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Feels impossible to pick a career path

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  • #389357
    S
    Participant

    I am someone who lives a very fulfilling life but is not fulfilled by work in the slightest. I have a lot of hobbies I really enjoy doing but I wouldn’t say I’m particularly good at them, I just like doing them. Even knowing this its always bothered me that I don’t derive joy from work and it has made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to pick a career path. I’m 26, and I’ve been working for ten years but even still I haven’t found anything that speaks to me. Because of that I haven’t bothered to get a college degree as it feels really daunting. I have managed to find a job as an administrative assistant which is okay but obviously isn’t very profitable, which causes some difficulties.. Again because I simply don’t really enjoy working I don’t want to pursue more than an associates degree at most. I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions or has gone through something like this before?

    #389365
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    I want to understand your mind and life a bit better, that’s why I ask (and you are welcome to not answer my questions if you prefer not to): you wrote that you live “a very fulfilling life“- can you elaborate on it?

    Also, regarding the many hobbies that you enjoy, what are they?

    anita

    #389368
    S
    Participant

    Sure, I’m extremely content and happy with my life, I have goals that are not career based that I’m working on in my spare time. I have spent years working on personal growth as well and I continue to do so. As for my hobbies, I love embroidery, painting, knitting, photography, spending time in nature, yoga, etc. but I don’t feel any of them would translate to a career because I’m not good at them. I don’t mean to say I’m not good at them in that I feel insecure but because I’m simply not.

     

    I hope this helps!

    #389370
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    I’m extremely content and happy with my life“- I am not extremely content and happy with my life and I don’t know anyone who is. I don’t think that I read from anyone in these forums stating anything this positive in over 6 years of my daily participation here. I think that if you elaborate on this one sentence, it will give me great insight into the topic of your thread. Will you elaborate on it?

    (I will be away from the computer for an hour or two).

    anita

    #389371
    S
    Participant

    Anita,

     

    I don’t think I have much to elaborate on, I simply am. As all other humans do, I have struggles, despite that I am happy and content. I appreciate your curious mind and wish I could answer your question as you’d like me to but I can’t.

    #389372
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    It’s okay, you don’t have to elaborate on anything you don’t feel like elaborating on, or that you can’t elaborate on. My best guess as to why you why didn’t want to pursue college, and/ or aim at a more demanding and higher paying job than your current, is your fear of failure, fear of not performing well-enough.

    I think that you’ve been living a simpler life, a least demanding life, because it makes it possible for you to be the least anxious, and that suits you. It “feels impossible to pick a career path” because a career path is more demanding and stressful than just a job. You want to keep your life simple with minimal stress, and a career path is stressful. Is my understanding good-enough?

    anita

     

    #389373
    S
    Participant

    I think that’s a fair assessment, yeah! It does feel like attending school would be very overwhelming, especially going back so late in life and maybe that’s where I’m afraid to fail. And yes I do like to keep my life simple too.

    #389374
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    Keeping life simple is not a bad idea, this is what I try to do with my life: keeping it as simple as possible. But I am much older than you. At 26, maybe you need Simple, buy also Exciting, because too simple, for too long gets boring, doesn’t it?

    I wonder if you can choose a certain kind of school or work-related training that suits you, that which is not be too stressful and overwhelming for you…

    anita

     

    #389397
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear S,

    you’ve touched upon something very important, which anita suggested: your fear of failure.

    anita said:

    My best guess as to why you why didn’t want to pursue college, and/ or aim at a more demanding and higher paying job than your current, is your fear of failure, fear of not performing well-enough.

    You replied:

    I think that’s a fair assessment, yeah! It does feel like attending school would be very overwhelming, especially going back so late in life and maybe that’s where I’m afraid to fail. And yes I do like to keep my life simple too.

    Fear of failure can stem from having been criticized a lot as children and as a result, not feeling good enough. You mentioned you don’t feel good enough at any of your hobbies (I have a lot of hobbies I really enjoy doing but I wouldn’t say I’m particularly good at them), so perhaps that mirrors your overall impression of yourself: that of not being good enough.

    Has this been your experience?

     

    #389433
    SSS
    Participant

    There were many years that I could’ve written almost every word and feeling you wrote. And there are plenty of others, too, who could have and could now.

    If you’re not good at what you enjoy, get better. Put more of yourself into it. Hone it. Breathe it. Sleep it. Everyone gets better with dedicated practice (except me and math, lol). So maybe you get better in yoga but not extraordinary–good for you! you improved!–yet you get so good in painting that friends want some of your work hanging on their walls.

    You clearly show desire to be part of something creative, and a theme in large part seems spiritual. You might never be happy or content with a typical job but bills need to be paid, so perhaps consider an online or otherwise certification or training in something that doesn’t demand too much to get.

    Coming to terms with reality and your own creative nature is hard. A lot of people like you don’t try to find a career, as you put it. They work at jobs, complain about them from time to time, while they are busy fulfilling their soul all the other hours in a day.

    Do you think you should have a career, or think having one will make the next forty years easier, or…….?

    If you know having a career outside anything that involves your interests will not satisfy you, I don’t see it as wrong to accept that, and know life might or might not be a little rockier b/c of it. We are who we are. Only you can decide what’s most important for you: Jobs vs. a “typical” career path.

    There are so very many opportunities for creative people out there now–that didn’t exist years ago! Explore. Research. Talk to people who are doing it well. Talk to people who failed, too, to learn from them. Who can succeed without failing first? Failing is a great teacher! And facing our fears gives us incredible freedom!

    On my end of it, I used to feel terribly restless most of the time, regardless how satisfied I was; my mother would say it was “the nature of the beast.” I still get restless, so maybe she was right, but I realized I’m a “sampler.” Don’t know if that’s a real thing, but that’s what it feels like to me. It’s who I am. I’ve sampled A LOT of life that for certain I wouldn’t have if I’d forced myself to do what I thought I should years ago.

    Some people can end up having “it all” but usually it seems most everything in life is a trade-off, big or small, in the beginning or at the end.

    #389510
    S
    Participant

    Wow SSS, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate your response and it has definitely given me so much to think about (:

    #389513
    SSS
    Participant

    Best wishes in your journey, traveler. Hugs.

    (Recall Tolkien’s quote: Not all who wander are lost. You’re wandering now, but not lost—-you are searching for something/have a goal/examining yourself/etc.)

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