It is never too late to be what you might have been.
– George Elliot
Deep within all of us reside special gifts and talents waiting to be unearth. If they are left dormant, a feeling of restlessness and discontentment can overcome us. Why then, is it so difficult for us to tap into our strengths and talents and discover our career path?
Who We Think We Should BeMany of us are driven by the “shoulds” of who we should be. This mindset can take us further and further away from our “authentic self” and we begin to seek careers that fulfill others’ expectations of us. No wonder lack of personal fulfillment begins to set in.
To begin to rid yourself of the shoulds of who you should be begin to become curious as to whose messages you absorbed. Do they sound like your parents, authority figures, or the larger society? To gain more clarity, write these messages down. What comes up when you read them? Allow these feelings to surface. Are they your truths or someone else’s?
Unearthing Your EssenceIf you continue to live in response to these messages, you’ll live an unlived life. To unearth your true essence and connect to your soul’s purpose quiet your mind and reflect back on your life. Ask yourself powerful questions such as:
- During childhood, what could I spend hours doing that made me feel alive and in the flow?
- During adolescence what made my heart sing?
- As a young adult when did I feel most fulfilled?
- What were the environments like?
- What were some of the skills and talents that I tapped into?
While engaging in this inquiry process, scan your body for somatic reactions. Is there a pitter patter in your heart due to excitement, are you experiencing a tingling sensation throughout your body, and are you getting goose bumps? If so, your body is guiding you to what your heart desires. Look for a common thread among these experiences to help your career path unfold.
SecurityYou may be saying to yourself, I can’t risk my security by listening to my heart’s desire. However, when you play it too safe you are taking the biggest risk of your life. Joshua D. Froster and llan Shrira, authors of The Narcissus in All of Us reveal that one of the biggest regrets that individuals have is not pursuing the career path that they loved. Instead, they chose ones that they felt offered more security than personal fulfillment.
When a career choice is made from fear base thinking, a door is closed to the desires of our authentic self. Make a commitment to step onto your own unique career path and become the person you were created to be. Live by this famous quote by business consultant Jim Collins, “It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life and it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” .