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Starving For Change

I encounter people all of the time who are hungry, even starving for change. Feeling restless and unsettled can be exhausting, worse still is feeling as if you’re not living to your full potential. It’s like walking around with a voice in your head at low volume, It’s always there but you’re not sure what it’s saying and it’s distracting and frustrating and steals your peace. I know this struggle intimately and have walked this path with many clients over the last decade.

The first thing I want everyone who is in this particular struggle to understand is that you’re not dumb, lazy, unlucky, ungrateful or entitled. You’re just human and trying to figure out how to best spend your time on this planet. Good for you. Good for you for honoring and questioning your discomfort and being curious about yourself and the world.

I also want you to know that your malaise isn’t who you are, it’s where you are. You’re hungry because you’re not being nourished in some critical way. Humans need purpose and it’s your right to find and pursue yours. Don’t be so hard on yourself. To crave meaning is to be a seeker and that’s good. The world needs curious, thoughtful people who want to offer their best.

You must understand that passion and purpose are not the same. I have a passion for reading and writing and while it’s important to my work, it’s certainly not what I get paid to do. I also think that when you monetize a passion you may find that it loses its fire. Pursuing your passion won’t always uncover your purpose.

Just because you don’t know how to transition doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I know highly skilled, educated people who feel imprisoned by their career. Every single thing you’ve ever done is never wasted. Everything is repurposed for the journey ahead. You can find a good coach or advisor to help you navigate the path, don’t fret. Your person and your path is out there waiting for you to decide.

Don’t say that you’re open to everything. No one is actually open to everything and pretending to be open to everything is a huge waste of time. Narrow your focus. Clarity comes from fewer options not more. Listing every single thing you could do is taking time away from what you actually want to do. Focus on what you crave not what’s within reach. Any time someone says they’re open to anything I ask them if they would consider delivering pizza. The answer is always, no.My point is that you actually aren’t open to anything. Know what you don’t want.

Fear can be a companion but don’t let it boss you around and tell you what you’re capable of or what you do or don’t deserve. Fear is as powerful as you allow it to be. Keep it in its place and don’t let it get bigger than your potential.

If you’re truly starving for change be honest with yourself. You and only you will have to do the work that’s necessary to transform. And it is work. Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Are you willing to take risks? Are you willing to be honest about your own limitations and challenges? Creating change is serious business. If it was easy all the kids would be doing it.

I should also warn you to beware of shiny objects. Shiny objects usually come in the form of a snazzy title in a toney city with a company that sounds like it should be your dream. But it is? Shiny objects grow dull the way a new car quickly loses its new car smell. Something that’s really good, doesn’t mean it’s really good for you. If you’ve done some deep work, shiny objects won’t pull you away from your path and purpose.

Above all else pay attention to your language diet. What are you feeding yourself? What kind of poison are you ingesting everyday? What you believe informs how you move through the world. If you believe you’re too old or it’s not a good time then you’ll be right. You’ll get older and timing will always be a challenge. So much of what keeps us small and contracted are merely words that we’ve consumed. Lots of people are hungry for change but far fewer are brave enough to create change. Give yourself a shot. Invest in yourself. Take the time. Find a space to nurture your courage and step into a version of yourself that you have yet to meet.

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By Ann marie Houghtailing 

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