When you suppress your gifts or lean into gifts you wish you had, you may find yourself in ugly places. You might experience job burnout or apathy. You may feel underrecognized or undervalued at work. You may experience anxiety or depression from a persistent feeling of emptiness. You might get “serially fired”, be chronically unemployed or wander aimlessly from one job to the next. Or, you might practice professional contortionism – painfully bending yourself out of shape to suit the requirements of an ill-fitting job.
Often times, we are aware of our gifts but refuse to see them as such because we fear the world will not value them. We want assurance that our gifts will produce “success” by 21st Century standards. We squeeze ourselves into roles that seem more socially acceptable and provide greater certainty of financial reward. We quickly internalize the world’s fears around success which then causes us to devalue and deny our very own gifts.
Chasing after anything outside of ourselves leads us astray. In a previous role I was the owner of a startup organization and was committed to building an information technology. I started with a kernel of an idea that truly excited me. To help me launch the idea, I enrolled in a course led by the start-up gurus of the world. The entire focus was on customer discovery. The philosophy was, if you can nail what the market wants, you’re golden. Just keep pivoting on your idea until you get there. Well, one pivot led to the next and before I knew it, I had strayed FAR from the idea I loved.
It’s important to be of service to the world, but as we have heard many times, we can’t truly serve others until we serve ourselves. I have no beef with being customer-focused. However, just like passion, it’s not the starting point or the beacon. Serving your market happens *through you*, by walking the path that is a natural extension of you. We have less to give when we feel depleted. We have to feel our own abundance first.
Pursuing our dreams while insisting on particular outcomes and conditions – such as money or market satisfaction – are ceilings we impose on ourselves and our businesses. Ironically, these ceilings can stand in the way of experiencing the most absolute forms of reward and abundance.
I encourage you to listen to the persistent whisper reminding you that you haven’t yet hit your career sweet spot. What you are likely hitting is a self-imposed ceiling. I challenge you to let go of the tendency to push and force your way to success. Ask yourself: What limitations have I woven into my aspirations?
Adopting the daily practice of following your curiosity and excitement IS honoring and expressing your divine professional gifts. Allow yourself to feel the gravitational pull coming from your core. You will in essence be working from home!