Stop Lying To Yourself

It’s not healthy to live a lie.

I’m not talking about lying to other people.
I’m not talking about living a secret life.
I’m talking about lying to yourself.

It didn’t happen overnight but was more of a gradual nagging at my heart. I wasn’t passionate about my job: it didn’t make me happy. I wasn’t proud of what I was doing and how busy it was keeping me. I had work friends, but it hit me one day, if I were to leave my company, I could probably count on one hand the number of friendships I would continue to cultivate.

I looked at some things that were happening in my family. Wait, this wasn’t what I intended or how I had planned for things to look! Part of the problem was me being too busy, too stressed, trying to make everything work and yet feeling like I was failing miserably at times.

As I reflected, the common denominator was the fact that I was giving my ALL to my job, yet truth be told, even though I knew I did a good job and was well respected and valued by my team, if the bottom line changed and for some reason my employer could justify not having to keep my position around, I’d be let go in a heartbeat. Why was I pouring all my time and energy into my job and not my family? Things had to change!

I had to gather my courage and have a conversation with my husband and, most importantly, with myself. I had to admit that I wasn’t living the life I wanted for myself. From the outside it probably looked like I had the perfect life – a great husband; two well adjusted, healthy and well behaved kids; a nice home; nice cars; a nice remote job, etc. As I peeled back the onion, I realized I was living a lie (to myself) and was ready to make a change. I decided to leave my corporate job and venture into business for myself.

While it might not look brave to others, it took a great deal of courage for me to make this career change. I’m a “people pleaser” and it’s very difficult for me to feel like I have let anybody down. This was the main reason I waited so long to be open about my desire to scale back and change careers. It seemed selfish, considering how hard my husband works to provide for our family, to admit that I was stressed, not happy, and looking for a career I could be passionate about, one that would afford me the flexibility to be more present for my family and allow me to take care of myself in the process.

I know many people who are looking to make a career change don’t have the luxury of walking away from a job and starting something new.  Since my spouse does have a secure and steady income, I did have that luxury.  For awhile I felt this made my decision less “courageous”; what risk was I really taking?  Well, once you have gotten accustomed to two incomes, no matter how large or small that second income is, walking away from one of those incomes does give you reason to pause and think.  Was I crazy?  Was I about to place a financial strain on our family by choosing to be happy and do what I knew in my heart was right for me?   Was this a selfish decision on my part?  All these questions swarmed through my head for a few months before and after the decision was made.

If you can’t simply walk away from a job you aren’t passionate about, consider this:  You can start working part-time pursuing the job you do want, volunteering for that charity you are passionate about, taking up that hobby or sport you’ve been dreaming about, etc.  When passion starts creeping back into your life, you never know what doors will open for you.  Fueling your passion may even make that job more bearable for you or give you the courage you need to make that much needed change in your life.

We are all familiar with the expression, “hindsight is 20/20”, right?  I’m happy to report that in the subsequent months to making the decision to leave my corporate job, I have received multiple signs that I did indeed make the right decision for myself and my family.  If you are seeking to make a career change, or some other major life decision, to follow your heart or your dreams, trust yourself!  If the life you are living isn’t the one you want, isn’t making you happy, isn’t making you proud…stop worrying about what others will think.  Take care of yourself.