7 Signs You Are Not Operating Out Of Your Design
You can do anything for a minute – that’s a phrase that is repeated frequently in several of the workout DVDs I do regularly. The same thing is true when it comes to work. It’s possible to do just about any job for a short period of time, but if you are looking to do work that is sustainable or fulfilling, then choose work that allows you to operate out of your unique design.
Before I get into the warning signs, I want to address a couple of related topics.
First, you have something unique to offer the world. I know that can be hard to believe when you look around you and see so many outstanding folks doing amazing work! That comparison thing is mighty dangerous! No matter what others are capable of doing, you have your own special flare that allows you to do what you do in an exclusive way! Lean into that “thing” that makes you different! It may even be something you don’t love about yourself, or something you take for granted, but that’s what makes you, YOU!
Most of us want to make a difference, however, knowing what that looks like may not be obvious. You may even believe you are a small fish in a big pond that can’t possibility do something significant, but that’s just not true! These quotes say it well:
Career, Purpose, Calling, & Who God Created you to BE
When it comes to doing something significant, is it your career, your purpose, your calling, who God created you to BE, or something else entirely??? Well, here’s my take on that – and feel free to share your own below in the comment section!
I believe that God created you to BE something that reflects Him – something that on your own seems like a long shot. It’s different for everyone, but for me, God created me to be LOVING. On my own, that’s probably not the best description of me. However, when being loving is my focus, it makes fear fade and allows me to be “the best version of myself”.
Perhaps God created you to be COMPASSIONATE yet you wonder how that’s possible when you can fly off the handle and are anything but compassionate. Or AUTHENTIC, but you are a pro at people pleasing.
Who God created you to BE is like having a life long “One Word”! It’s an overarching theme that when focused on makes a powerful difference in all aspects of your life and work! And it’s a way of being that you need God’s help with.
If you are a believer, your purpose is to glorify God in all that you do – including your work!
Your calling is something I believe arises out of your life experiences, and frequently not the most positive ones. The beauty is that God uses everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly, to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Your career may encompass all of the above and much more! And when you are engaged in work that compliments the unique design God’s blessed you with, your work is energizing and meaningful. It doesn’t mean your work will be easy, but it plays to your strengths, personality, interests, and values – yes, all four!
When your work doesn’t allow you to operate out of your unique design, there are warning signs. Here are seven to watch out for:
1. Your Body Is Protesting
Before you may be conscious of the stress and frustration work is causing you, your body has already figured it out! It protests in all sorts of ways including…
- Digestive troubles
- Back aches or neck pain
- Migraines or headaches
- Chest pain
2. You Are Feeling Unfulfilled
The more you are able to see how your contribution at work makes a positive difference, the more fulfilling your work is, especially if your work is something that you are passionate about or that you have a keen interest in. It feels like something is missing when those pieces aren’t there. It’s also unfulfilling to be doing work that doesn’t utilize your skills and abilities, or that doesn’t tap into your potential.
3. Boredom: A Prevailing Theme
There are several reasons why your work might be boring you:
- Work is overwhelming – too much busy work, or just too much work!
- Your contribution seems pointless
- Work is too easy
- You feel disconnected
- Work is not challenging
- Your responsibilities are too repetitive or monotonous
Experiencing any of these feelings might indicate that you are in the wrong position. Or it may suggest that you need to take a more creative, proactive problem-solving approach to what you do – that you have some mindset shifts that need to take place.
It’s tough to be bored and productive!
4. You Are Exhausted & Stressed
Attempting to do work that isn’t in keeping with your design is taxing and stressful. If a typical day at work leaves you craving a nap or feeling like you might snap, your work may not be the right fit for you! Are there adjustments that would make your position more in keeping with who you are, or is it time to pursue something different; something that’s more energizing to you?
5. Stuck…Maybe A Little Hopeless
Progressing at work keeps you moving forward, and for most people that’s a positive feeling. You don’t necessarily have to keep “climbing the ladder”, but there are ways to keep learning, growing, and stretching even if you remain in the same position.
Sadly, when you feel stuck at work, that feeling often leaks out into other areas of your life. Perhaps your healthy habits start slipping or your relationships suffer which all contribute to feeling even more stuck. It’s a vicious cycle.
6. You Stopped Being Authentic
Do you have to pretend to be someone you aren’t to do your work? Are you denying your values because the organization’s values are in conflict with your own? Or does your job lean into your weaknesses more than your strengths? Do you ignore certain aspects of your job that come back to haunt you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your job might not be right for you!
7. Apathy Has Taken Over
Finally, have you stopped caring about work? You show up, you do your thing, but your heart is not in it. There is no joy, enthusiasm, or zeal for your work. In fact, work feels like a whole lot of WORK! That’s a big clue that your work is not right for you!
God didn’t create you in a unique and wonderful way for no reason! No, He created you with something in mind for you to do. Something that will excite you, shape you into someone that reflects Him, and cause you to rely on Him!
If you find yourself nodding in agreement as you read through the warning signs, take heart! It may not mean it’s time to begin hunting for a new position or career direction, but it could. It might mean simply making some strategic adjustments to your current position or taking on a new role within the organization. Or perhaps what you are doing is a good fit, but the organization is not right for you.
Life is too short to spend significant chunks of time doing work you don’t love! It’s worth the effort to pursue finding the right work, using the right criteria, and letting someone else replace you who is better suited for the work!
What thoughts or comments do you have to add?
Here are some additional resources for you!
Eager to clarify the “right” criteria for you when it comes to work? Click here.
A quick video on something positive working does for you!