Have you ever been so busy you can barely breathe? Where you finally get 4 minutes to yourself, your mind starts to dive deep, and you start asking yourself questions? What am I doing? How did I get here? Is this where I’m supposed to be?
Have you ever experienced a transitionary period of life where you know it’s not your destination, but you’re in so deep that you can no longer see the destination? How do you survive in that transitionary period? How do you adjust to ensure that your sanity and happiness are kept intact? How do you pull yourself into the present when all you seem to be able to fixate on is your uncertain future?
How do you love your now when:
- You have unmet expectations?
- You know you were meant for more?
- You feel like you don’t have enough space for creativity?
- You know you need change, but you feel stuck?
- You need a mentor, but don’t know where to turn?
- You feel as though your purpose is not being lived out?
- You have anxiety?
- You feel your personal gifts are wasting away under a pile of “must do’s?”
For the sake of being fully transparent, in November of 2016, 6 months into starting a nutrition communications company, I accepted a full-time job with the government in an effort to meet our family’s financial goals for the next couple of years. “It will be fine,” I thought. “I can still do what I love on the side.” The goal is to be completely debt free within the next 12 months. We started with >$150,000 of student loan debt when our family began on April 21, 2012. This has meant having to table some of our wildest dreams for the sake of being responsible to our financial goals.
Due to this pull to do what I felt was the most responsible action for my family, I landed in an environment I wasn’t ready for. I went from networking freely, owning my decisions and results, and having the time and space to dream and let my creativity and passions lead the way, to sitting in a cubicle and asking permission to take action in my work around every corner.
True Colors: A Green in a World of Gold
I was gifted in my past career with the opportunity to attend a workshop with a management team and discovered that I was a heavy GREEN. I was the only green in the entire group of managers in my facility at the time. In the training, the instructor noted that the one word used most by a Green was, “why?” The entire room erupted in laughter when she said this, because they all knew how incredibly true that was. I tend to be worse than my 3 year old, but I can’t help it – I have an innate yearning to consume knowledge and a full, unbiased understanding of a broad range of topics.
“I am a natural non-conformist, a visionary, and a problem solver.”
Reflect for a moment how someone of this personality type works in a lower level government position. No “Breaking News” alert needed – even though I love the people I’m serving, it’s pretty clear that I’m not where I ultimately need to be. I am a solid Green in a world painted GOLD. Gold is the color of structure and stability, rule following, duty and practicality.
Are you where you are meant to be?
Take a fun, FREE version of the “True Colors” quiz HERE! (This is not the actual training – ha!)
After learning your color, are you where you’re meant to be? Congratulations if you are! The positive link between your personal strengths and your current career has been affirmed. If you are like me and have a realization that you are not living out your strengths in your work, what now?
Where to Go From Here
- Develop meaningful personal connections with coworkers.
This will not always be easy, but it will help you get through day-by-day when you’re struggling to drag yourself in the door every day.
- Understand your broader purpose in life.
What is your own personal “why?” If you had a vision and mission statement for your life, what would it say? What can your strengths bring to the table of society?
- Allow space for splashes of purpose.
Once you understand your “why,” you can sprinkle what’s meaningful to you into your daily routine. Whatever it is that you love; you must find a way to do it. Your sanity is at stake.
- Plan your future.
Don’t succumb to doing work you’re not meant for forever for the sake of practicality and responsibility. You only get a shot at life once, so allow time to plan your escape. You need to save some money? Save it. You need to take some classes? Take them. You need a mentor? Get one.
- Take care of yourself.
Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health must be cared for, especially during a transitionary career period. You’ve got to be at the top of your game when you make your escape. Also very important, make room for laughter.
- Stop caring what people think.
Rest in knowing that you’re doing what’s right for you. The opinions and expectations of the world have no place in your life.
- Appreciate the small things.
Free coffee at work. Nice perks. Personalizing your cubicle. The ear-to-ear smile on your kid’s face when you pick him up from school.
Love Your Now
Even if you are in a trying place in your career, there are ways to not only get by, but to love and appreciate the period you’re in. Trust and know that everything happens for a reason, and seasons are seasons – they never fail to change. Squeeze every bit of good out of your current season while you can. Use the time to develop, learn, and plan for the next move. Odds are, the next season will bring new life.
Sarah Harris is private practice Registered Dietitian and founder of Simpletic Nutrition, a nutrition services company focused on simplified strategies for weight management success. She lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and two sons. Her services, blog and contact information can be found at www.simpleticnutrition.com. Follow her on Facebook to get access to motivation and inspiration for a healthy life.