You wake up one day and feel like you’re in a dead zone. You’re going through the motions, doing what is expected of you, doing the ‘right thing’ but not feeling the satisfaction that you once did. You panic a bit and ask, now what? This gradual and insidious loss of passion or purpose in your life is another aspect of your life where blindspots can occur.
It seems there is not much context for dealing with this crossroads other than the stereotypical mid-life crisis – buying a sports car or a motorcycle or having an affair. But, there are other avenues to explore that can lead to a very rich and meaningful ‘what’s next’. I will be exploring these over the next few weeks through the lens of strengths.The longer you ignore the warning hints that your career lacks passion, the worse it can get. Click To Tweet
At some point in your career or life, you may sense a creeping malaise. You are no longer enthusiastic about the day ahead. When did your brilliant career become the daily grind? What happened to your passion at work?
“We hear a great deal of talk about the midlife crisis of the executive. It is mostly boredom.”
— Peter Drucker, management expert
“What do I do if I don’t have passion?” and “How do I sustain passion?” are two questions that often come up for my clients in coaching sessions.
Let’s face it, after 20 or 30 years of all-too-familiar work, you’re good at your job, but you may not feel as if you are learning or contributing as much as you once did. You might not feel challenged or particularly satisfied. Bosses can be unpleasant, your favorite project is scuttled, and work starts to stagnate.
Your position may feel like it’s reduced to reports, meetings and difficult coworkers. When your job is no longer enjoyable or meaningful, your energy sags, motivation lags, tasks go undone, and you make mistakes. You think about switching jobs, but this presents additional risks, similar to changing seats on the Titanic.
Yet, staying in a job that’s filled with mind-numbing work and going nowhere can mean resigning yourself to a lack of growth and meaning. It doesn’t have to be that way. Not if you’re working with a coach.
Loss of passion is one of the primary reasons to use a coach. It may be time to explore the work/life issues of purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, most of us dismiss these early symptoms and try to fix things on our own.
If you are one of those who quickly dismisses creeping stagnation, pay attention. The longer you ignore the warning hints that your career lacks passion, the worse it can get. And the more difficult it can be for you to crawl out from under it and reignite your energy. If you aren’t working with a coach, maybe you should.
“…finally realizing that the prime of our lives is not about answers – it starts when we finally allow ourselves to soften into the mysteries and live in the questions. For me, the softening came after a long, painful midlife unraveling; fueled by the exhaustion that comes from too much pretending, pleasing, and perfecting. For me, midlife was not a crisis, it was an unraveling. ”
— Brene Brown, researcher and storyteller
What has been your experience with losing passion and a sense of purpose? What is your unraveling story? Are you working with a coach? I’d love to hear from you. Contact me or let’s connect on LinkedIn.