This may sound weird coming from a coach who specializes in helping people find (or create) careers they’re passionate about … but I really hate the phrase, “Follow your passion!”

I know it’s one of those phrases that’s written on motivational posters around the world, and I sincerely hope that there are at least some people out there who find it inspiring. But for me personally? All it does is add unnecessary pressure and make me feel like I’m doing life wrong.

It feels like, no matter what — whether you don’t know what you’re passionate about in the first place … OR you do know, but you’re not pursuing it as a career … OR you know, and you’re pursuing it as a career, but you’re not feeling super passionate every single day — you’re somehow not doing it right.

At the beginning of this year, I was feeling particularly bad for not being “passionate” about each and every day. Here I was, someone who writes and coaches about finding passion … but where was my passion?

Why wasn’t I jumping out of bed in the morning, wide-eyed and eager for the day to start? Why wasn’t I willing to work from sun up to sun down, fueled solely by my fiery passion? Why wasn’t I bursting with ideas, spilling over with energy, and feeling like my work gave my life purpose?

I genuinely wondered what I was doing wrong. The guilt was real.

I wasn’t unhappy, mind you. In fact, 2016 has been a pretty great year (barring a few distracting health issues), and most days I felt content and satisfied with what I’d created and how I’d contributed.

Still, though, I kept wondering, “But what about the passion? Aren’t I supposed to feel all fired up, motivated, and energized? What am I doing wrong?”

It hasn’t been until recently, within the past few months really, that something in me has shifted. Last month, while Rachel and I were business planning with an amazing coach friend of ours, I had the thought…

“Wait, I am following my passion. In fact, I actually do feel passion every single day! It’s just that I have a different definition of what it means to feel passion than the traditional definition I’ve been comparing myself to.”

Later that day, I went home and wrote down my definition of what it means to feel passionate. And I have to tell you, the simple act of redefining my passion has made all the difference. My guilt, self-judgment, and second-guessing around this have completely melted away; I’m making better, more confident decisions about what I want to do (and not do) in my life and business; and I’m enjoying each day more than ever before.

PASSION IS NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL

I’ve had my clients do some variation of this for years now. I regularly ask them to redefine what success, wealth, happiness, and having “enough” means to them, instead of relying on societal definitions.

This isn’t a new concept to me, and yet it’s clearly taken a little longer for me to fully internalize it around the topic of passion.

{As I’ve come to learn, there’s usually a time delay in-between intellectually understanding something and integrating that belief until it sinks deeply into your cells.}

We teach what we most need to learn, right?

So in preparation for a new year, I’m owning my new definition of what “passion” means to me:

To me, passion feels like … ease, flow, curiosity, fascination, deep connection, and total contentment. Passion is the feeling I get when I’m completely present, totally engrossed in writing, reading, meditating, hiking, learning something new, or having a deep conversation with one or two people. It feels like deep peace and full-body joy.

It’s a calm, organic, peaceful kind of energy, instead of the non-stop energizer-bunny-style energy I’d previously associated with passion.

What’s so beautiful about this is that you may deeply resonate with my definition of passion and choose to adopt it as your own OR you may prefer the more fiery, energized definition of passion that’d I’d been previously comparing myself to OR you may have a totally new definition of what passion feels like to you … and it’s all valid!

Passion is not one-size-fits-all. YOU get to define what passion means & live your life accordingly.

WHAT I’M DOING IN 2017 TO FEEL MORE PASSION

Since it’s the last week of 2016, I’m feeling the itch to get intentional about the new year.

So first on the list of changes I’d like to make in 2017: I’m changing the phrase “follow my passion” to “follow my ease.”

Ahhh, even just that phrase — follow my ease — makes me want to close my eyes and breathe out a huge sigh of contentment.

And to hold myself accountable for living up to this in 2017, here are some things I intend to add or amp up in my life to evoke my new definition of passion:

WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF PASSION?

As we head into 2017, I’m challenging you to create your own definition of what passion feels like to you. It doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else’s, and you’re not allowed to compare yourself to other people as you redefine this for yourself.

Once you have your new definition, write out a few ways you’d like to feel more passion — your flavor of passion, specifically — in the new year.

Now, let’s all hold each other accountable! Post your new definition, along with at least one thing you’d like to do in 2017 to feel more passion, in the comments below.

TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ? LISTEN INSTEAD!

If reading long blogs just isn’t your deal, you’re in luck:

We’re now recording our blogs for you!

Here’s Kristen reading this week’s blog:

IF YOU LIKED THIS, THEN YOU’LL ALSO LOVE …

The truth about my 2015: Kristen

What if I’m not passionate about anything?

What to do when you don’t feel inspired

Your career doesn’t need to be 100% fulfilling

Much Love,

Kristen (+ Rachel)


P.S. THE PASSION PLAN VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE COMES BACK NEXT MONTH

For those of you who want more help and a step-by-step process for reconnecting with your passion (or figuring out what it is to begin with), we’re re-opening enrollment for our Passion Plan Virtual Experience program in just a few weeks. It’s a 4-week online course where we guide you, week-by-week, through finding your passion and applying it to your life and career. Enrollment will open in late January. Join our VIP list for early bird enrollment surprises!

4 comments | add a comment | Share this > Tweet this > Email this >
  1. Hi Kristen!

    Thanks for this with us. Having not yet found the “what” component of passion, it’s comforting to know that passion also does not feel or look the same for everyone. I always think of Passion as something fiery but perhaps, for some people, including myself, passion feels and looks more like how you defined it.

    I just watched “The Flight of the Hummingbird” which came along with one of the blogs you recommended to me in the PPSC. I actually did not get to watch that while I was part of PPVE last year but found that the timing of watching it at this time just right. I think I’ll be more of a hummingbird for the early part of this year or how ever long it takes. It might just lead me to a deep, serene-like passion that I resonate more with.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Pingback: Clarity on Fire

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.