photo: Patrick Fore
In my early- and mid-twenties, I was a vociferous reader of non-fiction. I got really into books on self-help, body language and psychology. Somewhere along the line, as I felt increasingly disenchanted with my life with a job that was wearing me down and sucking my soul, I turned to startup, business and career change books and blogs.
I felt helpless and I needed answers. Desperately. I'd chopped and changed 'too much' than what was apparently acceptable (I'd dropped out of university twice before landing on a "graduate" recruitment programme)... I couldn't afford another "mistake", so I thought.
And, really, I just wanted desperately to have answers. To be DOING the work I was meant to be doing, to be happy and thriving and fulfilled and free... all of the things I was reading in the career change stories on [Escape The City] and [Live Your Legend].
So I read and researched every moment I could, on my commute into work, sat in my bed in the evenings. I dreamed of a better life and I longed for it to be mine. My mind (or was it my body?) was telling me that the more I researched and prepared, the closer I would get to knowing the answer and the "safer" my changing career course would be. After all, those career transitions I'd read about, dozens of them, all looked so well-thought-out, so smooth, so... A to B to C. So tangible and neat and rational.
Similarly, around this time my psychology- and self help- reading had morphed into the realm of 'happiness', when a couple of books on our bookshelf at home introduced me to the "science" of happiness, aka Positive Psychology. I ended up resigning from my recruitment job the very same day I had the official offer to study the year-long Masters, one which - truth be told - I was hoping gave me a year to "figure things out" and, perhaps, directly or indirectly solve my "what am I supposed to be doing with my life?" dilemma.
Those couple of books weren't the answer, but they most certainly helped to change the course of my life. Actually, I really ought to tell my Dad that... (like most books on our bookshelf, they were his purchases).
Alongside said Masters I did a 3-month career-change course with Escape The City in London, which mixed in with my Masters and all the reading and research I had been doing to find clear answers which weren't to be found, was overkill and quite overwhelming.
You see, the more I researched and procrastinated, the more overwhelmed and anxious I became. And I would then feed said anxiety by diving into more, getting frustrated and tired and overwhelmed, and it was this vicious cycle.
I finally ended up taking action during that year, starting my first business called Thriva. And it wasn't long after starting that business that I knew in my heart that it wasn't for me.
And there it is right there.
I knew in my heart that it wasn't for me.
You see, every time I have gone out and tried something, the magic of my intuition has kicked in. And I either feel good and a solid "yeah, you're on the right path here" or a growing "no, Jas, this isn't for you".
It really is as simple as that.
Now I'll be the first admit that I still do preparation and research each time I try something new (and, boy, have I tried lots of things in these last 6 years). And preparation and research has its place (there's a place for rational planning in this, too), but we seem to very easily focus on that piece versus the heart-piece.
The head-piece is activated through reading and research, the heart-piece through listening and just trying. As intuitives, it's that heart piece we need to lean into and guide us.
We need to nudge ourselves forwards, and after a little research and some reflection (I'd really recommend journalling), we need to take the step that makes sense and see how that feels.
It's been messy and slow and far from smooth, but it's through this process of trial-and-intuition that I've gotten to this point where I'm at today. The answers ARE out there waiting to be discovered, through action and intuition.
I've just learned not to search for them in books and blogs and podcasts, and their false sense of security.
One of the best things you can do is to surround yourself with the magical energy of like-minded folks, and slowly put one foot in front of the other. By far the most 'value' I've gotten from the courses and paid programmes I've paid for these last 5 years is from the communities I have been a part of. From Escape The City through to World Domination Summit through to Fizzle.
Btw, this is why I knew INF Club had to have a community piece, and why I am so passionate about Mastermind Groups. (I formed my first Mastermind in 2016, and launched them inside the INF Club community earlier this year).
But, remember, it's the action bit that's important to move you forward and to let your intuition kick in and serve you. I've fallen into being active in communities and get excited by the awesome people in there, but ultimately avoid moving forward myself. Something else to be aware of... fear and avoidance sometimes has a subtle way of creeping up on us :)
You see, staggered as they will be at first, hose baby steps will become firmer and more self-assured, guided by that heart of yours.
The inside of us ✨knows✨, but we need to actually take bits of action to activate that inner knowing. Through the intertwined magic of action and intuition, you'll get closer to where - and who - you're supposed to be.
Honestly. Do a little reading, a dash of reflection and then... be brave. Start with putting a foot forward and dipping your toe into the water. Amazing discoveries lie ahead. Your path is waiting for you 😊
PS. If you're looking for more direct support in gaining clarity and navigating your transition, 1:1 coaching might be for you. Limited spots are opening up later this month, [subscribe to the newsletter] to be kept in the loop.
👤 Jas is the curator of INF Club, providing resources, community and coaching for INFJs & INFPs. He is currently putting together his first book, The Indie Author. Subscribe to the INF Club newsletter here.
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