Needing to be Valuable

I’ve had a tough few weeks. I got flu in May and then again last week. But I’m talking so nasty that you struggle to get out of bed and function at all. My two children were sick at the same time and needed a lot of care. I took them both to the doctor and had to administer medication every few hours for a week. My nanny also developed the flu and I was on my own with the kids for a few days.

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I got so angry once I had enough energy. I am tired of being sick and I want to move forward with my career and my life. I know that our lives are exactly the way we created them so I began worrying about whether I’m making myself sick in order to avoid something. Perhaps it’s success, receiving opportunities or something else.

I recently had a meeting with a fellow networker who, on finding out what I have to offer, said “Is that it?” That didn’t do me a lot of good. I started to wonder, is that all I have to offer? What else do I have that’s useful and valuable for the world? I felt small and sad and I doubted this journey I’m on, my purpose and what I’m doing with my life.

Suffering from burnout had a big impact on me. When I got sick, I struggled with my self-concept. All my life, I defined myself by my work. I was a business analyst, a manager, a leader or a business owner. Once I resigned and could not work, I had a crisis of identity. If I could not work, and provide value to the world with my work, was I even valuable? I thought I’d dealt with these issues and found a way to feel valuable without a job title and a label. But I don’t think I have resolved this.

When this guy asked whether I had anything else to offer, I doubted even the things I do know I have.How come it’s so easy to shake me from my foundation when I’ve worked so hard on my new life? And I know I should work on this and have coaching or healing or something to feel more solid in my own value, but I’m tired of it. I’ve worked on myself so much that I actually just want to get on with living.

This year, I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve distributed my books countrywide, I’m doing PR for my book and I’ve done several speeches. I’m spreading my message in a way that I thought was valuable. I’m working on other projects such as an audio book, and my deck of cards. I’ve done quite a few things and taken action to move my career forward.

However, I’m still not earning anywhere near enough money to cover my costs. And it will take years to build up to the point where I can cover them comfortably. I don’t want to spend another few years in debt and worrying about how much I spend on my tyres and my kids’ clothes.  Knowing you’re valuable is one thing, but paying the bills is another.

Last week I got so angry. I’m doing everything I can to further my calling. I can’t wait around any longer to sell more books and find more speaking opportunities. I’m just done. I’m so done with all this hope and belief. And I feel like a fraud to you, my readers. I feel like I can’t build the happy, successful life I’ve been talking about for years. Sure, I’ve had moments of pure unadulterated joy but it’s moments. That doesn’t feed my family.

So, I’m looking for a job. I’m hoping to do some consulting and to enter the workforce again. At first, I felt sad and disappointed that I could not make my dream work. I felt like a fraud, that I’ve misled my followers. And a fool for hoping to make money off writing and speaking.

But, after some thought, I’ve realized that it can take years to establish my own brand, and maybe I can earn some money in the meantime. Perhaps I can influence others in the workplace to find more happiness in their lives. Perhaps working is a way to reach more people with my message. Perhaps it will also make me feel more valuable which is better for me, and my family.

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Following my passion and getting a job might not be mutually exclusive. Maybe, this is what the next step looks like towards living my best life possible. I can still write and I”ll probably be able to sell more books because I’ll be interacting with more people. I’ve put together my resume and I”m applying for jobs. I know it will be scary to re-enter the workplace after a few years off, but I’ll probably enjoy the work and the people. Hold thumbs for me.

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Kathy
I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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