A lot of my readers have questions about life purpose and how to make the right career choices. Many of us feel like we don’t fit into a box, and our passions, interests, and talents are all over the place. Recently someone reached out to me saying that she felt so uncomfortable because her career dreams don’t fit into a box. Everyone she knows seems to comfortably fit into a category like lawyer, secretary, physician, teacher, and so forth. But she, her dreams, her plans and passions pull her in all kinds of directions, she has no idea where her journey will take her, and because of that she thinks that something’s wrong with her.
I know that feeling all too well. Problem is, and I’m sure you know this, many of us don’t fit into categories. Many of us can’t give an easy and precise answer when people ask us, “What do you do?”. But why assume that something is wrong with you? Maybe something is wrong with that question. Maybe instead of asking each other what we do, we should ask each other what we are passionate about, how we enjoy spending our time, or what has been grabbing our attention lately. Don’t just assume that something is wrong with you. You are fine.
But we are a new generation of people, living in different times, making different choices, and living different lives than the people who came before us. And you know what, that’s true of every generation. Usually, the reason this causes us concern is because our family and our loved ones have certain expectations. They want to know what we’re doing, where we’re going, how we’re gonna make a living, and so forth. And even though they are concerned about us only because they love us and want us to be well taken care of, it can feel like a lot of pressure coming our way. Pressure to take a “save job”, pressure to settle for mediocrity, pressure to force yourself into one of those boxes so your family will be happy even at the cost of your misery.
But, and this is the important bit, they’re not the ones living your life; you are. Your parents in particular are the ones who gave you life in the first place. They’re the reason that you’re here. It can’t be their will for you to waste away living a miserable life. It just can’t. Remember, their concerns are coming from a place of love, but even so, you have to follow your own path. You should always follow your heart, your intuition, your inner north star. No other person can tell you what you should be doing, where you should live, who you should be with, what career you should choose. Only you know what’s best for you. There’s no point in making your life choices trying to please others. They’re not the ones living your life. You are.
I’m learning how to drown out the constant noise that is such an inseparable part of my life. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world.
Your family might not fully understand what you’re doing, but that’s fine. You might not be ready to be unapologetically yourself in front of them, and that’s fine too, as long as you’re aware of what you’re doing. You will see soon enough that compromising your identity doesn’t work for you OR your family. It might feel a bit awkward to stand up to them in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it. Because you have to. Because clipping your wings and hiding your light will become too painful. Eventually you’ll have to spread your wings and shine brightly because it will be unbearable not to. You can start small. You don’t have to make big changes from one day to the next. You can take it step by step, and open up more and more each day.
And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Then there’s this general fear of being an adult that many of us have. I hate the word “adulting” because it implies that being responsible and taking care of shit are chores, rather than some of the privileges that come with being a free, independent person. First of all, what’s so bad about being a grown up? To me that means being independent. I didn’t enjoy school because I hated being told where to be, and when, and what to do, and what not to do. I wanted to make my own rules, become independent and make my own decisions. But yes, it’s a process.
I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.
I do get though that all the things that fall into the category of “adulting” can be overwhelming. Because, sadly, most of us lack education in that area. We’ve never been taught how to read contracts, how to manage our finances, and how to set ourselves up for success in that way. And so we just wing it and learn through trial and error, which is one way to learn, but it does feel scary and overwhelming at times. I wish it were different, believe me I do, but complaining about it won’t get you anywhere. Rather this is another opportunity for you to take charge and get your own education.
Marie Forleo always says, “Everything is figureoutable.” We are lucky to be living at a time where mother Google is at our fingertips at all times. We can ask the internet any question we might have and we will find answers. That’s how many of you have found your way to this very blog. And there’s also countless books, workshops, conferences, and so forth on every topic imaginable. It’s just a matter of grabbing the reigns and putting the work in.
I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.
Another fear that some people have in regards to growing up, is that growing up means they’ll have a different personality, they’ll change into a completely different person, and they’ll lose themselves. This is one of those things where you just have to talk to people to learn that it isn’t true. I’m sure everyone you ask will tell you that you don’t just change personalities when you grow up and get a job. Everyone I ask tells me they still feel like a child no matter how old they are. Even if they are married, have kids, have a house, and a business. And you know why that is? The real you is always there no matter what the outside appearances. The real you is immortal, eternal, and unchanging. You are always you no matter how you look, no matter where you are, and no matter what you do. A Course in Miracles says,
The Thought God holds of you is like a star, unchangeable in an eternal sky. So high in Heaven is it set that those outside of Heaven know not it is there. Yet still and white and lovely will it shine through all eternity. There was no time it was not there; no instant when its light grew dimmer or less perfect ever was.
This is you. You have nothing to worry about. Embrace your unruly personality, your scattered career plans, that multi-passionate drive of yours, and know that it’s all gonna be okay.
Wanted to tell you, accept yourself.
You don’t have to prove shit to no one except yourself.
Talk to other people, ask your friends how they feel about getting a job, about growing up and so forth. Ask what their experience has been. And you’ll see, we’re all in the same boat. Our journeys might look different on the outside, but inside we’re all facing the same fears, the same struggles, and we’re all feeling overwhelmed at times. The only difference between people who make it and people who don’t, is that the people who make it never give up. They keep putting one foot in front of the other day in and day out. And that’s how they reach their goals. If anyone can do it, so can you!
I hope this helps! What are some struggles you’re facing regarding career choices, life purpose, adulting, and so forth? Post them in the comments below or send me an email. I always respond.
PS: Yes, yes, I’m a massive Beyoncé fan. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Here are some more inspirational Beyoncé quotes.
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