It was my 19th year of corporate life. Almost two decades filled with new challenges, opportunities, and successes. Then, in the Spring of 2008, I was “invited” to leave my VP position due to a corporate restructure. Devastated? Not exactly…
The truth is – what a conflicting experience this was!
Part of me, the ego, was upset at how this came without any warning. My ego had lots of “evidence” how I was “wronged”.
And yet, I was also very excited. It’s one thing to dream about the possibility of being flung out of my comfort zone – quite another to go through the experience of it. The undercurrent of my feelings was coming to surface – that for some time I had known that there was another way I was meant to contribute to this planet, and, when you’re in the “golden handcuffs” and work for a company that had treated you well for so many years, it’s damn hard to walk away.
Thank you Universe for giving me a shove out the door at that moment!
With a generous exit package, I had the luxury of carefully deciding what was next. I knew I wanted an adventure, something to take me out of my normal routine, and a place to clear my head to determine next steps. I decided to embark on a “soul journey”, and the place that was perfect for me to do that was Sedona, with its incredible red rocks.
The intent was to be in solitude in nature, and get clear on what my next contribution could be.
While hiking the beauty of the red rock canyons, I actually got clear fairly quickly – I wanted to coach leaders. I loved leading others in my corporate job, and felt that there was value that I could offer. And, I didn’t have a clue how any of that was going to happen!
Devil’s Bridge, Sedona, AZ
Towards the end of the week, I hiked a trail called “Devil’s Bridge”.
I was awed by the beauty, and by the unique rock formation that created a natural bridge between sets of rocks. While sitting in silence, appreciating the scenery, the metaphor hit me; I wanted to be a bridge for leaders to be the best they can be.
Intuitively, this felt right, and very exciting. And, I still didn’t have any idea how that was going to happen…
Upon coming home, I researched how to move my vision forward, but one question kept de-railing me, “How do I do I pay for all this?” (while starting a new business in a new industry). That question begat other “how” questions, which only served to keep me stuck, and further separate me from what I said I wanted.
After roughly a year of pumping the proverbial gas and brake at the same time, and predictably not going anywhere – I finally had my “aha” moment.
The “how” questions were simply my fear talking, and they weren’t leading me any closer to my vision.
So, I committed to change the question to, “What did I really, really want?”
Ahh, focusing on the thing I wanted versus the things I didn’t want (like scarcity) felt much better. And, the minute I changed the question, and put all my energy towards my desire, things shifted radically.
Within a week, people in the coaching industry “randomly” started entering my life. I revisited my research approach and targeted it to find the best coach training program in the industry.
Within two months, I was signed up for an intense, year-long, ICF accredited coach training program and hired my own coach. The velocity of my vision was finally in gear!
That was eight years ago. And that constituted my “mid-life” career crises, which pushed me to reinvent myself. Every day, I’m grateful that I did!
With a full practice and an excellent team of coaches supporting leaders in organizations for my company, the vision created way back hiking those red rocks has been realized and expanded upon. It’s been a journey of fulfillment and living my purpose.
And, I’m often reminded of a simple truth; when getting clear on a vision, focusing on “what” you want, and taking steps toward it, is infinitely more powerful than staying stuck in the worry of “how” it’s all going to work out.
To all whom resonate with my story – Happy Reinventing!