I always tend to do a little reflection each September, as it is my anniversary month of when I first started practicing Massage Therapy. Deciding to give up my Monday through Friday office job with great benefits and become a Massage Therapists was not any easy decision, and it was definitely a scary one for me. I just knew that I was not passionate about my job and I realized that I was not happy with it. It was time for a change and a time to start pursuing my own passions and to find a career that I would be happy with doing for years to come.
Taking the steps to pursuing your passion and happiness is not always easy or clear cut. It can be scary, frustrating, confusing, and challenging. Here are 7 lessons that I have learned along the way in making my career and lifestyle changes:
Confront your fears. - We all have them, the what-ifs and the uncertainty of the unknown. We learn and grow from facing our fears. Challenging ourselves to become better, stronger, and wiser. Don’t let your fears of failure prevent you from pursing your passions and dreams.
Do not dwell on the past or regrets. – Learn to let go. Acknowledge, accept, learn from, and move onward. Getting stuck on something that has already happened is preventing you from moving forward and accomplishing more. Don’t let the hiccups become road blocks.
It’s OK to make mistakes, sometimes more than once. – Mistakes were how some of the greatest inventions were created. They are a learning tool, and sometimes you need to make it a couple of times before you learn what you need to from it. Sometimes those mistakes allow you to reevaluate and find a better, more productive way of doing something to reach your goal.
Take risks and follow your own path. Best advice I ever embraced. You need to step outside your comfort zone in order to grow and you need to go out on that limb in order to reach great heights. Nothing gets accomplished if you sit on your hands. It may be scary and things may be shaky at times, but in the end, it will be worth the risk.
Balance your responsibilities and your passions. – Life is all about balance. Put in the hard work and get the job done, but always allow time for play and creativity, as that is usually when you will become most inspired.
Talk and listen to others. – Like brainstorming, it is a great way to bounce ideas off other people, get advice, or get inspired. You may see a situation differently after hearing someone else’s take on the situation or from someone who had a similar dilemma. You can only go so far when you internalize everything, opening up to others can support and motivate you in ways you cannot do on your own.
Follow your own gut, instincts, and heart. – Listen to yourself. Do what feels right to you and always trust that your intentions are in the right place. Sometimes doing what your head (what’s practical) is not always in your best interests in order to grow. Your gut, instincts, and heart will help guide you in those times of difficult decisions. Be practical and look at your options, then trust your instincts about which direction to go.
I hope these seven lessons help you discover and pursue your own passions, dreams, and happiness. It is never too late to take up new passions, or go back and revive old ones. Incorporate what makes you happy into your everyday life. It will only add to your life.