You are diligent and hardworking, yet it sometimes feels like you don’t get much out of life outside of work. When you feel like you’re always working, it can be difficult to identify your genuine self.
It might be difficult to find significance outside of work: It’s just easier to wrap ourselves in our professional identities when they feel like the only certainties in our lives. However, in most cases, this causes more harm than good.
Listen to this week’s episode of the Wealthy & Regular podcast, in which we talk about careers and identity, and read on for some advice on learning to know yourself better outside of work.
Your Work Title Does Not Define You.
While being enthusiastic about what you do is admirable, keep in mind that it is not all that you are. Feelings of isolation and loneliness, which have been increasingly widespread throughout the pandemic, might be exacerbated by thinking of ourselves as “just” our work titles.
It’s More Important To Find Your Mission Than It Is To Find Your Passion.
The terms “purpose” and “passion” are frequently used interchangeably, however, they are not synonymous. Passion is all about emotions—how we feel when we do something and how we get motivated by those feelings.
Purpose, on the other hand, is usually about assisting others and is aimed outwardly. Finding your purpose isn’t always straightforward, and it usually involves a great deal of trial and error. Remember to be patient with yourself as you figure out what brings you joy outside of the office.
Spend some time with your journal and consider the following suggestions to help you restrict your focus:
Look through your library, movie, and television selections, and look for themes that you return to time and time again. If you watch every new environmental documentary, for example, you might want to look into how your particular skill set can assist rescue the globe.
What other people say about you: Find out what things you talk about the most with others who know you well, such as your partner or friends, and use those as hints to help you home in on both your purpose and passion.
Consider the following examples of items that have harmed you in the past: Thinking on past wrongs done to you and working to remedy them now is useful if the painful, approach to growing your purpose. If you didn’t have the same access to education or resources as your classmates, for example, you might find your calling mentoring or assisting students in finding those chances.
Happiness Isn’t The Only Thing That Matters.
It’s tempting to believe that if we just identify what makes us happy, we’ll figure out who we are, but this is paradoxical. While happy moments are wonderful, and we should take time to appreciate them when they occur, you may note that they are ephemeral and may not contribute to long-term fulfillment.
Instead, Jungian psychotherapist Dr. James Hollis wants us to ask ourselves, “Will this option enlarge or reduce me?” Looking at anything that broadens your horizons might help you identify your life’s purpose and find meaning for your current and future selves.
Be mindful that expanding your horizons may not result in instant satisfaction. As you reflect, you may find that you need to make some difficult decisions about whether to stay in a relationship or work that has run its course, or whether to re-examine some of the things you thought were part of your defining values.
Contemplate the Following Questions as You Consider the Idea of Enlargement:
What are my main concerns? Knowing who or what you need to concentrate on will assist you decide which distractions to avoid.
What am I able to control? Your choices shape your life, so make sure you understand what you have control over and what you don’t.
What do I consider to be my personal standards? Make a list of criteria that apply to your life and strive to meet them every day. Small everyday practises can help you deal with larger issues in the future.
You may help yourself achieve contentment and answer some of the challenging questions by performing this internal work before they start to weigh you down. Recognize that who you are and what you do are two separate entities and that by expanding your horizons outside of the workplace, you are paving the way for a brighter future for yourself.