I’ve recently been running a business and career retreat and one of the themes from those who came along was that when times are tough it can really affect your passion for the job. Whether that’s working for an organisation or yourself, when you lack motivation it can be a real cause of stress?
If you don’t find your work “mojo” it can have a real knock on affect into the other areas of your life as well causing a lack of balance in home life, relationships, with your family and even for your health.
What causes us to lose our passion?
For most of us, our passion to lead, help other people by serving them in the best way possible drives us forward and when that passion fades it causes us to question the meaning of work.
The first step is acknowledging the signal that it’s time to take stock. Let’s look at the various feelings that let you know the time has come.
Many people confuse achieving day-to-day business goals with performing truly satisfying work.
“I feel trapped.”
Sometimes, a job that was fulfilling gradually becomes less meaningful, and it starts to slowly erode your enthusiasm and spirit until you no longer find much purpose in your work. People often describe this state as feeling trapped. They’re restless, yet they can’t seem to change—or even articulate what’s wrong.
You might be confusing achieving day-to-day business goals with performing truly satisfying work, so you continue setting and achieving new goals—until it dawns on you that you are bored and every day is like “Groundhog Day” with a lack of new stimulation.
“I’m not the person I want to be.”
Some people gradually adjust to the let-downs, frustrations, and even boredom of their work until they surrender to a routine that’s incompatible with who they are and what they truly want.
Sometimes the change is so gradual that you don’t notice that you are being absorbed into a culture that doesn’t fit you. Then you end up doing what you feel you “should” be doing and making minor concession after minor concession rather than following your heart. Without strong self-awareness, people risk adapting to such an extent that they no longer recognize themselves.
“I won’t compromise my ethics.”
The signal to take stock may come to you in the form of a challenge to what you feel is right deep inside you.
When you recognize that an experience is in conflict with your values, you can at least make a conscious choice about how to respond. The problem is, you can often miss this particular signal because you may have lost sight of your core values.
Sometimes you separate your work from your personal lives to such an extent that you don’t bring your values to the workplace. As a result, you may accept or even engage in behaviours you’d deem unacceptable at home.
It is as if they suddenly recognise what they are meant to do and cannot ignore it any longer.
“I can’t ignore the call.”
A wake-up call can come in the form of a mission: an irresistible force that compels people to step out, step up, and take on a challenge. It is as if they suddenly recognise what they are meant to do and cannot ignore it any longer.
“Life is too short!”
Sometimes it takes a trauma, large or small, to jolt you into taking a hard look at your life. Such an awakening may be the result of a medical emergency, a bereavement, or a world tragedy. It can also be the result of something less dramatic, like adjusting to an empty nest or celebrating a significant birthday. Priorities can become crystal clear at times like these, and things that seemed important weeks, days, or even minutes ago no longer matter.
How can you find your passion again?
The key here is to look at some of the reasons why you might have lost your passion, did it suddenly disappear or was is taken away in tiny chunks, eroded slowly over time.
Why did you start doing what you are doing, are you even in the right role now or has it changed so much that the reasons why you started are no longer there?
Reconnect with your “why” and what’s important to you about your career and you’ll find your passion again.
How can Beyond help me?
The easiest way is to sign up for our free resources and information by contacting us, also chatting to us about the 1:1 career advice and workshops we can provide alongside coaching.