I don’t know about you, but I find it slightly discouraging to read/get advice about finding what I’m passionate about from people who have already found their passion. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it feels like once someone figures it out they forget how hard it really was during the not-so-enlightening part. If you can relate, I hope this little article will give you encouragement and let you know that you are not the only one who hasn’t found their proverbial life’s mission. Here’s a little personal background so you can get a feel for where I am coming from:
Kat’s Work History in 5 Bullet Points
- Plan to be a professional singer for most of early life. Go to college for Vocal Performance to discover that I hate everything about music school and the prospect of being a professional singer.
- Without a backup plan, I feel completely and utterly befuddled for (give or take) 2 years while I rebel against the unknown with recreational drugs and soul-crushing food service gigs.
- Elect to return to college to study something practical, like business. I want to be creative so I focus in Marketing.
- Marketing =
- I spend the next 5 years blindly bouncing around in the following fashion: sales -> customer service-> marketing management -> event planning -> facilities management -> unemployment -> floral design -> unemployment -> Present
As you can see, I am still smack dab in the middle of the confusion but I keep getting up every day, writing articles, and reading things like ‘What Color is Your Parachute’ and ‘Finding Your Own North Star’. These actions are, of course, supplemented with unpleasant bouts of self-doubt, frustration and general anxiety. Do you feel like me? Well, friends, here are 6 things I am doing to survive and keep on truckin’:
Get out of bed.
I know, it’s a bitch. The sad truth is that opportunity might knock but it’s certainly not going to let itself into your house, pull the covers off and offer you the chance of a lifetime while you’re still in your pajamas. The internet has tricked some of us into thinking that we can stay in bed and ‘look’ for a job but, ultimately, you’ve really just got to get out and do things. Just hauling your computer to the closest coffee shop is a tiny step in the right direction.
2. For God’s Sake… Stay off Facebook!
They call it Facebook for a reason. It’s the Face that everybody wants everyone else to see. You really think people want to post about their failed job interview or a selfie of their worst hair day? Nope. Everyone is going to wait until something magnificent happens and post it all over their news feed. I admit, I am guilty of this too! My guestimated Facebook ratio of mundane real life occurrences to super awesome moments is about 10:1. That’s the way my life is anyway. Remember that picture of me that I posted at an awesome concert surrounded by awesome people? Ya. That was the one time I actually left the house that week…The point is, when your life is ACTUALLY going wonderfully, don’t you think you’ll have better things to do that document every second of it on Facebook? Everybody’s go their own shit to figure out, but no one is going to post about it.
3. Give yourself a chance to do something you find fulfilling every day.
This has really saved me. There is a tendency when you are feeling confused, discouraged, lost or inadequate to punish yourself by frantically trying to ‘get it all figured out’. This never works and you always end up feeling even worse and used up. For example, money is a little tight right now and I cannot necessarily afford to go to yoga every week. I can, however, swing the $18/month membership fee for YogaGlo.com. I do yoga at home with a lavender candle lit. It’s nice and keeps me sane-er. Once you have taken your walk, written your story, shared coffee with a friend, or whatever it is you love, then you can get back to figuring out how you are going to conquer the world. Slow down there Copernicus, chances are the earth will still revolve around the sun after you’ve taken a brief walk.
4. Be discerning about advice.
Can we all agree that pretty much everything has worked for someone? Especially with the internet, we have access to billions of improbable success stories that make us bitterly mutter the question, “but why not me?” Advice is great in small doses but if you pack too much of it into your brain you are going to lose sight of the one voice should actually be listening to – yours. What do I really want? What do I really believe? What will make me happy? The truth is that no one can answer those questions but you.
5. Don’t forget how far you’ve come.
What fun will finding your bliss be if you can’t look back and remember all the shit you went through to get there? Personally, I keep a journal and like to look back, when I am feeling particularly vulnerable, and read my scribblings about the torture of working as a waitress or the frustrations of working under an angry micro-manager. Things aren’t great right now but they are definitely better than that! It also shows you how much you have learned about yourself along the way. Just think of all the mistakes you have already made! That’s a lot of failure that you’ll never have to experience again.
6. Talk to someone else who doesn’t have it all figured out.
Whether it’s an online comrade like me or a personal friend, make time to commiserate with somebody else! Life’s hard enough, there is no reason to go through it alone. Please check out my blog or comment below with some of your personal stories! I would love to hear them!