How did you know when you’d found your Thing?
That was one of the questions I got on Tuesday’s Six Essential Steps to Find Your Thing class. (You can still get the recording here.)
Such a great question, and after thinking about it some more, I realized there was more I wanted to say.
Because there are lots of layers in the answer.
How *I* knew
When I was getting ready to launch this business, I got so stuck that I was sure coaching couldn’t possibly be my Thing.
How could it be my Thing if it was so hard for me to launch?
So I let it go. For almost two years.
But then it – coaching – kept coming back.
Coach-y stuff kept showing up in my blog posts.
And once I’d gotten some distance from all the frustration, I started wanting to move forward with it again.
At that point, I’d begun to learn about safety (one of the Six Steps), and I saw how I could take teeny steps toward putting myself out there as a coach.
Soon I wound up offering free coaching sessions to a group of supportive online friends. Which allowed me to get lots of positive feedback, and helped confirm I was on the right path.
The Reality: You can’t really know for sure
If you’ve got several potential Things that are appealing to you, you probably don’t want to focus on the “wrong” one. Or maybe you always wonder if your real Thing is still out there somewhere.
There is no way to know with 100% certainty that you’ve found it.
Looking for 100% certainty starts to sound a lot like thinking there’s only one right Thing, doesn’t it?
The whole point of finding your Thing is to have work that makes you ridiculously happy and is custom-fitted to who you are.
So maybe your Thing is actually two or three different Things that you put together in a way that nourishes you and supports you financially.
Could there be something you haven’t found yet that you’d enjoy more than whatever it is you currently think is your Thing? Possibly.
But if you stay connected with yourself (another one of the Six Steps), and give yourself safety and whatever else you need, you’ll always be able to tweak your work to fit you better.
What does it mean to know?
“Knowing,” at least when it comes to Thing-Finding, is a progression.
Each step you take in experimenting (another of the Six Steps) with a potential Thing helps you learn more about it. And more about yourself.
You begin to understand the essence of the Thing and why you’re drawn to it, why you’re good at it.
Understanding its essence will help you keep the parts you like and lose the parts you don’t.
I can’t tell you for sure how you’ll know you’ve found your Thing. But I imagine you’ll start displaying at least some of the following symptoms:
- Looking forward to working on your Thing
- Wanting to get better at it
- Generally enjoying it
- Or maybe even grinning uncontrollably because you can’t believe you get paid to do it
- Appreciating what it teaches you, even when you have a shitty day at it
- Ending most days pleasantly exhausted rather than seriously drained
- Needing to try harder to take time away from your Thing
It really is possible to feel that way about work.
I’m not going to lie – some days aren’t all unicorns and rainbows. But even the hardest days working on my Thing are only slightly worse than my best cubicle days.
How about you?
How do you think you’ll know when you’ve found your Thing?
What would you do differently if you believed you couldn’t know for sure?