spending 15 years to make her dream of being an actor a reality, and achieving that goal with hits like One Tree Hill and John Tucker Must Die, Bush realized it actually wasn’t what she wanted anymore. After citing her unhappiness, Bush announced in late October 2017 that she had decided to depart from Dick Wolf’s Chicago P.D. television series in which she starred for four seasons.

But of course, her announcement came with much shock and disappointment from her fans. Bush recently sat down with Refinery29 co-founder and global editor-in-chief Christene Barberich to talk about the change in her career on the Unstyled podcast series and why it is the best move for her, regardless of what her fans think.


“With the entertainment world in the thick of a major gender revolution, [Bush] realized her next role was on the frontlines, using her mega charged star power to direct attention to the hot-button issues of the moment,” said Barberich. Bush has had a knack for social advocacy throughout her career and even long before it, and shifting her career to focus more on those aspects of her life, while also producing her own show with 20th Century Fox, is the next logical step in her mind.

Consider it like any other major leading lady role in her career, only this one just happens to take place in the real world. It’s somewhat inspiring to see such a public figure say they are unhappy and make that change, behind the falsified glamour of the Hollywood acting scene. So much so, we felt Bush provided us with some quality advice for bettering our girl boss selves in her interview.

Here’s everything we learned from Sophia Bush’s interview with Refinery29.

1. Sometimes your dream job isn’t always the dream.

A career change is nothing to be ashamed of. There’s power in knowing what you want and having the strength to say what you’re currently doing, isn’t it.

“I landed this job that, since I was 20 years old and trying to become an actor, I said I wanted. And aspects of it, don’t get me wrong, were wonderful. But, I realized by the end of the second season I couldn’t do that job anymore,” said Bush.

2. It’s okay to learn lessons the hard way.

There’s no denying that life can be tough, and although we look back on our choices and wish there would have been an easier route, certain lessons can only be learned the hard way. Everyone has to go through hard times, but the important thing to remember is that hard times eventually pass. “It was really hard to have that conversation, but it was so liberating and I immediately felt like these steel anvils had been pulled off my chest. It was then that I realized I had been drowning and it was then that I realized just how miserable I was going to work every day.”

“It was then that I realized I had been drowning and it was then that I realized just how miserable I was going to work every day.” – Sophia Bush

3. You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.

Upon the announcement of her departure from Chicago P.D., Bush was bombarded with questions asking why she would quit a hit show, but she came to realize that she doesn’t have to give anyone the specifics of her choice until she’s ready. This is something we should be mindful of with everything we do. There is beauty and absolute truth in putting oneself first; you don’t have to be a sacrificial lamb for everyone in your life. “I’ve been doing me for a year, and y’all are just pissed?” said Bush. “I don’t care if you’re pissed; it’s not your life.”

4. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Regardless whether you’re a people pleaser or not, you don’t owe anyone anything when it comes to the decisions you make about your life, your career and everything in between. Bush gets that. “It is tough to read thousands and thousands of comments of people; them just being, like, ‘You have no respect for us and you didn’t tell us,’ and it’s like, you know what? I had to respect myself in a situation where I didn’t feel respected.”

5. Always be yourself and never apologize for it.

Bush highlights that to be happy, you have to ‘do you’ fiercely and unapologetically. Once you are content with who you are as an individual, it is then that you will find happiness in whatever you chose to do. It seems like such a small thing, but it’s actually a major milestone. “It was my dream job and I was miserable. I had to go,” said Bush.

What do you think about Sophia Bush’s decision to change her career? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image: Instagram/ @sophiabush

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