The Real Reason You Might Be Feeling ‘Off’ – What’s Missing

It’s the pandemic, right? Have you ever heard: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”?

No one could have predicted the overwhelming impact of a world-wide pandemic. Many if not most of us have found ways to cope and deal with it but still do not feel the same energy we used to have for our work. Do you have a hole in your heart or are you experiencing more discontent, sadness, confusion, and frustration?

It is not time for us to beat ourselves up for not being tough enough. I am sure you have heard others say, “this is not that bad, think of those who had to live during the great depression and the world wars!” Even though this is true, it does not seem to make us feel better.

What is missing? Have you reached a point where you are working long hours and wondering, “Why am I doing this?”

Perhaps you have already made small changes to your routine and environment. Maybe taking more walks, doing more yoga, and/or reading more is not filling in that aching feeling you have. Perhaps you dream about doing “something else”. But you have no idea what that something else is. It can be super frustrating to those of us who beat ourselves up because we do not have a good answer.

Have I struck a chord with you?

For many of us, it might be a pronounced desire to do something of significance. Not for our own success but to make the world a better place. Are you missing a sense of ‘meaning’? When your desire to just climb the corporate ladder for bigger titles, more money, and ‘success’ dissipates, it can feel confusing.

Deep in our hearts is the desire to do something we see as important, something that makes a difference. We want to use our passions & motivations, our strengths & gifts, our values.

We want to work on PURPOSE! My hypothesis is that the pandemic has accelerated many people’s concerns and feelings about not having a purpose in one’s work. When things get bad for a protracted amount of time, the weak links are exposed. If you are tired and remain tired, it is not just your endless amount of zoom meetings and workload. It could be something much deeper.

If so, it is time to chunk out some time for you to be in reflection. Diagnose your feelings. Think about where your greatest discord comes from; is it the work, your boss, the culture, your peers, etc.? Do you desire to do something different and will just learning something new take care of the problem or does it feel like your issues are more systematic in nature?

You could consider making a lateral move at your company if you love the company, culture, and management team but more than likely that is not the long-term solution.

You could also look for ways to experience being on purpose and generate fulfillment through volunteer organizations, your church, or your family. This can work for many people if their work is not toxic.

The real challenge is to find fulfillment in the one thing that takes more time in our lives than anything else – work. But the problem is that meaning is not going to knock on your door. I believe from my own experience and many others whom I have coached, that you must discover it and it takes time to find it.

The power of reflection can bring clarity to your situation and what life is encouraging you to do differently. Try getting a journal and spend some time thinking deeply about things you do not normally think about. Stop worrying, being anxious about the future, and start finding what you were made to do.

Start with a current situation assessment.

Then, make sure you do a thorough job cataloging the three aspects of personal purpose:

  • Strengths and Talents
  • Passions and Motivations
  • Values

When you are done exposing all three, seek the overlap or the sweet spot between all three. The purpose must be discovered and one of the best times to look for it is when there is some pain. Do not let this crisis pass you by if you are experiencing some pain.

Need help? I am designing a course to help people go through the discovery process. Reach out to me and let me know how I can help. I will invest my time upfront to help you discern what you need. My work email is [email protected].

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About the author

Don Frericks

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