This is a guest post by Beth Frede from Creative Revelations. She helps women entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact, but who struggle finding their purpose and balancing work and their personal life.
Beth Frede PhotoFreedom.
I love that word in all its forms.
We are so free in America. We’re free to choose our own paths, and even create our own jobs if we’re motivated to do so.
Happily, our views about work have transformed. The traditionally held belief that “work can’t be fun or you’re doing it wrong” has given way to a new paradigm: “Do what you love and the clients and money will follow.” Can you feel the freedom in the second mindset, as compared to the first?
Yes, hard work is still required of us, but taking consistent action doing something we feel passionate about is the very opposite of drudgery! More and more, we’re looking for work that not only pays us, but fulfills us.
So what happens when you find work that not only pays you, but fulfills you?
Most of the time you’ll feel…
Happy and satisfied in your work. Even if you’re dealing with less-than-happy clients, you genuinely feel good about your part in helping them.
Energized and alive. Your work challenges and invigorates you, and you know your contribution is making a difference.
Peaceful inside. There’s an unshakable contentment that goes with you everywhere. You feel grounded and centered.
Patient and loving with the people around you. You’re feeling good, and that goodness spills over into your relationships.
Healthy and well. Your energy is balanced. You take time for yourself. You have a good sense of control over your life while being flexible when you’re thrown a curve ball.
Plugged in. You’re awake, aware, and connected in your relationships and your daily activities.
And When you’re not plugged in to meaningful work, you’ll find yourself…
Frustrated or bored. Your work is too easy and there’s no juicy challenge to sink your teeth into, or it’s just the wrong work for you. Either way, your heart’s not singing.
Antsy and irritable. You’re not spending your time the way you’d like to. You’re snappish at your family, or resentful when something slows you down. You’re jealous of your friends who seem to be happy and successful.
Feeling crummy. You get stress headaches. Mystery ailments that come and go. That knot in your stomach when you think about Monday.
Feeling flat. You’re drained. No enthusiasm. You’re not super up, not super down… just hanging out in the middle. Meh.
Zoned out, numbed out, checked out… You look forward to wine-thirty, Netflix, or other distractions more than you enjoy the rest of your day.
If you’re in the first group, congratulations and a big ol’ Woohoo for you! And if you’re in the second group, take heart–you are free to choose another path, and it can be much easier than you realize.
Here are three simple steps to help you get to a more purposeful, enjoyable work situation:
1) Create a clear picture of what you want for yourself. What does your ideal life look like? Who would you spend your time with? (Who would you spend less time with?) What would a typical in your ideal life look like? Get as specific about your ideal life as possible, and don’t just think about it… write it down, because this helps your brain root it in reality.
2) Get happy now. Being “in flow” requires you to know where you desire your life to go (which you’ve just clarified in step #1) while being happy and grateful for where you are now. What are you grateful for? What are all the reasons you have to be happy right now? Be clear, specific and detailed about all the ways you are happy and grateful, and again, write them down; writing them as opposed to just thinking about them will help you feel into them.
3) Find the common heartbeat behind your values, challenges, experiences, and gifts. Why were you given all of these pieces? What have they taught you? What do they mean to you? Finding the common heartbeat that ties them together helps your purpose rise to the surface like cream rising to the top of a milking pail.
You are meant for something special… you’re here for a divine purpose! It’s up to you to put your stake in the ground and claim it.