‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.’ Siddhārtha Gautama
How often do you stop yourself from making changes in your life because you don’t know what to do?
Sometimes it’s appropriate to take time out and reflect on our dreams and desires, so we can find our sense of direction again.
Most of the time though this confusion is not even real. It’s just a construct of the mind, an attachment to the need to know everything now.
Confusion helps to keep us safe. It clouds our judgement and prevents us from making decisions that lead us to something new.
Not sure if this is what’s going on for you?
Ask yourself if you have a pattern of putting your plans on hold because you feel confused about what to do next.
The confusion is caused by a false assumption because of course we can never be certain about the choices we make.
But the confusion feels real. So how can you shift out of this state?
Start to notice where it stops you and investigate what’s really going on. Is it an underlying fear? A lack of confidence? Or just an old story about not knowing what to do?
Whatever you discover, make a conscious decision to let it go.
It’s safe to make choices without knowing how things will turn out.
Just tell yourself, I am no longer confused.
Let the fog lift. How does it feel to be free?
You know what to do. You always did. Let truth whisper the answer in your ear.
PS: If you need some help to find your direction, there are still some tickets left for my Transform your Career workshop on Tuesday. We’ll be working on dreams, desires and important mindset shifts for change. Book your spot here.
I hear a lot of concerns about this one so I wanted to share some advice I think might help.
Watch below for my top tips on what to do if you’re more of a generalist than a specialist, and you’re feeling unsure about your next steps.
Got no time to watch? Here are the key takeaways:
I hear a lot of concerns from people who are not specialists because they don’t know how to market themselves to employers, and sometimes they have trouble figuring out which roles they want to go for next.
Here are my top tips for finding your direction if you’re more of a generalist or ‘jack of all trades’ than a specialist.
1) Understand your strengths
Before you move forward, you really need to have a good understanding of your key strengths. There are a few ways to approach this. You can either do a skills audit on yourself by reviewing your employment history (both paid and unpaid) or you can do an online assessment (there are some good options out there, I like the Values in Action Survey). It’s a good idea to get some input from other people such as work colleagues or friends and family because it’s difficult to be objective about what you’re good at. It’s something we all take for granted!
2) Choose which strengths you want to develop
Now that you have your list, review it and ask yourself, which strengths do I want to develop in the future? Which ones are going to help me grow in to the person I want to be? In other words, who do you want to become?
3) Your Passions and Interests
Now that you know which strengths you want to work on, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to do that. If you’re lucky, your current job may offer some opportunities. Maybe you can put your hand up for extra responsibilities or to lead a project. You can also involve your work colleagues outside of hours. For example if you want to develop your teaching skills and you are interested in wellbeing, maybe you get people together for an activity such as running or meditation at lunchtimes.
If there are no opportunities at your workplace, you will need to look at your passions and interests outside of work. Brainstorm your list and it may be a long one if you’re a person who’s interested in a lot of different subjects. When you have your list, narrow it down to your top four interests and look at ways that you can develop your chosen strengths through those activities.
So if one of your interests is cooking and you want to develop your strengths as a teacher, maybe you can offer to teach a cookery class at your child’s school, or if you’re interested in finance, you could look into teaching a ‘how to do a budget’ class at your local community centre or neighbourhood house. Similarly, if the skill you want to develop is writing and you’re interested in art, then you might try writing something about an art exhibition for the local newspaper.
Lastly, before you get excited and run off to do a million different activities, put together a plan for yourself and create both monthly and weekly goals. My advice would be to start small and build up from there, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Not only will you build your confidence and develop your skills by doing this activity, you will also attract new opportunities to yourself and start to see different possibilities for for how to progress your career.
You will be amazed at what will happen when you follow this process.
Let me know how you go in the comments!
PS: My next Melbourne workshop is open for bookings. We had a great group of women at the September workshop and I can’t wait to run this one again a the Swell Centre, Hawthorn on Thursday 8th November.
I’ve also been confirmed as a presenter at the Seven Sisters Festival in March, which I’m so thrilled about!!! Let me know if you’re going along. In the meantime, you can book your tickets for Transform your Career. This is for you if you’re looking to rediscover your passion and find some direction with your career.
A couple of years after I moved to Melbourne I finally got myself a car.
There was no such as thing as Google Maps back then, and relying solely on the Melways (remember Melways?) and my gut instinct, I was forever lost and running late.
The same thing was happening to a friend who had migrated from the US but her response was different to mine.
Where I would panic, get off at the nearest exit and make myself even later by driving around in circles, my friend would just stay on the road.
So how does that work out for you? I wanted to know.
Well the worst that can happen is I discover a part of Melbourne I didn’t know before, she said. But I know I’ll eventually find a sign and figure out where I’m going.
