American workers spend approximately 65 percent or more of their waking hours working employed by someone, whether they enjoy it or not. Think about that. Think about spending approximately two of every three waking hours in an environment that does not support you, choosing to work in a job that does not build upon your natural tendencies and assets.

It’s a painful realization to grasp and, yet, this is how the majority of us live our lives.

Granted, you probably don’t find every aspect of your life undesirable, but if you’re not excited about life in general, it’s not a stretch to say that your job or even your place of employment is a huge contributor. After all, this is where you spend a majority of your waking hours.

Ask yourself, “Do I love what I do, do what I love, and love where I’m doing it?” If you answer “yes” to these questions, you’re not in what I call “JobJail™.” If you answer “no” then you are obviously unhappy with your job and, quite possibly, your life. You feel imprisoned. Like many others, you are in “JobJail™.” Maybe:

  • You feel unfulfilled because the lifestyle you’ve chosen or the lifestyle you want is not supported by your company’s revenues.
  • You feel stagnated due to loyalty to long-time partner(s), associate(s), and even long-time employees whose objectives/needs may be at odds with your own.
  • You feel unchallenged and want to do more—to make a bigger difference.
  • Your current position doesn’t generate the income necessary to support your chosen lifestyle.
  • You fear changing your current situation due to loyalty to your boss or co-workers.
  • There seems to be a lack of professional opportunity with your current employer . . . or no clear career path on how you can make forward progress.

It is completely possible to break free and again love what you do. (You don’t even have to quit your job.) There are some secrets necessary to break free from JobJail™, and the greatest secret of all—that it’s really up to you to set yourself free. Your tools for the journey are simple and readily available. On an attitudinal level, it is about openness and willingness to trust in yourself. It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong. Most likely, you simply followed some learned pattern or were influenced by others you trusted or admired. The bottom line: you thought you were making the best choices.

Before you can break free from JobJail™, you must be willing to acknowledge you have made a choice to break free. In doing so, you must also process the past, your experiences, and realize how far you’ve progressed in life, understanding that you alone are responsible for the choices that have gotten you to this point, whether or not you think you should have or could have gone further.

To move forward, make an affirmation: “I acknowledge that I accepted the perceptions of others as to what is best for me. I affirm that only I know what is good for me. I now choose the path that is true for me and who I am.”

You may also consider one of these affirmations:

  • “I move closer to my desired outcomes every day.”
  • “I know my unique abilities and leverage them; I am who I am and I live in my skin.”
  • “I speak my truth and people listen.”

Trust in yourself and the power of affirmations. Their real value of an affirmation is not so much about what they do for you; it’s more about what they spark in you to do for yourself, how they inspire you. Having these words in your head on a daily basis will start you on a path of developing faith in yourself, your judgments and your ability to make a positive change that will allow you to love your career.

Affirming who you were and who you are choosing to become allows you to focus attention on your “self” at any time and anywhere, on good days and bad days. Break free, taste destiny as you choose (not as you perceive what others think is best for you) and consider these words from Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

The choice is yours!

Stuart Friedman is president of Progressive Management Associates. He is a business visionary who guides organizations through cultural shifts. He promotes environments that inspire collaboration, transparency in the pursuit of strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires. Reach Stuart via email: stuart@pma-co.com