How Do You Overcome the Obstacles Standing in the Way of Making Your Passion Your Life?

I had a conversation recently in which the subject of passion, and what we are really meant to do with our lives came up. The fact is, I know that in a full-time capacity, I’m just doing what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years, not what I’m meant to do. Am I good at it? I guess so. But does my full-time job fulfill me? Not really. I’d say maybe 15% of the time I’m proud of my work, and I feel like what I’m doing makes a difference. But it pays my bills.

What frustrates me is that I do know what makes me feel complete.  When I step in front of a class, or have a conversation or answer a question about fitness, or even when I’m here blogging, I feel like I am the real me. The person I am meant to be, who does make an impact, and feels like the work I’m doing makes a difference. Not 15% of the time, not even 50% of the time … I’d actually say it genuinely is 100% of the time. Fitness is my passion. The gym never feels like work, or a commitment, or something I “have” to do – it’s my home. My safe place. The place I feel more confident, more comfortable, and more secure than any other place or situation in my life.

I guess you could say at this point in my life, I’m at somewhat of a crossroads. It’s as if I know exactly what I want in my life, and who I want to ultimately be, but there are walls keeping me from reaching my goals, and I have not yet found a way to either break them down or climb over them. Instead, I’m running in circles. Waiting for something to break. Wondering how I can make the changes I need to make in my life, and still survive. Perhaps a little bit of it is fear, but not the biggest part – I’m all for doing things that scare you, but I have to pay my bills.

The truth is, for years, I’ve known that I wanted to parlay fitness into my someday-mommy-job. However, the older I get, the more I yearn to be able to do what it is that truly fulfills me. It’s as if I know step five, but steps one through four have to come first … and I’m not doing so great on those ones (some days I feel like I’m making a little headway, but honestly, that whole situation is way too complicated to even get started on). If you asked me 10 years ago what I wanted to do with my life, I would have said that I wanted to rule the world (or run Cosmo). Now? I want to be a wife, and a mom, and a fitness instructor and trainer. I guess you could say as time has gone on, I have discovered the things that really matter to me in life – love, happiness, and making a difference. And unfortunately, finding the things that are truly important to me are incredibly hard to find. I’m 32, unmarried, worried that I’m running out of time to have any chance of ever being a mom, and I spend 40 hours a week working a job that does little more for me than pay my bills. But those five hours a week I spend in a class? I’m not joking when I tell my classes that seeing them is the best part of my day. Because it really, truly is.

I’ve often been accused of being too “in my head,” and I know that it’s true – I’ll admit to being a bit of a control freak, I think entirely too much, I read into everything, and it kills me that I can’t just snap my fingers and make everything fall into place. It’s as if because I found out “too late” (i.e. after college, not actually too late) what my life’s work was meant to be, I have too many “buts” in my head. But I don’t have the right education. But I have to support myself financially. But I need more stability. But how do I even start?

At the end of the day, all I want is to feel like I make a difference – that my work means something. That lives are better because I have been a part of them. I do feel that I have been blessed with this amazing gift, but life, or fear, or responsibility, or circumstance has held me back from becoming the best version of me.  Am I to blame? Undoubtedly – who else could possibly be at fault? But, to quote a song I’m currently obsessed with (for completely unrelated reasons) – “I don’t want good, and I don’t want good enough” – I want great. I want to be the best me all day, every day. But what I want more is the strength and courage to be able to make it happen.


14 thoughts on “How Do You Overcome the Obstacles Standing in the Way of Making Your Passion Your Life?

  1. This post really resonated with me. 🙂 I also discovered my passion for fitness in my late twenties, and I wish I’d known this was where my passion lies in college when I was deciding what path I wanted to take. I’m not at the point where I can switch over from my ‘day job’, but I’m taking steps to hopefully make the change sometime in the future. It can be scary to jump into something new, especially if it means taking some risks. Best of luck to you with your goals!

    • It’s definitely frustrating. I’m with you – and there are days (most, actually) that it’s tough to make it through the days at the “real job” to get to the “fun” one. I honestly spend most of my day looking forward to that evening’s workout. Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through the day. Good luck to you, too!

  2. Sarah, what a great post – and I really feel your pain. I’ve been struggling with the same “I hate my day job, love the blogging/health/fitness world” issues. It’s hard with the area we live in being so expensive, to ever imagine quitting a well-paying (though boring and soul-sucking) job for something you truly love. I’ve been struggling with what to do as well, and feel like I’m just treading water always thinking about making a change but never actually doing anything. I just wanted you to know that other people out there feel the same way and that hopefully life will work itself out and the greater purpose of everything will be revealed!

    • That’s one of the hardest parts – knowing that there’s no way I can pay my bills on a teaching/training salary. I’m not against moving (heck, I’ve done it a few times already), but who knows if it would be any better somewhere else? And THANK YOU for the reassurance that I’m not alone … not that I wish this stress on anyone else … but you get to the point where you just wonder when life is going to clue you in already!

  3. Interesting, disarming, candid post. Several random observations from someone nearly twice your age: (1) From reading your other posts, I thought you ARE a full-time fitness instructor. I hope the folks at your day job don’t read this post; (2) IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. I’m pretty close to retirement & my need to pay the bills probably isn’t as great as yours (even tho’ I like to spend $$ as much as anyone), but I plan to get into the fitness biz, at least part-time, after my current gig is up; (3) To each his/her own, but the whole having-a-family thing, especially the kids, is about the most overrated thing in this life. Whatever you do, good luck with finding what makes you happy.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts – you’re definitely right, it’s never too late. But I’ve always had this problem of trying to live my life on a timeline (and as a scheduled person, it KILLS me that I’m at least 7 years behind where I thought I’d be by now). To be honest with you, at this point, I don’t care how overrated having a family is – you’re definitely not the first to share that opinion – but it’s one of those things that you absolutely start to think about more and more as you start to feel like you’re behind the curve and life is passing you by. Appreciate your comments and wisdom!

  4. Thank you for this! I think that self doubt and uncertainty are the hardest emotions in life. I too feel trapped many days, knowing I have to keep my job even though it’s not what I wanted for myself. Keep your head up and remember to take chances. .. you owe it to yourself.

    • I feel like my life is a giant ball of self-doubt and uncertainty some (most) days! 😉 I am a believer that everything happens for a reason, and I had an interesting conversation yesterday that did sort of remind me that you have no idea what big break could be just around the corner (still waiting for mine).

  5. Wow. What a crossroads. Good luck. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. Make it happen. 🙂

    Now. I should take my own advice, eh?

    • You’re absolutely right – but it’s definitely hard advice to follow! I think if I could just control everything (like I’d like to…) I just might be able to get it on track 😉 But maybe the less than beaten path is what is supposed to take us where we are really meant to be?

  6. Pingback: Back From Paradise … | Strong-Fit-Beautiful

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