A few years ago all I knew was that I didn’t want to be doing what I was doing. I was stuck.
I couldn’t take action because I didn’t know what my passions were.
As a perfectionist, I had to know all the answer before making a move. I was waiting for the magical feeling of “knowing” to come and hit me over the head so that I could act.
But as time went on, I became more and more dissatisfied with continuing in a direction that really didn’t excite me. And the answers weren’t getting any clearer; I got more confused as time went on.
The thought of spending 60-70 hours in an office drawing lines on a computer was horrifying to me.
I could no longer accept the dissatisfaction, whether I knew what to do about it or not.
So, even though I was in Dublin studying my Masters of Architecture at the time,
I made a sudden radical decision. No more architecture.
I had NO idea what I would do instead, but I didn’t care. I’d just spent 4 months backpacking around Europe solo, and I could see that there were other much-more-exciting life possibilities out there.
It was in taking the action to stop studying my masters that I finally worked out what I love to do. It didn’t happen instantly, but it started the moment I took the action to quit my masters. In those years following, it took a lot of experimentation and trial and error.
(Interspersed with periods of confusion where I got distracted from my life by falling in love.)
And with repeated trial and error (i.e. taking ACTION – even though I didn’t know what I was doing), I eventually found my way to this brilliantly exciting life that I now lead.
At the time I had no way of knowing I would end up here, it only makes sense in hindsight. My mind would never have been able to work it out.
I had no idea things would work out, in fact, I spent most of those years feeling guilty and confused for having veered off track into what seemed like a “non-direction” of travel, superyachting, and all sorts of jobs – receptionist, PA, medical secretary, bartender, chiropractic assistant, health coach – all while I tried to work out my shit. Little did I know that doing all these things was helping me work it out as I went along.
I felt flaky and commitment-phobey – but it turns out I just hadn’t found anything that fit the bill.
My point is that there would never have come a time when I felt “ready” to change my career path.
We’re all waiting for a time in our life when we feel “ready” or “sure”. Ready to act, ready to make changes. We rely on our feelings to tell us when is the right time.
We wait til we “feel” confident before walking over and talking to a hot babe.
We wait til we “feel” motivated to go and exercise.
We wait til we “feel” safe enough to open up and let our guard down.
We wait til we are “sure” enough to quit our job to go in another direction.
But we forget that our feelings come as a RESULT of our actions, or our non-actions, not the other way round.
So what are we doing waiting for them to change? We’re holding ourselves back, playing small. Many people wait their whole life to start living. And just before they get started, it ends.
You won’t feel sure before you do anything. You got sure of how to ride a bike after you tried it a whole lot of times. Not by mapping out the perfect plan of action before you jumped on the bike to try it out. The sureness of whether it feels right or wrong comes AFTER the action. You take action, you try something, it works, or it doesn’t work. Either way, you’re one step closer to knowing what you do or don’t want.
No one ever gets clear on what they want to do in life until they find themselves doing it.
Stop letting your mind tell you it has to work it all out first.
Go and do whatever it is that you’re waiting to feel ready to do!