I have been listening to a LOT of audible recordings on personal development. The fun thing is not only do I absolutely love to learn new ideas and perspectives regarding human behavior, but I have been fascinated about tying together different ideas from multiple world-class speakers and motivational gurus. I feel like I can actually now relate and understand what they are saying! Everything they say is clicking, reassuring, resonating with me. AND I can finally start to implement many of the ideas. But this would not have happened a year ago, or any time before then.
Until recently, I was not ready to receive this information on life purpose, making big goals, following your dreams, and being willing to persevere through tough times. Sure, I may have skimmed over a few things here and there, but it was for fleeting moments and I did not implement any changes or search for more information. Now I am gobbling it up with openness, a deep desire to understand it, and a willingness to put it in action. So I started asking myself about how I got to this place in my life where I am embracing and searching for change. I am at an age where most people start really settling, not creating new possibility and a different future for themselves. For some people it is because they settled into what they always wanted. Way to go if that happens to be you! For others, it is because it is hard to make changes or they don’t think they are capable. Another camp will listen to the same information, be enlightened for a little while, but get stuck in inaction after their first failure. Or perhaps be too fearful to even try.
I think I got to this place of being open and eager for change because I had not been living my purpose. If you are an enlightened person, not living your purpose can feel like a being a balloon with no air. I had asked God once during church what my purpose was and I opened up a little book they had in the pews and the first sentence I read was “give heart to the disheartened”. It did speak to me. I had always known that I was meant to spread happiness and hope. So I tried fitting that into my current workplace, which was in finance at a manufacturing plant. It worked for a while. I am, after all, the epitome of a good-natured, easy to approach person. I thought by being an example and being all smiles that I could at least bring happiness to this little corner of the world. But in more recent times, while trying to be a full time career person and a mother, I became an impatient, snappy, judgmental person at both home and work. I was exhausted, drained, and frustrated most work days. The office was not cheery or inviting. I had nearly every minute of my life scheduled to make sure I got everything done. There was no time for me, no time for resting, no time for my true passions. I managed to keep up workouts and healthy eating, which I believe is what saved me during these tough years. But this lifestyle was not sustainable and did not feel good. I worked on my thoughts and at least made it manageable while I started to implement my changes. I concentrated on my character while trying not to get too caught up in my schedule and work craziness.
God kept working with me and not giving up. Finally I caught on because the desire was so strong that I could not ignore the calling any longer. I felt like there was something different I should be doing. I became open to new ideas. And finally it came after a year of podcasts, audible recordings on personal development, audio books, self-help books, hiring a coach, and giving myself time to think. Sometimes you have to be inundated with assistance and consumption before you are truly ready to fly. It’s easy to stay there- in consumption mode- but I knew I had to step off the ledge at some point. And so I did. That’s when I signed up for The Life Coach School certification and created the vision for my coaching programs coming in Spring 2020!
So here’s what I want to share about my experience: It’s OK to prepare yourself for a while, if you have that option. Gather information, do self exploration, take classes, envision the changes you’d like to make, hire a coach, begin thinking future-driven thoughts. But at some point you MUST take action to make true changes. If you’ve been doing your homework diligently, it almost feels like there’s no choice but to act- going back to your old life feels worse than moving forward. Even if life doesn’t give you a runway to work with, make time to explore yourself. You can always make changes. You just have to have the willingness.
There are many reasons people make changes in their lives. Sometimes change just comes gradually- like climbing the ladder at your workplace- you put in some time, learn some skills, and eventually are ready for more and more responsibility. Sometimes change is necessary due to a hardship, a diagnosis, a change in your family makeup and you are forced to move onto a life that is a different trajectory than you originally envisioned. And other times changes come from questioning if elements in your life are going well or if you can envision so much more or something different. There is one common theme in all of these, though- change is inevitable whether we asked for it or not. The universe will always provide changes to your circumstances, other people are always changing and you can always make changes to your inner thoughts, feelings, and actions. Change is everywhere and will always be a part of our existence. The key is to not fight with this reality, but to embrace it by doing your best, flowing with changes, and always looking for a brighter tomorrow.