I’ve written and re-written this blog post almost 5 times, and it doesn’t feel right. I’m also writing it the day I am releasing it. So, I’m going to try one last time, to write it from beginning to end and just hit publish. Let’s see what surfaces…
We’ve all heard of or had a change of heart, but what about those times where we make a decision and later learn something crucial? What about those times where we grow and learn more about what we really want? Was our first decision a mistake, misinformed or just plain lying?
If you know me by now, you’ll know that authenticity, integrity and truth are values I hold very dear to me. My values are so strong that I just can’t seem to take a false step without one of them poking at me. And lately, they’ve been poking me hard.
I’ve come to decision about my professional life, but for some reason I feel nothing but guilty for it. This topic has been laying heavy, and I mean heavy on my heart for more than six months now. Coming back to authenticity, I feel like I’ve been walking a fine line between what I talk about in my coaching practice, and the truth about the direction I myself want to go professionally. And the truth is…
I want to return to traditional work
If you’re not surprised, don’t worry, I’m surprised enough for the both of us. It’s still hard to believe my heart wants this path.
If you’re new to all things KD and You, let’s take a quick detour through memory lane.
After I left my last corporate job I found myself presented with two very different paths. I could quickly find another job to continue as I had, or I could do something completely foreign – I could leave the corporate world entirely and go full time with the coaching practice I had set up, KD and You Coaching Inc. Two guesses which option I chose!
Myself and KD and You have grown in ways I hadn’t expected. When I made the decision to be a business owner, I had envisioned a path that would have me never see the inside of an office building again. I thought that’s what I wanted.
The trouble with my need for authenticity is that sometimes the person I want to be perceived as, and what’s true don’t line up. Scratch that, they never line up! Brené Brown (my ultimate girl crush) writes about this topic at length and my incongruences left me in a predicament:
to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
~ Brené Brown
So here I am, cultivating the courage to admit that I, a business owner and coach, and someone who coaches women to lean into their passions and create businesses they love… no longer wants to be a business owner (at least full time). Talk about mistaken identity, talk about confusion.
As I mentioned, I’ve grow in ways I hadn’t expected and in the time that I’ve been full-time with KD and You, I wish I could say I built an empire, but I didn’t. What I built over the last eighteen months has been vastly different.
I have built relationships.
I’ve often joked that in my life I can have one of two things. I can have (to quote my dear coach Signy Wilson) an Epic Relationship, or I can have an Epic Career, but God-forbid I have both at the same time. And again, if you’re following along, you know I am finally in what feels and looks like an Epic Relationship.
But somewhere in my brain I’ve convinced myself that it would be too much ‘epic-ness’ to have everything I’ve ever wanted at once. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps, but the evidence continues to stack heavily in favour of my theory.
Are you starting to see why I’ve spent so much time in tumult? The guilt of not building a grandiose coaching empire, and guilt for wanting more than solopreneurship swallowed me like a thick fog that followed me for months. The guilt manifested itself in so many ways, but the most noticeable was in fact, depression. When asked how my day went, I could only reply, and usually accompanied by tears:
‘I didn’t add enough value to the world today’
For the most part, if I wasn’t working directly with a client, I felt useless. I have so much love to see people walk in their own truths, and yet I struggled to walk in mine. I just felt like an imposter in my own life, and I feared that telling anyone about how I felt would risk my integrity, my brand and ultimately my business. The incongruences and double standards loomed higher than they ever had, and I knew I had to speak out before I burst.
How could I change the course of my business, and my relationship
with traditional work without sounding like a fraud?
When the internal guilt storm became too much to bear, my only option was open truth. I needed to pull a Brene, be courageous + vulnerable, and hope that my readers would understand my new direction. When I feel like my back is against the wall, vulnerability is my automatic response, and part of being vulnerable is being real about where I am in my own journey. Hence this convoluted post…
If you’re still reading, thank you. My heart has grown to know and understand so many more things about myself in the last couple years. Things that I could only learn through this experience, such as:
✯ I emotionally struggle when I do not get to work with people frequently
✯ I miss the social side and comradery of the office environment
✯ I am anxious when my income is unpredictable
✯ I require structure with heavy doses of flexibility to feel fulfilled at work
✯ I crave to be in partnership with colleagues, working towards a common goal
Like I said, I wish I built a coaching empire, but I didn’t. But I did learn that I myself, do not need to walk the exact path of my clients to be an effective coach. Coaching is not the same as mentorship, and the way I work in the world doesn’t necessarily have to match my clients.
As a coach, all I have to be is present, clued in to silent cues and insatiably curious. As a coach, my experience as a business owner is wholly irrelevant, unless I am actively choosing to mentor clients (which is a totally different contract and scenario).
I digress… mostly because this is unedited. But the last thing I’ve learned is that I have an unwavering + insatiable craving to add more value to the world than I am currently. Maybe that means traditional work, maybe that means consulting, or maybe it means a second complimentary career to coaching.
Onwards, upwards, always climbing.
Let’s be clear though, I’m not giving up KD and You or my coaching practice, but I am looking for more. More work, more ways to be part of this world in meaningful ways.
There’s so much more to discuss, like the self-coaching tools I used to work through this uncomfortable process, but I’ll save that for next time… stay tuned! Until then, my throat is dry with nervousness, but the heavy fog is lifting as I turn my efforts to find more ways to add value to this world we live in.