“You’d be a great accountant,” your mother told you.

“You’d be a great lawyer,” your father said, “Plus the money’s great!”

“You’ve been in this position for a few years and I know you enjoy it,” says your mentor, “But don’t you think it’s time you made plans to climb the ladder?”

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“You’re not leadership material. There’s no sense in applying for that promotion,” you tell yourself.

It’s easy to be swept up in the tide of family expectations, career diversions, financial responsibilities and personal insecurities to end up far adrift from where you’d originally planned. If you’re busy toiling away at a job that pays the bills but doesn’t fulfill you, we need to talk.

Embrace a Success Perspective

Your mindset is key. You can’t think yourself to a win. There’s plenty of hard work required. Being open to the work of searching and striving, however, is a must. Don’t feel anxious as you dip your toes into new waters and start to explore where the path takes you next. Be open to new adventures. Be ready to release the self-image you’ve held onto thus far. Be ready to hit the mute button on the voices that tell you what you should be and turn up the volume on the voice telling you what you can be.

Be Willing

Your willingness dictates how you will behave when faced with different possibilities. You can choose to try new ideas or you can choose not to. Approach this new stage of your career (and your life!) with a willingness to experience new thoughts, new people, new places, and new opportunities. Don’t let what you have believed about your limits keep you back from launching a new adventure.

Be Positive

Change is scary. There, I said it. Yes, change is scary. It can also be exhilarating. Even if you’ve done your homework and you have a clear idea of where you’re headed, there are unknowns lying ahead. Make the decision, right now at the start of this journey, to be positive. Asking “What if” is natural as we venture into new territory. When you start to wander off down that trail of worry, make the choice to shift your focus. Instead of wondering “What if I fail,” ask yourself, “What if I succeed?” Opportunities will be easier to create and attract when you present the world with your smiling face and positive attitude.

Focus

Life throws a lot of distractions at us. It’s how we can end up spending a decade in a job we like but don’t love. Keep your eyes on the prize. Write down your goals. Document your dreams. Keep the focus on where you’re headed. Challenges are going to arise. Focusing on the goal line will help you push past those challenges. Milestone successes may lull you into thinking you’ve gone far enough. Keeping your eye on the big picture dream will allow you to turn those milestones into motivating stepping-stones to the next big thing and not weigh stations that pull you off course.

Have Fun

Achieving your dreams takes a lot of hard work and determination. Just remember, you’re building a life you love. If you’re not enjoying the process, it might be worth evaluating whether or not you’re aiming for the right finish line. Be willing to step outside of the cookie-cutter image of success that you were raised with. Take notice of those activities you enjoy. Look at your life and determine where fun is and where it is lacking. Be willing to be playful throughout this discovery process.

Read All About It

If you’re ready to live a life that is both satisfying and fulfilling, you may find the book “Love Your Life” a good jumping off point. This multiple award-winning book is designed to help you get back on track so that you can live a life that you love and reclaim your happiness.