It struck me as a much better strategy for navigating the freeway system.
Stay on the road. Watch out for signs. Just keep driving.
There are times in our lives when we all feel a bit lost.
Maybe you know you need to make changes in your life, but you can’t see the possibilities yet.
We crave certainty and navigating the mystery of not knowing what’s next can be tough.
It’s also the time when we’re prone to making decisions we later regret, by forcing answers to our questions when they may not be ready to come. We decide it has to be this course, this job or this business idea. We would do anything rather than not know.
Before we make those decisions we need to be conscious of our dreams and what we really want, which is why this forms a core part of the work I do with clients (and also in this upcoming Melbourne workshop).
It’s amazing how unconscious our desires can be. If I told you right now you could have any job you wanted in the world, would you know what to choose? Or would you feel even more lost?
Allowing ourselves to be with the unknown is an important part of the process of change. This is not the same as procrastinating over a decision. Instead we’re allowing new seeds to take root, fresh plans to form. A gestation period is required.
So what can you do when you feel lost?
The best advice I’ve come across is to focus on what you do know about what you want, even if you’re just scraping away a corner to reveal a tiny edge of the big picture.
If you know that you want more freedom or you want to be more creative in your work, ask where can you give yourself that experience now, even if it’s just for one hour a week.
Watch out for signs that you’re on the right track, nudges giving you a heads up about where to explore next. Let curiosity be your guide.
The more you can tune into your internal compass the more oriented you’ll become and this is when the big picture does slowly start to reveal itself.
It requires patience and self-compassion to travel without a map. Feeling lost is a given, wrong turns inevitable.
But if you can stay on the road and resist the urge to turn off at every exit, you might just find yourself on the adventure of your life.
PS: If you’re feeling a bit lost with your career and you’d like to explore these ideas further, join me for the Transform your Career Workshop in Melbourne on 25th September. You can book tickets here.
This week’s post is coming to you in the form of a VLOG, very unusually for me I know!
I’ve come out from behind my screen because I have an exciting update for you and I also want to let you know about my upcoming event, the Transform your Career Workshop which is happening in September. If you’ve been feeling a bit lost with your career and you’re not sure where to go from here, I’d love you to join me for a nurturing, fun evening in Melbourne.
No time to watch? All the important info is listed below! See you in Melbourne on the 25th!
If you have questions about anything I mentioned in the video, please drop me a line.
Interested in coming along to the Transform your Career Workshop? Book your ticket here.
Keen to chat one on one? Book in for a Free Career Breakthrough Consult with me.
Or download my free 4-Step Guide to Finding the Right Job.
Can’t wait to see you in Melbourne! Stay tuned on Facebook for an upcoming Lunch and Learn on What to do if you’re not a specialist. Perfect for those of you who describe yourself as a ‘jack of all trades’.
If you can’t watch the video just now, here are the main takeaways:
Webinars + Additional Skype + Face to Face Appointments Available
I’m excited to be stepping into my business full-time in September which means I’ll be around to offer you more support with your career. You can expect more webinars, lunch and learn’s and workshops as well as additional availability for appointments. You can book appointments via Skype or face to face (my office is in Hawthorn, Melbourne). Enquire now.
My first workshop in over a year is happening in Melbourne. Join us on Tuesday 25th September for the Transform your Career workshop at 6pm. During this workshop I’ll be teaching the 4-step career transformation process that I work through with my clients (and that I still use myself). This will help you activate your dreams, discover a new sense of direction and purpose and take action on your goals. Book here.
Spring Special on Coaching Program (available for first 3 bookings)
As part of my move into full-time business I do some pro bono work with a local charity, but I also wanted to do something for you too. Which is why I’m offering a spring special to the first three clients to sign up for my 4 week coaching program in September. Book a free Career Breakthrough Consult with me if you’re interested in working together.
Got questions that you’d like me to cover in my upcoming lunch and learn’s on Facebook? Please drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!
Are having a midlife crisis? If you are, chances are it’s not much fun (cue the desire for sports cars, alcohol, affairs and anything that might give you a temporary high).
We rarely view this time of life in a positive light, but it can be the catalyst for a more fulfilling life, providing you with an opportunity to chart a new course toward the future you always wanted but were afraid you couldn’t have.
I’m no astrology expert, but there are reasons why we experience this upheaval in our middle years. Just as our Saturn Return (or quarter life crisis) can trigger events that move us toward adulthood, astrological cycles mean that we experience a midlife crisis around the age of 40-42 when we’re forced to take a look at what’s no longer working in our lives. Having reached life’s midpoint there’s this ‘now or never’ energy as we realise it’s our last chance to create the life we imagined for ourselves in our 20s.
