It’s Not About Finding Yourself
We are taught that a major factor in being successful is going out into the world and finding your passion. Another major factor is taking the time to find your true self.
The theory goes like this: If you find what is right for you, by figuring out what you want and who you are, then you can naturally fit into a path that not only leads you to be successful, but you’ll be happy at what you’re doing. We believe this myth so adamantly that we spend a lot of our time searching for some inner self to find our “truth” about who we are so we can ultimately find the “right” job, the “right” career, the “right” anything.
In actuality, becoming Independent Enough to develop characteristics and skills that challenge you to grow into who you need to become in different situations helps more towards being successful than any search for your true self.
1. Reason for Unhappiness at Work
The reason you’re unhappy has to do with the way you’re handling conflict, the way you’re interacting with peers and your boss, the way you’re dealing with disappointment, frustration, and seemingly unfair practices. We believe it has to do more with the job and other people than it has to do with the way we’re being, and that focus on others is what keeps perpetuating the problem.
2. Ups and Downs
Life is full of ups and downs as well as successes. When we hit the downs we have a tendency to become sullen, unhappy, stressed out, and angry. Whether you’re not making enough money or not getting the promotion and recognition you expected, the answer to moving towards the ups comes in the form of figuring out what you need to change about yourself to overcome whatever obstacle is in your way of being successful.
3. What to Do
Become self-reflective. Get everyone else out of your head and look at who you are in any difficult situation. That is, what you’re thinking, how you’re acting, and how you’re feeling. Figure out in a non-critical, non-judgmental way, your part in the situation. Move away from what the boss and co-worker are doing and start to look at the characteristics you’re bringing to the table. Are you being too sensitive, too controlling, acting too separate and not as a team player? Are you being too aggressive, unfriendly, bossy, or manipulative? Are you being too dependent on others? Too gossipy, too angry, or maybe too passive and withdrawn? Too unrealistic?
4. Then What
Once you’ve gained some insight into what part you’re playing in your own misery, and what you need to do to be Independent Enough in the situation, you can then make decisions on what you want to change based on this information. For example, if you believe you might be too aggressive, decide to lay back a little. Listen more. Become humble. If you think you may be too passive, decide you’re going to speak up more, have more opinions at meetings, maybe go to more lunches with the group instead of eating in your office or doing errands during lunch.
5. And Then
Go out into the world and work on the changes you’ve decided to make. As easy as it might sound, any change, even the simplest of changes, is probably going to be difficult. It takes work and repetition to develop who you need to become to be successful.
Becoming Independent Enough will be more effective than sitting on the mountaintop and contemplating some deep inner truth about finding yourself or finding your passion.