From the outside everything looks great: you are successful, you have a comfortable life, you have the nice office or the fancy title. And you’re going through the motion, you’re doing a great job, you’re receiving praise and accolades for it.
However, deep down you’re not really resonating with the work you accomplish every day.
It may be that the company’s values are not aligned with your own or that the people with whom you’re working don’t inspire you or even be a mix of several factors.
In any case, it sometimes feels as if you are leading the wrong life, and you are more and more convinced that despite your success you’re not making the impact you want to be making.
Here are five things you can do when you’re not making the impact you want with your work:
1. Stop rationalizing!
You’re probably familiar with the expression “there’s no smoke without fire”. When it comes to your life, this can simply be translated as “if you’re feeling uncomfortable and unfulfilled there’s probably a reason”.
Most of us have been trained to put on a happy face and be good little soldiers. However, while it’s important to be positive in the face of adversity, the lack of assessment of a negative situation and the inability to take appropriate measures to correct it can have devastating results. Just take a look at the data on stress, burnout, and even suicide among highly-trained and successful professionals.
Pain is a signal, don’t ignore it.
2. Stop making yourself busy!
When there are uncomfortable truths to look at, one of the favorite tricks that our minds play on us is keeping us busy.
Being busy is a perfect way to make ourselves feel important, to give ourselves the illusion of having a purpose. We pack our calendars with to-dos and appointments and meetings which gives us a sense of importance.
However, if we were to be really honest with ourselves, we would realize that most of these things that are keeping us busy are unimportant.
Or at least, they don’t really matter to us that much. They might matter to our boss, they might matter to our friends but they certainly don’t matter to us.
And they don’t bring us closer to our sweet spot, the place where we feel we are having a real positive impact.
The fix is simple but it comes with one caveat: it may not be easy to implement in the beginning. You must re-prioritize and declutter your life.
- First, re-prioritize your life around things that make your heart sing: things that inspire you, things that you believe in, things that are aligned with your values, and things that are aligned with the impact you want to make in the world.
- Second, declutter. This may be the hardest part.
For this you may have to let go of some habits, of some people, or of your career even…
The rule is simple, if it’s not in alignment with the positive impact you want to make it doesn’t belong in your life.
Now you don’t need to be reckless about it but you will need to put a plan into motion and prepare your exit…
3. Don’t wait for things to get worse.
Because these days everybody is so busy and change is uncomfortable and messy, the easy tactic to deal with change is to push it to the future. “Tomorrow I will deal with this”, “after I get my raise I will have the money to support my dream”, “next year I’ll think about my starting a business”.
The problem with this is that perfect tomorrow never comes.
There’s always something: there’s always an emergency, there are always new responsibilities, there are always new clients or new files to deal with and we stay stuck.
If you’re aware that your situation is not working for you, if you’re aware that you’re not making the type of positive impact you’d like to make in the world, don’t expect your life to give you the opportunity to make those changes.
You will have to create the space to make those changes.
And the sooner, the better.
After all, if you’re on the wrong tracks, everyday you wait takes you further away from your true destination.
4. Redefine success.
The world sees you as successful but you feel miserable. Something is wrong here! It’s very likely that you have followed the wrong definition of success all along.
What is considered successful in the world may not be what really works for you.
It may not be what your soul aspires to. It may not be what you were created to do.
- Is it really success if it doesn’t make you happy?
- Is it really success if you’re not following your values?
- Is it really success if you’re feeling less alive each day?
Society cares about cars and houses and job titles, however your soul may be more concerned with leaving a positive legacy, with bringing peace on the planet, with helping women feel happier.
Those things are not mutually exclusive, but pursuing one set doesn’t mean that you will automically have the second one!
You have to be clear on your goals and define success on your own terms.Be clear on where you are going, so you don't resent where you arrive. Click To Tweet
5. Reinvent yourself.
It has never been easier than now to reinvent your life. In the past century, society has changed dramatically. People are now accustomed to changing jobs, getting divorces, changing countries, learning new languages, and embracing diverse roles.
There’s no real stigma attached to reinventing your life anymore.
The only thing stopping you from changing your life is probably yourself.
Yes, your aunt may not fully understand what you’re trying to achieve.
And your mother may wonder why you’re leaving such a wonderful and prestigious career to open a vegan dog-treats bakery or create a micro-investment app (she probably is not clear about the concept even).
But in truth these are not real obstacles.
In the end, you will probably not be cast out, at worse you may have a few uncomfortable conversations.
The real obstacles will more than likely be your fears, your doubts, your feelings of unworthiness.
- “Who am I to have an extraordinary life when so many people are suffering?”
- “Why do I deserve to be happy when so many are miserable?”
- “I have never attempted this before, I don’t know where to start.”
I hear these all the time and all I can say from personal experience and from working with my clients is this: make a decision.
The moment you will commit to living in the way you were meant to be, you will begin to see path. Trust in your story and in your higher purpose. The resources will come, you will gain the knowledge and your fears will dissipate as you confront them.
Lastly, we live in a very-well designed universe. If you have a desire to make more positive impact be assured that someone out-there is desperately waiting for you to step up to the plate finally play your part.
Don’t fail them.Someone is waiting for you to share your gifts! Click To Tweet
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Last updated on June 25th, 2019.