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How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter

How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter

It seems that all we are hearing these days is Follow your passion; Just live your dreams; It’s never too late; or something along those lines.

Yet, no one seems to bother with telling us how to behave if we still haven’t discovered our passion, or it is laying buried beneath our parents or society’s expectations of us. There’s no doubt that once you decide to follow your true passion and know what you want, you will become unstoppable in achieving great things.

However, the struggle most of us face is not knowing what that thing is for us, and we too often end up switching from career to career only to become exhausted and hopeless and feeling stuck in someone else’s dream.

From early on in our lives, we weren’t programmed to make any decisions that are contradicting those of our families, teachers or peers. We are so used to following certain set of rules and programs, that we rarely stop to think how we truly feel about these.

And, sadly, before you know it, we are at work, doing something we are not sure how we feel about, or, even worse, we realize that it is something we don’t enjoy doing at all.

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How to know if you are on the right path of following your passion?

If you are not sure of what you are doing is leading to fulfilling your dreams and if you are truly living your passion, here is a technique that will help you find some answers.

First of all, set aside some time to focus only on yourself. Find a quiet place without any distractions. Take a piece of paper, if it will help you focus easier, and be honest in answering following questions.

  • Do I feel excited about what I am doing?
  • Is the idea of improving my work the first thing that pops up in my mind in the morning?
  • Can I easily motivate myself to work?
  • Do I need to find extra time to do it?
  • Are all the things I’m doing contributing to make my work better?
  • Does it seem like my time at work goes fast and I can get excited and motivated easily?
  • Do I feel so immersed into my work that is seems like time has stopped, and I can do it for more than 8 hours a day?
  • Would I still be doing the same thing if the money didn’t exist?

If the answers to most of these questions are yes, you are lucky, because it points that you have found your true passion. If not, don’t despair, there are a number of things you can do to get there. Before we get to the process itself, let’s first answer the question why.

Why is finding one’s passion such an important task?

We all probably know those people who never stopped to examine their lives and choices they have made and they seem fine. Why bother then, you might ask. The fact is, that we don’t know the struggles other people may be going through, and sometimes they can seem perfectly happy, but struggle severely on the inside.

Often times, people are not even aware of how unhappy and unfulfilled they are. However, if we don’t want to wake up one day in our eighties and realize that we wasted our entire life working for someone else’s dream and didn’t have the courage to chase our own, we need to ask the unpleasant questions and work towards finding our passion.

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Moreover, working on something that doesn’t inspire and motivate us can really make us miserable and make our life an endless struggle to get up and get going when our entire being is resisting even the thought of it.

Questions and struggles you may encounter along the way.

Anyone who has ever found themselves on the road to self-discovery, has had to deal with some, if not all of the following struggles. Don’t worry you are not alone.

Struggle #1 I feel bad when I see others who have already made it while I’m still trying.

It can be quite discouraging if you start comparing yourself to others who are well on their way of fulfilling their dream. In order to stop this struggle once and for all is to realize that we are all unique and have special sets of talents and dreams. Therefore, we cannot be comparable to others. Also, you need to remember that all of those others were at the beginning at some point too. Use their stories as inspiration instead.

Struggle #2 It seems I took longer to find my passion.

This is quite common among people to think that they are late for something. Think of it this way – How do you think you got there? If it weren’t for all of those past circumstances that lined up for you and took some time, you wouldn’t even come to the realization of what it is that you want. Therefore, you were right on time.

Struggle #3 I don’t know where to start.

We tend to get overwhelmed when we try to think about our life passion because it’s easier to have all the challenges and difficulties coming to our minds, than seeing all the possibilities. And then we’ll just get stuck and can’t figure out what to do first. No need to panic, as there is a way out. You will learn a couple of actionable tips later on in the article.

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Struggle #4 What if I have multiple interests?

Sometimes it happens that we can’t decide what our passion is because we have more than one and we can’t decide. In this case, the above questions can help, if you ask them for each of the interests you have. Additionally, you can be creative and find a way to combine all of those into a dream job.

Struggle #5 What if what I want to do doesn’t fit my parents’ expectations?

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all want to please our parents to some degree. However, we need to realize that our parents ultimately want to see us happy and well. Even if they don’t approve of our aspirations at first, they will eventually when they see how happy and successful we are.

Struggle #6 Am I too late to start over?

Although it can seem a bit daunting when you think of all the hard work it would take to start at the beginning. That is why some people stay at a familiar place no matter how miserable it makes them feel. It is never too late. Just look how many people have started anew in their fifties and were still able to fulfill their dreams. Moreover, once you discover your passion and start working on it, things tend to gain momentum and everything happens so much faster.

Actionable on how to find your passion.

Finally, let’s talk about how we can actually discover our passion. Although it might not be easy for everyone, it is worth the struggle.

Revisit things you want to achieve when you were a child

We all knew who we were before society told us how to be. Remember when you were a kid – you could play for hours and never get bored. In those moments, the time simply seized to exist. Those are the memories you need to recall, since that is where your passion lays. Remember who you were before fears and other people’s hopes for you have scared you away from pursuing your dreams.

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Follow your curiosity and allow yourself to explore

It doesn’t all need to happen in a moment of magical epiphany for you. Allow yourself some time for trial and error before you it crystallizes enough so that you can dedicate all of your attention to that one goal.

Don’t worry to start over as many times as it takes

Our thoughts and feelings can be misleading, and we might end up in wrong positions more than once. Don’t be afraid to leave immediately as you sense that it is not working for you. The sooner you leave an unwanted position, the sooner you will find your true passion and purpose.

Don’t make money your primary motivation

It can be difficult to resist the safe feeling that big paycheck is giving us, yet it can be misleading. If we focus solely on the amount of money we are getting at the moment on a job we don’t enjoy doing, we may miss many opportunities to build our own dreams and earn so much more. Money is great and can be used to do so much good, yet if we forget about it for some time and dedicate our time to growing our talents and passion, we would soon be able to achieve great success and money would come as a logical effect.

Limit the scope according to your capability

Finally, when it comes to discovering your true passion, focusing only on things that match your capabilities will have great impact. There is no reason to stretch yourself too thin and look outside of yourself. Your talents are all in you, and they just need a slight push and some training in order to help you achieve your passion.

Finding one’s passion in life is important because this is how we can motivate ourselves and become much happier in life. it’s ok if you still haven’t figure out what your true passion is, just remember that you are not alone and don’t give up on yourself! Things that worth having never come easy my friend! I hope this piece of advice can guide you to your true calling!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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