Society burdens us with its views and expectations to go to university, get a 9 am to 5 pm job, climb the corporate ladder, and have a family.

But what do YOU want?  The key to success is to figure that out, discover who you are and be comfortable with that. Find out what your own personal definition of what success and happiness are and evaluate yourself to be that person. If what you want is not the so-called “norm” then there is nothing wrong with that! Even if your family, boss, teachers, or friends think otherwise. It’s not about changing you but about the way you FEEL about you. Everyone is unique and maybe the above are the goals you strive for and if so that is totally fine, but if you find you don’t fit that mould then keep reading.

It’s an all too familiar story and I’ve witnessed it with a few of my clients where they are spending the day in and day out at a job they despise and wonder where that spark or happiness went. For many people, the dread of their work creates stress and anxiety for them and according to a survey carried out by Business NZ and Southern Cross Health Society in 2017 stress and anxiety in the workplace in the western world has increased dramatically over the past few years. This is not to say that everyone despises their job or experiences these feelings.

It’s important you preserve who you are, you have limited time here on earth so why spend/waste it following someone else’s dream or advice? Regardless of how well intended, they are. Ask yourself, if money wasn’t a factor what is it that you would love to be doing? Be it job wise or a hobby or some interest you’d love to take up and pursue.

I love coaching and having the freedom to plan my own day, however, at times I do feel the pressure of getting a 9 am to 5 pm job especially now that I am on my own with a sole income. My daughter wanted to be a Dancer, she had the talent to go to a dance school and the brains to go to university but she was determined and courageous enough to follow her heart and is pleased she did. 4 years after graduating and dancing professionally she got her first corporate full-time job and after living her dream for a time and she has no regrets about doing so. Now she is studying to head down another non-conventional path for employee satisfaction. My son, on the other hand, took a slight detour from his passion to be a Navy Diver, due to the pressure from his college to “at least get a degree first.” He did and is now doing what he first wanted and is loving it.

So evaluate your own situation and who you are and give yourself permission to dream and implement a plan to take a risk and make a start in that direction!

It’s worth noting that we are living in a society where everyone is demanding more of our time and demanding it NOW. The more technologically advanced we get the more this is true, hence the need to now more than ever listen to your heart, accept who you are and then step out in confidence. You don’t need to stay on the “hamster wheel” that some people and society would have you stay on, there is freedom to choose.

Looking after you and looking out for you will make you a better person, employee, partner and parent. When you can accept who you are and have a healthy sense of self-worth you are able to live a fulfilled and much more satisfying life with your own sense of purpose.