Yes, you read that right.

Maybe you think I’m crazy.
Maybe you read that title and maybe you only clicked because you were armed and ready with a million examples to prove me wrong. (That’s totally OK. I still think you might find this helpful.)

Or maybe not. Maybe you’ve started to feel like this whole ‘being perfect’ thing is most definitely NOT working for you anymore. You feel stuck. Your career fills you with anxiety, stress, sadness, overwhelm, exhaustion, frustration, and all sorts of other not-so-fun feelings despite how much time and effort you put into trying to make it better.

Deep down inside, you’re not happy. You want to: Go to another company. Be happier in your current role. Find a new role in the same company or industry. Take some time off to travel. Start your own business. Go back to school. Volunteer. Work less. Get paid more. Have more vacation days. Enjoy the freedom of working from wherever. The options are endless…

Yet somehow, you’ve managed to stop believing in these options, and instead, you’ve started to convince yourself that there’s only one option – and a kinda shitty option at that – and that is to carry on in your current situation as it is. You tell yourself things like:

>> I just need to push through a bit more.

>> I should stop being so unhappy. I need to be more grateful that I even HAVE a job.

>> All of my peers seem to be making this career path work for them + look so happy / successful, why am I the dysfunctional one who can’t get my shit together?!

>> I must start focusing more.

>> I need to do the grunt work until leadership decides I’m ready for actually enjoyable work.

>> I have to accept that my job has a defined career path, and there’s really no way around that.

>> I can’t disappoint or confess to the people in my life by saying that I’m unhappy or want to leave this “golden” opportunity. (I mean, I’d be CRAZY to leave, right?! People would KILL for this job. Also, what was the point of those years of college + grad-school education, then?)

>> I’m too ‘new’ or ‘young’ or ‘inexperienced’ to do what I actually know I’d like to do.

>> I have no choice but to follow this path; it would be a slap in my parents’ faces if I didn’t.

I know this because all these thoughts and many more have run through my mind when thinking about my career path.

The problem is that by dismissing the nudges we get to start doing something different (or differently), to move on to the next step – you’re not giving yourself full permission to dream. You put the blinders on and just try to F.O.C.U.S. on your current situation.

You don’t really want to dream either at this point. You’ve ‘made your bed’, so now you must ‘lie in it’, right? This is the career path you’ve selected, and you’re too many years and dollars into it to do something else. Besides, that reality feels sooo far away and super unrealistic; those dreams are just another unnecessary distraction in your life.

But it’s not a distraction, my love. It’s your TRUTH – screaming and shouting and persistently poking and popping up. It SO badly wants you to listen and maybe even get curious + explore a bit more.

The problem is, when you’re busy trying to be perfect, you don’t make time for this. And then once you even start to think about it, you freeze, stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’, and convince yourself to not go even an inch deeper in this exploration. I’m guessing you probably say things like:

>> ‘What if…?’

>> ‘Yeah, but…’

>> ‘That’s nice for them, but for me…’

>> ‘It’s impossible to…’

>> ‘Work is supposed to suck…’

>> ‘That simply won’t work.’

>> ‘I have no idea how to…’

>> ‘I owe it to…[someone]…to stay here a little longer.’

YOU PLAY SMALL. You close yourself off to the endless options you have in this life. Here in the 21st century, you are more connected and have more access to resources, information, and other people than EVER before in history. If people made their big dreams happen back in the 1800s, so can you.

Sound familiar? Wonder if maybe you’re playing small in YOUR career? Below, I’ve written some things you might be doing that you might not realize are actually REALLY limiting you in your career.

Take note of which one(s) speak to you most. I have a special FREE bonus at the end that can help you dig a little deeper and further understand what comes next. Stay tuned 🙂

1. You prioritize others (happiness, comfort, goals, etc.) over yourself

Signs This May Be Affecting You:

Always online: You never turn off your work phone and incessantly check your emails, making yourself available 24/7 with no dedicated ‘offline hours’ (you don’t really ‘go home’ when you ‘go home’)

Routinely saying yes to tasks you don’t enjoy: Sure, sometimes certain tasks in your job aren’t your ‘favorite’, but if you really think about it, do you spend very little time in your typical workday actually doing the things you love (or at least enjoy) about your job?

Saying ‘yes’ to get ahead: You pretty much never say ‘no’ and follow through on most requests without too many (or any) questions. You do everything you can to make sure your boss likes you, sees you as capable of anything and everything, and you are willing to go above and (WAY) beyond to ensure you get a good rating.

First in, last out: You’re the first person in the office and the last person to leave. You’re the ‘most reliable’ person (who gets handed all the leftover work + gets called into every fire drill).

No time for life: You literally work so much (and are exhausted by this) that you are left with little time to actually enjoy most days and/or look for another job to GTFO. And on those days off? You can be found lying in bed hungover or lying in bed watching Netflix (or both) to decompress from the hectic week at work.

Feeling like the Universe is conspiring against you: If you’re being honest with yourself, you spend a good amount of time complaining a lot about your job. It feels like you always seem to be pulling the short straw…

Don’t express your concerns, interests, or needs: There were lots of things you wanted to ask upfront or along the way, but since you were the ‘new’ or ‘junior’ or ‘less experienced’ person, you didn’t (and now you’ve been there too long to ask, and it feels too late…)

How to stop this: Establish + enforce boundaries
(See the link to the guide at the end for more tips on how to do this!)

