Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
How do you choose a career when you have too many passions?
It’s not like you can pursue them all at the same time (trust me on this one. I tried and it only led to burnout).
But picking one feels like cutting off a limb. Surely, you wouldn’t be passionate about something if you weren’t supposed to pursue it in some way?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried thinking your way out of this pickle.
You have a list of pros and cons of following each passion. You’ve been visualizing each option. You’ve been asking yourself what it is your heart really wants a million times.
And you still don’t know!
How can you take action if you don’t know which passion to focus on?
Truth bomb: It’s the other way around…
Why You Need To Take Action Before You Have It All Figured Out
As my virtual mentor and kick-ass life coach Marie Forleo always says, “clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”
In other words, you have to take action to figure out if you’re on the right track. Your vision becomes clear only when you start shaping it.
FYI, your mind will resist this. It wants to stay in its comfort zone, where it’s safe and predictable.
When you start thinking about a new career to pursue, your mind has no idea how that’s gonna go. It gets so scared, it tries to play out every scenario in its head.
But, here’s the deal: your mind doesn’t have the necessary information to make a choice yet.
You haven’t tried becoming a life coach, building your tech company, or selling your homemade scrubs and bath bombs yet.
Your mind may think of all the things that could go wrong (minds are very good at catastrophizing!).
But it can’t know if you’ll love it that career enough to eat the shit sandwich (all the tedious and unpleasant parts of the job) that come along with it and to overcome all the obstacles you find on your way.
You haven’t done it yet, so it has no hard proof to back up one scenario or another. It can only get that proof AFTER you start taking action.
How To Choose A Career When You’re Multipassionate
Ready to take action? Here’s a short exercise that will help you figure out which career to choose when you have too many passions:
Step 1: Get Everything You Need
That’s pen and paper. You could take notes on your laptop or a lab, but I don’t recommend it. Research shows that handwriting engages the thinking part of the mind. In the words of educational psychologist Virginia Berninger, “writing is the way we learn what we’re thinking.”
Step 2: Make A Passion List
Make a list of the all the things you’re passionate about and that you’re thinking of pursuing as a career. If you’re multipassionate like me, that list has 10+ passions. That’s cool. But for the purpose of this exercise, circle the three passions you’re most drawn to. If you don’t know which three to pick, do the goosebump test.
Step 3: Take Your Passion For A Test Ride
Now you’ve narrowed down your passion list, it’s time to get laser focused. Pick one passion and explore it for two weeks. If you don’t know which one to pick, go with the first one on the list. Don’t obsess about it. It’s only for two weeks. You can still go back to the drawing board after that.
Step 4: Take The First Step
What’s the first step you could take today to start exploring the passion you picked? Maybe it’s looking for a life coach course. Or buying the domain name for your new website. Pick something really small and do it now. Yes, right this very minute. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Gather Feedback
The first step is the hardest. Now that you’ve taken it, keep the momentum going. What’s the next step you can take? And the next? Keep these steps really small, and do one a day. Then gather feedback:
- Are you enjoying exploring this passion?
- Do you feel like you could be doing it every day for years?
- Are there any parts that feel like a chore?
- Are you becoming more or less interested as time goes on?
- Do you like interacting with other people in the same field?
If the answers to these questions are positive and you feel like you could spend your entire life doing this, well done: you’ve found your life purpose!
Do you feel as if something is missing? Maybe you don’t enjoy this passion as much as you thought or have lost all interest in it? No harm done. Go back to the drawing board and explore the second passion on the list.
Lather, rinse, repeat until you find a winner.
Related: It’s Not Failure, It’s Feedback
Need more help to pick the right passion to fulfil your life purpose? Click on the image below to subscribe to my newsletter and receive The Purpose Finder Worksheet:
The Surprising Thing That Happens When You Start Exploring Your Passions
Some people strike gold on the first try. They’re the exception to the rule.
Most people need to explore 3 or 4 passions before they find the right one to turn into a career.
And sometimes, the thing they end up choosing wasn’t on their list at all…
That’s what happened to me. My list included beauty blogger, aesthetician and writer. Books and beauty are my two biggest passions and I was sure one of them was going to be IT.
Instead, as I pursued my passion for writing, I accidentally stumbled onto the world of life coaching. And I never left it.
Today, I’m a life purpose coach helping spiritual millennial women figure out what to do with their life, so they can earn more money doing what they love.
I never thought this would be my career. It all happened because I decided to explore a passion to see where it led me.
Are you willing to see where your passions will take you?