If I had a dollar for every time I met someone who thinks my life is perfect because I’m a life coach . . .
I could make a few new contributions to my shoe collection.
My approach to coaching isn’t based on a life of perfection. It’s based on my ability to strategize my way to success, even when my goals get derailed. That, combined with my education and professional experience, influence my coaching style. I wasn’t born with this information though. It took years of trial and error to find strategies that work for me.
Before I could even finish my undergraduate degree, I had developed a picture-perfect plan for my future. I thought I’d spend the next few decades climbing the corporate ladder at a major corporation until I had won every accolade and crushed every ceiling available. Somewhere amid all that greatness, I’d travel the world, find love, and maybe even start a family. All I needed to do was to work hard and be a good person.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Reality didn’t even come close. I pushed through graduate school while working, interning, and cultivating a long-term relationship. I was more than busy. I was completely overwhelmed and for the first time in my life, I was unsure about whether my life was headed in the right direction. My work wasn’t nearly as fulfilling as I had imagined, and I started to feel trapped.
I later learned that what I endured wasn’t unique to me. In fact, one of the most common frustrations I hear from women is that they feel detached from their purpose. That’s because most of us were raised to meet the expectations of others. And those expectations don’t always align with who we are individuals.
It’s time to set your own expectations, and let go of theirs . . .
Most of the first decisions we make as adults are based on the messages we’ve received about success. Get an education. Get a good job. Buy a home. And then you go out into the world for the first time and it hits you – – they left out the critical piece about discovering a bigger purpose for your life. One that is bigger than money and material things. But old habits can be hard to break, so how can you begin to let go and align with a purpose that feels meaningful and true?
The secret is in self-work.
When I took a step back to assess my life, I realized that the degrees and corporate salary weren’t enough to sustain me. What I longed for was inner peace, direction, and the ability to help other women flourish. I wanted to make decisions from a place of wisdom, not fear. So I developed a process of self-work to identify some of the core issues holding me back.
If you feel like you’re always busy but never quite accomplished or fulfilled, here are some questions to consider:
⦁ What’s one area of your life where you feel stuck? For example, I struggled with feelings of frustration in my professional life.
⦁ Do you trust yourself? You must take time, even if it’s a few minutes each day, to be completely still and embrace your intuition.
⦁ What brings you joy? Use a vision board to post pictures and words that relate to these things or ideas. Be sure to write down why you chose each picture. Revisit your board periodically to monitor your progress.
⦁ What’s one activity outside your comfort zone that you’ve always wanted to try? Maybe it’s a dance class or taking a solo vacation.
To further exercise a purposeful mindset, I created a safe place for you to share your goals and develop strategies to achieve them. It’s called the Purpose on Paper Journal, and it will help you push your dreams out of your head and into reality.
My ideas about success were based on the messages I’d received growing up. And when I became an adult, I felt doubtful and insecure about how to make good decisions for myself. By focusing on honesty, I discovered that my feelings of insecurity were rooted in abandonment and betrayal within some of my family and friendships. Those feelings shaped who I was as a person and ultimately influenced my decision making. The more I became intentional about focusing on the things that brought me joy and fulfillment, the clearer my path became.
When in doubt, remember:
Self-work is self-care.
You have the power to take the first step.
No one has it all together, all the time. Living in your purpose doesn’t require perfection, only that you do the work to move forward.
You have everything you need at this moment to do the work.
Purpose evolves with time. It’s ok if yours changes along your journey.
Once you’ve done your self-work, it’s time to take things a step further and get professional support. I started therapy in 2019 and it’s provided me with the space to heal from the inside out. My relationships are better. My business is better. And I feel more aligned with my goals than ever before.
So friend, if there’s anything you take away from this post, it’s that doing the self- work, works.
Stop telling yourself that you can’t do it or that you don’t have time. Your life is valuable and you get to choose how it will all unfold.
If you’re ready to heal and do the work for the life you deserve, Life Cycle Life Coaching has a wealth of resources waiting for you.