I studied psychology for five years with the hope of one day practicing as a psychologist, changing people’s lives and having a positive impact on society as a whole.
I chose health psychology for my masters because I’m fascinated with how significantly our minds impact our physical health and well-being. I wanted to use health psychology combined with nutrition and exercise to help people overcome disease, illness, and achieve overall well-being.
Studying it was absolutely amazing & liberating. I was passionate and engaged every day, learning about how our minds have such impact on our bodies with research to provide serious evidence.
However, when I was in the clinical environment and training to become a health psychologist, it was far from the career I had dreamt of. The sad truth is, not every can be or wants to be helped. I was inquisitive about this fact and discussed the matter with every health professional I came across. Disconsolately, every single professional had the same answer.
“To be successful in this job you have to lower your expectations. There will be 100’s of patients you can’t help. You can try as hard as you want, pulling out all of the tricks in the book, spending hours on end, but the truth of the matter is they won’t change or sustain change. You might help a little; even a fraction to make their lives more manageable and you have to accept that as enough.”
For me, that wasn’t enough. I would leave at the end of every placement day drained and exhausted but felt like absolutely nothing had been accomplished. Psychologists are incredibly helpful health professionals which are becoming more acknowledged in the health sector. They are able to deal with patients and issues that doctors & nurses have no idea about. It just didn’t give me the sense of fulfilment that I had hoped for.
So now, I find myself sitting behind a desk from 9.30-6pm, Monday to Friday. I have this desire to work my own hours, help people achieve their goals, motivate, inspire and encourage every single day. And most importantly, not stare at the same two screens for 40 hours a week.
I crave challenges, flexibility, variety and hustle. Don’t get me wrong, I like aspects of my job.
I like the idea of recruitment and I am helping people & society. Helping people obtain jobs is great for the economy and for instilling a sense of belonging in individuals, but I’m still in this quarter life crisis where I am not where I want to be, I know where I want to be and I’m not there.
Each day I’m not working towards my long term goals I feel like is a waste. A waste that isn’t paying me enough either.
I don’t want to look back on my life and have wasted my years doing something that doesn’t feed my passion. So I’ve decided to take the plunge. I need to follow my heart. Jump in the deep and learn how to swim (metaphorically).
I want to jump out of bed in the morning excited about what the day is going to bring. I used to have this so I know it is definitely possible. I know what it’s like to get stuck in a comfortable routine but I’m sick of going through the motions, especially when the motions don’t feel like they count for anything.
Life is to be lived. And at this point in time I cannot confidently say that I am living my life to it’s fullest. It’s about time to change that I think.