We live in a culture that teaches us that the answers to our questions usually lie outside of ourselves. To gain this knowledge, we have to search through books, take classes, and even hire professionals.
But when it comes to your career, you don't always need all those external resources. The more you know yourself and spend the time to seek the answers from within, the more likely you will experience more joy in your work.
Here are 5 key aspects about yourself that you should figure out asap:
1. What is your genius?
Understanding your unique genius is all about knowing the type of work that makes you feel challenged in the best way possible.
To understand your genius, think of a time when you were in the zone at work. What was the thinking that propelled you into that super engaged and energized state? What types of problems were you solving and how were you approaching them? By honing in on this, you are able to deepen your expertise in this unique way of thinking.
2. What fulfills you?
We all seek fulfillment--it's how we are wired. We want to feel that what we do has a positive impact on others.
However, we are all different and what fulfills us is as unique as our stories. That's why it is important to observe the moments when you feel deeply fulfilled. What is the impact that you're having in that moment? Look for the specifics.
What I have found is that the kind of impact that is the most fulfilling is linked to a core challenge you have faced in your life. You feel truly impactful and inspired when you are able to help someone else overcome a challenge that you can deeply relate to, because you know very well the pain of that challenge.
3. How confident are you?
Our levels of confidence are always changing, so it's important to see the big picture: in general, how confident are you over time?
This is important to know because confidence plays a key role in loving work. Confidence allows you to be proactive, push your comfort zone, take risks, and show up as someone who is capable of conquering big challenges. The key is knowing how confident you are and knowing what is causing the dips or spikes. If you're able to identify the reasons why your confidence has dipped, you can focus on strengthening those vulnerabilities and accessing greater performance.
4. How willing are you to give up?
Do you stay the course in the midst of failure? Do you see failure as an opportunity? Do you believe in yourself so much that you won't give up on your goals? Or do you see failure as a sign that you aren't good enough and thus not worth the effort?
Building your grit and your growth mindset is key for loving what you do. Your mental strength to endure challenge and setbacks is key not only for your career but also for dealing with the challenges that exist in any business environment.
5. Are you willing to prioritize enjoyment over achievement?
Are you an achievement junkie? Do you thrive on getting the deal, achieving a goal, or checking something off of your to do list?
We all are. Every time we achieve something we get a hit of dopamine and we feel good. The problem is that these hits are fleeting. The key to real happiness at work is enjoying the process of achieving your goals just as much as the achievement. It's hard because our society is set up to glorify achievements much more so than enjoyment. So you need to set your priorities, and this may mean saying no to a job that isn't enjoyable or pivoting in a way that may scare you. What you gain is excitement, which will reduce your stress and make your experience of work fun.