What should I do with my life?
For many of us this seems like an existential moment. We're asking the question 'What should I do with my life?'
If you're pondering this in midlife, when you have serious financial and family responsibilities etc, it can all start to seem a bit futile.
You think 'I'm stuck - there's no way out.'
First, I'm NOT one of those people who'd recommend jacking it all in, and doing something reckless.
I don't really believe those ads that say you can build a multimillion pound business while working four hours a week from a beach in Thailand.
However, I'm also not a pessimist about your situation. Having made a successful career change in my 40s myself, I know creating something better is totally possible.
If you're in this place right now, the first step is self discovery. Figure out your values, what your strengths are, what makes you feel most alive at work. This means taking some time for self reflection.
Next, if leaving your current job doesn't work financially right now, try to optimise your situation as much as you can.
Ask to do some different projects that might be more up your street.
Understand how you're wasting energy by overthinking things, not creating clear boundaries, taking too much on to please people, not prioritising your own mental and physical health.
All of these things are changeable, and can transform your confidence.
Outside of work, find a window to do something you'd love to do or think you might love to do. Give a try in a small way - and keep building from there.
Repeat this process over time, and you'll end up in a better, more enjoyable place than the one you're in right now.
In fact, this might be enough to create a more meaningful life.
And if it isn't, you'll feel much happier and more confident about finding what your next step might be.
Quick story: A couple of months ago, I worked with a client who'd been offered a Partner role in his agency. I coached him on whether he actually wanted to make this step up and what he'd need to do to succeed at that level.
Over a period of a few months, it became clear that he didn't really want this more senior role. He was just going along with it because that's what you're supposed to do.
In our coaching, he discovered that he was still operating from the conditioned story that you have to work, work, work, and keep climbing, climbing, climbing.
When he saw what he was doing, he was able to re-prioritise his work, create cleaner boundaries, and develop healthier mental and physical habits.
Having lifted this self-imposed pressure to constantly achieve, he had more peace of mind and more headspace to enjoy being with his partner and kids.
Same job, much happier human being.