Do you worry that you may be stuck in an unfulfilling job forever? Do you fear that you will never figure out what you really want to do? Does this fear keep you stuck in a perpetual loop of thinking and thinking and thinking… trying to figure it all out in your head with little to no success?
You are not alone. Many people find themselves stuck in this way and are not sure how to move past it. Here are a few tangible things you can do to help you move away from your fears and towards your dreams.
- Baby Steps. You don’t need to figure it all out, but you do need to take action if you want to move toward the direction of your dreams. Instead of trying to figure it all out, re-frame the question in your head. Ask yourself this, “What is one tiny step I can take today that will move me away from my current state and into a more desirable state?”. Maybe the answer is to update your resume. If you haven’t written a resume in awhile, maybe the answer is to google “resume templates” and start from there. Maybe the answer is to reach out to someone in your network who inspires you and schedule a coffee date. It doesn’t really matter what you do but you do need to do something. Think smaller. Instead of trying to figure it all out, try doing one small thing every week for the remainder of the year. You’ll be surprised at how much progress you make.
- Slow Down. If you catch yourself saying, “I’m really busy” every time someone asks you how you are doing, it’s time to take a breath and slow down. Being busy doesn’t mean you are in control. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. I find it fascinating how North Americans use the word busy like it’s a badge of honour. “How’s work?” “Busy”, “How’s your week going?” “Busy”. “How are you?” “Busy”. If this sounds like you, I challenge you to take a few deep breaths and give yourself permission to become a little less busy. If all of your days are completely booked and over scheduled, there is no time for you to grow or even think about what growth looks like for you. Schedule some time in your calendar just for you. Then use this time to think about what area of your life you’d like to grow in. Think outside of the office. Do something just for the fun of it. Take that dance class or that cooking class or learn how to play guitar. Slow down. Try something new. See how it feels to do something just for fun.
- State It to Create It. While some of you may have not yet discovered what it is you’d like to do, there are others who have an idea but are afraid to say it out loud. Maybe you’re a lawyer but you dream about opening a wine bar, maybe you’re a corporate executive but you dream about starting your own company, maybe you’re a (insert your title here) but you dream about (insert your big audacious dream here). Nobody knows about this dream because you’ve never said it out loud. You worry that saying it will bring on judgement from others or that saying it will mean that you have to do it and you’re not yet ready. Here’s the thing… you need to be able to state it to create it. It might sound embarrassing or uncomfortable to state your dream out loud but once you say it, you claim it. Claiming it is the first step to achieving it. If you’re not yet sure what your dream is, think of one thing that you love doing and do more of it, or think of one thing that you’d love to learn about and take a class. Make a commitment to yourself to either tell someone what your dream is or, if you haven’t figured it out yet, sign up for a class or an online course and learn something new this week. You may surprise yourself and discover that this step is exactly what you needed to take the next step towards your dream.