I had an email from a client recently who said she was still struggling to find out what her passion was.
She felt it was essential to understand this as it would mean she could choose a new career knowing it was going to be the ‘right thing’.
But is finding your passion really so essential?
I think part of my reservations around this issue is the word ‘passion’. How does it feel to you?
Is passion your thing?
For my part, it feels a bit dramatic and over the top as if I should be breaking out into song and dance as soon as I discover what this passion is. But you know what? That just isn’t my style – and maybe it is not yours either.
Certainly if you are an introvert by nature, like me, you will be quite happy to enjoy the things that really interest you without a big song and dance going on.
So I think the first step in discovering your passion is to change the word if it doesn’t ring true for you.
Try just asking what really interests you, what absorbs you, what makes you smile and feel warm inside. Then you get let off the singing and dancing hook – phew, what a relief!
Other ways to discover your thing
Once you have found the right word, it is still useful to have a few strategies up your sleeve to help you identify what your ‘thing’ is, so here are a few suggestions…
If you found yourself locked in a bookshop for the night, which section would you camp out in? What topics are you drawn to? What non-fiction do you choose to read?
If you won the lottery
If you won enough money so you didn’t need to work to pay the bills, what would you do (after the holiday and the spending spree?)
Imagine yourself at the end of your working life. What do you fear may end up as a regret or to look at it more positively, what would make you feel proud that you have achieved?
What would you love to do but fears or limiting beliefs are holding you back? If you could park that fear, what would it free you up to do?
The elusive aha moment
Is that what you are waiting for – the moment when your eyes light up and you go – yes! That’s it! You could be waiting for quite a while. Better to get into action and start trying things out. Be ready to experiment. Doing something is much more revealing than just thinking about it.
Go on holiday
You can take this literally or just put yourself in new surroundings for a while. It is amazing what new ideas can float up if you break away from the familiar context that you live in day to day.
No, not past lovers - though thinking about them could give you some clues too! What absorbed and engaged you in the past when you were age 6, 12, 17? You may be older and wiser now, but you are still the same person inside. So look back with an open mind to the things you loved way back when. They could be a useful guide.
So there you go – a few hints to help you identify ‘your thing’. Whether you choose to call it a passion is up to you. Go with what feels right and I guess in the end that is the best guiding star you have. What just feels right to you?
From The Five Minute Career Coach October 2014
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