“The salary is what they pay you to give up on your dreams”. Nathan Seaward, Ep. 190 Screw the Naysayers.
Anyone that has ever felt stuck in a job that no longer fulfilled them can probably relate to those words. Nathan has earned the right to make this statement. He walked away from a 15 year career as an commercial airline pilot with one of the largest airlines in Asia, to become a life coach. It was a huge gamble, but in his heart, Nathan knew that flying wasn’t his forever job.
The thing that makes Nathan’s story special is that he broke free from the “golden handcuffs”, which for an airline pilot are linked to a seniority system that assigns desirable routes based on years of service. If you leave and come back, you start all over again at the bottom. For me those golden handcuffs came in the form of a six figure income and stock options that would only vest if I stayed with the company. In both cases those “handcuffs” were designed to incent us to focus on the status quo, even if doing so meant giving up on our dreams.
Here are seven tips for any of you that might be feeling trapped in a career that no longer fulfills you.
1) Let your values guide you
Build your career around your values and the life you want to live. If you’re living someone else’s dream and reality, that sense of fulfillment will never be there. If that means starting your own business, so be it.
2) Freedom is a mindset
I’m not going to lie to you. I felt trapped in that corporate job. I know now that it was all in my head. I chose to surrender my freedom. And it sucked. It created emotions of fear and anger, both of which zapped my energy and literally made me sick. The truth is I could have walked out of that office anytime I wanted to. I was always free to do so. You are too.
3) Yes, the anxiety is real
Newsflash. We’re all human. The anxiety and tension you’re feeling is a natural result of a lifetime of brainwashing. We’ve been trained to fear major transitions. When we start contemplating making big transitions our body starts sending us messages. The irony is that the fastest way to overcome those fears is to step into them. I’ll never forget the feeling I got when I dropped my resignation letter on my boss’s desk. I could literally feel all the negative energy flowing out of my body.
The construct of fear is truly in your own mind. The world will still be the same if you decide to live a life doing what you love. In fact, your view will be quite different.
4) Finding fulfillment
When did we start to place our fulfillment on the back burner? Why do we do that?
If you’re not feeling fulfilled and you’re on auto-pilot to appease, then you need to take action. I implore you not to be held down by the dogma of what is supposed to be. Research has consistently shown that in order to be fulfilled you need three things. Your heart must be involved in your work. You need to be challenged to work to your potential. And you need to be using your heart and your talents to serve others.
5) Your future is there for you to see
Wherever you work, take a look at your boss, or other employees that have been with the company five or ten years longer than you have. Do they look happy? Do you want to be doing what they’re doing ten years from now? If that thought makes your stomach turn then you might want to listen to your body.
6) Stop looking for guarantees
We live in a world where we are surrounded by people who have settled. People who have forgotten how to dream. People who have bought into the idea that we should never give up the security of a steady paycheck unless the results of our new adventure are guaranteed. That’s a problem because as rational human beings we know that when we make big life transformations the results are never guaranteed.
If you’re stuck in a job or a career that lacks fulfillment you have two choices. Stay in that job and join the hordes that have settled, or trust your ability to get the things you want in life. Stop contemplating what might happen if you try and fail. Instead ask yourself what will happen if you don’t try.
7) Take Control Of Your Own Life
Don’t let the expectation of others drive you. Drive yourself and your own car.
Does this resonate with you? Are you held back by the salary they pay you? Hit me up on my website and set up a time to chat.
If you haven’t heard of my podcast yet, it’s a collection of real and raw stories from an eclectic mix of Thought Leaders, Entrepreneurs, WSJ and NYT Best Selling Authors, and a wide range of women and men who have overcome great adversity by finding the gift in their challenges.
Check out the Screw the Naysayers Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts or catch the Blog summaries here.