My nephew and his friend have big dreams.

They chatter about becoming a professional snowboarder, a commercial pilot or an environmental scientist.

The sky is the limit for these kids.

It was for us, too. But somewhere along the way — with growing up, shouldering responsibilities and paying bills — we stop dreaming.

We settle for what’s in front of us: a paycheque.

Trouble is, our jobs are killing us and causing us unbelievable amounts of stress.

Researchers at Stanford and Harvard have learned working long hours cuts as much as 20 years off the average worker’s lifespan.

They also found:

  • Work-family conflicts increased the odds of self-reported poor physical health by 90 per cent.
  • A highly demanding job makes workers 35 per cent more likely to have a physician-diagnosed illness.
  • Low-organization justice (translation: useless managers) makes workers 50 percent more likely to have such an illness.

It begs the questions “why are we doing this to ourselves” and “what can we do to make it better.”

What is your dream job?

We have unlimited potential when we’re young.

Parents, teachers, guidance counsellors and other adults all want to know what we’re going to be when we grow up. As children and teenagers, we believe anything is possible.

At what point, though, do we give up and build the walls around ourselves?

More often than not, obstacles get in our way.

We become encumbered by the words “can’t” and “should.” Fear gets in the way and we believe our dreams are out of our reach. Responsibilities get in the way and we close the door on the goals we want to achieve.

[tweetthis remove_twitter_handles=”true”]We limit our own success and ruin our ability to dream by believing our own stories, our own BS. #beatburnout[/tweetthis]

That we can’t be a commercial pilot.

That we aren’t talented enough or resourceful enough or ambitious enough.

That we should stay in the job we’re in and suffer in silence.

How do I find my dream job

It’s time to be clear about what you want, how to satisfy your needs and what you need to get there.

Here are five steps to take:

1. Discover your passions.

Define your interests and what makes you happy. Ask your friends and family what they think your talents are. You might be surprised to hear they never thought you were going to be an accountant.

Your dream job could be hiding in your hobby. It doesn’t have to look exactly like that. Maybe you love skydiving. It could mean you’re meant to be an adventure guide or, like my nephew and his friend dream, a commercial pilot.

When you figure out what makes you passionate, you can link it to your dream job and start plotting your path to get there.

2. Find a mentor.

I’m a big fan of coaching and mentors. Coaches, like me, can help you get unstuck and see the obstacles you’ve placed in front of you. A mentor has registered success on the path you want to take and can give you industry-specific methods to achieving results. Both are beneficial when you’re embarking on a new journey.

And don’t forget to read up on tips from successful people, no matter what industry. They have ingredients you can build into your recipe for success.

3. Build your plan.

When I work with clients who feel stuck and unhappy at work, I get them to build a timeline. You must ask yourself:

  • Where am I going?
  • What do I need to get there
  • Who can help me?

When you have those questions answered, we plot the steps you need to take. We set goals with doable tasks and tactics. This activity makes the path more tangible, giving you ways to move forward with your life.

It also keeps you from doing anything drastic, like quitting your job in a huff or panicking when something doesn’t go exactly right. Along the way, we gauge your progress, celebrate your successes and modify the plan as needed, because some tactics will work and some won’t.

4. Believe in yourself.

This is the toughest part for most people I meet. Achieving your goals and working at your dream job can take a really big leap of faith.

You need to make sacrifices, like job security, and you need to be patient. None of this is going to happen overnight. That’s why we celebrate your successes on the plan. As you start to see the little wins, you build confidence and believe in what you’re doing.

5. Take action.

The tactics on the plan are no joke. We’ve thought this through and achieving your dream job is only going to happen if you take action. If you do nothing, you’re going to remain stuck and unhappy.

Trust me, catapulting into the life of an entrepreneur isn’t easy. After 18 years, I can still have doubts and fears when I embark on a new adventure or change direction, but I made the commitment to myself to do this and the benefits continue to outweigh my doubts and fears. My professional life — helping others achieve their dreams — energizes me on a daily basis.

When you cut the bullshit out of your life and stop letting your ego bring you down, you can have a clear vision and keep your goals in focus.

Then you can live the life of your dreams.

Cut the BS. Janice Otremba, life coach and stress-management expert, kicks your butt into gear with simple, sound advice for beating burnout. Learn how to satisfy your core values and beat burnout. Achieve your goals now. Contact Janice.

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