For most of my adult life, the fear of what people thought of me kept me trapped. It had prevented me from reaching my full potential and from enjoying life to it’s fullest.
Almost 2 years ago to the day James and I set out on a journey together that would forever change the direction of my life. It was called The Better Life Project and it has been one of the most incredible things to have ever happened to me.
But it almost never happened!
Two years ago the feeling that I was no longer living my purpose or satisfied with life was a pretty well known fact to me. My full time job no longer gave my life any meaning. I was anxious and stressed. The Better Life Project was my escape from the 9- 5 and the hours that I spent creating and coaching felt like I was living some sort of fairy tale, and I needed more of this.
The decision to quit my full time and secure job to set out on this new – and better life – journey afforded me a lot of relief, I began to feel full on life again. I was slowly taking steps outside of my comfort zone to build the BLP and every step was like a breath of fresh air that made my like sparkly again.
But I couldn’t bring myself to take full ownership over what I knew I wanted for fear of what people would think of me.
I knew in my heart that what laid ahead of me was running a life coaching business but I was so afraid of others peoples would think.
What would my former colleagues say when I said I was leaving a stable and secure job to become a “life coach”?
What would my family think when I told them that I am working “to help others be happy”.
I did not allow myself to fully be present with, and accept my decision.
I buried the BLP in the back of my mind and ferociously searched for a solution. I began studying PhD programmes because, at the time, this felt like a better out or exit strategy. I justified this by convincing myself that I would pick an area that was related to the BLP. I made several inquiries until one programme suggested I make an application.
I put in weeks of research and eventually submitted my application. I convinced myself that this was what I needed to do. This felt less scary in my mind. PhD good, life coach bad.
I felt like I was waiting forever to hear back about the programme and I was devastated to hear that I wasn’t accepted.
That day, I experienced for the very first time the extent to which the fear of what other people think affects my life.
I felt like rubbish, I was stunned and terrified. I was afraid of showing people who I truly was for fear they would judge me. My true self was bursting to break out of her cage but I kept shoving her back in because I was too scared.
I went home that day and had to ask myself some tough questions!
Who was I?
What did I want to be remembered for?
What is my passion and how can I share that with the world?
The answers were all neatly packaged with in the vision and mission that myself and James created for The Better Life Project.
I knew then that the decision to apply for a PhD programme was driven in one part by my fear and another part by my ego. I would have travelled a short distance to go from one cage to the next.
I had to take action!
When I confronted my fears I was taking the first step towards realising my potential. I had to get out of my own way so I could have what I knew I wanted.
I began to tell people about my life coaching business and I was overwhelmed by their love and support. I realised that the most difficult part of my journey so far would inspire others to let go of their fears as well, I was not alone!
The people I feared telling the most were the people that cared the least – they were too busy worrying and thinking about what others thought of them to notice me! And I was reminded that the people that did care love me unconditionally.
I’d by lying if I said I no longer thought of what others think of me, but for the most part I can push past that to do the things I know I need to do.
I can do this because I understand that my purpose in life is to live my passion and share that with others.
The fear of what other people thought of me was a poisonous dagger, but I was the one holing it and pointing it at myself the entire time. No one else!
Freeing myself of this fear and allowing myself to accept and express my true self has been the best decision of my life.
I am proud of who I am.
I am a life coach.