Katie Vessel says being passionate about supporting yourself and your family is enough.
If you have chosen to read this article, you are likely one of the many of us who struggles with the issue of feeling they have to choose between doing what they really love and working some sort of job that pays the bills.
I feel like this is something that has not only caused a certain level of inner turmoil for myself, but also for the majority of the people that I know.
Most of us have things that we are passionate about, be it a type of creative pursuit such as writing, an artistic endeavor such as painting or music, or maybe even the pull to do something that we feel is really helpful to others. For instance, I know a lot of people who would love to teach yoga but cannot figure out how to support themselves financially by doing so, I have a friend who has the dream to walk away from his legal practice to do work with the Special Olympics, and I also recently had a conversation with a financial analyst who wants nothing more than to become a ski instructor.
A lot of us have these dreams that seem to pull at us sometimes even at a soul level, yet we feel trapped in our career paths and find it difficult to walk away from what we have built to pursue something much more unconventional. We can feel guilt and even a sense of inner shame around feeling as if we are trudging through some monotonous, unfulfilling job which has become nothing more in our minds than a means to an end.
We can feel as if we are selling ourselves short.
As I mentioned, I felt this way for a long time, but I now feel much differently about this issue. I recently went back to the corporate world out of necessity after going through a divorce. I struggled greatly with this, as I had within the last few years began a business that embodied all that I am passionate about in life. My goal was to help others to love their lives as much as I had begun to love my own life—even despite it’s challenges.
I felt as if I was selling out.
But something had shifted in me within these last few years, and I started to see that guilt and shame as nothing more than a pattern that stemmed from decades of conditioning myself to feel this way. I had been telling myself that if I did not somehow morph my passion into my career that I was not doing my best—that so much energy would be going to something that was not my goal, but rather the goals of some company or organization.
Thankfully, before I began this job I had a realization. I realized that just because my “work” was changing, I was not. I am still the same person, and I can choose to carry what I feel is a decent amount of integrity into that world and into all that I am doing there.
We put so much emphasis on the bigger picture sometimes of what we do, that we forget about the importance of the seemingly trivial every-day components of who we are.
While some might view their nine to five job as something that they have to get through, we can overlook the opportunity that exists even in that environment to be everything that we are wanting to be in a job that perhaps would feel on some level to be more rewarding.
What can feel rewarding is treating others like they are a human being even in a sales job. It can be choosing to have integrity in our interactions——not pretending to be something that we are not or wearing certain hats in order to close a deal. We can choose to be the person in the office that does not contribute to gossip and we can even do little things for our coworkers, customers and clients that we would not normally default to doing in a role if our perspective is that we are only doing what we are doing for a paycheck.
We can begin to feel passionate about not what we are doing, but rather who we are.
Of course we can still opt to use time outside of our working hours to put energy into creative endeavors and other passions, and keep the option open to perhaps put more time into these types of pursuits further down the road.
We can choose to stop beating ourselves up and feeling empty about our day jobs, and can choose to be grateful for it and focus instead on our perspectives, which relate directly to how we show up not only at our jobs, but wherever we are at in our lives.
We can flip our entire outlook on the situation to that of focusing on feeling and exuding something positive wherever we are at—despite the circumstance. When we can begin to feel at peace with this, not only will others see it but we will likely enjoy our jobs that much more because we aren’t depending on our job situation, whatever that may be to fill us up from a happiness perspective.
We can have the same goals. These may show up differently, but we can use our creative energy in almost any type of situation, and we can help and support others in any environment—we don’t have to shut these parts of ourselves down.
If we can identify our longings in a general way, we can take these and apply them in whatever we do. And then our “dream job” can simply be seen as who we are and how we interact with the world.