Seriously, do you remember who you wanted to be before the world told you who you should be? Or before you gave up on what you really wanted?
It happens to a lot of us, so don’t feel ashamed.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be a lawyer. Teachers told me I wasn’t smart enough to be a lawyer, and becoming a writer, well, there wasn’t much of a life in that, was there?
I wish I hadn’t listened to the negative nelly’s.
Although I’m pretty glad I didn’t pursue a career in law…
Writing on the other hand. My passion was always there, bubbling away just under the surface.
After struggling to finish a creative writing course at University, I felt jaded. I’d gotten a taste of the writing community and didn’t like it. It didn’t seem welcoming or supportive. Instead it felt cliquey. Snobbish. Pretentious. So far out of my league it wasn’t funny. If that was what it took to be a writer, did I really want to be? It didn’t matter whether I fit in though because obviously I wasn’t good enough. My tutor told me as much. I suffered a lengthy case of writer’s block and lost self-belief for a very long time after that.
And slowly but surely my soul died.
Coming from a working class family of farmers and miners, working hard for money in a job you didn’t necessarily like was the norm. A job was a means to an ends. A way to survive. What their father did. And that’s what you did. When you grew up you got a job. You might not like it. But you would survive. You’d pay the bills, get married, buy a house, pop out a few kids, go on a few holidays, and then you’d get sick and die. Inevitable. Fuck, that scenario scared the bejesus out of me. The last thing I wanted to do was to get hitched, lock myself into a mortgage, and pop out some kiddlywinks. The job on the other hand, well, it would support my travel habit, wouldn’t it?
Moving into a corporate job, I became corporatised. I wore a suit and heels, networked at the local bars, drank coffee, and worked a shit-load of overtime. Working myself up the ladder, I was pretty awesome at writing business documents, project plans, strategies, epic emails. That was about it though. Sapped of all creativity and emotion, it’s like I forgot how to write.
My time in the corporate sector wasn’t all bad. I tend to focus on the bad side of it all because there was a lot of shit I’d rather forget, and sure, I left with a bad taste in my mouth, burnt out, and a shell of the woman I was, but I also left with some pretty awesome, lifelong friends, my now-husband, and some wonderful memories. I also left with the inclination I was meant for something different.
I wish I hadn’t wasted so many years thinking I wasn’t good enough.
Doubting my ability. Believing I couldn’t do anything. Believing everyone else was better than me. To think of all that time – wasted. And all those tears shed. Tears over feeling inferior, hating myself, and being so incredibly lost.
It took years to dig myself out of ingrained thinking patterns, self-hate, and depression. To stop procrastinating, to get healthy again, and to find motivation.
It took many more years to train myself to think positive, to love myself, and to go after what I wanted (after I realised what I wanted that is!).
These days I look at life as a ‘work in progress’.
I am so much clearer on it all now. On what I want. On my values and priorities. On how I want to live.
I’m also clearer on what I don’t want. What I don’t love. Who I want to be around. And on how I don’t want to live.
And since I am so much clearer on what they all are, it makes this whole living business so much easier!
Admittedly there will be hurdles to jump, fires to put out, and lots of unforeseen – shit – but that’s life. There is a silver lining to every cloud, no matter how shitty. I’m certain of that.
My ‘work in progress’ (or should I say ‘masterpiece’?) wont be complete until my life’s end. But until that very day I will continue to work at it. To embrace it. To give it my best shot.
I will continue to fill my life with things I love. With happiness. With positivity.
And I will continue to learn. To grow. To try new things. And to do what I love.
I created Finding Your Why to help others like me. To help put them back in touch with who they were before the world told them who they should be. To help them find their why a little earlier then I did!
Finding Your Why is a little workbook chock full of reflective and insightful exercises, exercises that helped me pull my life back together. And no, as you can see, it wasn’t easy (it still isn’t). But in finally waking up and admitting I needed to make some changes in my life, well, that was the start I needed.
I designed this workbook to step you through a process of reflecting on your life as it is now, what isn’t working for you, what is causing you stress and health issues, and what is missing. It will also help you pinpoint your values, priorities, and passions… something a lot of us tend to forget in our busy lives! By the end of your journey (yes, I dropped the ‘j’ word), you will be a whole lot clearer on what’s not working for you and on what you want.
And do you want to know something?
You don’t even have to subscribe. That’s right. I’m giving the workbook away totally free because I want to help others avoid the mistakes I made, or learn from them faster!
So go on, grab your free workbook. I want you to have it. It really is time to start focussing on you.