“I’ve been out of work for over a year now. I’ve tried volunteering for various organizations to gain experience and make connections. I’m fortunate that my husband makes a good income and is completely supportive. While I don’t need to work, I feel uncomfortable and bad when people ask what I do. I wish I could find a purpose so I feel good about myself again. Where do I start?” – Margery in Laconia, New Hampshire
Margery, I want to begin with a simple truism: Everyone feels lost and uncertain at different times in their lives. It’s a natural in part of our journey as we choose paths to explore and discover inspiration and fulfillment. Another consideration is how each of us incorporates different elements into our core definition of self and our self-esteem. In reading your question, it is clear that your career and work performance are closely aligned with your personal definition of self and self-esteem. I’m right there with you. It’s always been a huge part of how I define myself. My self-esteem is wrapped around my work performance, achievements, and business relationships.
I applaud your endeavors to reach out and find avenues to become unstuck. It can be challenging when we start to feel we’re in a downward spiral, and maybe a bit out of control. What shines through is that you’re searching, actively seeking a new path, and exploring new possibilities. That’s tremendous. And while you may not have found your groove, you will find it as long as you continue your search.
Truth be told, we often have to try many things until we discover those that feed our soul. My advice is to look at each of the activities and organizations that you’re currently participating in. Weigh the pros and cons. Is their mission something that you passionately support? Is the group nurturing and does it speak to your relationship values? Does the activity bring you a sense of joy and accomplishment when you’ve completed a project? Are you excited to learn more? If the current organizations do not get your blood pumping and energize your thoughts, then it’s time to look for new opportunities. Seek groups that speak to you and your values. Trust me, there are organizations and activities that will be a match and provide inspiration. Try new activities that interest your creative muse.
Finally I have two recommendations to help you find your path to become unstuck. The first is a terrific book by Tikiri Herath, My Rebel Dreams. Take 30 minutes to watch our podcast, How to Find Your Purpose & Passions in Life, featuring Tikiri. It’s a perfect place to start. Tikiri shares introspective exercises to unlock your potential and transform your life. My second recommendation is The Clarity Course. I am privileged to be one of 30 incredible speakers who share their thoughts, insights, and vision to define your personal roadmap. One final thought, Margery: Remember that every day is a new second chance. Take it. Wake up and reach for that second chance each day and you’ll find it.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.