Go where you are wanted
“Go where you are wanted”… these words rang out ever so loudly for me a few weeks ago as I read an article on starting over forwarded to me by a friend. It touched me in a place that required me to stop and say to myself “Am I wanted here?”
So many of us spend a great deal of our lives living and moving in spaces where we feel we are ‘supposed to be”. Our quest for the ‘right job’, ‘right school’, and ‘right spouse’ ‘right(fill in the blank)’ can propel us on journeys that are not necessarily aligned with our authentic selves. As a result, we wind up putting considerable effort to stay on the ‘right path,’ when the answer for a healthier and aligned life is to simply “go where we are wanted.”
This advice seems pretty and logical right? Why wouldn’t we want to be in places where we are wanted? A closer examination of many of our lives however, may expose areas where we are doing just the opposite. “How do I know if I am operating in a space where I am not wanted? And more importantly “What can I do about it?” There are four ways to determine if you are fighting this uphill battle to feeling value in your job:
- There is a lack of personal connection with the individuals in the group in which you interact;
- You experience an inability to get support for ideas and/or recognition of your contributions;
- You have a constant feeling that you are not being heard by others;
- You are unable to move either laterally or upward in the organization;
So, what is the answer? I’d suggest looking at your reasons for being in that space in the first place, why do you stay? For me I had to take an honest look at my underlying motives for being where I was. While it was easy to hide behind things like financial benefits and professional opportunity, the real answer was much deeper. What did those things signify for me in my life, what did I believe they said about how I was seen, both to myself and by others? Why was that important? Once I sorted out my motives, I focused on the impact of the work I was currently doing. I needed to get centered and aligned with my true self. I thought about these things:
- Is this work that I value?
- Does it excite me?
- Is the work aligned with what I believe my strengths and talents to be?
- What do I feel in my body as I do this work?
For me, the answer to the last question was the clarion call to signal to me that I was in the wrong place. The tension associated with the work I was doing was overwhelming, but I’d been experiencing the feeling for so long I had come to think of it as ‘normal’ as ‘part of the job.’ Many of us become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, and we ignore signals that we are out of balance physically. Stress is a great contributor to many diseases that affect women greatly, Lupus, heart disease, depression among a few. Recognizing the cues sent from our bodies is an instrumental tool in helping us to operate with true authenticity.
Once you have the answers to the questions above, start to visualize what it would look like if you were being truly authentic. As an Integral Coach, I help my clients meet their goals by using metaphors and personas to visualize their current and future selves. It is a powerful tool to understand our behaviors and how we can change to get the lives we want. Look at what it would be like for you to work in a place that aligns with your talents and passions. Now how do you convert that into a change? Let’s take a look.
Making the change: Now that you are clearer on what you should be doing, Investigate the following:
- Are there opportunities to work in those spaces that excite you and use your passion? Having a clearer idea of where you want to be and why, seek out those groups and activities that make the best use of your talents, strengths, and energies. Just the act of looking for new opportunities can jump-start an even clearer vision of where you’d like to be
- Can I build relationships to help me get included? Networking is key to getting new jobs or invited to join certain organizations. Check your contact list and see who you know who may be affiliated with these new opportunities. Reach out and let them know what you’re looking for and that you’re interested in learning more about those groups. If they don’t have a direct involvement, see if they’d be willing to make an introduction with friends who may be involved and can provide more information.
- Are there opportunities that I’ve overlooked? Looking back to areas that you may have passed up may also be a good idea and help you find the place where you’re wanted and valued. Revisit those opportunities that you’d discounted in the past for whatever reason and give them a second look. Review the reasons for passing them up and determine if those reasons are still deal breakers, if not go through the previous two steps to try to get reconnected.
In the final analysis, we spend so much of our time and talents charging toward goals that we set because of externally set measures and values. This external orientation, when not balanced by our internally driven set of values can render us a life that is off-kilter when compared to the life we can live authentically. The result of which can be a stressful professional AND personal life, impacting the lives of our co-workers as well as our close family members. When we remove the negative stress associated with being in places where we are not wanted, we can live lives more in sync with our authentic selves. We can bring more harmony, joy, and meaning not only into our lives but into the lives of those with whom we work and love.
A great thanks to Donna Santistevan for creating a space for women to connect, uplift and find camaraderie over topics that concern them.
Peace and Blessings, Denise K.
Denise was my manager on a government project at Accenture several years back. Denise and I became fast friends sharing not only work but personal experiences, challenges, and goals. Denise inspires me as she is bright and positive and she’s humble about her achievements. She is also a people person meaning when you talk to her, she listens. That is something we both share in common. I look forward to the day when we are in the same town to sit down and enjoy a coffee together.
After many accomplished years in IT Systems development, Denise works with senior leadership in her firm as a certified Clifton Strengthsfinder. She has also facilitated leadership development programs and conducted multiple sessions on management and career development. Denise has a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from The University of Detroit-Mercy in Detroit, Michigan and a Masters of Science in Organizational Development from American University in Washington, DC. She is also the mother of a talented and precocious nine-year-old daughter keeps her on her toes and reminds her every day of the power we possess to create the lives we want to live.