Unfulfilled: When You Feel Like You’re Living Someone Else's Life
by Theresa Horezga, CPCJun 15, 2017 | 2 minutes read
You wake up, get dressed, and start the coffee pot. You eat the same breakfast every day, say goodbye to your family (both the two- and four-legged members) and head into work for the day.
Some time later, you’re sitting at your desk, and you can’t even remember getting there. It’s as if you blacked out the last two hours.
How is that even possible? Simple: You went through the motions. The same motions you do every, single, routine day. Nothing about your morning was memorable enough to stand out in your mind.
It’s like you’re living someone else’s life instead of starring in your own.
I know this story too well. For a while, I felt like I was living in the zombie apocalypse. Every morning I’d be surrounded by a horde of silent, eyes-glazed-over zombies traveling to Manhattan from New Jersey. They were blank and lifeless, on their way to sit in their cubes and stare at their screens all day. Without any living, breathing life around them to give them a purpose, they simply existed without animation.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a comfortable routine... until you’ve lost your passion and your drive.
For me, I was tired of living a life on the sidelines, doing what I was “supposed” to do. I wanted more: I wanted to find a deep sense of fulfillment in my career.
If you’re feeling like you're on auto-pilot at your day job, it’s time to ask yourself:
What does your ideal life look like?
Some of the most common things I hear when I ask this question are:
- I want the flexibility to set my own schedule.
- I want to make a difference.
- I want to work for myself.
- I want to help more people.
- I want to spend more time with my family.
- I want to live comfortably.
If envisioning an ideal life feels too daunting, start small. Close your eyes and explore your ideal day, from waking up until settling in for the night. What does that day look like? How does it feel?
Press fast forward and visualize the next season (summers on the beach or fresh snow on the ski slopes). Where are you? What have you accomplished? How do you feel?
It’s OK to be unsure about what you want. You’re probably pretty clear on what you don’t want (“this corporate thing just isn’t right for me”), so start there.
You have the power to make that vision a reality.
The first step is realizing that you’re in control of your choices and your future. You may not feel you have a choice about going to work in the morning (at least, not yet) but you can change your path by taking intentional baby steps toward your ideal vision.
You know where you are and where you want to go, so it’s time to fill in the gaps. What big moves do you need to make to get closer to your one-year-from-now vision? How can you break down those moves into bite-sized, manageable pieces?
Your first step might be as small as changing your daily breakfast—and who knows what’s possible from there.
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