“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.” ~ Napoleon Hill
During my radio interviews, I’ve been asked again and again: ”So, if people don’t like the work that they do right now, where do they start? What are the most important steps they need to take to start the transition toward their new career?” My answer is really simple: first, you start with ACCEPTANCE of who you are and where you are at the moment. Then you work on getting CLARITY about your desires, your goals and your priorities in life. You need to be able to discern the noise of external advice and uncover what is TRUE FOR YOU! Let’s dive into these two most important steps one must take to start the journey toward authentic and rewarding career.
Practice Self-love and Commit to Your Truth
If you experience fear and self-doubt, relax! These emotions naturally arise when you are considering making big changes in life. The key is not to linger in the state of fear and self-doubt, and to re-focus on what’s really important to you. Ask yourself the following questions:
• “Are you willing to feel stuck or trapped until this feeling will make you physically sick?”
• “Who do you think you are not?”
You were born with an abundance of creative energy, with unique gifts and talents. They may or may not be grandiose – being a teacher, a mother or a therapist may not carry societal prestige like other professions (e.g. doctor or lawyer) but you can only succeed by living life true to yourself. Chasing prestigious or lucrative professions/jobs that are not right for you is like wearing designer dresses that don’t fit. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin, learn to love who you are.
Self-love, while essential, is a foreign concept for most people. There are many facets to this concept: eating well and resting well, loving more and worrying less, accepting and honoring your uniqueness and peculiarities, believing that you are enough and that you are lovable. Self-actualization is another facet of self-love and your professional life affects your health and your happiness.
You must love yourself enough to truly believe that living at your highest potential is not a caprice or a whim but a powerful inherent force, a drive that you are born with. It’s imperative that you honor this drive if you want to find contentment and tranquility in life. It’s a great personal tragedy to die without knowing who you really could have been….
In spite of whatever challenging situations you encounter in your life, Never Ever Stop Loving and Believing in Yourself. Let go of self-judgments, unrealistic expectations, attachments, self-pity and envy. Don’t let any crushing circumstances crash you – remember that you are a spark of the Higher Power and are not alone. Practice self-love, commit to being true to yourself in spite of your fears; ask for help if needed.
Like most things in life, finding your career path may take you through many iterations and zigzags. Very few folks have certainty about their life direction at an early age. Most people, including myself, have or will change careers several times in their lives, while constantly evolving, accumulating new knowledge, understanding and awareness.
Gather Your Career Vision
When you experience an impasse in your career (or life in general) it is hard to think things through because your mind is overwhelmed by repetitive thoughts of impasse, anxiety and fear. You often feel depressed and ashamed as a result of being dissatisfied with your job (or business), being unable to focus and feeling stuck.
Here lies the mystery and paradox of life: somewhere inside you there is a knowing of who you really are and what you want. You don’t need to ‘design’ your career vision; instead, you can gather the knowledge and insight that would lead you to an inspiring and satisfying life. Of course, it’s easier said than done! Nonetheless, it’s not only probable, it’s possible. Yes, you can ‘mine’ your vision!
Your subconscious is filled with a barrage of messages from our society, culture and influential people in your life (parents, teachers, counselors). They suggest which colleges provide the best opportunities, which professions are best to enter, which jobs are prestigious and how to succeed in life. These messages form your image of the ‘good life’ and at some point may lead to experiencing disharmony with what you feel and do.
I believe that the experience of impasse is a wake-up call to alarm you about the accumulated incongruence between what you learned and what you feel. It is an indicator of a need for correction in your perceptions and your personal philosophy, a shift in your awareness.
You must quiet the noise in your head about having a lack of skills or knowledge. Forget about the ‘how and when.’ Instead, have faith that your will find the clarity and vision of work and success that feels right for you!
There is no precise formula or shortcut that I know of to get you over the impasse – you will have to do the work. A new vision of your career (and life) can be gathered through various ways and I will provide a brief overview of some of the ways that I used in my own life and career:
1. Uncover your life-long passions.
2. Observe what kind of work excites you.
3. Know your WHY.
4. Ask yourself and write your answers to career-specific questions (see below).
5. Visualize – experience ‘it’ as if you are already living that reality.
6. Ask God for guidance.
Take time to venture into a fascinating journey of self-discovery. If you are like most people, it may take a while for you to find your place in the world, to feel like ‘this is it’, and to say, “I will overcome any obstacle I may encounter…” whether it’s debt, lack of prestige or fear. Be patient with yourself as you are mining your embedded talents. “Follow your bliss,” as Joseph Campbell wrote. This bliss or sense of excitement is a sign of important self-discovery.
Next week we are going to go over 6 specific methods that can help you uncover the most authentic career path for YOU.
* Some of the text is taken from my International Best Seller book “A Shift toward Purpose” available on Amazon HERE
With Love and Gratitude,