3 THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU FEEL “STUCK” IN YOUR CAREER

3 THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU FEEL “STUCK” IN YOUR CAREER

September 7, 2016 10:30 am 0 comments

 

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In Visioneering, Andy Stanley boldly states “Until you discover His purpose for you — and follow through on it — there will always be a hole in your soul.”  God gave me a pretty defined calling six years ago now, in 2010, which for that last 3 years I don’t feel like I’ve been able to accomplish or live out. I’ve been filled with a lot of self doubt, confusion, frustration, anger and bitterness (all great things, right?). But I’ve also seen my passion go up, I’ve seen me try things I never would have thought I’d try, and stretch myself in new ways. But I am still, not there yet. I’m now asking God “Why?” Why am I not doing this? It’s not for lack of trying. Is there something I haven’t tried yet? Am I being blocked for a reason? Am I doing something wrong? Has my calling changed? What, God, do I do when I’m stuck?!

So here are the three things I keep asking myself if I should do.

Should I ENDURE? In our Hustle culture, we can often times forget that some of us only got there because of the Desert. The season of our lives that pushed us to endure starvation and exhaustion for the sake of what God was calling us to. Abraham did it, the nation of Israel did it (not so spectacularly, I might add), but Jesus was the one who modeled it for us. We hear about how to take action, we hear plenty on how to succeed, but very rarely do we hear anyone talk about how to endure. Because sometimes Enduring is what we are called to do.

Should I SHIFT? I have absolutely fallen in love with Jeff Goin’s The Art of WorkOver my sabbatical, it was a constant challenge, addressing all my sore spots, and has giving me great exercises to make sure I’m not being lazy in pursuing my calling or life’s work. In chapter 5, he delves into what he calls pivot points. “In basketball, you are only allowed to take two steps once you stop dribbling the ball. When you take that last step ,the foot must remain fixed, but the other foot can freely move about, allowing you to easily spin around and find a teammate to whom you can pass the ball. … That’s the beauty of the move. Even when all other opportunities are exhausted, you can always pivot.” Jeff goes on to elaborate how several major companies were founded, not because they had one vision and achieved it, but through a series of closed-doors and failures, eventually pivoted their way to success. So, should I shift? Should you shift? After reading Jeff’s book, I think you absolutely have to try. Sift your role, your responsibilities, take on a different challenge, look into a new market, shift and you might just jar some of that sticky stuckness loose!

Should I LEAVE? I put this last, but let’s be honest, all of us, at some point, have gone to this option first. “I feel stuck… Well, it’s time to pack-it-up and leave!” or “Hm… my job isn’t allowing me to do what I want/need/should be doing to be successful/feel fulfilled, but a new job would! Guess it’s time to go.” Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t look into other opportunities, you should always consider anything that comes across your path, otherwise you might miss what God is calling you to next. But as a close friend recently told me, “Just make sure you are running toward something, and not just away.” See? This is why it pays to have people smarter than myself around. Check your priorities, evaluate your purpose, vision and calling to make sure that you really are running in the right direction, toward the thing God is calling you to.

So, I’ll be honest at this point, I have tried leaving … I have tried shifting, several times. But I’m still here now, in my place of “stuck”. It has forced me to keep my focus on God, to battle my demons, and put my house in order. And after the tears, the disappointments, the hurts and fears that creep in, when I’ve wiped away the tears, God was still there; not fixing everything, just being there. And that is enough to keep going. Henri Nouwen says, “If we could just be, for a few minutes each day, we would indeed discover that we are not alone.”

Now, I have to continually work on my contentment being cemented in Christ, and on Him alone! As Andy Stanley says later in VisioneeringThe end of a God-ordained vision is still God.” To put my calling on the (to use a CRU term) Throne of my life, is to miss the point entirely. So, even when the basics of how I’ve been created, isn’t being fulfilled, my fulfillment doesn’t come from any source other than Christ. It’s difficult. Boy, do I know it’s difficult! When God, who is sovereign, can do anything for me, my family, our calling and work, but chooses instead to hold us in place, I have to stop fighting and muttering at some point, and ask for the focus to see what is occurring that I’m missing. I do hate homages, sayings like “He’s more about the journey than the destination.” They sound like we’re not invested. I’m finishing up Laurie Short’s Finding Faith in the Dark, in it she has a great way of putting it that doesn’t sound hackneyed. She points out, through the story of Job, that the end result of pain is not about our circumstances, the end result, the one God is primarily concerned with, is about us. God is obsessed with my personal outcome, and if this process can make me better to the purpose I am called to, that (I wince to say it, but it’s true) is worth all of it.

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