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Find Your Passion and a New Career Path, Part 2

happy chefLast week in Part 1 of Find Your Passion and a New Career Path, I explained that unless depression is obscuring your career bliss, your passion may be hiding behind a bunch of “shoulds” left over from childhood.

I promised specific ways for you to get your heart back, and here they are.

Hold these loosely. Just try them and see what happens.

Listen to Your Heart

1. Dare to Dream About Your Dream Job

Imagine doing something you think you could never make money doing. Without giving in to your brain’s frantic, hand-wringing pleas for you to “be reasonable,” allow yourself to indulge in a fantasy about doing that very thing, and getting paid for it.

What would you LOVE to do all day? What would it look like if you made your living that way? Fill in the fuzzy bits with some detail to make it more real.

Pay attention to how hard your brain is working to try to convince your heart to give up the fantasy.  Don’t be swayed by what seems like logic. Allow your heart to win this time and revel in your dream.

2. Embrace Your Values

Can’t think of anything you might enjoy doing? Ask yourself this instead: What do I value?

Examples of values are independence, recognition, security, belonging, and freedom.

Check out this values list from Values.com. There are a million different lists out there; this is just one example.

When I work with people around their values, I usually have them pick out their top 5 in any order. Then, from among those 5, I ask them to choose their top 3 in order of priority.

No big deal if you can’t determine the exact order. Once you know your top few values, think about how each is currently playing out in your life.

For example, let’s say your top value is self-actualization, the fulfillment of your personal potential.

In what aspects of your life are you already on track toward self-actualization? Can you feel your potential in relationships, but not in your work? Are you firing on all cylinders mentally but not spiritually?

What’s missing that could put your life on track toward self-actualization?

3. Pay More Attention to Yourself Every Day

Listening to your heart gets easier the more you do it. Check in with yourself in small ways, every single day.

Example: You receive an invitation from a friend for an upcoming barbecue.

Instead of thinking about whether you “should” go, let your first consideration be how you feel about the idea of going.

You might still decide to act against your own wishes. But if so, it will be a conscious choice, rather than an automatic one.

Get used to checking in with yourself about what’s true for you in any given moment. Your passion will reveal itself now that you’re looking in the right place.

It’s been there in your heart all along, just waiting to be found.

Photo courtesy of FreedigitalPhotos.net

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations. The author of "Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them" and the "Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children," Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships. Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called "Constructive Wallowing."
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0 Responses to "Find Your Passion and a New Career Path, Part 2"

  • timethief
    July 20, 2013 - 8:21 pm Reply

    Boot the shoulds! Embrace the coulds!

  • Alexandra
    July 28, 2013 - 8:52 pm Reply

    I just discovered your blog and I have so much to say. Thank you! As an estranged daughter (from my mother), recovering from depression/ptsd, excitedly pregnant and happily married, but a professional identity crisis (and currently unemployed), THANK YOU! Your words make sense to me!!

    • Tina Gilbertson
      July 28, 2013 - 9:13 pm Reply

      Thank YOU, Alexandra, for stopping by and leaving a note. Congrats on your happy and growing family, and best wishes on the professional identity front as well. Please don’t be a stranger.

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