Let me explain. This is not the first time those words have crossed my mind. They were a regular fixture there in my past professional life, which was also jam-packed with deadlines, stress, and worry over projects that I wasn't passionate about and priorities that weren't mine. But the internal and external pressure to get everything done, even when it was clearly an endless geyser of work, was so intense that I often heard myself moaning and groaning and whining for just a bit more time in the day.
Ironically, all I really wanted to do was go home, play with my kids, talk with my husband, and read a book (or, on the really bad days, a trashy celebrity magazine). But instead, I'd push the limits of my work day and arrive just in the nick of time to pick up two hungry and tired children from day care. Then, of course, I'd spend the evenings dealing with melt-downs and distracted by all that awaited me when I returned to work in the morning.
Yes...in those days, the idea that the work week wasn't long enough was fueled by anxiousness and marked by the resentment that I would inevitably end up disappointing someone - my boss, my team, my family, or (most commonly) myself. The work week not being long enough was a metaphor for me not being good enough - as a mother, wife, leader, manager, employee, partner, person, blah, blah, blah. Just simply not enough. Period.
But today, when those familiar words came to mind, I was struck by just how much my life has changed in the year-and-a-half since I officially left my "day job" in non-profit management to focus on my coaching
business full-time. Because this time, the crushing tightness in my chest that used to accompany those words was replaced by a feeling of lightness and wonder. I was actually eager to go back to work. Even though I'd enjoyed a lovely weekend with my family, I was looking forward to getting back to business, not because I was anticipating the crunch of an impending deadline or the fear of letting someone down but because I actually take pleasure in what I do. I LOVE what I do. I love making a difference in people's lives. I love putting my ideas, strengths, gifts, creativity, and experiences toward something I believe in whole-heartedly. I love constantly growing and learning about things that fascinate me. And I love being able to decide for myself what the priorities are and use my own intention to follow them.
I'm fully aware that part of this transformation is an occupational perk. As a life and business coach, I do A LOT of reading and research on things like happiness, fulfillment, focus, efficiency, and human relationships so that I can use this knowledge and insight to help my clients in their own transformations. So I get the benefit of being able to use all that good stuff in my own life as well. And, although sometimes are easier than others to actually apply that good stuff, the combination of a firmer foundation, a deep connection with what I do, and the backup of my own coach and support system are excellent tools to help me get back on the road. And I'm sure enjoying the ride.
Coaching Questions: What thoughts and feelings come up for you at the beginning of your work week? At the end? What dynamics or factors are behind them? What are you content with and what would you like to change?
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