Do we choose our careers or do our careers choose us?
When I think about my choice to become a physiotherapist, it was a perfect match for the person I was, when I made that decision - Analytical, outcome/goal driven, logical problem solver, science knowledge based. So did my traits mean physiotherapy was a great fit or did physiotherapy provide the perfect outlet for my personality?
My highly strung anxiety driven nature meant incredible productivity, efficiency and competency. (Even if it didn’t feel like it at the time). My mean inner critic, Clark, analysed and sought out the slightest dysfunction with ease. A by-product of relentless self-ridicule, now a finely tuned instrument to treat a patient’s health concerns. My goal driven and ambitious traits were perfect for an evidence-based career where there is a goal to achieve one step at a time.
In fact, I’ve realised the only reason I ever achieved highly has been thanks to my anxiety. The more I have managed my anxiety, the more content I have been with my capabilities, the less 'achieving' has motivated me. My worth is no longer dependent upon succeeding in my previous definition of success.
Don’t get me wrong this comes with a new set of challenges. Who am I if I’m not striving to be the best at something? Who am I if I don’t compete or achieve? When your worth is not in your job title anymore, where the heck is it?
It's funny to me, I am still relatively 'successful' in my career. Running a business, helping an interesting case load, doing work I love learning about and getting paid to do it. Yet, Clark is never satisfied. I am never enough according to him.
So what would be enough for me? All I want to do small great things every day. Some days it might look like treating clients. Other days it might be enjoying my family. Or time with my friends moving, dancing, drinking, eating and talking ourselves around on tangents. It’s also, spending time by the ocean, exploring new places and parts of myself. These are the small great things I consider when pondering success and worthiness.
I cannot be confined to a single label or role and I’d hazard a guess neither can you. We must be careful of the labels with which we identify strongly. We may be depriving ourselves and the world of incredible talents. The unique richness of our humanness is in all the roles we play. Make sure you find the worth, in the person you are whilst in all roles you wear.
If something about this resonated with you perhaps my upcoming FREE webinar is for you? We will discuss, explore and gently unravel how to feel, well...good enough. Sign up here for the details.