Creating Work You Love

Hannah writes: I hate my job. I work too many hours doing something that is totally meaningless, and I barely make enough money to pay my bills. I have a hundred ideas of things to do with my life – I want to make a difference, make money, do work I love. But I never take that step. What is wrong with me?

Welcome to America, 2012-style. The days when a job provided you with security and allowed for a full life are gone. All too many people up and down the economic ladder are being told the only relationship they are allowed to have is to their job. Not only are people putting in ridiculous hours but the smartphone is never shut off, so you are only a text away from the boss.

But just because the door for humane working conditions is closed doesn’t mean another one isn’t opening. The problem is, as Helen Keller said, we spend too much time looking at the closed door to recognize the open one.

Now is a time when we need to create our own visions for work and make them happen. We each need to dig deep and find ways to do good work that makes the world a better place and be able to go on the occasional vacation. We need to find ways to achieve balance in our lives, so that we can nurture our most important relationships as well as serve the work master.

How can we create our own work in such a bad economy? As Napoleon Hill, the author of the classic self-help book, “Think and Grow Rich, said, all success begins with an idea. If you have those, you are already half way there!

Unfortunately, for many people, the problem is, we don’t turn our ideas into realities. Now all those fans of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret tell us that if you see it you can be it. It is true that you need to see yourself scoring the touchdown to get to the goal. But for many of us, it is hard to believe that picture.

When people don’t make their dreams come true, sometimes it is because they can’t believe in themselves. When you start trying to imagine the good thing happening, another voice pops in your head that tells you you’ll never be able to do it. Whatever the words are that you tell yourself, whether it is, “I’m unworthy,” “I’m not good enough,” or “I’ll never succeed,” the meaning is at bottom the same. This is the voice of shame. It is the part of you that deep down, thinks there is something basically wrong with you.

It is hard to overcome this monster, but the good news is, these beliefs about yourself aren’t true. This business about your unworthiness or inadequacy is just a story you tell yourself.

When you put in the work on yourself so you can fully own how amazing you are, and how the world needs your love, energy, and brilliance, then you will find the motivation and self-confidence to do the hard work to make your dreams come true.

When you love yourself, the universe cooperates with you. Yes, finding a good business model is brutally challenging. But the first, hardest, and most important step in making your dreams come true is loving yourself.

Dr. Glenn Berger is a psychotherapist, relationship counselor, business and artist’s coach, and young person’s mentor. He sees patients in New York City, in Mt. Kisco, NY, and around the world by Skype.

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