Demi desperately wants to know. Should I stay or should I leave? What is the best option for me based on my personal situation?
Demi wants a career overhaul. She’s a brilliant, witty, creative and a well-compensated litigation associate with a big law firm. She wants to leave her firm to either open her own litigation firm, go in-house as General Counsel or join her best friend’s middle-sized litigation boutique.
Three great options for someone who grew up dreaming that she will open her own business one day. Who grew up wishing she would be her own boss.
But she’s scared.
What do you want?
I can hardly hear her as she whispers…. “I honestly don’t know.”
If you could wave a realistic wand over your life, what will your career look like in 6 to 12 months?
“Oh gosh, I don’t really know.” I’m so scared to think about it.
Well, what do you want?
“I want to be happy. I want some control over my life. I want to do the type of work I love. I want to work with people I respect. I don’t want to end up stressed out, single, angry and burnt out. Right now, I’m anxious all the time. I feel underappreciated. Don’t get me wrong. I get paid well and I’m grateful for the money, but its not like I’m not earning it. Plus I’m tired of just existing. I gave myself 5 years to keep doing this. I don’t want to….. ”
What if we focus on what you want, Demi.
“If it was really a magic wand, I want to open my own law practice. Yeah, I want to be my own boss. Make my own hours. Work only with clients I want and take a vacation when I want. Travel. Choose my own pro bono work. Get married and have my two kids. Spend time with my kids. I’m 37. I want to make plans for my life. I want to know what else is out there. I want to know what peace feels like. I already have money. I want more life. And I want to start going to church again.”
“That’s my dream.”
Anything else? No.
What will all of this mean for your life?
“Just peace. What do you mean by anything else. I’m scared to even think that there could be more than what I just said. Who can handle that much happiness anyway?”
If I run into you in 6 months, what will we be talking about?
“My new job.”
What about it?
“Well, based on what I’ve done in the past, I’ll be working with my best friend. She’s amazing and smart and we get along great. I’ve always thought we’d make a great team if we decided to do this together. We could really make a big difference. I don’t think I can do it without her because she’s brave. I’m not. She is bolder than me. And she’s not scared to be honest.”
This is where I challenge Demi and her vision. My job is not to create the vision, but to stand for her to be the greatest version of herself. To stand for her dreams and what is possible when she decides what she wants, why she wants it, and what it will mean in her life.
As I partner, I co-create her vision with her; reflecting and challenging her stories. Those stories that limit her, allow her to self-sabotage herself and keep her playing small. Keep her from taking up some much-deserved space in the world.
This where the hidden challenges show up.
For a few minutes, Demi dreamed and created a vision based on what she believed she was capable of. Based on what she had accomplished in the past. A vision steeped in history. Limited by the mistakes she had made; the wishes and dreams that had failed to come true; and most importantly, the FEAR of failure.
AND there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with creating a future based on the past. Choosing to stay or choosing to leave can both come from possibility. There is no right answer.
I invite you to consider what is predictable when you create your vision, set your goals and plan the rest of your life based on how far you’ve gone in the past? Based on what others have told you can or cannot do. Based on who you decided you could never be because you’re not smart enough, strong enough, brave enough or tall enough.
What is predictable if you operate from a place of fear when setting goals?
For Demi, it created a STOP. While she understood that there was no right or wrong, and that she can do what serves her best, she acknowledge that her fear built barriers to success. She stopped herself from dreaming more. She stopped herself from even thinking of anything other than what she knew she had already done and would be easy for her to replicate.
I asked Demi if there were any other places to choose from?
She decided there is place called Possibility. But she also affirmed her fear of possibility. Her fear of success. Her fear of being great.
I asked her what the next 12 months would look like if she looked at her life through the lens of possibility. That place where anything could happen. Where there is a chance that wishes and dreams can come true. That place that produces results when you have the support structure to go for your dreams. The place where you step out in faith and take action.
