Have you ever had this idea to start something, but the more you thought about it you felt intimated by all the ‘what-ifs’? I get it. It’s hard to take that blind step forward. That was me nine months ago. You see, over the last five years or so of living overseas, I came to a realization - I had no passion for the job that I was doing.
Some of you might be thinking, "FIVE YEARS, to come to that conclusion!? Why didn't you just quit?" That's the funny thing about being human, we tend to stick it out with a job we don't like for the wrong motives and reasons. We get comfortable and we fear of losing whatever "comforts" we get at this job, whether it's job security, a pension, medical coverage, the list goes on. But for some of us, the nagging feeling that we aren't meeting our potential constantly plagues us.
My frustration wasn't due to my environment, as much as the job factor, but also my own unfulfilled personal goals that I had mapped out for myself many years ago.
Here I was in my early 30s, having not accomplished the “markers” I had set out for myself. These “markers” represented an age in which I believed, I should have accomplished something, such as marriage, my degree, kids, a house, adopted, the list goes on and on.
You get my drift.
The point is, I was an ambitious person, but my life had constant U-turns. For those to-do-lister-type-A-personalities out there, you understand how infuriating it can be to see things on "THE LIST" NOT completed. I felt uncertain about my future and wasn’t sure whether I should even pursue my dreams. But the longer I worked at my job, the less satisfaction I got from doing it. Sure, there were occasional moments of joy, but deep down I found myself slowly dying. I’m not exaggerating, the experience sucked the life out of me. When people would confront me about my contentment, I’d deny any problems. I remember when my brother used the analogy of an unhealthy dating relationship with my job in hopes of convincing me to return to the US. Even then, I denied it because I didn't want to paint my experience as being as bad as it was. Let’s be serious, who really wants to pour out our disappointments at each person who asks us? Nobody.
Eventually that negativity gets old.
I think deep down many of us want others to believe we are doing fine, even when we really aren't. Or we've been conditioned to this mindset at a young age. Being Asian probably doesn't help, since we're the worst at expressing ourselves. It's like some sort of genetic mutation we have lodged in our blood that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Which probably explains our 'silent treatment' when there's a conflict. It's as if the electrical wiring to the emotion center is sabotaged before we could access it, so we just freeze and hope it passes.
But in all seriousness, all I really wanted was to move from a point of disappointment to an appointment. It was the process between the two lines that I needed to figure out.
After finally acknowledging the issue, was when my journey took a huge turn.
When we take that initial leap of faith, sometimes we are given multiple options in life, or maybe only one door is opened, making it obvious where we were supposed to go. I had two choices, either to pursue a Masters degree in Depression Recovery or become a Certified Fitness Trainer. I meditated and prayed. (I’ll have to share the crazy story of how I made the choice in another post). Eventually, the door was opened wide and I stepped through it. Ten months later, I started my business as a Personal Fitness Trainer.
It was a huge sacrifice. I was not only leaving everything I knew behind, but I also left my supportive husband in another country to pursue my dream. Without an amazing trusting man like him, I don’t know where I would be.
I share this story to tell you young ambitious and slightly aimless young professionals, that it’s never to late. Sure, there are risks and sacrifices, but it beats being discontent, depressed and living a mediocre unfulfilled life. The goal isn't happiness, but rather to do something you love, while making a difference in the lives of the people you touch. This was what was missing in my life. So, I have decided to share my journey as a young professional in this field of wellness and fitness, to not only inform you of the expected hurdles, but to inspire you.
I hope that these posts will be encouraging and uplifting. Know that you are not alone in your journey. Being an entrepreneur is sometimes a lonely, bittersweet experience, but once that ball is rolling, you’ll never regret that you did it.
Take that challenge, step out in faith and see where it takes you. The journey is well worth it.