Can you recall what first inspired you to pursue a career in the helping professions? Did you have a personal experience that inspired you to be of service to others? Maybe, you watched a movie or read a book that spoke to your soul and you just knew. What did it feel like when you first realized that you knew exactly what you wanted to do? And how does it feel now? Don’t worry it is normal for intentions and motivations to change so don’t feel bad if you no longer feel capable of “changing the world.”
My Original Intention
It was a lot like that for me. I had some personal experiences, and I read a book that catapulted me onto my career path. I volunteered, I went to school, and in my naivety, at one point, I really did think I could “change the world!”
I also started to notice that I felt funny about the idea that this vocational choice somehow made me “special.” I would silently cringe when I would hear comments like, “it takes a really special person to work with those people.” What the hell does that mean anyway? It felt like a lot of pressure and even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I think I began to feel the discomfort that is common when you first realize that you might be holding beliefs and attitudes that need some readjustment.
The Inevitable Bumps
One day shortly following graduation and after landing my dream job at the time, I woke up feeling like I didn’t want to get out of bed – I didn’t feel like going into work. I think that is the moment when it began to dawn on me that I didn’t see any evidence that my contributions were changing the world.
Without having words for it at the time, I had assumed a great deal of false responsibility. I would lay awake at night thinking about the people I worked with and how I could possibly keep them from doing the things that would surely lead to their demise.
I know now that I had entered the land of disillusionment; a familiar place for many helping professionals at some point in their career. It is that moment when you wonder if anything you are doing is making any difference at all. You aren’t noticing changes in the people you work with – including your colleagues. In fact, the only change you are aware of is the lack of energy and excitement you have for your work.
I began to realize that my entire focus was on what wasn’t working and how other people needed to change. I had very little capacity for deep self-reflection at that time and a very strong need for control. I somehow equated the value of my role with the experiences of the people I provided services to and put more energy into outcomes instead of process and relationship.
I’m sure you have had many interesting people cross your path both personally and professionally. It is a blessing to be invited to witness the lives of others – to learn their story, and to observe the power of resiliency. Making a subtle shift in my perspective to focus on what was working and what I loved about my career – the connection with people – was my initiation into a deeper level of consciousness in my service.
Sometimes, you are just there to be present – to witness – sit with another as they make sense out of life – in their own way. There is nothing you need to fix. The slightest alteration in your view of a situation can illuminate your role in the moment creating a space for real engagement. Inspiration lives here.
I am inspired to remain curious, to connect with people on deeper levels, to offer what I have to give and to learn about life and myself.
Maybe, it isn’t about changing the world but rather how we are ultimately changed by the world.
Reflecting on Your Original Intention can lead you back to Your Inspiration.
Let’s get started!
What was your original intention when you entered this field?
How does connecting with that original intention breathe life into your current sense of Inspired Intention?
Please share with us! Sharing your Inspired Intention might be just the inspiration that someone else needs!