A long time ago, I had a great job in outside sales. One of my job responsibilities was traveling all over the state of Ohio to sell eyewear to Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. I had decided, in all my wisdom, that an outside sales job was exactly the right direction for my career. I had 9 years of experience in operational management and was working my way up to more responsibility. An outside sales job, I reasoned, would enable me to be flexible and control the hours that I worked. With two young children that now influenced my work hours, I could work around their schedules, athletic games and school involvement. I had the ability to have unlimited earning potential and opportunities for management. Yes, outside sales, I concluded, was exactly what I should be doing.
There was only one problem with this whole thought process. Intellectually, this choice seemed like the absolute right decision. The hours and flexibility enabled me to fulfill my roles and responsibilities in life. But emotionally, this was far from a “good fit” for my talents. Yes, I had the skills, experience, intellect and natural ability to sell but I lacked any passion for what I was doing. I was just going through the motions day after day.
One day I was in a Doctors office on a business call. I was sitting with the Doctor, showing her the many choices of eyeglasses she could purchase for the store. We were having a pleasant conversation when, out of nowhere, this thought popped into my head. “I don’t really care if I sell 2 frames or 200 frames to this woman”. This thought scared me and excited me at the same time. I was finally allowing myself to feel. It was an epiphany for me and soon afterwards, I quit my job. I realized that I would never be successful at any job unless I felt passionate about the work.
Looking back on that experience, it is clear to me that I was not in touch with the “real me”. I made this work decision based on what was best for everyone else BUT me. Everyday was spent trying to convince myself that what I was doing in life was the right thing. This was emotionally exhausting! I did not feel passionate about what I was doing, or the people I was dealing with every day. I was not being true to my values or vision of what I wanted to achieve in life. My success and happiness in that job was a long shot at best!
So girlfriends, listen to your heart. Tap into the “real you” and become aware of your needs in life to be happy. Be true to who you really are and live this daily. Being untrue to your real self is exhausting and zaps you of all your energy and passion in life. Find your inner sass!