One of the issues I’ve struggled with for a long time is how to properly walk in my gift. When I was younger, I was always told that God had bestowed a wonderful gift and talent within me. As long as I followed the straight and narrow path, that mystical answer would be revealed to me, as well as how to use it. Twenty three years later, I’m still trying to figure out what that is. It seemed to put a lot of pressure on me growing up, because I always wondered if I chose to be a lawyer, or an accountant, or a psychologist, which path would be the correct one, and when would it “feel” right? The truth is that moment never came, and it often left me wondering if I did something wrong, or maybe I didn’t follow that path as narrowly as I’d thought.
While this idea of having a unique and wonderful talent is meant to put fire and encouragement in our bones, if you’re anything like me, sometimes this causes a bit of anxiety as you wonder whether you’re following God’s purpose for you the way it was intended. For many of us, we have been taught that success is directly linked to our careers. Oftentimes a successful career is glamorized as this fulfilling experience that brings us so much joy and makes the birds chirp in the morning and the dolphins do flips in the ocean. But this is simply not always the case.
I always found myself envying the people that swear they knew from age six that they wanted to be in a specific career, and it was all they ever wanted. And that’s wonderful, but what about the ones of us that it isn’t so clear for? What about those of us that are idealists and could feel equally enthusiastic about multiple careers? Why isn’t it so clear for us? When we can’t seem to find such fire in a specific career, or even pinpoint one that feels special, it leaves us feeling lost and like we’re not doing something right. Living in a social media driven generation can also exacerbate that feeling when we see others’ career success and long to achieve that as well (who doesn’t want to live their best life?)
As someone who has done this regularly, I can assure you that you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Stop for a minute and take a deep breathe. Remember that your gifts and talents are not directly tied to the career that you choose, and although it may be an important area, your career is not your only means of success. Success comes in different forms for everyone. It could be the desire to be a successful parent, or a successful listener. It could be setting a goal to be a more healthier version of yourself, or aspiring to be a better lover and partner. It is not limited.
So many times society tries to convince us of what we should use our mental energy focusing on, and especially that we should be career-driven if we ever want to be successful (even going so far as losing sleep working towards it #Hustle). While there is nothing wrong with planning for a fulfilling career, we must understand that as well-rounded human beings with spiritual and emotional needs, we need fulfillment in many other areas as well which we tend to often neglect. For some of us it is even possible that the reasons we cannot seem to find such joyous fulfillment in a career is because there are other areas of our life that are more important to us subconsciously. The sooner we leave behind the notion that success is a limited adjective, or a specific destination, the sooner we allow our spirits to naturally gravitate to what it desires in order to be successful. I encourage you to strive less for a perfect career, and instead follow the intuition inside of you for a more fulfilling overall life; your soul will thank you.