The Pressure of Discovering Your Passion
What are you passionate about?
I can’t express how many people asked me this question throughout my high-school and college careers. I was anxious about making that life-altering career decision after graduation, and in order to encourage direction and vision, people would ask me this question. These thoughts were on continual repeat: “What am I good at? Am I good at anything? And is there a job out there that I can be passionate about that will make good money?” I always felt like the outcast when it came to schooling. I never knew exactly what I wanted to do, and although I went to business school, I wasn’t even sure what life as a Business Major would look like.
I chose a direction simply so I could write it on paper and share it with people who asked.
My high school teachers, college advisors, grandparents, sister, parents, friends and family friends were all asking me the same question: “So, what do you want to do?”
My initial thought: “How the heck am I supposed to know?! I’m a teenager who’s still trying to decide if I like vegetables or not.”
But my actual response was perfectly constructed and conveyed that I had a clear direction. I literally took time to think about a 2-3 sentence response to this question in order to avoid the awkward response of “well, I don’t know.” Although it helped me avoid the awkward tension of not knowing, it didn’t really allow me to process this transition properly. It hindered me from exploring my options and keeping an open mind simply because I wanted to give people an answer.
The truth: Discovery takes time
We will discover our passion as time passes, life changes and we grow. But it’s important to know that not knowing is okay. It’s okay not to have all the right answers. I mean honestly who does? We figure life out as we go, and through time we will discover not only our passions but how to align them with the perfect job. For any of you who are unsure about what direction you want to go (whether it be in college, a career change, etc.) here’s a few things that can help you embrace this season and even enjoy it.
Be Honest with Yourself and Others
When people ask the daunting question, be open, honest and vulnerable. Embrace the awkward tension of not knowing. Whether you’re transitioning out of school or deciding on a new career path, being honest with you’re current state will encourage you to be open-minded and curious along the way. Because when you force yourself to come up with some kind of half-hearted answer, it causes you to feel pressured to stick with this perfectly constructed direction instead of exploring every option.
Honesty breeds acceptance, ease and room for clarity.
Get to know yourself: Take personality tests!
Personality tests are a great way to discover your strengths and weaknesses, see what jobs fit well with your personality and jobs that are even toxic for your personality. These tests can give you some great ideas, different avenues to explore, and various careers to research. I recommend looking into the Strength Finders test and the Strong and MBTI test.
Remain curious, open and teachable along the way!
Embrace Not Knowing
Lastly, embrace this season for what it is. Discovery is a beautiful thing. When I get lost in a city and discover a beautiful hidden alley way, stumble upon a unique piece of art, or meet a kind stranger, I instantly feel refreshed. There are so many parts of who we are that are awaiting discovery, but it requires time. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the process, and allow yourself to be discovered.
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