She looked at me and said, “That just seems reckless.”
And she told me more. She talked about how her parents had always warned her not to dream too big. Not to set lofty goals in case they didn’t work; that way she wouldn’t be disappointed. All the well-intentioned, really great people in her life had taught her how to play it safe. How to stay within her comfort zone. How to always believe that dreams were mere fantasies. That you could only be as good as you’ve experienced in the past. She knew how to set her limits. She knew what she could and couldn’t do. She had been reminded of this all her life.
And it protected her from bring reckless. Or did it? Now, she wasn’t so sure. All of a sudden, that safe cocoon felt like a prison.
After a few reflections, she went home to decide whether she would create her life from the past or from possibility. In the end she chose possibility, and she created a plan to open her own business. She is thriving through the journey; Sometimes scared, sometimes exhilarated, and sometimes wishing she could just forget everything and stay at her cushy multiple-six-figures job.
What she knows for sure is that. She gets to choose. She gets to decide. And she gets to take action. Only if she chooses to. She knows what she wants, and she knows she can create anything is she takes off the limits.
Once she shifted her beliefs about what was possible for her life, she empowered herself to get rid of the judgments, and self-sabotaging behavior. She also finally realized that she had been looking at her life for the past 20 years through the lens of “I Can’t.” She had used that lens to repeatedly filter out anything else that told her she could. That told her she CAN. She had conintiously reinforced all the things she believed she lacked, and unconsciously deleted anything to the contrary. For 20 years.
As she looked at her life through her new filters, she steadily took a new look at her relationships; her finances; her spirituality; and her career to see where else these limiting beliefs could be showing up.
And she found a few.
All the good men are taken. I can only make six figures or more if I work for a large law firm. I am not creative enough to be a business owner. I don’t have what it takes. I can’t even keep plants alive. How am I ever going to get married and have kids.
Demi realized one powerful thing. That she is the expert on her life. That when you step into possibility to shift one thing in your life, it could change all the other areas of your life. And the best part? You transform your life from the inside out.
And transformation? Yes, that happens every day, along the way to your goals. You can’t help it.
Because a powerful and inspiring vision, sustainable action and exponential external results require us to exponentially grow on the inside. To grow into the greatness we were born to be. To create the best version of ourselves and live more than just a generic version of the good life.
And no, its not all unicorns and butterflies. But Demi is growing into the person she wants to be. She’s courageously set out to create the life of her dreams with knees knocking, teeth chattering, and on most days scared to pieces that she may actually pee on her herself from a mixture of fear and excitement.
And will there be moments in the future with opportunities to feel stressed out, angry and burnt out? Probably. But in those moments, she’s empowered herself to choose who she will be.
What about you? Yes, you. Don’t be shy!
What results do you want in your life in the next 12 months?
Are you who you want to be? Are you willing to grow and work through the things that are holding you back? Where do you see your career/business, relationships and other key areas of your life in 6 to 12 months?
What is possible?
What do you choose?
When will today be the best time to choose?
What support do you need to begin your journey?……….. Maybe with knees knocking, teeth chattering, and ………
Ready to create your dream career or business in 90 Days?
My “90-Days to My Dream Career or Business” Group is now open: Learn more and apply at http://www.lifecoachforwomen.com. Or visit http://www.lifecoachforwomen.com/group-coaching-for-women-with-mimi-dabo.
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Want to connect? Email me at mimidabo@lifecoachforwomen to share your story, your perspective, your comments or your questions.
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Peace and Love,
Your Life and Business Coach
MiMi Dabo, MBA, CPA, JD
I work with women business owners, life coaches and entrepreneurs to create soul-happy 6-figure+ businesses, while working less hours, and living the life of their dreams.
Ready to create or grow a 6-figure+ business that gives you the FLEXIBILITY to have fun, work less and make a difference so that you can ENJOY more FREEDOM, TIME, MONEY, ABUNDANCE and IMPACT?
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