A client recently told me that she'd been following me on Instagram and reading my Career Articles for over a year before reaching out to me to talk about her career challenges. She'd completed the Work Fit Checklist on my website, read my emails and finally said "enough is enough" and set up a call with me . She told me that before that, she had been dreading going to work almost every morning for over 10 years.
This made me remember all the nights I used to lie in bed wishing I didn’t have to go to work the next day.
Like me, she said she just couldn’t shake the feeling that what she was doing wasn’t what she should be doing.
She said she just could not get clear about what the right thing for her was. This was the problem.
She was pretty clear about some things though…
She was clear about not wanting to dread going to work, not wanting to feel burnt out, bored, or stuck. She imagined herself feeling great about what she did, that her work supported her life and even made her feel a bit proud, not resentful.
I remember thinking the same thing before starting my private practice in 2012. When I imagined not feeling tortured by my work, I felt peaceful. It gave me a nice little ping of dopamine that soothed me. I can’t even tell you how many times I thought about this. I would think about it, feel a bit better and put it aside.
I kept my dream in the back of my mind and would think about it often, it would bring me comfort and then I’d let it go. I would tell myself…”someday”.
Someday when I have more time, more energy, more money, more courage, or when I can focus.
Surely that day will come.
Looking back, my vision eventually stopped bringing me comfort and a feeling of peace. Rather it started feeling more like a dark cloud hanging over me. Following me around, stealing moments here and there. I started feeling scared and even a bit panicked that I was running out of time, I started feeling guilty about the resentment I felt. I started feeling ashamed that I was burning out, and finding it harder each day to find hope or belief that anything would ever change.
I’d think about how much time I’d spent dreaming and waiting. Giving away what I wanted to all of the “somedays”. Putting my life off until tomorrow. Taking false comfort in the fact that I would do it eventually—when I finally had more time, money, focus etc. Then I’d do it perfectly.
The “I’ll do it perfectly…tomorrow” didn’t work for me. I realized that it would eventually kill my dreams. I understood exactly what my client was telling me because I also spent 10 years working in a way that didn't work for me. It didn't work for the life I wanted.
I went down the path of if I’d only started trying things instead of just thinking about them—but I’d been afraid of not getting it right. What if I’d done one small, imperfect, uncertain thing each day or each week…where would I be? Even if I’d gotten it wrong, at least I’d be one step closer to knowing what might be right.
I “what if’d” for a long time. Then I snapped out of it. I accepted that yes, starting this 10 years ago might have been the best time to start but the second best time is now. I won’t have more time or money later. Tomorrow won’t be better. I need to start today.
So I did. You can too. Start today. Schedule a call with me. If we’ve already chatted, send me an email and let’s get working on taking steps together. If we have a chat already scheduled, I can't wait to meet you.
You won’t have more time tomorrow. You won’t feel like doing it more later. You’ve been there and tried that.
Do it now.
Sending lots of courage towards taking the next small step!