Try taking 15-30 minutes to write about how and why you are who you are today. I know this suggestion might elicit an eye-roll but the results just might amaze you. Retelling your story in writing unearths the core elements that drew you to your current whereabouts. The writing may reconnect you to your passion or reveal alternative paths.
Reconnect With What You LOVE About Your Work
That said, it’s easy in the hustle & bustle of daily work to become disconnected from the very communities that we belong to and/or the people we claim to represent. For individuals in this scenario, reconnecting your industry peers, sharing work with others in you field, meeting with potential partners to discuss collaborations, ideas, and connections, can remind you what you do is so important to you.
Get Some Of What’s Missing Into Your Life ASAP
Escape fantasies are frequently fueled by frustration over the seemingly non-stop rejections that are a natural part of life. Maybe the project you poured your heart & soul into was critically received or the new business idea you were excited about when you thought about it two years ago has been rejected from yet another investor. All of these are normal parts of life, but they can make you feel like you’re stuck on a very slow-moving ship when the rest of the world’s is zipping by at the speed of light. If this is the case, then ask yourself what’s missing and how you can get a piece of it immediately.
If what’s missing is a sense of comfort and home (because your day-to-day work has left your living space almost unlived in) then buy a plant, hang something on the walls, or take an evening to cook a special dinner that will fill your home with comforting smells. Or if there’s a piece of you that has died as a result of your singular professional focus, resuscitate it by taking a dance class, sitting through one of those boring sales pitches for a free timeshare trip, or training for a marathon. Each of these examples can help create a full life for you along the way.
Explore Other Options
Start by identifying five role models (people who are doing exactly what you think you want to do) and interviewing them. This has a way of taking dreams from the abstract into reality. Sometimes people find that the job they thought was ideal wasn’t what they imagined. Others would quickly realize that every occupation comes with moments of fulfillment and lots of daily frustration. And sometimes, the interviews would confirm their deepest desire, and they ended up making important connections, developing relationships with future mentors, and consciously moving in a different direction.
Create An Exit Strategy
It’s okay if you decide to leave a job that you’ve been at for a while or may even be vested in, if for no other reason than there are thousands of people who would love to take your place. It’s even okay to pursue other work. Everyone will tell you you’re crazy, but a lifetime guarantee of employment doesn’t feel like a privilege when you’re miserable and you really want to do something else.
Each of these exercises are aimed at helping you to discern whether the kind of resistance you may face is fueled by unclear goals. And if so, is it a momentary paralysis in response to the stressors of your environment or is it your true self begging you to use your tremendous gifts and talents in another professional capacity? Those who leave a long-time job because they are pulled toward something else are often delighted by their choice and wonder why they stayed for so long.