Help! I've changed my mind...
I work with individuals who are often at some sort of crossroads in their life. They know they want to make a change but are unsure how to make a transition, which is why they seek support from a coach.
A ‘job for life’ is a very dated concept yet some of us still view our career in quite a linear way - progressing along a particular career path, seeking promotions because this is the ‘norm’ or what you feel is expected of you, never questioning if this is really what you want. Having spent so much time, effort and money on honing your skills and experience in a particular field or industry, why would you then throw this away to start again in a different area? If you love what you do, it is great to continue, but what if you now only feel ‘so-so’ about your career choices?
I admire people that decide they want to be in a particular profession and go full out on this - as long as they continue to love what they do. I admire people that decide they want to be in a particular profession or achieve a particular goal, go full out on this, maybe achieve success, and then change their minds and try something else. Staying on that original path just because you are worried about your pride or what others will say because you change is no different to staying in a relationship for the sake of the kids. No-one benefits!
There is the space for specialisms; it is great when you have that moment when you realise you have found your purpose, but is it really your purpose or your purpose for now? For example, I feel that coaching is my purpose - to help people get from where they are now to where they want to be. However, I loved marketing when I was in role. I can’t even imagine some of the jobs of the future that may or may not be perfect for me. I don’t think this will diminish what I can offer in coaching but what if I do change careers and this then feels like my purpose?
In 2008 I ran a marathon - I trained hard for a year and achieved my goal. I no longer run long distances because I don’t really like it. I am so happy I ran a marathon but I have absolutely no desire to run another. I know there are many people out there like me. There are also many people out there that have run multiple marathons and love it. Both are great as long as the activities are still aligned to the individuals goals and happiness levels. I have now embraced the fact that I want to collect ‘experiences’ and that I will work hard on a particular goal, and, once achieved will be more than likely to then move onto the next. I accept I get bored easily, that I love to challenge myself and that I want to experience as much as I can in this life.
It is almost like when you fall in love, and they are ‘the one’ and then it doesn’t work out and the next love is ‘the one’ - does it mean your original feelings were wrong? Maybe, or it just means that is what you felt, and it didn’t work out, or things changed, and you have grown and evolved and are now free to love again. You can still remember the other love fondly [if you want] but you have changed.
There is a growing field of thought that ‘multipotentialites’ - the term for individuals that have changed career paths and have multiple interests and areas of expertise - can help unlock future possibilities as they are bringing in different thinking due to their varied experiences and combination of disciplines.
Some may see these individuals as generalists or individuals that lack commitment. I would suggest that if you are not happy in your career or life it is better to keep exploring than to focus on something that isn’t aligned to your values. Maybe your journey is about exploration and finding out more about yourself, rather than finding your ‘one purpose’ and sticking rigidly to this even if it is no longer right for you.
Not sure what you love yet? Be curious!
What do you think your 10 year old self would tell you to try? What about your 70 year old self? Does something interest you but you put it off because it isn’t going to fast track your career? Is now the right time to revisit this to see if you would love doing it, ‘just because’? Remember that Ceroc class you loved but gave up because you weren’t very good and could spend your evenings working instead? Is now the right time to give yourself 2 hours a week to spend doing something you love, even if you are no good at it and there is no other purpose than to enjoy yourself for 2 hours? Broaden your horizons. Read things you wouldn’t normally read. Visit new places. Try things that are outside of your comfort zone, just to see if you like them or not. Explore everything! You are like a detective in your own life, on a mission to uncover all the things that you are passionate about! Along the way you will discover so much - including the things that you don’t like or even hate - and this is also important information to your own self-discovery and self-awareness journey. Doing different things, seeing different sights, reading different books and articles gives you different perspectives, different ideas, different ways to see and experience the world, different mindsets.
So how do you start to work on yourself and enjoy the exploration
I would suggest mindful activities as a place to start. Whether it is meditation, yoga, playing an instrument, running, dancing, writing, walking in nature, colouring, knitting - whatever puts you in a state of flow, where the time disappears because you are just in a present state and ‘being’. This removes the busyness, the noise, the stress. You can connect with your core and the present moment. You may not have an epiphany, you might not feel that anything is really happening at all, but trust that so much is happening as you let your connection with the now give you space to just be. Immersing yourself in something you love to do, just for the sake of doing it, not for progressing in your career, or developing a skill, but just because it makes you happy is such a gift to yourself. Treat yourself. Be grateful for the time, space and joy. Let this fill you up, with no expectation.
Take the pressure off
Whether you are younger or older - who cares if you have had lots of careers, or haven’t figured out what you are doing yet? We all often say we want to be happy, but what is happiness to you? Maybe it is doing lots of different things, learning new skills and moving on once you’ve mastered something to the next thing. Or maybe it is staying with the same thing your whole life and specialising in this and loving being the expert. We are all unique, we all have different goals and aspirations. No-one has the right to judge you and your life decisions. Be proud of your journey - it is yours and whether it is a straight path, or a winding road, it is your adventure to love and cherish.
If you are feeling like it is a time to make a change, and you want support to get you from where you are now to where you want to be, please arrange a free, no-obligation call with me today.