I used to think this was weird… (This may stop you from doing work you love)

I used to think this was weird… (This may stop you from doing work you love)

  • Do you sometimes think that the thing you love doing is weird? or not cool?
  • or do you discount it, and think you don’t actually have anything you love or any passion?  When people ask you what you enjoy doing, you cannot find an answer.
Well, I did. I used to think what I love was weird and “not cool.” … and this stopped me for a long time from doing the work I love.Since my early twenties, I have been drawn to personal growth. In bookstores (when bookstores where still popular!), I would spend hours in the Personal Help and Psychology section. I would totally dig learning more about me and how I could be more fulfilled in my life.When I went to my first therapy session at age 20, I totally loved it and I loved how I felt after! I discovered how cool it was for me to dig deeper within myself, to travel within, and learn more about how I function, how others function, and  how we can grow.

Yet, I did not think it was a passion, or a least a legitimate one. When people would ask me what I love, I would not think about mentioning it. I thought it was a weird thing to love and I discounted it.

At the time, I could not find anybody who had this passion or who did work related to that passion.

In my family, it was non existent.
In my close communities, I would never heard of it.
In the medias, I rarely heard about it.
At school, it was not mentioned at all.

So I thought it was odd or weird to love it… and that I should love something else, more “normal.”

Like the “traditional” careers I would hear of and see around me:  teacher, doctor, farmer, librarian, nurse, and so on.

I thought I had to choose one of them. There was no other choices.

So, I conformed.

I did the “cool” thing or what society says it is “cool.” Or I did what was available and known to me.

  • First, I chose archeology, more because people thought it was “cool” than because I had a true passion for it.
  • Then, I went into information science and user experience. I worked in the field of user experience for 10 years. There was definitely a part of it that I enjoyed, yet that was not my full passion.
When I would share what I do, I would hear “wow, this is so cool.”But inside, I was doubting if it was really that cool for me…It is only in my mid thirties, when I reached a point I was very unhappy in my work, that I started seriously considering my love for personal development as a potential career path. Growing up, I did not fit into the “traditional career” category because what I loved was different. There was not category for it at least I could not see any. My love for personal development was not valued in my immediate environment and in the mainstream culture.

Can you relate? 

  • Do you discount what you truly love?
  • Do you think what you love is not cool?
  • Do you conform to what others or society think is cool?
  • Do you think that what you love cannot be part of your career?
  • Or do you think you cannot make a living out of it because you don’t know anybody around you doing that?
It is a common block I see with the clients I work with.Well, I am a proof that this is not true. My passion for self-discovery and personal growth is an integral part of my livelihood now. A lot of my friends and acquaintances are people who do the same.Last Friday, I was at the book launch of my friend, Brandon who like me, coaches people to align their lives and careers with their purpose. I was surrounded with so many people like me, who love personal and professional development and work in that field. My tribe! Where I belong.

I don’t feel weird anymore.

So, I know these old beliefs I had were not true. The more I feed my passion for personal growth, the better coach I am. All the classes and books I read helps me in my work. There is no more separation between my passion for personal growth and my work. Both are integrated!

Wow! Imagine…. what that would be like if some of your passions and your work were integrated? 

  • What is a passion you are discounting that is right in front of your eyes? … that is so obvious you cannot see it.
  • or you discount it because you force yourself to fit the traditional career trajectories you see around you or what you hear is “cool.”
Have you even thought they could become an integral part of your work?Don’t let your environment influence you!
It is not because you cannot see it around you, that it does not exist or it is not possible.Whatever it is, I’d love to hear! Please feel free to comment on this post!I have your back.

Isabelle

P.S. Don’t ask what is “sexy” for others, ask what is “sexy” for you. and go and do that!
“Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

What saddens me the most in my work…

Do you know what saddens me the most in the work I do?

It is when I see people give up on themselves.
…give up on their talents
…give up on their dreams
…give up on their potential
…give up on the work they love.

