In a time of great upheaval and added space for reflection, (or as most of us have been doing lately, endlessly scrolling Instagram and Facebook for insights, news, information or distraction from the world of COVID-19), we are faced with the opportunity to continue waiting for business-as-usual to return, or we can simply declare the old way of doing things dead and start looking for greener pastures to live a life filled with passion and joy.
Of course, the responsibilities of day-to-day life don’t disappear — bills still need to be paid, children still need to be fed (or taught at home, as so many of you are now doing), and reality can’t just be ignored.
But what if I told you that even with all of this uncertainty and confusion you could finally start to take your secret dreams from their hiding spot and give them some space in the limelight.
What was it you said you wanted to be when you were a kid, but your parents told you would never make you enough money? Or which new hobby did you dream of taking up, but decided against it for fear that your friends would laugh at you or think it was silly?
Truth be told, when I was a kid I told everyone I met I wanted to be a cat when I grew up. Yes, that’s right. A cat.
I’m not saying this is my time to don whiskers and grow fur. But other dreams and passions of mine that I deemed too silly, illogical, or downright impossible have started to bubble to the surface again, asking me why it was, exactly, that I’d chosen to ignore them.
The more I sit down at my desk with extra time on my hands (the life of a consultant is fickle, after all, and the more corporate clients who go into panic-mode, the more my practice suffers — if I choose to view time and space for creation as suffering,) the more I find myself expressing myself through writing — a hobby I had often left to “the experts”.
Even as I sit here today writing this very sentence I ask myself, “just who are these experts who decided that only they should write and not I?”
The Experts, if you haven’t guessed it yet, were my own self-limiting beliefs telling me that someone else was better, more prepared, more professional, or overall smarter / more talented / had more to say / etc than I did. “The Experts” converged in my mind, conspiring to keep me away from my writing lest I be met with disappointment or faced with the scrutiny of family, friends, or peers who would ask that very same question, “Why is Amanda writing — she’s not an expert!”
Well, I am living proof here to tell you “F*ck the experts and get to work!”
Whatever dreams or pet projects or passions you’ve pushed aside, believing that your day-to-day obligations far outweighed your ability (or right!) to pursue your calling can now be called forth. For these times are meant for going inward, digging deep within yourselves to ask the tough questions like, “Am I happy with the way I’ve been leading my life?” “What impact am I meant to have in the world?” “What should I really be doing with my life?”
There is no right or wrong way to exist in a crisis. And there is no right or wrong way to “return to normal”. So why not take the time to capitalize on the chaos and give yourself the space to connect with what it is your heart tells you to do.
Maybe it’s a new career. Maybe it’s a new way of living. Maybe it’s exploring a new hobby.
Whatever it is, I (and the universe) give you full permission to start exploring.
Amanda Parker, Leadership Coach & Founder of The Courage Factory, works with leaders, like you, who want to find more fulfillment and purpose in their life and work.
Through coaching with Amanda, you will clarify your purpose & values, and start to feel confident in your ability to inspire, engage, and lead others.
Schedule a 20-min discovery call to see how coaching with Amanda can help you become a more purposeful and brilliant leader today.