In this four-part series, I discuss practical ways to help you reach both short- and long-term goals, strike a positive work-life balance, harness your self-interests and passions, and expand your network and skillset.
What’s your passion? What do you like to do the most?
It can be hard to know for sure when you’re so enmeshed in your career, and when you’re addressing family demands.
Also, it can be easy to experience frustration and lose motivation in your work if you’re only doing hobbies that benefit your family or career instead of yourself.
That’s why I’ve written this article. I hope I can help you figure out which self-interests truly spark the most fulfillment in your life so you can explore them more deeply, over and over again.
Why Knowing Your Self-Interests Is Important Right Now
Finding yourself and learning about your self-interests might be one of the most important endeavors in your life. Conducting this self-discovery is crucial because your interests complement your career and your family goals, but they live in a different realm entirely.
Also, finding a passion outside of work can help you prevent burnout. While it is important to do work you love, it’s also important to have interests you love outside of work, so that you can maintain some separation between the different aspects of your life.
By tapping into these interests, you’re focusing on what helps you relax and recharge. Finding ways to relax and recharge is important to survival in our current climate when pandemic-related fears exacerbate our normal levels of anxiety. The best way to counter these levels of anxiety is to find activities you enjoy.
Self-Discovery 101: Finding Your Interests in 4 Simple Steps
Not sure what your interests are these days? Here are a few quick steps to help you find them and reinvent yourself into a more refreshed, more energized version of you.
1. Identify what energizes you
When’s the last time you felt truly energized?
Can you picture it? Great. Now recall the circumstances that made you feel that way. What were you doing? Is it something that you had more time for in the past, before career woes and family goals took up more space in your mind?
2. Pay attention to how you define yourself
Are you a reader? A writer? A hiker? Your self-interests are often an important part of how you define yourself. Look back through pictures from years ago, to a time when you were more immersed in what you loved best.
When you re-discover the hobbies that were so integral to you back then, you’ll regain a piece of that satisfaction now.
3. Ask a friend
Still unable to recall what brings you the most joy? Ask a friend!
Sometimes I’m surprised by what new dimensions I can learn about myself by asking a friend for their unfiltered view. Your friends may be more attuned to your interests than you are at times—but that’s what helps them to give you the best birthday gifts!
4. Identify obstacles, then make yourself a promise
Ultimately, you have to find the reasons why you may not take time for these interests normally and combat them. Then, vow to make time for them going forward—think of it as an investment in taking care of yourself.
How To Implement Self-Interests into Your Life
Now that you’ve identified your self-interests, make a concentrated effort to weave them into your life. Below are a few ways you can get started.
Schedule an appointment.
Your calendar may be filled with work meetings, taking the kids to soccer practice, doctors’ appointments…the list goes on. So, the idea of adding another appointment to your calendar may seem exhausting.
But that’s the magic of appointments—you tend to keep them. So, if you see a scheduled time in your calendar for a self-interest activity like reading a novel, you’ll be more motivated to take a couple of hours out of your day and actually dig into that novel you’ve been wanting to enjoy.
Set an alarm.
Like scheduling an appointment on your calendar, setting an alarm on your phone or your clock is a tangible reminder that it’s time to pause, step back, and commence the self-interest activity of your choice. Like waking up in the morning or taking the laundry out of the washing machine, this self-interest activity will feel like a part of your day that’s necessary to move it along—thanks to the alarm you’ve set.
Find an accountability partner.
Utilize your spouse, partner, or a friend to hold yourself accountable for regularly engaging in self-interest activities. Maybe that person verbally nudges you when you see them, asking if you’ve made time to learn the ukulele. Having someone else to hold you accountable will help you make time for your own interests—seeing how much they care about you will help you care for yourself.
Start a coaching program.
If you need additional support, consider furthering your personal development by joining a coaching program. I love helping people unleash their passions so they can harness their full potential.
Looking for expert advice to help you move your career forward? Then, head to my YouTube channel where I share short videos designed to help you better manage your career, negotiate with confidence and keep you motivated to reach your goals.
If you found this information helpful, please share it with others! You can find more articles chock-full of great information on my blog page Unleash Your Potential.
As a leadership and negotiation strategist, Elizabeth Suárez works with organizations to develop their professionals into effective leaders and influencers