2. You’re afraid of not succeeding and being seen as incapable

Signs This May Be Affecting You:

Looking for THE move, not A move: You’ve endlessly embarked on the eternal search for your one ‘calling’ or ‘passion’ and won’t make a move until you’ve found it.

Safety first: You’re someone who likes to analyze all situations (for a really long time) to ensure you’re making the ‘right’ decision. You tend to like ‘playing it safe’, rarely taking risks.

Waiting for ‘the right time’: You’re obsessed with figuring out how to get ‘there’ without losing your perceived sense of stability, so you keep waiting until it feels like a ‘perfectly safe + stable’ time to transition. You want all your ducks perfectly in a row before it can be ‘go time’.

You tell yourself you’re different: You say things like: ‘Maybe I’m not daring + courageous enough to make a change like that’ or ‘That’s really great for them, but that won’t work for me’; there’s always special exception, excuse, or reason why it won’t work for YOU, specifically.

You follow protocol: You execute, you don’t propose ideas or new roles or envision projects or ask for opportunities. You focus on doing what’s asked of you. You don’t want to embarrass yourself trying something new and failing, pitching something and getting shut down, etc.

Life is a linear equation: You believe that if you follow a certain formula and do everything diligently (plan ahead, get things done, get recognized, etc.), you will be successful + happy. You are hesitant to ever go too far ‘off of the formula’ + invent your own recipe for success because there’s no guarantee you’ll ‘succeed’.

How to stop this: Start practicing failure
(See the link to the guide at the end for more tips on how to do this!)

3. You put your effort into changing yourself to suit your job (rather than the other way around)

Signs This May Be Affecting You:

You always ‘order off the menu’ instead of ‘making-your-own’: When it comes to your career, you don’t ask ‘What do I REALLY want?’ – instead you ask ‘What is the option I like most or hate the least on the ‘menu’?’

You have no sense of fulfillment in your career: Maybe you hate your job, or maybe you’re not completely dissatisfied with it, but either way, it feels like you should have more of a connection and calling to it, and you’re struggling to find it despite your best efforts + optimism.

You cycle between misery + buckling down: You hate your job, but at some point, you think it must be all in your head and convince yourself that what you really need to do is just work more, work harder, get your shit together, be more proactive about making this work for you. Then you do all those things and end up not just hating your job but now also being incredibly burnt out, making it difficult to put forth much effort to make changes that will help you move in a positive direction.

Reputation matters more than your happiness: You believe that there is only a handful of careers or ‘paths’ you can take in order to be respected and admired by the people in your life.

‘Sunday Scaries’ are a regular guest: You dread the start of every work-week. You feel stressed (or maybe even sick or crying or depressed) about going to work. You drag yourself out of your house and into work, maybe even having to give yourself routine pep talks (or have your partner, friend, parent do so) to even muster up the energy to keep going through the motions.

Numbing out in your down time: You’re numbing out whenever you’re not at work. In the form of excessive anything – Netflix binging, working out, drinking, drugs, eating… it’s all the same thing, really.

Being ‘practical’: I did it, too. Picking the most ‘practical’ choice. Guess how happy that made me? Career or otherwise, you often tend to pick with your head, and leave your heart completely out of the equation.

Willing to tough it out for a bit: You knew the beginning was supposed to be the hardest, and you thought ‘OK, if I can survive that, I’m good’. You expected it to take a little warming up to, but even after ‘toughing it out’ for a couple of years, you still have that uneasy feeling even after you’ve settled in. This job doesn’t feel as great as you hoped it would at this point…

You don’t have meaningful career goals in your current role: Sure, you get promoted and you move up the ranks in your current gig — but it’s mostly just because you’re ‘supposed to’.

You’re afraid to share your career goals: If you’re being honest, you have secret ‘dream careers’ or ambitions that you keep to yourself. You’re embarrassed or afraid or not confident in them, so you just keep them as daydreams and nothing more.

Or maybe you’ve shared these dreams with someone and gotten shut down or dismissed right away, which has made you shy away from sharing again in the future…either way, you realized it’s just silly / stupid to really, truly dream.

You have an inkling there’s ‘something more’: You often feel like you should be doing something more in life, and that there has got to be something that makes you happy…and this…ain’t it. Yet. you end up convincing yourself that you should be happy because you’re fortunate: You embrace ‘tolerating’ your life because it looks good on paper + is prestigious.

How to stop this: Find a mentor + don’t give up on finding fulfillment
(See the link to the guide at the end for more tips on how to do this!)

So…I’m curious.

Which one resonated with you the most?

I’d love to know; feel free to leave a comment below!

I’m guessing you probably think…now what? I need more help! Well, lucky for you, I put together some detailed insights for each one as well as some tangible, concrete suggestions to help yourself.

Sign up in the blue box below to receive my free guide straight to your inbox NOW! 🙂 <3 (**Check your ‘Promotions’ tab if you use Gmail!**)

P.S. As an EXTRA bonus, I’m offering 30 minute coaching calls to see how I can personally help you a little bit more – completely free of charge. I really want to help you make some major shifts in your career approach + mindset so you can start living the life of your dreams.