Don’t you love the eager answers kids give when you ask the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?“. You get responses like, “When I grow up I want to be… a FIREMAN! an ACTRESS! a DOLPHIN TRAINER! an ASTRONAUT! a NURSE! a HAIRDRESSER!” the list goes on.
I remember when I was asked this, I always thought it was a rhetorical question. “When I grow up a want to be a…. a…… aaa…… (ok is this where you finish my sentence and tell me what I want to be when I grow up)”. I had no idea what I wanted to be. I thought “can’t we just focus on the task at hand of recess, big lunch and how many times I can swing around the monkey bars?”. I guess I just wasn’t career oriented.
What was your response to this question when you were five years old? Would it be something wild and imaginative that you didn’t know how you were going to get there, but you knew in your heart of hearts that you were going to be the best at that profession or life calling this world has ever seen? Were you going to follow your hearts desire? Like most people in my grade, maybe you wanted to be the best marine biologist, just so you could have the closest relationship to every dolphin under the deep blue sea and get to hug every single one and name them all flipper? Did you follow that dream?
Today, if I were to ask you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” what would you say? Would you say that you wanted to do the same thing today as you did when you were five?
If you answered “no” to the question above, what changed?
“Well Amber I chose the profession I am in because ‘it pays this bills’, or ‘my life didn’t turn out the way I planned'”. When you go to work each and every day do you smile on the inside and know this is what you were created to do? I know I was a late bloomer when it came to knowing what I wanted to do, but when I figured it out I knew I had to change from where I was in my current career and for the first time in my life start pursuing my passion.
When I finished school, I went straight into full time office administration. The reason why I did this? Because the year before I finished school a relative sat me down at Christmas dinner and told me that “there’s good money in being a Personal Assistant”. Her words to me were, “You just have to work your way up from office admin and in a few years you will be on really good money as a PA”. I thought, “Really? Good money you say? Oh well, I never really knew what I wanted to do so I may as well give it a shot”. Consequently I set about working my way up the ranks to become a PA. Within a few short years I had not only reached my goal, I had exceeded it becoming an Executive Assistant.
I say all this, because although I made it to the goal that was put out before me, did I enjoy the journey and where I ended up? Did I smile on the inside knowing ‘This is what I am made to do!’?
My answer to this… Most certainly not! I was a good personal assistant, though I stood in awe of those who did an even better job. For me however, it didn’t make me feel as though I was using all my strengths and putting my God given talents into practice. To be honest I got so much joy when I got to speak to people one-on-one in the lunch room. I loved coaching them through their struggles and triumphs. Or when I was out with girlfriends and I got to encourage them to build strong foundations and personal goals, and move forward instead of backwards. Surely this kind of thing couldn’t be a career, could it?
When I realised that my passion was speaking to people and life coaching, I didn’t drop everything and pursue it with all my heart immediately. I actually baulked at the idea. I thought “as if I could just talk to people and encourage them. I couldn’t possibly leave the security of a well paying job and just step out and do that. How do I know that is genuinely what I am passionate about?” This was me facing the fear of stepping out and doing something about it! This fear is so natural when you start to face the unknown. Like a five year old though I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to be the best life coach this world has ever seen!
In my next post, I will go through some practical steps on how to over come excuses and get you thinking about how you can embark on your own journey to pursue your passion. Are you ready to start doing what you love!?