The art of being

Until about three years ago I was always on the search for a job that would make me happy. One I would love and would be inspired to go to each day. I wanted to work for an organisation I truly believed in. I was after that elusive role that would fit with my strengths and ideals and would excite and inspire me.

I always used to tell friends and family that:

“I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up.”

However, at the time I didn’t realise how much of an oxymoron that statement was.

I wasn’t actually looking for what I wanted to BE. I was focused on needing to work out what I wanted to DO. What job would it be? What career ticked all the boxes? What role would allow me to feel satisfied? I wanted the perfect job description for the perfect organisation.

Of course I was putting all my emphasis outside of me and I was stifling any movement or forward direction, because in my mind until I had decided what job I wanted, I couldn’t make a choice about what to do next.

I even started receiving coaching with the express purpose of (and I quote from my intake survey) “finding a clear idea of what career/job/role I want to work towards.”

However, what that coaching taught me is the power of looking at who I wanted to BE rather than what I wanted to DO.

When I started focusing on who I wanted to BE, I noticed things changing. This was within my control. I could do things that would move me closer to my ideal future self. I could move forward. I could grow into the me I wanted to be.

With the focus on who I was, I wasn’t defined by the label of a job or career. I wasn’t constrained by job descriptions. I could explore various avenues of work that fitted in with growing the areas I was interested in. I found I had amazing discussions with people about things that I found interesting that lead me to various pieces of work I wouldn’t have ever contemplated otherwise.

I’m still not 100% sure what work I want to do “when I grow up”, but I’m ok with that! I am very clear about who I want to be and I am living that person every day. And as long as I am living and breathing the life into me, I know I will be doing work that inspires me and hopefully inspires others too.

So who are you now and who do you want to be?

(And wouldn’t it be amazing if people asked THAT question rather than “So, what do you do?” at dinner parties!)


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