I’ve been immersing myself in the wisdom and teachings of Seth Godin – author, entrepreneur and teacher. He writes and speaks about changing mindsets and how to be more successful and fulfilled in our lives. In a recent episode of his podcast, “Akimbo,” he talks about how being told to “find our passion,” ultimately sets us up for failure. This inspired a big, and slightly confused, “hmm,” from yours truly. Haven’t I used the word, “passion” in almost all of my blog posts and directions to my readers? Hadn’t I actually written the sentence, “What is preventing you from pursuing your passions completely?” Maybe I needed to take a deeper dive into the meaning of this. And so, I did. Reader, I’m here to tell you, there is always room for shifting, changing and improving. Oftentimes, it is our vocabulary, how we talk about a subject, that helps or hurts us. With the guidance of Seth Godin, I realized, my compass was pointed in the right direction, but my vocabulary was a little off. Maybe yours is too? Read on, and I’ll help you shift, change and improve.
Godin explains in his podcast that our jobs or careers shouldn’t be considered something we were necessarily “born to do.” Most of the time, these professions, technologies, methodologies didn’t even exist when were we born. Instead of “being born to do something,” we actually just end up picking a job. Godin prompts us to ask ourselves more powerful questions to help us find a satisfying job or career:
I believe we don’t intentionally go into our jobs or careers with the desire to spend time doing something we don’t enjoy. Yet, the crazy thing is, 85% of us end up feeling dissatisfied by our jobs (according to the 2017 Gallup poll). We don’t feel a “deep sense of connection” to the work we are doing. This is something I come across all too regularly in my one-on-one coaching sessions with my clients and talking to people in everyday life.
This brings me to another point Godin makes, “If you’re not proud of the work you do, don’t do it.” I know what you’re thinking, “Tonia, I need my job to pay the bills. I don’t have time, or even know where to start, when it comes to exploring other avenues right now.” I hear you. And here is where I challenge you to shift. (Read more about what it looked like to quit my corporate job and find part-time work to financially sustain my lifestyle.) The key to finding purpose in the work you do is to get out of the crippling mindset that your work, your niche, your voice, and your content must appeal to everyone. Once you stop trying to talk to the masses, the more you can authentically tailor your messaging to the people who are looking for what you have to offer!
Here is an exercise to start your shift. Below is a list of questions to think on and answer at your own pace:
Once you’ve explored this exercise, you may discover there isn’t a place in your current job to incorporate these skills. If this is the case, it may be time to stop, shift, change and improve. Ask yourself, “What does success mean to me?” Does it mean money? Does it mean happiness? Does it mean contentment? Does it mean providing for yourself and your family? Success means something different to everyone. Spend time exploring how you feel when you’re using the skillsets you defined as enjoyable in the prompts above. If you could incorporate one of the five things you are good at in your daily job, does that equal success? It may very well become clear to you that although you are making great money, you may not like how you are making that money. It may become clear to you that this job doesn’t make your happy or fulfilled. It may become clear to you that working at your local grocery store or food co-op, or walking dogs, or delivering mail is what would make you happy. Your current job and your desired job may stand in great contrast with each other, but don’t fear that contrast. Embrace it. Pursuing a job that makes you happy will bring rewards to your life.
Coaching aligns with skillsets I naturally enjoy – actively listening to people about what’s going on in their lives, careers and businesses, and working closely to provide the resources they need to start applying actionable steps toward working toward their goals and dreams. Growing up, I was always the person my friends and coworkers came to when they needed someone to listen while they worked through their feelings. I absolutely loved these moments knowing they felt comfortable enough to confide and share these, oftentimes very private, pieces of their lives with me. It is such a privilege working with people. I’ve been mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs for nearly nine years and still absolutely love what I do!
We can’t all be innately good at what wholeheartedly fill us up. Don’t be discouraged. Shift. How can you sprinkle aspects of what you’re good at into your life? Maybe you love cooking, but you know being a Michelin Star chef isn’t in your future. Shift from the idea that this can never be your job to how can you add this to your job. Here is an idea: prepare a special treat to bring into your office. Possibly that action alone will increase your enjoyment of being in your place of work. Who knows? You may be asked to cater the next company event. How cool would that be?
It’s not as easy as it sounds, pursuing a job that aligns with traits in ourselves we are proud of and fulfills us. However, what distinguishes those of us who are happy and fulfilled by what we do is sheer determination and a willingness to put ourselves out there over and over. Pivoting our vision for how we want to spend our time and our lives doing what we enjoy and can feel proud to call “our work.” It’s a journey and a continuous process of elimination by trying and failing, failing again and eventually succeeding, because we reinvented what “success” means to us.
Pursuing a job that makes you proud and finding your passion doesn’t happen overnight. I know. It took me five years to discover life coaching, another two years researching the profession (which was fairly new at the time), and the completing my coaching certification. Throughout the process I continued building my arsenal of skillsets in communication, mentorship, personal development, sales, and marketing so I could attract the right clients. I’m still figuring it out and constantly reassessing my areas of focus. It’s never been an easy journey, and I’m ok with that. I’ve promised myself that the moment I no longer enjoy what I do, then it’s time to pivot and reinvent myself. Again.
As Seth Godin says, “how dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
What makes you remarkable? Do you need help becoming clear on where you innate skills lie? I started in the same spot. It’s a process of discovery and exploration, and that’s exactly what I will help with when you schedule your Complimentary Consultation Call! Let’s discover a more fulfilling life together.