“Sometimes that means walking away and opening your heart to something new”
“I feel like a failure,” a friend said to me recently half a bottle of wine into a long-overdue catch-up. “Why?” I asked, curious to what on earth she could fail at. Said friend is the classic over-achiever. She has the house, the career, the husband, the fluffy dog… “I quit my job, the role, it just didn’t feel like my thing anymore” Mind blown. She had spent five years climbing the ladder at a corporate law firm, which I soon learned had been burning her soul for the past two. Talk about poker face. She had been the picture of success to little old me, bouncing around with no real plan.
Walking home, In a post chardonnay haze, I found myself in awe of her bravery. She was doing her thing. That’s a bold move in today’s pushy world. Sometimes it means walking away, accepting we are done and opening our hearts to something new. Isn’t that what life is meant for? To keep dancing with possibility? To find the things that light you up, let go of what doesn’t and spend your days doing what fills your soul? So why so often do we do the complete opposite? Staying in jobs and situations three years longer than feels good?
This is what I came up with before I arrived at my front door…
People pleasing – Anyone else a people pleaser? My hand is up! I have people pleased myself into some awful corners. Piling my plate high with other people’s happiness while making little room for my own. I call it ‘yes’ syndrome. Taking it upon yourself to not let anyone down, which translates to not doing your thing. You soldier through a project, wishing you had the balls to walk away. You say yes to a party you would rather eat kangaroo balls than go too. Sound familiar? We have all been there.
Breaking up with people-pleasing is hard, though it is a golden ticket to doing your thing.
Eeek, failure- Failure must be the world’s biggest fear. Not that you would guess as it’s too scary to talk about for most of us. Instead, we try super hard to not fail at things we don’t even really want to do. Staying in relationships that no longer feel like home or sticking in jobs that give us the Monday scaries…every single day. We are trained to believe quitting is failure, when quite often its freedom. Doing your thing starts with redefining failure on your terms.
Success baby- Hmm. Is keeping up with society’s photo-shopped idea of success making anyone happy? All this nonsense about the flashy car, perfect marriage, high-flying career… I am not buying it. Success is subjective and translates to doing your thing. It’s so easy to walk the stairway to success and arrive at the wrong door. Defining success on our terms takes courage. Does that mean a big bank balance and your name in lights? Or does that mean doing the things that light YOU up? Only you have the answers.
Doing your thing requires honouring the fluidity of self. As a girl that is finally doing hers, here are a few things that can help.
Let yourself adapt You are born with the beautiful ability to change direction. Never forget this. No matter what (or who) you say yes to. You are allowed to change your mind, as many times as you wish. You are allowed to walk away from people, places and all the things that no longer serve you. Adapting is not failure. It is essential to living life to the full.
Detach from the noise- All those people, opinions, voices in your head. Tune out for a while. Take a walk, quiet the mind, take a break from the phone. Catch up with yourself, what do you want? Listen to the answers, they might surprise you.
Follow your heart- The compass inside of you is always waiting. Where does it want to go? Listening to your heart will always take you to the path that feels good, be brave enough to follow.
Doing your thing need not be a side hustle, it can be your life, if you to dare let it.
The question is are you ready to give it a go?