In the interview process, I can remember thinking to myself, “I hope they don’t actually want me to be the person they think I am.” Not that I had lied to them at all, but I was starting to feel like I didn’t want to be that way anymore. I had the sense they were hiring me and the whole reason why they picked me from the pile of resumes was for my diligence and work ethic, for my ability to jump the hoops, and adorn my resume with fancy names. That took so much (fear motivated) effort and pushing and striving and unhappiness on my part.
And in that interview process, I started to have an inkling that maybe there was no carrot at the end of all this.
Even if I get the job. It was just going to be more of the same forcing myself to compete and play the game and it wouldn’t end. I’d never get to rest.
But, this is what all the years of effort were supposed to be for, right? I’m supposed to want this job and all my peers are marching right along into jobs like this just fine (from what I could see on the outside)…..so I didn’t listen to that little inner voice.
I didn’t want to have to deal with what it would mean if I acknowledged how I was really feeling.
In short, this did not work. Shocking, I know, but we all try denial first, right?
The rest of the story goes, I got the job and could immediately see that little voice was right. I no longer had it in me to force myself to play along, from sheer fatigue, but also because I had become wise to the game.
Now, from the inside, my intuition had confirmation and my ability to see all the strings running the show (and me) increased.
I pretended for a while as best I could, skipping anger in the stages of grief and moving right along to bargaining — trying to change myself and wishing I didn’t know what I knew, couldn’t see what could — “if only I could just suck it up and be like everyone else” was a common refrain in my mind.
Surprise, surprise this didn’t work either.
No. I had to let it get so bad that the pain of leaving and figuring out “what now?” was no longer as bad as the pain of staying.
And, oh boy, that pain of leaving, of facing the truth, that I no longer wanted to do and be what I had told myself for my whole life I needed to do and be was HUGE. And therefore, things had to get very, very bad before I was willing to give in.
But you know what helped and turned it all around for me? Talking to someone. A coach. I’m dead serious.
Our minds are so powerful and changing how we think and see things can change our whole life.
She helped me work through all the painful thoughts and fears and tears. She helped me shift my perspective on things, helped me uncover my own path, what brings me joy and what I want for my life. And then, the courage to move in that direction. From that place I was in I never thought a life like this, a life I truly enjoy was possible. But it is. And not as far away as you might think.
Why am I telling you all this? I’m sharing my story for two reasons.
First, because I know I’m not alone in having had some of these feelings/experiences. And I hope my sharing can be healing for others, to know you’re not alone.
Second, if you can relate to my story, I want you to know that change is possible. I know you may feel stuck, but there’s always a way. Things can get better.
I’m actually now a career coach of all things. Because, for me, talking to someone was so helpful and so powerful. And my heart breaks for anyone in the same pain now that I was back then. If this sounds like you talk to someone – me or anyone you resonate with and trust. And maybe don’t let things get as bad as I did before reaching out.
Life is just too short. And the one you want to be living is waiting.
If you enjoyed this..
Find me at syoungwang.com. I coach individuals one-on-one to find more fulfillment and happiness in their work. I would love to help you. Also, join my weekly-ish newsletter and get FREE career guidance with my blog posts direct to your inbox. They’ll have you yelling (or quietly whispering to yourself) “Yes, that’s TRUTH!” Join here.
A friendly little note: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. It is not health/mental health advice and it does not create a coach-client relationship. For my full disclaimer/polices please go to https://www.syoungwang.com/policies/
Originally published at medium.com