Quite a few years ago I had a job I disliked. It was easy and I was afraid to look for something better. I was a marketing coordinator for a credit union. I knew what to expect on most days and I didn’t have to try that hard.
I ended up coasting for the last three years of my tenure there. I was afraid to leave. It was such a bad decision on many levels. I did bad work and I stopped growing my career.
As I look back on my time there. My reality did not match my expectations. I was hoping to be a famous author at that point. I wasn’t even close. I told myself that I needed to stay so I could focus on my writing.
Looking back on my time there I see that I was scared because I didn’t want to be a failure. It was easier to stay at a job that didn’t fulfill me because it was easier than finding a better job and failing at it.
We all get comfortable. The people that keep finding ways to grow are willing to try things that others aren't are so much happier. They don't get stagnant. They focus on doing their best, so when they are ready to make the leap in their career they have the energy and confidence to make it happen. They’ve stayed passionate and sharp.
We get comfortable and we stop trying our best. When we stop trying our best we pick up bad habits. These bad habits spill over into our attitude and willingness to try new things that could really help us do work that we love.
Here are five steps to stop coasting and do work that you love:
Try not to skip a step. When you do them in order it makes it easier to focus on your first action step that will get you closer to work that you love.
1. Be clear of what you want out of your career (Vision)
You must be clear on what you want. If you aren’t then you end up just floating around trying to grasp onto anything. And even when you are able to grasp onto some thing, you still aren’t sure and you hesitate.
It’s not about being 100% sure on anything. It’s about being 80% sure, trying to succeed at it, and calibrating on your next move.
Most people don’t get is that they need to calibrate with their beliefs and vision on a regular basis. If you aren’t checking in with yourself each day then you can slowly go a drift without even realizing it. You have to believe that you were able to try something and learn from it, so you can build the confidence. Eventually you’ll see that your failures are what truly builds your confidence to new heights. Check out the Rate Your Day Routine to help you build confidence.
2. Understand that you have options (Mindset)
You always have options in your career. Too many of us think we don’t have the skills, talents, or abilities to do something a little bit different and something we’re more passionate about.
When we can see that there are possibly too many options and that’s what really holding us back. We then don’t try anything.
The reality is you have all these options, but you just need to pick one and try it out for a few months. This is how you can start growing your career again. You can work on becoming more resilient by using the Dig to Fly method. You can get the free mini-guide here. It helps you turn any issue into an opportunity.
3. Develop a plan (Strategy)
Once you can see that you have viable options then it’s just about creating a strategy that excites you. It starts with your routines and habits.
You need to work on this option every single day even if it’s only for five minutes. If this time turns into 15 minutes and 30 minutes. You know you’re on the same thing.
Look at your schedule and decide when you can squeeze in five minutes to put at least three months into this idea. The idea is to try something see if it boost your energy or reduces it. If it boosted then you can move onto the next step
4. Dig into your feelings (Emotions)
Many of us don’t feel that we deserve to enjoy our work. This is bullshit! You deserve to do work you love.
As we’ve lost touch with their heart, we can’t connect with our feelings. When we try something new, we need to feel how this experience truly feels to us.
When you work on this new thing. I want you to journal how it makes you feel as you do it. Notice the feelings that Bumbo bubble up from insecurity to excitement. This will start helping you rebuild a connection to your heart and work that you love doing.
5. Calibrate your plan (Reflection)
The last step is to calibrate your actions. As we take action and work on this possible passion then we can better tune into how we feel inside. It’s this practice that so many of us have forgotten about since we’ve become adults. We stopped listening to our inner child and it’s hurt our joy for our work.
You aren’t going to figure out the things that you love doing until you you start failing. Its failure that truly boosts our confidence. As you fail you’ll see different ways to improve. As you make small improvements then you’ll start seeing small wins. This is how you start to build your confidence back up, but this takes time and patience.
This is where most people get tripped up. They try something for a little bit and it doesn’t work and they give up. The people that succeed, like many of the successful people I’ve interviewed, know that true enjoyment comes from making those small tweaks and getting those wins. Because those wins will add up and boost you forward.
We are all wired to achieve. We are also wired for fear. It’s why our ancestors didn’t get eaten by a wild animal. We were able to take enough action to survive without being killed. This mindset is deeply ingrained and can often lead to procrastination and coasting in our careers.
We need to break this cycle by taking well intentioned action, so we can make mistake, learn from them and make better choices. Look at where you want to grow your career and decide what you can do for just 5 minutes a day to grow in this area. You can try the Dig to Fly Method to help you process your thoughts and emotions and find the opportunities. Start with the Dig to Fly Mini-guide. It helps you focus on small improvements, 1% improvements, then you can start to make progress in your career again and get back to doing work you love.
Now go find a small project that will bring more energy into your career. Burnout can hit at any time. That's why passion is so important. You must do work that you love. If you don't love it then you must start making small changes. It can be a side hustle or asking your boss for a chance to do a special project that you’ve been thinking about. If you go this route this is one of the best ways to build your resume and get a promotion. Stay in touch and let me know how it goes.
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