Have you ever caught yourself doing something you do not enjoy, yet you've been doing it daily? This can be something as minor as using the same toothpaste your mother made you use in childhood, to something as major as your life work. Sometimes we get good at something, only to discover our skill isn't something that brings us fulfillment. Yet to ask the question, "Should I change?" seems not to occur to us because the perceived risk of change is too great. Fear of the unknown is paralyzing, so we stick with the familiar because we have learned to tolerate it. Or maybe we don't want to waste what it took to "get there." This could be anything from money and time required to train and educate ourselves in our field of work, or perhaps there are people who have come to count on your productivity and you don't want to abandon them. So we forsake ourselves and we hide out in the familiar of our routines. How do you know if this is what you've been doing?
The first thing is to start asking yourself the penetrating questions, beginning with this one:
Have I been hiding out in my life?
Is there something I've been tolerating that I don't have to?
Am I staying put because I'm afraid a change will make things worse?
Do I fear failure, and that is why I resist change?
If you answer yes to half or more of the above questions, it is time to do some deeper exploration. Ask friends, family, or colleagues what they believe is most energizing to you. Ask yourself that question. Compare the mix of answers. Is there a theme running throughout?
Next, ask yourself if you get to do any of your favorite things in your typical work week. If the answer is no, begin to explore if you can turn that into a yes. Perhaps there are opportunities for your passion right where you are, but you just never requested plugging into it. If there are no opportunities, could it be you just discovered an entrepreneurial opportunity? Or perhaps your current employer would be open to adding your talent to the products and services it provides. It's time to talk again with others who can begin to answer for you if there is a market for what you do, and if so, what expectations about revenue might be.
Venturing out of the familiar and exploring new opportunities takes courage. But the energy boost it provides you when you decide to discover and honor your talents and passion is worth the risk. When your talents align with how you spend your time, you improve your overall health and joy in life. And that reaches others to boost the positive outcomes in the world.