The night before my first coaching session with my now coach and mentor the wonderful Sinead Millard, I had a very scary thought; what if I wake up at retirement age and wonder “was that it”? This thought epitomises the feeling of being stuck for me. It was also one of my biggest pushes to becoming unstuck.
So, why did I feel so stuck?
I could list a number of reasons like; I wasn’t growing within my career or I was bored with what I was doing. However, if I’m honest it was simply that I was obsessing about where I was and where I thought I should be in terms of career satisfaction. The ideal in my head and the reality were at odds. As Byron Katie puts it; I was “arguing with reality”. No wonder I felt stuck!
It didn’t matter how many courses I did, how many different projects I worked on or how much experience I gained from various business areas, I still felt stuck. I didn’t see my work as worthwhile and would often compare myself to my two sisters who are nurses or to friends who are teachers or to anyone who did what I would call ‘work that matters’.
When I met my coach, things changed for me quite quickly. Suddenly I could see a world of opportunities for growth. I didn’t have any detail on it at first but the thought of what could be had me excited from the start.
I then started to view the corporate world that I had once seen as a barrier to growth in a very different light. I started to look at who I could help, what I could contribute to and where my talents could be best used.
I became more conscious, more confident, more self-aware and more fearless. Where I once had allowed myself to feel restricted and limited as to how I could contribute or what I could change, I now feel empowered and enabled – even if the contribution made is small and only affects a few.
So what changed?
It started from that first coaching session. For me there was an inner shift, a lightbulb moment. To put it simply, I figured out that I am ‘enough’. Knowing that I am enough – just the way I am, with just the level of qualifications, experience and knowledge that I have, has been the one most powerful lesson I’ve learned.
I am an individual and only I can bring that something special that only I have to any discussion, project or role. This is what makes all the difference. Where I am in my life is enough and where I am in my career is enough. I’m not meant to be anywhere else at this time. I have acceptance of what is, rather than arguing with it.
The truth is, all work can matter. How much it matters just depends on the level of energy and conscious effort we put into it.
If you’re feeling stuck either within your career or any other area of life, take comfort in the fact that it can and will change. My stuck and your stuck are more than likely going to be very different, but engaging with a coach is where growth started for me.
Thanks, Catriona x.