I decided to add some questions and answer’s into my blog posts. Here is a question I received from a young guy who is really discouraged with his situation. Can any of you relate?
Q: It’s been over two years since I earned my BA. It’s been over two years I’ve been in a tailspin, uncertain of what to do to get out of it, but constantly fighting to get out of it. I’ve spoken to Career Services at my University; taken several career assessment tests; considered majoring in journalism at another university, considered majoring in paralegal studies; enrolled in and earned 24 credits in the Masters of Public Policy program at a local university before eventually dropping out; quit my job and got a new job—full-time–at a call center; and quit the call center job to enroll in school full time for my secondary teaching certs—only to regret the decision once it was made. I’ve talked endlessly about all of this with friends, family, counselors, career advisors, psychologists, coworkers, bosses, and even strangers.
And yet here I am, still lost. I’m tired. I feel more hopeless than I ever have before. I’m not a bad person. I’m smart and capable and I have a degree. I just want to have sense of direction, some independence in my life, and I can’t find either.
A: Hey! Thanks for reaching out!
First, I want to encourage you that it is very rare that someone in their twenties (and even thirties) lands on a passion that sticks with them for life. Passions evolve with us. They change as we change and vary from season to season.
Many people take a long time to gain clarity on what they can do for work. I frequently remind people that, you are not stuck or trapped in any job….ever. There is ALWAYS a solution and a way out. It may not come immediately and you may have to fight like hell to get out, but you WILL get out…IF you do not give up.
I, for example, had to try many things before I got clear on what I am passionate about and can make a living from- in this season. I’ve had more failures than successes, and I’m totally OK with that. Allow the feedback from what IS NOT working for you teach you just as much as the things that DO work for you.
You are not a failure, or a loser, or a hopeless case. Don’t believe those lies and give them any power. Those thoughts will keep you defeated and stuck.
Many people get degrees to learn that they hate the field of work they thought they would love (much like myself). It took me almost three years of being miserable, feeling stuck, hopeless, and believing I was a victim before I learned that there is an ABUNDANCE of choices and options available to me. The road was not easy at all, but it was (and is) extremely rewarding and empowering.
You and I have way more control over our destiny and life than we realize. The first thing I did to find the courage to take action, was decide that no matter what the end result was for whatever goal or venture I was on, that I would not give up and believe the lie that there is no hope.
So here are the 4 things I did to get out of my despair, and highly recommend you do as well:
- REPLACE the lies you’ve been believing about being a failure and that you are in a hopeless, defeated situation with the truth: which is that, you are powerful, empowered to make decisions that will change your life (for better or worse), you are above the situation that you feel beneath, and there is nothing wrong with you. (Please note: Decisions that could make your life more difficult are: wreckless spending, accumulating a lot of debt, trying to do everything on your own, isolating yourself from the world, any sort of criminal activity, etc.. Deciding to go back to school or pursue a job you believe will be rewarding to find out it isn’t, is NOT a bad decision that will make your life worse. It’s just a decision that had a different outcome than you had hoped.)
- DECIDE to take action: Don’t allow the fear of making the WRONG decision paralyze you from moving forward. Use wisdom when making decisions but don’t mistake wisdom with fear and indecision. If things don’t turn out the way you had hoped, learn from it and use the lesson to make a more educated and equipped decision this time. You now have a lot more knowledge from taking action than you did from being inactive.
- BE CLEAR ON WHERE YOU ARE RUNNING TO: While action is better than inaction- activity just for activities sake will burn you out…unless you have a clear sense of direction of where you are going. This is the HARDEST part of the process….and often not one that happens quickly and on your own strength. Reading books is often not enough, but it is a start. Asking your parents is ok- but we tend to blow them off because, well they are our parents. Parents and friends are often very well meaning, but may not advise you to do the best thing for you.
- JOIN a support group of like-minded individuals that are going through the same thing you are. This process can often feel very lonely. It is very healing to connect with a community of other people that can totally relate to your discouragement, fears, feelings, etc. This is absolutely worth investing into if you can find any way to pay from such groups like this. I have the Purpose Pursuit program that will have other people just like yourself in it. This is priced MUCH lower than working with me one on one (My rates for one on one coaching range from $900-$3600). I priced this program lower so that people can afford to get the help they need. Just because the price is lower, does not mean that the value and quality of service will be. We meet TWICE a month PLUS you get three one on one sessions with me included in the price (this is a $900 value in and of itself) if you are one of the first 5 to register.
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Ready to change? Join the Passion Project or Purpose Pursuit to secure your success!