So today I thought I might talk to you about careers. One of the biggest things we may need to consider about our work environment, and why perhaps we may be having some issues in the workplace, is about passion. 

Often when you become successful in a particular role, we have a tendency to just decide we are going to just sit pretty for a while. We acknowledge that we have worked hard to get there and you’re doing great stuff and don’t want to push yourself out of your comfort zone – after all, you deserve the break. 

After a while, just sitting pretty can actually be a disservice to ourselves. This complacency, can lead us to find our situation becoming stale. If you don’t have a continuous input of passion for the work you do, it becomes drudgery and not something that we wake up excited for every day, but instead you find yourself dreading the idea of going to work.  

If you’re in this situation, I would recommend you read through the Career chapter ‘Decisive Diva’ in my book ‘Define Your Inner Diva’. In this chapter I talk about the importance of passion, and what it is you need to do if you’ve lost this passion and want to get it back.  

One of the reasons we end up having problems in mid-life is from problems in the workplace. For example, if one day everything was going great in your project but then something happens, or you feel that there is an issue at work and you got the blame for it, and you suddenly feel ostracised or disconnected in some way from the other people in your work environment. This can have a big impact on our sense of self. 

The main reason this has such an impact on our sense of self, if because of the way we grew up and our negative belief system. Once we become adults, we decide ‘I’m going to be this’, and once I achieve that people will respect me and all my negative beliefs won’t matter anymore’.  

Feeling Like a Fraud…

Now this idea works for a while, but after a few years you start to get the feeling that you’re a bit of a fraud and not presenting your true self. You may believe that if you showed people who you truly were, and how you really feel about yourself, that they would pull you up on it and you may find yourself out on your ear. 

It’s really important to understand that when something happens in the workplace, we end up in a situation where we have fallen back into our negative belief patterns because we may have lost the foundation for what we have based our positive feelings about ourselves on our work. This can happen when we find ourselves placing our value in what we do, not who we are as people. 

This is very common, as most people don’t like how they feel about themselves by the time we get to the end of adolescence. At this point we find ourselves questioning what we are going to do with our lives. This can lead to making a decision ‘I’m just going to be (insert career role here)’ and even if you find yourself being very successful at your chosen career path, at the end of the day our career is just what we do. 

Many of us work very hard and throw ourselves into our work fully, we approach things with an amazing work ethic to prove ourselves to anybody who will take notice and get upset when people don’t notice how much we truly put in, because through our work is how we are defining ourselves and our value. 

At this point, if things aren’t going well in the work environment, then we start to feel flat and low. Sometimes in our careers, we aim for a pinnacle and then when we reach it we experience joy, but then the feeling of ‘now what’ sets in. Inside we feel like we still need to do something, or work towards something more. This can leave us feeling like we are never happy with what we’ve done. This is why it is so important to acknowledge we are good at what we do, but our work doesn’t define us as a person. 

Once you can understand who you are and resolve how you feel about yourself, you can get full acceptance of yourself. Then what you do in your career will not become our defining point, but just something else we do that makes us wonderful.  

I hope that helps…

Kerry Howard
Kerry Howard

Kerry Howard is a best-selling author and psychologist specialising in trauma prevention and treatment. Kerry has won two international awards for her commitment to treating PTSD and improving mental health in Australia. In 2021 Kerry won the Excellence in Science and Technology Award for her pioneering work in the delivery of online trauma therapy. Kerry is the pioneer of EMDR Therapy delivered in an online environment. She developed REMDR in 2017 and when the global pandemic hit in 2020, Kerry was at the forefront of training the EMDR world in how to effectively and ethically deliver EMDR Therapy in an online environment. As an EMDR Consultant, Kerry continues to evolve therapeutic delivery by embracing technology. Kerry’s book, ‘The Trouble with Trauma’ provides clear guidance for individuals about how to resolve traumatic experiences for themselves. For more visit: