At some point during my recovery from burnout, I figured out that I needed a different job. I needed to find flow and to align my work with my strengths and talents. It’s so easy to put the words together but so hard to implement. It’s not easy to figure out what it is that you’re passionate about, especially when your brain is buckling with stress.
I knew that I could not return to the work that contributed to the burnout. It’s also hard to know what to do next when you’ve been a business owner and managing director. It’s hard to go backwards ten years into corporate middle management or to your original trade. I always try to go forwards but I can tell you that it was very hard to figure out the road ahead after burnout.
I spent a long time just letting myself recover and dabbling with things that brought me joy. I did a lot of creative things initially. I drew, I did mosaic and decoupage, knitting and crochet. I tried to ignite a passion that could point me in the right direction. I did a lot of journaling to understand what had happened to me and to express the emotions at the time: confusion, fear, anger.
I started this blog to express my feelings and to share with others what it’s like to be on this recovery journey from burnout. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I gained energy from writing at a time when I was desperately depleted by everything else. I finally found flow in something that could lead me towards a new career.
I went on a writing course to polish my writing skills and I think to earn the right to call myself a writer. I learnt on this course that it’s pretty much hopeless to expect to make a living from writing. Many writers get 8 – 10% of the retail price of their books and the chances of selling millions of copies are very low. Even knowing all of this, I felt that writing could lead me towards a better future and I did not know what else to do.
I attend many personal growth seminars and workshops. I seek guidance from spiritual healers and teachers. All of them confirmed that I’m on the right path and that writing is an important part of my future. I felt it in my gut that this is the thing I should be doing. So I persisted. I wrote the book and published it. My book launch about two weeks ago felt like a great milestone, a foundation on which I can build my future.
Many skeptics since have told me not to bank on becoming rich from my books or my writing. And that’s okay. I have my own inner knowing that I’m on the right path for me. I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know where I’ll be in five years’ time. All I focus on is the next step. For me right now, my next step is the deck of cards aligned to my book. I don’t know how I’m going to get it mass produced and into the world but I have every confidence that I can figure it out.
I also joined Toastmasters and polished my speaking skills in the past year. I’ve spoken at a few events and enjoyed it tremendously. It’s a chance for me to spread my message about living a full and happy life and not letting stress get in the way. I’ve received so much advice about what to do next, what not to do and I remain focused on my inner compass. Just doing the next thing.
In the past few months, I’ve met so many interesting people who have helped me to spread my message. Many have connected me with others who help me to find speaking engagements or more readers for my book. I’ve joined a networking organisation that has been so welcoming. November was a bumper month for book sales and I’m constantly amazed by the sources of these customers.
I’ve put together some great speeches about living your best life possible, workshops on my seven principles of self-preservation. Next year I want to do podcasts, webinars, an audio book and so much more. I’m so excited about all the great things in store for me. Work doesn’t feel like work. I don’t need a holiday because I love what I do so much. Some days I struggle to believe that this is really my life now and how incredibly lucky I am to do the work I do.
People have approached me with opportunities that have come completely out of the blue. I keep thinking about the skeptics and those who insist I create a five year vision. The path I’m on is something very hard to explain to others. I’m listening to my inner voice. I’m open to receiving opportunities from unknown sources. And I’m constantly surprised and excited about where this adventure is leading me.
If you are too scared to follow your dreams because you cannot understand how it’s going to happen, I want you to think about what I’ve written in this post. We cannot know the how, all we are in control of is being open to what comes next and to trust in your own wisdom. You know what you are good at, passionate about and interested in. It’s entirely possible to make money out of your passion in ways that you haven’t begun to imagine.