“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl
Losing passion for something can be a real challenge; especially if you’re fortunate enough to do your passion for a living. What intrigues me most about passion is that it’s really nothing more than an interest that takes over; our passions make us feel great, make us feel worthy of status, and above all make us unique. However, how does one lose passion for something? All too often we enter careers that we think we will love and enjoy, only to turn around and either change paths completely; or end up hating our original passion. Why is that? What happens to us? I strongly feel often times it’s our work environments. To me, there is little doubt that humans as a species can do anything we put our minds to. There are some really gnarly jobs out there and there are people who love doing them. My theory is that it’s not really so much what we do, but the environment we do it in. Here are my three signs you’ve lost passion for your career, or if you’re a victim of your working environment.
Low Energy – When you come home from a job you once loved, and feel absolutely drained you know something is up. But what? When we are fatigued, stressed, and anxious our bodies are telling us there is an imbalance in the force. Since I spend probably 90% of my time working I can usually relate any change or feelings of imbalance back to work. When feeling drained take a deep breath and meditate on it. Ask yourself why are you feeling drained? If it’s a deadline, or a tough boss or client, it’s your work environment not your passion that needs to change. How do you change your work environment, preferably without quitting? Communicate. Share with your clients or coworkers that you’re burning out and are going to take it easy on yourself the next few days. Schedule vacation days and personal days, above all shut off your phone and relax! You deserve to take some time for yourself!
Outside Forces – I think at one time or another I’ve heard from every friend of mine in the teaching profession that they were considering a career change. It wasn’t until I really sat down and thought about it, that I really understood what teaching as a profession is up against; a lot of outside forces. Whether it’s administration, parents, or children there are a lot of outside forces that can affect how your day can go. I think many times people get disappointed when they mistake a passion for a position. What I mean by that is we all get excited when we start a job or career but when something turns out to not be the way we thought, or want it to be, we start to question our motives and why we even tried in the first place. Outside forces are always going to happen whether in personal or professional life. The only thing we can control is how we react to them. Don’t blame your passion or motive, look inward and think of ways your passion might be salvageable in your current environment.
Meet Your Needs – Needs are what drive our passions. We might have a need to help others or serve, a need for ourself to have a high paying job to ensure financial security, or a need to create value for others; our needs drive our passions. I don’t believe any teacher or firefighter would choose such that career because they absolutely hate people and never want to help… it’s the exact opposite; they want to influence, save, and impact. When feeling really down on your career it’s so important to look at what need isn’t being met by your career. Here’s the tricky part: Needs change! Your needs at 25 when you first started your career might be completely different than the needs of you now. I would suggest to sit down with yourself and do some self reflection. Think about not only what you want out of life, but what you out of your career; often times the same needs we like to be met in our personal lives carry over to our professional careers.
Conclusion – Falling out of love with our careers is tough; but before we jump to conclusions after having a rough day really sit back and analyze the environments we subject ourselves to. Remember in the right environment anyone can do anything! Really take time to connect to the needs that you want to meet and always re evaluate your goals both personally and professionally. It’s a wonderful way to check in with yourself and continue your personal growth. What do you think? Do you think a bad work environment can take away someone’s passion? Do you have any tips on how someone can rekindle their passion? Let us know in the comments below!