When your car’s engine light comes on, one of the first things you probably do is take it to a mechanic and try to figure out what’s wrong with your car. You don’t drive around with the engine light on until your car breaks down on the side of the road, right? You know that your car breaking down is going to cause you far more problems than the trouble you’ll take to get it to a mechanic and pay for it to be fixed.
But when it comes to our own lives, how often do we ignore signals from our intuition when we feel stuck and out of alignment? We tell ourselves that everything is fine or that things will get better when X happens (when we get off of night shift, start a new job, get into a relationship, finally buy a house, etc). This causes us to ignore our internal signals telling us that something isn’t right! Instead of stopping to investigate what’s wrong, we switch on autopilot and just keep going. The only path this takes us on is being stuck broken down on the side of the road instead of getting the answers we need.
We believe that you don’t need to be stuck if you trust your intuition and have the courage to ask yourself the hard questions. Chances are, if you’re feeling stuck and misaligned, you aren’t paying attention to your ultimate values, you aren’t getting to use your talents, or you’re ignoring the desires you know you have deep down. We believe that your values, talents, and desires are all there inside of you for a reason!
If your talent is science and you love pathophysiology, but you work on a unit where you have 5-6 patients and don’t have time to dig into what is going on with each patient, chances are you’re going to feel like you’re not living up to your potential. If you’re amazing at talking to patients and families but work in the OR, you’re not going to feel great at work because you aren’t getting to use this skill.
(If you aren’t sure of what your values are, check out this list and pick 3-5 that stand out to you the most and go from there.)
If one of your values is peace but you work in a hectic ICU and live on a busy street downtown, you probably feel off even if you haven’t realized why yet. Making a move to a quieter neighborhood or taking a break from the ICU might be what you need to feel more grounded and at peace. If your ultimate value is family but your job schedule doesn’t allow you to take your kids to school or be there for family dinner, you’re sacrificing something for your job that’s going to make you resent it. Maybe it’s worth investigating if working a 9-5 job, even if it isn’t your dream job, will help you feel less stuck because it is aligned with your highest value.
Ask yourself what you can do to make your values the highest priority and don’t be afraid of HOW you’re going to make this happen. Knowing that you need to make a change to prioritize your values is the first step!
Oftentimes, we avoid investigating what’s wrong because we’re afraid of having the realization that we need to do something differently. Change is scary and uncomfortable, but it is so much better than feeling stuck and living a life on autopilot. If you ask yourself enough questions and are truly honest with yourself, you will find the answers you need are already inside of you. Embracing your discomfort and taking the leap to realign with your truest self will put you on the path to creating a life you’re obsessed with!
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