Confession. I’m like that too.
I have quite a history of starting, and then leaving, different jobs, and of making the difficult decisions that come with that. Let’s call it exploring.
For me, I found that changing my employment situation (sometimes in a completely different direction) was a way to quickly learn what works best for me and to identify what I would prefer (by knowing what doesn’t work). It’s the beauty of contrast that I’ve written about before.
I think that sometimes our desire to ‘get it right’ holds us back. We don’t want to make a mistake and go in the wrong career direction, especially if it involves investing in education or training.
We don’t want to ‘waste’ our money or time – or inconvenience the people in our lives – or mess with the routines that we’ve created – or let others down.
So we stay stuck.
But think of it this way. Any investment you make in yourself is valuable. It strengthens your wisdom, allowing you to be a better leader. You become more well rounded. You become a role model and mentor you can be proud of – because you’re taking risks, following your hunches, and learning along the way. Not to mention the amazing skills you develop, experiences you have, people you meet, and stories you have to tell.
So the next time you find yourself stuck in indecision about what career path to choose because you haven’t figured out what you should be doing with your life, consider these three points:
- “You can’t steer a bike that’s standing still, so you just have to go for it…If you move forward, you’ll find your way, because your way will be informed by who you are, what you want.”
- Instead of asking what should I do with my life (or any version of that BIG question), try to make it more manageable by asking, “What do I want to try next?”
- After asking Q2, create the space to be still and listen so you can hear your own answer. Your intuition is always there to guide you.
Decide to do something, guided by your intuition and grounded in personal meaning. Notice how changing the language to ‘try’ and ‘next’ takes some of the pressure off to get it right?
Who said you have to commit to a certain job or type of work for life?
Give yourself permission to try and then refine (regardless of your age), perfecting as you go until you find a better and better fit. As you change, your ideas about work will probably change too. So be open and flexible. Like the diver, it’s OK not to know the end result before you start.
I don’t think there’s a problem with the search for work that is a better fit – that ideal work which holds more meaning for you (and for introverts in particular, allows you to sustain your energy levels).
The problem is when you get stuck in your head thinking about it (or stuck in a job that is draining you of all the light inside you). Don’t let fear trap you. Keep that bike moving and more clarity will come.