As a teenager I used to cringe anytime someone asked me what I ‘wanted to be’ when I grew up. So many of my friends seemed pretty certain of their choices. They’d spoken for years about being a doctor or they knew for sure which university they would go to.
I felt, well, way less sure. My subject choices were born out of a combination of what I liked at the time and ‘keeping my options open’. i.e. Take on every science and maths subject ‘just in case’. At the time I felt like I was crossing my fingers thinking, oh well, one day I’ll just ‘know’.
I knew some things. Like I loved thinking in big pictures – so economics had a certain appeal to it. I loved figuring out how to put things together, whether it was events, fundraising, or simply connecting an explanation for how something worked – so once again, economics kinda fit the bill at the time. (And that’s where my university travels took me).
As time went on I just figured I’d do the ‘next thing’ that was laid out in terms of the pathway already constructed for me, based on the subjects I’d chosen. It was sub conscious in so many ways. I didn’t even really think twice about most of my choices in terms of ‘what I wanted to be’ at that stage of my life. I just kept going. It wasn’t until mid-career mid-great-job that I started to ask myself a few more questions.
Last week I shared a short video post on social media about how I ‘got here’. I realised that I kept getting asked a similar question and every time I was asked it I felt so warm and encouraged in my response, yet also so vulnerable. The truth of my answer really started to hit home for me more.
You’re likely wondering what does ‘here’ really mean? ‘Here’ meant something a little different to each person asking me, yet the theme was the same – how did you get to do something you love so much? How did you end up becoming a life coach?
And the more I thought about it, the more I realised there were three big turning points, or magnificent moments, that really shaped where I am right now. Or, more specifically, that shaped the decisions I made to get me here.
Here they are:
1) Acknowledging. This was having an experience myself of burn out. Specifically getting to the point of recognising that I felt like I was being a fake and being able to be comfortable with knowing that. And acknowledging that I wasn’t loving what I was doing. (For ages I pretended everything was okay).
2) Experiencing the difference. The moment was, having some sort of experience that things could be different and having an emotional connection to that. For me that was experiencing coaching first-hand which helped me to consider a whole lot of new perspectives on my life (and moving forward) at that point in time.
3) Small steps. This was taking some sort of step, action, no matter how small, towards feeling better. Feeling lit up. The stuff that got me excited. The stuff that gave me energy. The small steps for me were literally things like taking myself out for coffee and going to yoga classes.
Now I can see that it’s so much less about who I want to ‘be’ when I ‘grow up’ and it’s so much more about who I want to BE in my life full stop. How I want to show up each and every day, and how I want to FEEL as I do that.
For me, being able to grow myself, learn how to live more consciously, and teach others how to create their own lives so that they too can feel lit up and like they’re living on purpose—that makes me feel so grateful. And that lights me up. It feels so right to me to keep waking up and doing this thing over and over again.
Getting to ‘here’ has really been about getting to know myself. Truly, madly, deeply. And these magnificent moments were really moments that unfolded a whole new understanding of myself and deepened my relationship with me.
For the full video share you can check it out here, I share a bit more around each of the big turning points and give a few examples of how it showed up for me. And if you too are looking for a way to get to know yourself I’d invite you to look for ways to explore what acknowledging, experiencing the difference, and small steps could look like in your life right now.
Know any other ‘grown ups’? Share the love and send them this post today. ?