One of the great paradoxes of discovering what you should do for a career is that you likely already know the answer. In fact, you’ve probably known it for quite some time.
How do you know what it is? You’re probably reading about it, thinking about, following it, studying it, and pursuing it just because it’s interesting.
When I was in college I loved to teach. I taught Sunday School and I would mentally prepare my lesson all week. I’d analyze my classroom teachers’ techniques, read about how to get better at it, subconsciously critique others who were doing it, and think about doing it when I had nothing else to think about. So what did I do when I graduated? I went into public relations. Why? Because yet another sign of a potentially ideal career is that, paradoxically, we also doubt it.
Awhile back I was career coaching a student. I told her that she may already know what she wants to do but may be resisting it out of fear, doubt, or because there is no clear path. I asked her if she had any ideas. She said, “I think I know what it might be. I’ve been drawn to mental disabilities for the past year. I have many friends that have struggled with them and I’ve been passionate about learning more about them. I follow an association on Facebook, read articles about it, and find it really fascinating. I’ve even considered clinical psychology…” And then she said the one thing that almost always confirms that it is something that should be explored and pursued: “…BUT I didn’t think it was a viable career option…”
When we’re on the verge of a breakthrough we can almost guarantee that we’ll feel resistance. Your inner voice tells you over and over about paths you should explore and it is ALWAYS followed by the voice of resistance telling you why it won’t work and why you’re not good enough. Those who are successful don’t ignore the voice of resistance or silence it. Quite to the contrary they acknowledge it, recognize it as a sign that this might be something worth exploring further, and press forward anyway.
When you think about doing what you’ve always wanted to do, what comes before the “BUT” and what comes after? Heed the stuff before, acknowledge the stuff after, and press on!
What have you been resisting?
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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