Jane (not her real name) is sitting in her corporate cubicle wondering:
“This is not a horrible job, and I like the steady money – I NEED the steady money – but it’s kind of mind numbing and I just don’t feel like I’m doing something that’s going to make a real difference to anyone. This can’t be my life purpose, but I have no idea what else I can do so how am I ever going to get out of this job? Should I make a career change? Should I start a business? I have no idea where to even begin.”
If you share Jane’s pain, this is a common dilemma. You’re pretty sure you don’t want to continue on your present path, but how do you carve out what you DO want to do?
Willingness to have some Clarity is the first step to moving forward. Some people are afraid to get some clarity for fear that once they do, it will be required that they turn their lives upside down. Not true, because transition can take a long time, but you have to know vaguely where to aim your energy to get started.
Vaguely is the clue. You don’t have to know everything, but you do need a sense of the “essence” of what moves and inspires you. Some of the signs to look at are what you enjoyed as a child. Were you creative? Were you a Lego kid who loved to build things? Were some of your best moments outdoors, in nature, or indoors playing house? Did you have hopes and dreams that seem far away now?
Think it’s silly? That little person is probably closer to who you truly are than what you are doing today. You may be older, but the spirit of that kid is still inside you and always will be. Try to remember times you were excited, stimulated or happy.
Maybe you were discouraged from doing things you loved (“you’ll never make any money doing art, find something that will be practical and make money.”) Or something uncomfortable happened when you expressed yourself so you decided to get a safe job and avoid that trauma.
Of course, there is more than childhood to look at – and that’s what I do when I work with someone is to take account of past, present and future; then get them much clearer about what will definitely work and what really doesn’t. But childhood is a great place to start.
As you start to get more of a sense of your inner passions, just BEGIN to go in that new direction. Don’t think about a job or business yet, stay at your desk, but start doing things that have the potential to be fun. Experiment, take classes, and discard what doesn’t work. If you always follow what has energy, a passionate path will emerge.
Let me know what works for you and what you’re finding out!