As I sit here writing this blog, I’m 2 weeks out from wrapping up my time at a local counseling agency and I’m absolutely scared shitless. I’ll be launching my own private practice in less than 3 weeks and even though I still sometimes wake up with anxiety that hits me so hard, it feels like a bus ran over me, I also feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before in my career.
I honestly don’t know if I could tell you yet that starting my own practice was worth it financially (stay tuned!) but I do know that I finally feel the way I’ve wanted to feel in my career for the first time ever. And I feel alive. What I can tell you is that I’ve worked as a therapist in a number of settings for about 5 years now and one of the most common concerns I hear from individuals is that they hate their jobs.
I’ve worked with individuals in uncovering the truths that are underneath what keeps them at their jobs and have gathered a list of questions I’ve found useful in navigating what you want to do with your life which I’ve listed out down below. Some of these questions I've listed come from some of my personal mentors, public figures, financial advisers, world leaders and psychologists. All of these questions have been proven useful for people who hate the career or job they currently have but don’t know what they want to do instead.
If you find yourself in the midst of the 85% of Americans who hate what they’re doing in their career, try going through some of these questions and see what comes out of it for you.
1. When have you felt most alive in your life? Write down as many experiences and details down as you can.
2. Looking back at your list, what are some shared commonalities between these experiences?
3. Imagine waking up tomorrow to having all of your problems solved and nothing was holding you back (ie: if money is a struggle now, you wake up to being a billionaire). How would you spend your time? (ie: Meditating with Buddhist monks in Thailand) What would you do? (ie: Travel to as many countries as possible until death) What would you be? (ie: a bed and breakfast owner on a tropical private island near the Maldives)
4. What would be the worst case scenario in pursuing the above? (ex: failure, broke, eat ramen noodles every day…?) List as many as possible. Get crystal clear.
5. What would be the best case scenario in pursuing the above? (ex: duh! I get to travel the world!) List as many as possible. Get crystal clear.
6. What are you currently doing with your time now? What do you do now? Who are you now?
7. What would be the worst case scenario in staying where you’re at right now?
8. What would be the best case scenario in staying where you’re at right now?
9. Now that you’ve listed out the best and worst case scenarios for where you’re at and where you’d like to be, ask yourself: “What is holding me back?” or “What are my biggest fears in pursuing this?” List these all out and once again, get crystal clear.
10. What is one step you can take right now (yes, like right now, right now) that will help you get one step closer to that life? (ie: email my old professor and ask them how they were able to travel the world)
11. How do you want to feel when you’ve achieved it? Or, how will you know when you’ve achieved what it is that you’re searching for?
Lastly, get up close and personal with the questions that stumped you or that took you longer to answer. If this is you, take this to heart: We can’t find excitement or happiness in our lives if we don’t even know what we fear or what we want in the first place. We must name it to tame it!
If all else fails and you need some forward motion, go back and reflect on your answer for question #10: What is one step you can take right now? This can mean something as simple as talking to other people doing the things you want to do to ask them how they did it, reading books by people who are doing what you want to do or finding a good therapist or a mentor to help build your awareness of your strengths.
And if you answered these questions, easy, peasy… what is stopping you?
Get started on your career exploration journey today or schedule an appointment with me at the office!
Sara Paules, LPC
Mindful Soul Center