Did you know that after a while your job is supposed to suck?
If you were to stop and ask the first 10 people you came across today to tell you about their job, I'll guarantee you'll hear some painful stories.
Most people do not love their work.
More than that, most people experience high levels of stress, frustration and pain around their employment situation.
The interesting news is that after a while your job is supposed to suck. Pain is guaranteed. In fact, it is actually normal, healthy and to be entirely expected that you will grow to hate your day job.
The gift of pain
Pain is your most honest voice. It is there to tell you to make change.
Sooner or later, working for the man is going to create major pain in your life. There is nothing surer. Now, rather than that being a huge problem, it's actually a wonderful thing. The pain is there to let you know that it is time to keep growing. To find your voice and your sweet spot and step beyond the comfort of the system into the realm of the entrepreneur.
The pain of the job you now hate is telling you to stick it to the man and take control of your life. To create a lifestyle around doing work that you enjoy, and are good at and something that gives you the ability to leave your unique mark on the world.
If you ignore the pain and tell yourself to suck it up because this is as good as it gets, no one could blame you. Chasing your own dreams is fricken hard. Serving someone elses dream means you never really have to stick your neck out and see what you are capable of. You can't fail if you never fully try. Yet choosing to suppress the pain inevitably starts to cause atrophy of mind, heart and soul. You end up as a mindless consumer, soothing the pain with various ugly self medication strategies.
(N.B. If you are 17 and not enjoying your job at KFC, don't stick it to the man just yet...There are still plenty of important life lessons about being a responsible adult working as a good employee for you to learn before you are ready to move on.)
The 7 levels of living
One of the most useful frameworks for understanding the path and process of growth as a human being is the Spiral Dynamics model created by Chris Beck and Don Cowen.
The 7 levels of consciousness we can grow through are:
4. The system
If you have made it to level 4 "The system" congratulations are in order. (Read more about all 7 levels of living) That is a big achievement, but while it was definitely a big deal for you to step up as an adult and land a decent job when you were fresh out of school or uni, if you are still in the same place 20 years later, major problems start arising.
Everything that is alive is growing. The moment it stops growing, it is now officially dying.
While each of the 7 levels is essential and healthy in the beginning, the longer you stay there, the more unhealthy it becomes.
Working as an employee (level 4) is all about making someone else rich, and serving someone else's vision. To do that requires suppressing your own great ideas and just doing what you are told. Again, to submit to leadership represents some high level growth when you are young, (Growing from level 3 rebellion to level 4 system) but now that you have a few of your own grey hairs it is time for you to start leading rather than being a follower for the rest of your life.
The aim is alway to keep growing. Keep learning about who you are and what you are capable of. Be grateful that your current job is "shitting you to tears." That is a beautiful gift to tell you that there is more for you still out there. Yes stepping out and doing something new is incredibly scary, but surely becoming part of the living dead is far more scary.
The big lie of the the system
The system (Level 4) is lying to you all the time, trying to convince you that you are weaker than you think. It is designed to keep you stuck, paying off your mortgage, keeping up with the jones's, being afraid of everything that could go wrong! The message being poured down your throat day and night is: "Don't dare imagine you could survive out in the real world on your own. You need the comfort and security of having someone else make it work for you"
The big issue is that people buy into the lie that they could never survive. This is fed by the underlying insecurity and limiting beliefs of inadequacy. While they hate their job, they are full of self doubt about whether they are good enough to make it on their own.
So many people complain about their day jobs, like there was something very unfair or shocking about it being painful.
Your boss took the risk to stop being an employee and pursue their dreams of doing their own thing. You have been the beneficiary of their entrepreneurial vigour. Where is the complaint?
Yes serving someone else's vision is not fun. So what did you expect? When you are you going to toughen up and chase your own dreams?
This is why the step in growing from level 4 "System" to level 5 "Entrepreneur" is almost entirely about personal development. You've got to face your fears, get clear about what you really want in life, decide if you have anything of value to offer the world, be prepared to embrace uncertainty and back yourself. It is at this point that you have to face the fear of your own inadequacy and deal with all insecurity or else you will convince yourself that you need to be happy with what you've already got so that you don't end up with nothing.
Do you want to be part of the 5% or the 95%?
The great news is that you are actually stronger than you think.
You are not perfect, but that's OK, because you are enough. You always have been and always will be.
Insecurity can be overcome. It is entirely possible to live free for all insecurity and become great at being yourself. There is a clear process and a well worked framework to follow that is guaranteed to work. (Check out the overcoming insecurity flow chart)
The world is eagerly waiting for you to step up and bring your unique contribution. There is only one of you, and so to show up fully as yourself is good for everyone.
As Seth Godin says, stop waiting for someone else to pick you or open the right door of opportunity for you. Pick yourself! Open your own doors!
Pain is a gift.
Growth is essential.
Work out how to become great at being yourself so we can all enjoy who you really are.