What If You Don’t Know What You Want?

I’m realizing how common it is for people to think there’s something wrong with them if they don’t know what they want, in their work, their business, or their life.

I often hear things like this:

  • “I don’t have a clear goal or vision for my future, so I might be a hopeless case.”
  • “Other people just know what they want, but I’m not one of those people.”
  • “I’m trying to be self-employed but really I need to figure out what I actually like.”

I feel sad when someone thinks she is “a hopeless case.” In reality, lack of clarity on what you want is super common. It’s probably the norm!

But then, what to do?

[image - looking out wondering] Continue reading

Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls

Sensitive souls (including introverts, highly sensitive persons [HSPs], and people with big hearts) need to be careful about our work environments and career paths. We can really thrive and excel in the right environment, and we can wilt easily in the wrong environment.

If you have a yuck feeling about work, I bet it is because the work itself or the work culture are a bad match for you. You have so much to offer. Yes, YOU. The world needs your gifts. I mean it. You can find a better fit. Not overnight, but a better way is possible.

I’ve tried all kinds of work environments from classrooms to cubicles, and many kinds of careers, and now I have landed happily with being a self-employed coach.

In those various work experiences, sometimes I felt alive and energized and sometimes completely drained and MISERABLE. Oh I can feel the bad memories in my body as I write this. I want to reach out to you if you’re feeling that misery and beg you to believe it can be different.

I’ve studied what factors work for me and what works for others with a similar temperament.  Now I can fairly easily tell you what is important for us in choosing our work environments and career paths. Work can feel great, really! I’ll explain what you need to know.

[image - wondering where to go]

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What If Your Career Ideas Feel Impossible?

Feeling stuck between staying or going, like the classic cat in the doorway syndrome? It doesn’t have to be so hard.

I hear people all the time stopping themselves from wanting what they want because they think it’s impossible or think it will be too big of a leap for them.

In essence, they are thinking the devil they know is better than the one they don’t know. Think about that. The logic is flawed. It’s just that you don’t know yet.

That idea to stay with the “devil you know” comes from an inner fear voice that wants to stop you from trying anything new. It thinks it is keeping you safe. But it is just keeping you small… and unsatisfied.

Wavering between what you want and what you’re afraid to check out is a place we could stay stuck forever if we don’t take some conscious action.

It’s like that funny thing cats do when they cry to go outside, but when you open the door to let them out, they freeze in the doorway, wondering whether to stay or go. We laugh at them, or even get frustrated at them for not getting going on what they said they wanted. But isn’t it just like us when we stop ourselves from checking out what’s out there?

I know I’ve done that. Yes, no, maybe, but yes, but no…. on and on. It’s classic human stuff, not just cat stuff.

How do we get out of that doorway when the unknown feels so daunting?

I’ll explain what I’ve discovered, and what many others have discovered, about how to move past the doorway, even when it feels scary.

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Oh Those Beautiful Interruptions. Say Yes.

I’ve heard so many people being hard on themselves for not getting further along with their goals by a certain made-up date. Actually, it’s been mostly women who express this worry.

So much to do and not enough progress! Sound familiar?

Yes, I’m one of those people with the “never fast enough” syndrome. There’s all those to-do items staring at me. There sits one more blog draft or workshop draft that hangs in limbo for months and months. My ego thinks I must finish everything in order to be a good person.

So, let’s rethink this.  Continue reading

How Do I Answer “What Do You Do?” When It’s… Complicated?

“What do you do?” seems to be one of the most dreaded questions. Especially for people in transition or who feel like what they’re doing might be judged. It makes us squirm a little…. or a lot.

It can be especially hard for introverts and perfectionists who like to think before talking and then speak in a thorough way. It’s hard to find a good simple answer!

And yet, we are faced with this question so often. It might sound like this in your head when you get that question:

  • “I better have something good to say, Now!”
  • “They’ll think I’m a freak if I tell the truth!”
  • “They’ll think I’m a loser if I don’t have a ‘legitimate’ answer.”
  • “I feel like I have no clear identity like other people have.”
  • “I don’t want them to know I have family money to support me.”
  • “Staying at home with kids doesn’t seem like a real answer. Maybe I should do more.”
  • “I have tons of ideas but they’re still messy and I hate talking about it at this stage.”
  • “I don’t want to tell them I’ve been sick for a year. Ugh.”

Can you relate? It’s… Complicated.

Even people who know what they do for work can get nervous with this question. It almost feels like the asker wants us to define ourselves, right now, in one sentence. It’s just impossible to summarize ourselves like that.

Since I talk to so many people in transition, I get this question about how to answer “What do you do?” all the time. I want to share some things I’ve found helpful. Continue reading