I see their brilliance; I see them light up when they talk about what they love. I get so excited for what I see in them, the beauty I see, the amazing potential they have, the vision that is possible for them. I see amazing possibilities for them. I see who they are and who they can become. I see the fulfillment that awaits them if they tap into their true potential. I know it is possible for them if they would just reach for it…

They do work that is NOT who they are. They do somebody else’s work. They use someone else’s gifts instead of tapping into their unique talents and potential. Day in and day out, they work hard at being someone else and living someone else’s purpose.

They spend their whole life living someone else’s life and work. Often what society told them they should do.

And when it comes time to choose…

They choose the short-term comfort over their long-term fulfillment. 
They abandon who they are. They abandon their brilliance, their potential, their dreams. They are wasting so much of their amazing resources.

Why do they do that?

They may give a lot of excuses (not enough money, not enough time, etc) but often this is not the true reason.

The true reason is:  FEAR

They are scared: scared of change, scared of the unknown, scared of not being good enough. And they let the fear makes the decision for them and be in the driver seat of their lives.

Change is scary.
But this is the only way to a life and work of fulfillment. A life fully lived with no regrets.

What are you choosing? 

Are you choosing fear? and to live an unfulfilled, half-lived life, stay in the comfort of not making any change, and have regrets at the end of your life?

OR

Are you choosing to discover and embrace the amazing potential and talents you have, and go after your dreams, live your purpose, find work that is meaningful?

The choice is yours. No one else.

This is not society’s choice, your parents’, your friends’, your spouse’s, nobody else but your choice, and you do have a choice. You may think you don’t, but you choose every day even by the decisions you don’t make.

You are the captain of your destiny. Nobody else can make this choice for you.

What will you choose? 

If you choose a career of meaning and fulfillment and need support clarifying what it is, I would be delighted to help you.

My program Roadmap To A Career You Love is still open for a few more amazing people, and I’d love to see if we are a match.

You can learn more and apply here.

I look forward to talking to you!

If you have already chosen and are living work and life on your terms, I’m really happy for you!

To your brilliance,
Isabelle

Dealing with challenges

“Life is difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because one we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult -once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.” – M.Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
The more we fight against the challenges and difficult emotions we encounter, the more difficult they appear. The more we surrender to them and let them be without fighting, the easier life seems. Whatever our life looks like, we are going to encounter challenges that will trigger difficult emotions (grief, sadness, disappointment, etc), It is inevitable. It’s part of the human experience. Knowing that this is going to happen, shall we fight this reality, causing more pain by doing so, or surrender to it, like you surrender to the waves of the Ocean when you are on a boat, sailing?
What are the emotions or challenges you are fighting right now? What are you are trying to make disappear? Imagine you are on a boat and these emotions are waves, intense waves. How can you be with the waves without fighting them? Sailing along.

Our worst enemy is inside

Our worst enemy is not outside ourselves, but inside. Every time we judge or blame ourself, buy other people’s judgements about ourselves, wish we were different than who we are, put unrealistic demands on ourselves and blame ourselves for not fulfilling them, or let others put unrealistic demands on ourselves, we act as our very own enemy.

The most painful is our own self-judgement, not others’

When we are judged negatively by someone else (or afraid of being judged), the most painful is not so much the other person’s judgement (or imagined judgement) than our own negative judgement on ourselves, and how this external judgement hit us at a place where we are already judging ourselves harshly. Being aware of our own negative judgement on ourselves and developing compassion and acceptance for all the parts of ourselves (including, and especially, the parts we don’t like) is the first step to self-grow and change. As paradoxical as it may seem, the more you accept yourself as you are, the more you change.

The most painful is our own self-judgement, not others'

When we are judged negatively by someone else (or afraid of being judged), the most painful is not so much the other person’s judgement (or imagined judgement) than our own negative judgement on ourselves, and how this external judgement hit us at a place where we are already judging ourselves harshly. Being aware of our own negative judgement on ourselves and developing compassion and acceptance for all the parts of ourselves (including, and especially, the parts we don’t like) is the first step to self-grow and change. As paradoxical as it may seem, the more you accept yourself as you are, the more you change.