Have you ever found yourself working in a job that isn't inspiring you?
Maybe it used to excite you, but now it feels like there's something missing? Maybe now, instead of leaping out of bed each morning, you catch yourself wondering what else you could be doing, what else is out there, that doesn't involve being stuck on the corporate treadmill, in the frantic rat race?
I mean you're smart right? You have a brain for gods sake! So why do you find yourself repeating the same day over and over again...like groundhog day...not moving forward?
Here's the thing about human nature. There's actually a very simple explanation for why we do the things that we do. Even those things make us look crazy. And at some level, it boils down to one simple question. And the question is this:
What are you willing to sell your soul for?
I get it. It might seem a little OTT, but I don't look at it that way. It's just a simple equation; if we're doing something that doesn't inspire us, it's usually because we're either trying to avoid pain elsewhere, or it's at the cost of something else. What do I mean by that?
Well...what do YOU sell your soul for?
We all do it...have a think about it now....is it any of these?
- A 6-figure salary package
- A comfortable, safe life without any risks
- A lovely big house & a mortgage
- The approval of your friends & family
- The status of a fancy job title
- The ego boost of working for a blue chip company
When we find ourselves in a conflict - whether it be a job that doesn't fulfill us or any other aspect of our life, it's usually because at a subconscious level we have decided to place a higher value on something else.
So when we choose to stay in the well-paid, corporate job - it could be because of any manner of things. The saddest thing is that often the things we sell our soul for are not even what we really want deep down. We're living someone else's life.
Take the fancy job title - is this what we really want, or is it what society dictates to us is the highest form of 'success'? I mean, who are you if you don't have the word 'Director' or 'Manager' after your name? Crazy but true.
I remember when I was starting out in Advertising, all I wanted was to work on the cool brands - the huge, big name brands that everyone knew. And so, I paid my dues, worked on the boring finance brands first until I could finally work on the cool, creative ones. But what happens when you finally get to work for those companies? Well not a lot actually. Nothing's really that different. Except you get to tell people you work for 'so and so' and feel a bit smug about it.
So often in life, we strive for goals without even taking the time to stop and ask ourselves if it's really what we want. And this is what leads us to reach a point in our life where there's a gaping big hole. And we feel like something's missing...something's not quite right, things didn't turn out how we thought they would. And it dawns on us that the things that we thought would make us happy...actually don't. This is the bit where we get stuck.
So how do we get unstuck?
The first step is to get honest with ourselves. Ask ourselves what are we selling our soul for? In what way are we compromising our genuine happiness - not the pretend happiness - or the life we feel we should live, but the life that we really want to be living. This bit of course requires that we know who we are.
So when I work with people as a coach, the first thing I do is help them to figure out who they are and what's important to them, and from there...together we can start to hatch a plan and figure out what they really want to be doing with their life.
So take a moment now to stop and think about it. What might you have been selling your soul for? And was it really worth it? If not, then today's as good a day as any other to make some changes. You get one life and as Steve Jobs rather aptly put it:
Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life.
This article first appeared on SimpleLifeStrategies.com. Zoe B is an acclaimed Career Strategist who helps thousands of people all over the world change careers to do work they LOVE. To get started with your own career change, register for Zoe's free online MASTERCLASS: Find a New Career in 30 Days.