Does this sound familiar?
The stack of self-development books on your bedside table haven't cured the heavy weight you wake up with each morning. Your corporate promotion was exciting until you realised you were back to forcing a smile on every call just a week later. You've recently started using your lunch hour to read horoscopes searching for reasons why you still aren't happy or fulfilled.
Or maybe you’re in between jobs, looking for “the one”. The one job that you can finally say you love, where you’ll finally feel seen and valued. Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur or a coach and you’re not aligned with what you’re offering anymore, something doesn’t feel quite right but you’re not sure what. Maybe you’re in a creative industry and you’re not feeling very creative.
“Maybe there’s something wrong with me?” you ask yourself.
Or perhaps you’ve come to this conclusion: “I’m just not meant to be happy”.
I hear you, it doesn't feel good thinking these thoughts and relating to yourself this way.
Is this your strategy?
Despite the inner conflict, you force yourself to love where you’re at. And to make this pain more bearable, you’ve developed a survival strategy:
“Living for the future” has become your default mode. That beach holiday in Spain, that yoga retreat in India or simply those Friday night drinks at the pub is enough to keep you going on a Monday morning. And it kind of works for a while.
Do you dread this question?
Then one day you’re at your friend’s birthday BBQ or maybe you’re attending a networking event and suddenly you get asked “that question”.
That question that will throw your strategy out of the window in a split second and bring you back to the reality you’re trying to avoid:
“What do you do (for a living)?
Ouch. Salt in the wound moment. You were doing so well until that question.
That question is a reminder that you’re still not happy right now, that you’re in a job or a situation that doesn’t bring you joy. Your answer feels like a justification. It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that you love what you do.
You can feel the uncomfortable undercurrent of shame that comes with not really feeling proud of what you do or where you’re at (surely you should have figured it out by now - and surely, you didn’t invest in your education to question yourself 10 years down the line).
Then you’re back to asking yourself:
“When will I get there?”
”Who am I?”
If that's how you feel, it's ok. You're not alone. Take a deep breath and be kind to yourself - you're asking yourself all the right questions to move forward. And if you're here, reading these words, it means you know deep down it's possible for you to find authentic joy and fulfilment.