A Little Girl’s Dream
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a writer (of Nancy Drew style mysteries). It felt like my special gift, the one thing that my teachers and parents recognized and applauded. I won several awards early on and it felt good to receive recognition for my writing ability. As I got older, my dream evolved into writing self-help books, speaking and teaching. But my dream began to take on a sour note as I came across more people who were gifted writers. Rather than being inspired by their aptitude, I became less convinced that my “special gift” was writing.
When I went to college to pursue a journalism degree, I started receiving constructive feedback unlike anything I had experienced before. Suddenly I no longer felt special or gifted. I didn’t have the capacity to take it in and instead felt criticized. I decided that if I wasn’t a great writer, I didn’t want to even try. With that decision made, just after graduation, writing was officially put on the backburner of my life. The problem was the little nagging voice that kept saying “What if I’m supposed to be a writer?”
Fast forward 20 years
I was sitting in a cardiologist’s office, tapping my foot, waiting hopefully for two minutes of his time. I looked around the room and saw three other reps waiting for the same doctor. It was going to be a long wait. I turned to look out the window and started reflecting on my career. As a cardiovascular pharmaceutical rep I was making excellent money at an up-and-coming company, was a President’s Club winner for outstanding sales and was up for a promotion, but the more successful I became, the less interested I felt. And as I thought about it, I realized I’d been here before. This was my pattern: I lost interest in my work, just as I was attaining success.
I didn’t feel like there was anyone I could talk to about this problem, especially since my life looked really good from the outside. Who would understand? I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, owned a home, was in a secure and loving relationship, had financial success and recognition, but I couldn’t seem to connect to a feeling of meaning. I started feeling like my days had been reduced to running around begging for time from people who were already too busy. And even if I took the promotion, I’d just be managing others who were running around begging for time. As I looked out the window, I thought to myself, “Is this all there is?”
Of course, that question was immediately followed by another: “What if I’m supposed to be a writer?” That’s when I started to cry.
That moment marked a turning point in my life–I finally realized that until I aligned with my purpose and passion, that sense of deeper meaning I desired would continue to elude me. I began soul-searching and knew in my heart that writing was a part of the picture, and always would be, but I also wanted to help others align with their passion and purpose–I wanted to write and coach others. I went back to school to study psychology, became a certified coach, hired a coach of my own and began writing again, all while continuing to work as a pharmaceutical rep. And when my company laid off three quarters of the sales force to prepare for acquisition, I leapt into the unknown to live my dream.
Today, I love what I do and I feel deeply aligned with my purpose. I am happier and more fulfilled than ever. I derive a strong sense of meaning from my work–both writing and coaching. I use my gift of writing by writing journal and magazine articles, content for a mobile coaching app and blogging. I use my gift of coaching to help people like you finally go after the dream that (thankfully) won’t die.
What would become available to you if you finally said YES! to your Deepest Yes™?