“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo Da Vinci

The Monday I found myself sitting in the parking lot at my job, talking myself off the ledge and walking into the pressure cooker that had become my work life, I realized I needed to make a change.

I couldn’t believe that I’d let myself end up doing something that I found so unstimulating, yet so very stressful. My lust for life and passion for my work was dwindling fast. I’m a natural enthusiast – and an enthusiast without enthusiasm for the work that takes up 85% of her day is not a happy camper!

As I explained to a friend, during one of my now all too common venting sessions, I felt like a caged bird! Like a bird of prey in a flight cage- the kind they use for rehab that allows the bird to fly in a safe area until he gains strength enough to be released. I felt like I was constantly reaching the end of my tether or banging into the barriers of the cage. I wanted to soar but was being dragged back to earth with a thud! My ideas were met by blank stares, “yes/buts” and roadblocks.

So when a series of serendipitous events converged during the course of one winter, I followed them! Last week was the fifth anniversary of walking out of my job as someone’s employee to see my first client as a solopreneur!

It took me about a year to strategize what I was going to do. At that point in my career it was useful to frame my career decision in terms of personal values and freedom. Freedom in terms of what it offers ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom to’ do. Different careers offer different balances of each , and our personal requirements for each kind of freedom evolve over time.

I determined that the option that made sense for me in terms of freedom TO create and implement my own ideas and freedom FROM stifling micromanagement was to fly solo. Founding my own boutique life and career coaching business gives me free rein to spend my energy as I please, and be as creative as I see fit.

Although I don’t do regrets, some advice I would give my younger self, and DO give my clients, is that your brains are too good to waste on doing something you don’t love or to do it in an environment that holds you down.You’ll only excel at things that you love. So, if you don’t want to be average, you have to pursue the things that really engage you. Keep striving until you get it right!

 

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