“I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!” is one of the best feelings.
I get it when I’m talking with a career coaching client on the phone and walking through the forest. And I used to get it all the time when I had a job leading canoe trips, being silly and working in the woods with teenage girls.
But there are other times in my life when I’ve been doing work that’s important to me and that I’m good at, but I end up feeling exhausted afterwards. So what’s the difference? And how can I (and you!) feel energized by our work more often?
There are certain gifts and talents that you were born with and make you feel alive. And there are also some gifts and talents that come naturally to you but aren’t energizing and may even make you feel deadened or exhausted.
Maybe you’re good at math but it isn’t that exciting for you. But because you’re good at it everyone told you as a kid you should be an accountant or an engineer. So you do that but what you really love and are also good at is design. Or maybe, like my friend Noemie, you’re an amazing visual artist, so everyone told you to go into art. And you’ve tried but you’re learning that playing music with others is another one of your gifts and it’s what really lights you on fire.
Your vocation or your purpose is when you do that thing that you’re naturally talented at AND that makes you feel alive. And that’s when you can have the biggest impact. You’re good at it and you’ll become better with practice. And you’re not going to burn out after a few years and quit.
Another benefit is when you’re doing what you’re good at and you love, people will be drawn to you. People are attracted to those who are truly happy so as you do more of this, your personal life will become more interesting and fulfilling as well.
So how do find the thing? How do you figure out you’re vocation or your purpose?
Four Steps to Your Purpose:
Find out Why You’re Stuck
Maybe you aren’t doing what you really love because you think, “that’s not a real job” and believe it’s impossible to make money at it. Or feel guilty getting paid when it’s so much fun. Growing up our family, teachers and the media give us ideas of what a “real job” is and what isn’t.
For example, A. had always heard that you can’t make money as an artist. So even though she’d been painting and drawing since she was a young, young kid, she went to university for English Lit.
She hated it and dropped out.
Then she went to school for Engineering. Again, she hated it, dropped out.
Finally, years later, she went to school for animation and loved it. Then got into a prestigious industrial design program where she’s learning how to make art and make money.
So for A, an this belief about artists cost her $1000s of dollars and wasted years of her life.
And the thing is that although some artists don’t make much money, there are some artists that make a lot of money. So her belief about artists wasn’t 100% true even though in some cases it is.
So you need to figure out what beliefs are keeping you stuck. Write out all your beliefs about work and then read them over to see which ones are not 100% true.
Find What Makes You Feel Alive
The next step is to write out all of your best memories. Put on some music you love and write down every memory where you felt full of joy. Start with your childhood and then move through your life, writing about every time you felt fully alive.
Look for Themes
The next step is read through these memories looking for themes. Put on more good music and read over all your memoriesWhat are some of the common threads that run through your memories? Take note.
The final step is to start experimenting. Try taking a comedy improv class or teaching painting. See if you love it. If you love it do more. If you don’t move onto another experiment. When you find something you really really love consider charging for it. Start small then ask for more money. See what happens. View it as another experiment.
The other thing you need to continue to work on is finding out why you’re stuck. As you move towards what you love, fears will come up. You’ll think, I can’t do that! I can’t ask for money for this! I can’t ask for that much! And I shouldn’t ask for money because I love doing it anyways. I should just do it for free.
When the fears come up, notice them and keep experimenting. Doing what you love involves risk. Gather your courage. Try it out. Fail sometimes. Keep going.
Civil Rights leader Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
The world needs you. The world needs your gifts. The world needs your aliveness.
So find out what you love and go do it!
And you can totally do this on your own, but if you’d like a helping hand I’d be honoured. I’m really excited to be offering a program called Pathway to Your Purpose that goes even more in depth into these 4 steps. In the program you get:
-(4) 75 MINUTE ONE ON ONE COACHING SESSIONS WITH ME (SKYPE, PHONE OR COACHING IN THE FOREST AVAILABLE)
-WEEKLY HOMEWORK TO HELP YOU TO FIND OUT WHAT’S BLOCKING YOU, IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS AND WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE
-EDITING SUPPORT AND TEMPLATES FOR SALARY NEGOTIATIONS, COVER LETTERS, NETWORKING EMAILS ETC
-UNLIMITED EMAIL SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE 4 WEEKS
AND BONUS! ONE FOLLOW UP (5th) COACHING CALL IN SEPTEMBER TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK 🙂
Program runs: July 24th – August 19th and we’ll find coaching times that works for you
Full price: $400
Early Bird (before July 17th): $300
Student Discount: $350
Student + Early Bird: $250
LEARN MORE HERE – https://couragecompass.org/pathway/
And whether you work on your own or with me, I really hope you embark on this journey!
The world needs you and your gifts. I can’t wait until you bring them forward!
Talk soon and sending good vibes your way!