I just finished having a Part 2 Podcast conversation with fellow coaching colleague of mine – Sharon Cavanaugh – where we delved deeper into what tools, tips and strategies we have in our arsenal to best serve ourselves and our clients when it comes to turning the dial up on life.
We switched around different topics, but there is one I want to focus on today.
It relates to the question:
Are you (a) doing what you love to do, or (b) what you have become good at?
We could also interchange the list of (b) options with…
…or what people think you should be doing?
…or what you think you should be doing?
…or what your parents wanted you to do?
…or what you get the most recognition from?
Case Study: Do I really want to be CEO?
Sharon was sharing an example of a client of hers, whom she has been working with for about 3-months. This person came to them because they wanted help to reached their goal of becoming the CEO of the law firm they work at. After a bunch of conversations, and without prompting from Sharon, the client is now considering leaving the legal profession all together and writing children’s books.
They thought they wanted ABC, but it turns out what they really want is XYZ.
Will this be easy?
But it is probably a better way to play out this thing called life. That is, trying at some point in your life to do the very thing you really want to do.
Is this path (the ‘do what you really want to do’) for everyone?
It could be, but unfortunately it generally comes with literal and metaphorical bumps and bruises along the way.
Though bumps and bruises generally = growth and learning. So you still win, regardless of the outcome.
But I am so good at this…
I have found the most common thing with my clients over the last 14 years, is most people do what they do professionally because they have become good at it and they get a high level of recognition – whether that is verbal, financial or status.
Less of them do what they do because it is really what they want to be doing.
Is that your experience as well?
Perhaps my view is biased, as the people who come to see me are considering, or open to, a conversation about change or transformation.
However, I still suspect there are a LOT of people, in the world, who are not following their deeper inner desires (and sacred purpose), particularly professionally.
What to do…
“Am I doing what I love?” is actually a pretty tough question to ask, and it is hard not run away like a startled gazelle, when you start feeling uncomfortable.
I am sorry, but it turns out that the self-accountability and self-responsibility thing are the stepping stones to your personal evolution.
When you ask the question, also ask it with curiosity and not judgement.
Ask as if you are just after some feedback – for now.
Then you have the power to choose to do something with the feedback once you have it, or not.
But only ask the question if you are after a life of fulfillment, meaning, challenge, and growth.
Another thing…Don’t be in a rush.
I think this is important advice.
If you ask the question, and discover you are not doing what you love, don’t feel an immediate need to do something about it.
Sit with it.
You might then ask the next question:
“What would I love to be doing?”
Sit with this also. Don’t feel you need to have an immediate answer. Don’t feel you need an immediate plan. Don’t think if you don’t know ‘how’, that is not worthy of your attention.
The question of “what would I love to be doing?” is pretty general, so feel free to upgrade it. But stay curious.
Speak to the right people about the question and your responses (Note: this does not include people who will be threatened or experience unfavourable consequences, real or perceived, if you changed your profession or trajectory). Speak to people in the profession that you feel you might be interested in. Get perspective.
But don’t keep doing what you are doing if you don’t enjoy it or aren’t fulfilled or it makes you unwell.
It is time to open yourself and your mind up to other possibilities.
And again, don’t think you need to rush this thing, burn bridges or sing to your boss today, “You can take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more!“
You might even hire the right professional help with this transition process, to make it less guesswork and more strategic.
Do ask the question.
Then act deliberately, mindfully and courageously.
My Final Thoughts
I love seeing people in alignment with themselves (at their very core) and in alignment with the ‘universe’ or your version of that.
I love seeing people fulfilled by their vocations.
I love seeing people use their greatest gifts, in a way that serves others.
I love seeing people stretch into their full potential.
So ask the questions, and see what feedback you get.
Then graciously respond in a way that ‘feels’ right for you.
Now, really is a time to choose a wholehearted life.
Have a super day. And all the very best.
PS: For a deeper conversations, check out my weekly Podcasts here.