Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up, especially actual adults! Every day, people tell me that they wish they had found their career passions earlier in life—those ideal careers that would make them feel fulfilled and energized. While many of us develop and try to follow career plans, if feels as though most successful people accidentally fall into doing what they love, making it seem as though all of our efforts at planning are in vain.
I was there too, so I totally understand the feeling! That’s why I wanted to share my own story with you. Sometimes, as in my own case, you may blindly take baby steps forward only to realize that you were headed toward accomplishing your dreams all along.
When I was working on my doctoral dissertation, I was so stressed after moving yet again, working in a new job, dealing with infertility, and enduring my husband’s deployment. I felt stuck in a lot of ways, so, even though I would sit down and plan specific times to study and put “writing time” in red ink in my old-fashioned day planner, I would somehow end up completing chores during that scheduled work time.
I guess you could say it was a bit of situational depression—after all, military spouses really are facing many stressors that other people simply can’t conceive of! But what helped me break out of this procrastination cycle and my feelings of dissatisfaction was hiring a coach of my own.
Sally Jensen, the Dissertation Doctor (now called Academic Coaching & Writing), worked with me each week until I was so sick of hearing myself complain about things I wasn’t doing that I got out of my own way and started typing up my dissertation. Along the way, I fell so in love with the process of coaching that I started learning more and sharing the process with others.
Sally and I worked together even beyond defending my dissertation. With her support, I was able to take important steps, such as getting some coaching training, volunteering to help military families, and even putting my information up on the Barnes and Noble bulletin board to test the waters. When I started getting calls and working with clients, my coaching training began to make a lot more sense. Finally, I was applying all of what I had learned!
Despite this momentum, however, I still felt stuck—I simply didn’t have my own niche or defined passion in life. How was I going to teach clients to find passion in their own lives when I wasn’t even sure of my own?
Eventually, Sally figured it out for me. “You love helping military spouses, so just work with them,” she explained. This discovery eventually led to a career that I find incredibly fulfilling and one that works well with the duties of being a mom.
Finally, I had found my path in life!
Finding Passion Through Baby Steps
Now, when clients come to me and say they don’t know their passion, I can confidently assure them that it’s a completely normal and acceptable place to be in, before explaining that we can discover it together. I love to share my story because sometimes people can see their own strengths better when considering their lives with fresh eyes.
Just taking a little action can boost your confidence until you realize that your passion has been guiding you all along!
If you’re feeling stuck with any aspect of your work, taking a small action is often the best remedy. Just moving forward lowers anxiety and starts you in the right direction. This action will build momentum, provide you with feedback, and help you keep moving forward until you wake up one day and realize that you are finally passionate about your work.
Next month, I am hosting a free coaching call to help listeners determine their missions, visions, and values following a process similar to some of the first coaching fieldwork I completed with Sally. I am confident that, if you are feeling stuck and/or are prone to procrastinating, taking these first action steps will help you too!
Take that first step forward and trust that it will lead you to success in the end. For more information, visit www.militaryspousecoach.com/events/.