If you resist these changes, things can start to fall apart either in your relationships or career. From what I’ve seen in my own life and those of my clients, it’s not uncommon for both to fall apart at the same time (don’t panic if you’re about to turn 40 though, it doesn’t have to happen this way!). In astrological terms these transits are the Pluto square, the Uranus opposition, the Neptune square, and the Saturn opposition. In essence, these transits are pushing you to evolve further into your authentic self.
During my midlife crisis I was going through a divorce while building my skills and knowledge in a new industry with a young baby in tow. Yes it was challenging. Yes I was dealing with a great deal of loss. But the important thing is that it ultimately led to a much brighter future for me, and it can for you too.
So how do you know if you’re having a midlife crisis?
You might feel restless or confused about who you are now and what you want out of life. Maybe you’re questioning your values and priorities. Are you leading the life you wished for? Continuing on with your old life may even start to seem impossible. This is why you often see people abruptly leave jobs and marriages, or sell their house to go live in Paris for a year. The old way of living is no longer in alignment with the person they are becoming and it’s more painful to stay where they are than it is to change.
If this is happening to you, here’s what I would suggest:
1) Don’t be afraid to let go
The first step is to stop feeling like a failure and to release the shame of not having everything figured out by age 40 (no one does!). When you understand that this process will lead you to a better future, you can start taking action with a little more courage and lean into the changes. It’s never too late to change your life.
A midlife crisis will often coincide with a spiritual awakening, a growing awareness that there’s more to life than what you’ve been led to believe so far. This could mean anything from developing a meditation practice, seeing a kinesiologist, getting coaching or counselling, attending a church or reading personal development books. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it helps develop your self-awareness and tune into your inner guidance.
2) Give yourself permission to want what you want
Figuring out what you really want is a critical first step and it can take a bit of time to unearth. It’s amazing how we go through life without giving serious thought to our desires, often because we don’t believe deep down that we can have them.
It can also be confronting when you realise there’s this big yawning chasm between what you want and your current situation, but now is the time to be honest with yourself. Your midlife crisis is an opportunity to let go of all your old beliefs and patterns, and replace them with new ways of thinking that will support your path to a happier life.
3) Visualise your future self
When you think of your future self, what do you see? Pay attention to your secret dreams, the ones you don’t reveal to anyone. They might be based on thoughts, feelings or visions you have about your future.
When I was going through my career transition I had visions of myself as a teacher which at the time, seemed unlikely, not just because I was absolutely terrified of public speaking, but because I had no idea what I could possibly teach others. This vision or idea wouldn’t go away so I came to understand that it was part of my path, and since then I’ve led many workshops and even given a keynote (miracles are possible!).
Who do you see yourself becoming? Your answer will give you clues about which steps to take next.
Here are some of the questions I hear all the time: Do you think I should apply for this job? Should I go back to study or get some experience first? Should I call them? What should I say if they call me? Please tell me what to do!
No judgement because I’ve been there too. You don’t need me to tell you that you’re the expert on your life. But fear and insecurity can play tricks on you, making you believe that just because you’ve made mistakes in the past, you can’t be trusted to be in charge.
You’ll be glad to know there is a way to bypass all of that drama. Start paying attention to how you feel. Daily. Hourly. As often as humanly possible. Your feelings hold the key to the decision you’re struggling with.
Yet how often have you neglected to take them seriously? Pushed them aside or blamed yourself for having them in the first place? You were just being too sensitive/angry/impatient/weird right?
A little while ago I had an epiphany. After years of trying to follow my inner guidance I realised that my feelings are the guidance. How else is divine spirit supposed to talk to you?
It’s strange how when it comes to situations that could put us or a family member in harm’s way we trust our gut without question, yet when it comes to other areas of our lives like our careers or our love lives we often dismiss or ignore our feelings entirely and then wonder why things went so pear-shaped.
Is it any wonder we doubt our own judgement when we’ve spent so long ignoring the very thing we can count on? It’s not easy to break the habit of a lifetime but you can start small and make this a habit.
How do you feel when you get home after a long day at work? When you pick up the phone to make the call? When you think about how you’re spending the holiday season?
How do you want to feel as you close out the year?
Start making small changes based on that feeling and see what happens.
Imagine what could happen if you started trusting yourself.
PS: If you know anyone who could do with reading this today, please forward this post:-)
PPS: If you are looking to work with a coach next year, this is a friendly reminder that it’s your last chance to save $400 on my 90 Day Starting Over Coaching Package. From this Friday 15th December the price goes back up to $2500. You can book here, or sign up for a Discovery Call to chat first.
PPPS: Finally I want to wish you the merriest of Christmases and a very joyful new year!! Much love to you xxx