I received an email the other day from a friend in Australia who said something along the lines of…
I want to be near you so your amazing “go get it” attitude can rub off on me! I’ve had enough of my job and I have no energy to do what I actually want to do. Hearing your stories of just going for it always help me see the light at the end of the tunnel! You’re inspiring girl!!
I am always chuffed to hear people say that what I do, or say, or write or whatever, has inspired them in some way, but also I feel like hey, I’m not doing anything special, you can go out and do whatever you want too.
So today’s post is dedicated to all those people who hate their jobs, who don’t know what to do, who feel stuck in a rut and want out but don’t know how to do it. If you’re confused about your relationship, your job, your friendship circle, your social life, yourself, anything, this one’s for you.
About two years ago I had a bit of a quarter-life crisis, You know the one – you dye your hair, get a facial piercing and break your foot skateboarding. I was lost in every sense of the word. I had no idea what I wanted to do professionally, I’d had enough of my relationship, I was dealing with all this emotional and physical stuff and just wanted out. I was frustrated and annoyed and was just feeling less than. It took a work trip, a yoga class and some meditation to hear what I needed to do, to shake things up. So how did I go from being a mess to knowing what I wanted and making it happen?
Know what you want
It helps to know what you want, if you want to make it happen. But that’s often the hardest part to all of this – knowing what we want. I did this whole visual meditation thing at a work conference once and all I knew what I wanted was to be on a jam-packed train, alone, in some dusty cabin, watching the countryside roll by. That’s all I knew, that’s all I could see. At the time I was in a relationship, living in Brisbane, working a job that I hadn’t envisioned for myself. I was very far away from that train cabin. So what did I do? I took baby steps to get closer to that space I had seen in my head, that place that I felt comfortable in.
It takes steps to make things, anything, happen. And they don’t necessarily need to be well-though-out, uber-planned steps either. Just do something. Anything. Sometimes we do so much thinking and planning that it scares us more than inspires us. Our steps might be scary, and might involve unintentionally hurting people, or releasing yourself from security and heading into the unknown. But from fear of the unknown comes strength, I promise. My first step, once I decided I wanted to be alone on a train somewhere, was to get out of my relationship, quit my job and buy a ticket to …somewhere, which obviously ended up being Colombia. I had no idea what was going to happen next, whether things would work out, whether I was making the right decision, but at that point in time it didn’t matter, because it just felt right.
Listen to your intuition
Now, I guess some people have a better grasp on this than others, I don’t know. But spiritual life coach Krista Jane talks about this a lot on her website and through her online chats. As far as I can gather, listening to your intuition can be as simple as thinking about something and seeing how you feel about it. When you think about your job, do you feel open, excited and motivated? Or do you feel down and closed and restless? Same goes with your relationships and other decisions you have to make in your life. When I made the decision to quit my job and my life in Brisbane, I was scared, sure, I was nervous and anxious, but ultimately I was open and ready. What is your intuition telling you?
I have a mortgage, I have bills to pay, I have children, people rely on me, what if I fail? What if you fail? What is the worst thing that can happen? That’s not a rhetorical question, think about it, write it down, take a look at what you have to lose and what you have to gain. You are going to affect people no matter which way you go. Believe me. Whatever your choice is, once it’s made you’ve gotta own it and accept it, otherwise you’ll be right back where you started and you’ll be playing this game forever.
I hate to get all hippy on you, but at the end of the day it’s all about happiness. What makes you happy? Really happy? What do you want to spend every day doing? I once posted something like “What do you spend your time doing when you’re procrastinating and how can you turn that into your career?” on my Facebook page and got replies like “How do I turn using Facebook and playing with my cats into my career?” Seriously, it can happen. Sometimes a work day for me includes watching The Soup, hilarious, and spending time on Twitter. I don’t have a cat, but if I did, I’d be hanging out with it too. Figure out what your happiness is, no one can tell you what it is or isn’t. If you feel it, it’s real.
Create your own job
If what you want to do doesn’t exist, no sweat, create it yourself. Don’t let that be a barrier. That sounds a bit hippy too doesn’t it? But seriously, if you want to be a life coach for an airline company, or a trapeze artist in space, don’t think about the hows, but the why nots. Go for it. If you know what you want, where you want to work, or what you want to do, then there is nothing that is stopping you. Nothing. I wanted to be a travel writer, and to do that you have to travel, right? Well, I didn’t have the money to travel so I started applying for jobs at magazines and newspapers, I studied journalism while living with my parents, which meant I took two buses and a ferry to make it class every day. Eventually I got a job as a writer for a magazine and was even offered jobs travelling abroad to write about my experiences. I eventually saved money to live in Colombia and now I am travelling and writing abroad, right now from my lounge room. I also do freelance writing for some publications and spend my time doing exactly what I want – writing, travelling, spending time with my family and working in my pajamas. Oh yeah.
So what’s stopping you?
If you’re not happy, not inspired, not functioning at your greatest capacity and just over it, what’s stopping you and what steps can you make to start changing things around? Start listening to that little voice, start making contacts and asking advice, start making some plans and get ready to take that leap of faith. I want to hear all about it too. Whether you’re kicking butt or you’re just getting started, get in touch via the blog or email me.