Last month I was laid off and instead of it being a disappointment I found myself relieved and excited. Why, especially in these tough economic times? When you’re not doing what you want to be doing, even the safety of a job isn’t enough to quiet the calling.
Are you called to do something other than what you are doing? Sometimes we experience a crack in our contentment when we are not answering our calling. Our contentment may look like a well paying job doing what you think you want to do. It may be a relationship that’s satisfying.
It could be a financial level that provides in ways you appreciate. However, sometimes even in the satisfaction of contentment we are not fully acknowledging what we would much rather be doing because it may risk the balance of our comfort.
The crack in my contentment occurred years ago, but I kept patching the opening with positions that came close but didn’t dive into the deep waters of my calling. For years I have wanted to coach, teach and write. And over the years I have been an HR manager, trainer, owner of two businesses that focused on development (one of people, the other of classic homes), recruiter, counselor, volunteer coach, blog writer and annual holiday newsletter writer. All appropriate positions, all temporary patches.
Where are you patching the crack(s) in your contentment? Career? Relationship? Family? Money? How easy it is to ignore the cracks with justification of someday after I pay off this debt, someday after the kids leave, someday I’ll talk to my husband about… Someday, I’ll do what I want to do, but I need to take care of XYZ before I start. How easy it is to swim in a gradually warming pot of water knowing someday it’s going to boil, but gosh it sure feels nice and cozy now.
None of the patch-positions I did truly touched the core of what I wanted to do. The crack turned into a huge gaping hole after a trip to a third world country this fall and seeing a friend in action doing what she loves while making a remarkable difference for others at the same time.
Upon returning I knew exactly what was going on – I was being called to step up to the plate NOW and play full out with my talents and gifts. It was confronting while at the same time a huge relief that my calling was so urgently needing to be expressed that I was finally taking action to answer it. I asked the universe for some kind of sign that would signify the best time to step up to the plate and a week later I was laid off. That’s a perfect sign.
Confrontation can be a motivator inspiring one into action or it can be a roadblock miring one in confusion and intimidation. Fortunately, you get to choose how you handle the inspiration and the roadblocks. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Doubts, concerns, fears and the unknown are powerful obstacles that prohibit us from moving forward in the directions we want. Distinctions, action, communication and a good sense of humor are great sticks of dynamite to blow these obstacles apart and continue to move forward.
Although my coaching business is new I have no doubts it will be a success. I am not without my fears and concerns though, it will be some time before revenue is generated and currently I’m strategizing on ways that will bridge the financial gap between now and then. I wonder if the money I’m putting towards marketing will pay off, or the time I’m spending writing curriculum for a workshop will actually have interested and paying students. These fears and concerns are valid and although daunting, they inspire me into action.
In the past I would have not been so confident moving forward. I feared success and disappointing others, ultimately disappointing myself. What has made a lasting difference, one where I now see roadblocks as opportunities, no longer fearing success or disappointment, is having a coach. Coaches provide us with guidance through questions and inquiry and most importantly hold us accountable for the goals we declare we want to achieve. A coach is someone who, more often than not, is more committed to you having a fulfilled life than you are and they stand by until you are committed to having that for yourself. It’s like having a rock solid belay partner in the climb of success.
My community and networks all had a similar response when I told them I was launching a coaching firm. “It’s about time you answered your calling!” It surprised me, but then again, they’ve seen it coming far longer than I did.
Kris Parfitt is the head coach for Career Leadership Coaching, a coaching firm focusing on blowing up your roadblocks to success and guiding you in creating a fulfilling future to live into. Check out http://www.careerleadershipcoaching.com/ for more details. (note: website currently under construction)
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