Are you having another one of those days? You know; the kind where you didn’t want to get out of bed because it meant going to the office. You knew that once you got there all you were going to do was look out the window or watch the clock waiting for your day at work to finally end.
Do you find yourself asking, “What happened?” After all, you worked hard to reach your current level of success. You used to be so happy and proud of your accomplishments. But something’s different now because you don’t love your career anymore. And you don’t know what to do about it.
I know how you feel; I’ve been there. Since I was twelve years old I wanted to be a lawyer. My whole life was planned around me going to law school and practicing law. I graduated, passed the bar exam, became a trial lawyer and then Chief Judge. I loved it all; I was living my dream.
But then, like you, I began having feelings of uneasiness and dissatisfaction with my career and my life. Work had become a place to go to and leave as quickly as possible. Is that how you’re feeling? You know you need to do something. But how do you walk away from your “dream career” that’s quickly becoming your private nightmare?
As someone who’s been where you are now, I have some life-changing advice for you. First, give yourself permission to evolve. You have the right to change your mind about how you are going to find joy and fulfillment in your work. You are the one who can decide if it’s time for a new dream. Who said that you only get to live one dream in a life time? Becoming an attorney and judge was only one of mine. I have lots of others and in order to fulfill them I had to give up full time lawyering and judging. Sometimes you have to say no to something so that you can say yes to something else.
Next, remember that your current title or job description is not who you are – it’s what you do. Your identity is not found in what other people may call you. It comes from a place within – your core genius. No job can do that for you. For a time I got a certain rush from being referred to as Attorney Averils or Judge Joyce. It was okay if that’s how people thought of me. But ultimately, the time came when that wasn’t okay because I’m about so much more. I want to be known as a coach and speaker who lives her core genius everyday by motivating women to take action to change anything in their lives that devalues them. That’s who I am and chances are there’s more to who you are than attorney, counselor-at-law, in-house counsel or judge. You owe it to yourself and the rest of us to tell us.
Also, don’t let the “trappings of success” trap you in a joyless and unfulfilling career. It’s natural not to want to disappoint family and friends or to be hesitant about giving up a fat, steady paycheck. But when you choose to step away from where you are today, know that you will have success again. The joy in stepping away is that you get to create a new definition of success. The important question here is, “What does success look like and feel like to you?” On my personal journey, I’ve learned that living my passion and fulfilling my life’s mission on a daily basis is success. And I’ll take living a life of joy and fulfillment over hearing “All rise,” any day.
Copyright © Joyce M. Averils. All Rights Reserved