Does your current job allow you to be you?

This may sound like a confusing question. But think about it. Can you be your truest self at work?

If the answer is no, you may be headed for burnout.

Susan Ferraro had it all – a dream career as the Design Director at Kate Spade, a swanky New York apartment, and of course, all the clothes and shoes a girl could ever want. There was just one problem: she had zero energy to enjoy it. Susan felt trapped – in her job, in her relationships, and everywhere else.

Susan wasn’t able to tap into her truest self at work. This led to an imbalance and, ultimately, burnout. She left her high-paying career and started seeking something that would allow her to be true to herself – and still make money.

Are you looking to make money while remaining true to you? Susan has 4 secrets that can help.

  1. Achievement Won’t Make You Happy

The majority of women in the past few generations grew up being told and believing that they could achieve just about whatever they wanted. Yet many, like Susan, also highly value their freedom – the freedom to be able to do what you want when you want to do it. However, the desire to achieve and the high value placed on freedom don’t always make for a good combination, especially at work.

The only way to truly feel free is not through achievement – but by finding your truest self.

Anywhere you can’t fully be yourself, you’ll find tension. Stay there too long, and chronic distress will lead to trauma. One response to trauma is to work to achieve more.

Once I get here it’ll be enough. Once I do this I’ll be okay.

Sound familiar?  The truth is, how you feel on the journey is how you’re going to feel at the end as well. Don’t keep looking for the next achievement to bring happiness.

  1. There’s Value in More Than Hard Work

Think about this statement: Burnout isn’t about what you’re doing, it’s about who you’re being. If you place too much emphasis on the doing, there’s a good chance what you value will get lost in the shuffle.

Have you ever found yourself working even harder when things seem too easy? Our society constantly tells us that hard work is valuable and that making money isn’t easy. But when you put too much stock in those beliefs, you’ll miss discovering what you truly value and in turn, miss finding your true self.

Here’s a secret: The best ideas come from inspiration, not working harder.

What’s more, inspiration doesn’t always happen when you’re burning the midnight oil. In fact, downtime can allow you to truly hear what inspires and sparks your imagination. The best ideas – the ones that leads to success – need balance to take root.

  1. Your Passion Is Where You’ll Find Your Truest Self

It’s easy to say ‘Follow Your Passion.’ But it’s also true! When you focus on what comes natural to you and bring it to life, success will follow.

When you ignore this passion, your truest self gets buried and your ego starts to run the show. This leads to back to that need to achieve and the road to burnout.

It’s time to dig deep for that inner child – to follow the joy and play your way through life. This may sound irresponsible, but it’s not. It’s actually the most beneficial way for you to find success. And the bonus? Everyone else in your life will benefit from your truest self.

  1. You Don’t Always Need to Know Where You’re Going

Too often, a great idea remains just that, buried under the desire to achieve more and make more money. The fear of the unknown keeps so many people stuck at square one.

The key is to just get started. Even if you can’t see the finished product, don’t stop trying. Your first, second, even third attempt may not work. You may need to pivot more than once to find your way, learning as you go.

But if you’re following your passion and focusing on what you truly value, you’ll get there.  The fact is the end result won’t happen unless you go for it.

Commit to bringing your truest self with you to work. It may mean a change, but when you focus on what you truly value, the benefits are worth it.