Two months ago I was at the top of my career game according to my own definition and upping it daily. After 10+ years nip-tucking myself to fit my narrow ideas of success, worth and value, I left my job, resisted the sticky temptations of other employment offers, and was starting to build a career and life I wanted and loved deeply, coupled with the terrifying-but-necessary start-up investments to do so.
I was living by design versus default, confronting my fears around finances and failing and growing into the person I knew I could be, pursuing a life worth living. I scheduled a few workshops and enrolled a few clients. I was just starting.
Then something happened that brought everything to a screeching halt. At least in how I handled it.
This entirely unpredictable event plunged me, and several members of my family, into a very dark wormhole over a two month period. Two months of constant crisis, with no clear end date or outcome in sight.
I thought I had conquered my demons. But in the words of Ram Dass: If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.
By the end of eight weeks, it was clear I was very far from liberated. The event itself was stressful enough (thankfully, medical miracles occurred and the crisis has abated). But the additional stress of how I acted and interacted with my family cost me far more than was needed.
Through coaching, I came to shift my perspective. More importantly, I began to create a healthier alternative. In my opinion everyone, my family included, is better off for it.
I shifted from believing I was obligated, and at the effect of other people and circumstances, to being the shaper of my own destiny. I had already made this shift in my career trajectory, but the same belief was popping up in lots of places – in casual social interaction and particularly with my family. Without thinking twice about it, I shut off and tucked my emotions and personality away. Unconscious beliefs about my role, power, and worth in the world became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Beliefs are life changers because they shape our actions – how we communicate, work, love, and play. Oftentimes without realizing it we build our lives around deeply held beliefs, which reinforce exactly what they say.
Barring basic survival threats (war, poverty, etc), I am a firm believer that each person reading this has the power to create a work life that is yours, that is YOU, in a very profound way. But quitting your job isn’t enough for sustained freedom. The people I work with typically self-select and stay in careers they’re miserable in due to limiting beliefs. Just as they did with me, these beliefs rear their ugly head in a million different places, including their work lives, unless they deal with them.
Often the best things in life aren’t easy. Taking action and breaking free of limiting beliefs is a golden key.
*This article is posted on Medium.