You know you shouldn’t. But you can’t help telling yourself, can you?
That you’re a miserable failure. Your college degree didn’t get you anywhere. You’re living paycheck to paycheck. You’re alone. And you wonder if life will ever cut you a break.
After I graduated with two wildlife degrees, I was sure I’d done everything to position myself for success. I believed that if I did work I loved, I’d never work another day in my life. But I quickly learned that doing work I loved and doing my job were sometimes mutually exclusive things. And no matter what anybody tells you — they both take work.
Right out of college, my day began at 4:00 in the morning. I yanked jawbones out of dead deer when hunters brought them in to age the herd. As breakfast worn on, all you could smell was bloody entrails and fried pies. I’d wrap up my day in the freezing cold without even $100 to show for it.
I hated my life. But I was a wildlife biologist. And that’s what biologists did. I thought I had to work that particular job because that’s what my particular degrees were in. I put all this work into setting myself up for success. Now I was completely miserable and felt like an epic failure. Little did I know that my frustration was only a sign that things were about to turn around for me.
If you did everything right and nothing’s working out yet, read on. Here are some of the signs that success may still be on the way.
1. You’re disgusted with your job.
You’re stuck in the nine-to-five. Your routine has become crushingly boring. You know it’s about to get better when you’re so sick of it, you’re ready to do something drastic. You get these urges to quit your job, leave your partner, or move to a different country. You’re finally wanting to fulfill the potential inside you. And your restlessness means that you’re ready to make that happen. You succeed at improving your situation when you take steps to create the life you actually want.
2. You judge and criticize incessantly.
Everyone around you is way too cheerful. There’s no way in hell they have that much fun on the weekend or find themselves that interesting on Facebook. And you hate them for it. As soon as you find yourself getting inflamed over other people’s happiness, that’s a clear tip-off that you’re invited to get happy too. When you create what’s missing in your life, you set yourself on the road to success. You give yourself what you’ve been waiting around for other people to give you. When you succeed at fulfilling your own desires, you no longer resent others who’ve got what you thought you couldn’t have.
3. You resist doing work you love.
All of us wish we could be doing something else. But we’ve got a million excuses why we shouldn’t even start. It won’t make any money. Everybody will think you’re crazy. You’ll never make a living at it. But you know something? Trying to put the brakes on what you want is a sure sign that you’re at a pivotal crossroads. The more important your work/craft/art is to you, the more excuses you contrive. Doing the work that you resist is the only way that you’ll succeed at being happy and feeling free in life.
4. You’re sick of everyone telling you what to do.
Resenting the advice of others can be a guise for not following our own advice. The good news is, you know more than you think you do. You already know what you need to do in order to improve and thrive. Getting tired of outside advice is a definite sign that now’s the time to listen to you. You’re sure to come out on top when you follow your own intuition about how you want to succeed at work and in life.
Can I be totally honest with you for a second? No matter how you define success, reaching it is actually simple. But it takes work. Do the thing that you resist. Give yourself permission to enjoy your situation. Listen to your own certainty. Keep reaching. Your success is worth it!
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