One year ago this month, I took a leap of faith because I believed in myself, and left my corporate job.
It’s not that I didn’t necessarily like the work I was doing. But I had decided that I wanted a change in my life, and that my current position wasn’t the one for me, for many reasons. Even today I still like and often miss the work I was doing and was extremely good at it - I was a top-level administrative management professional. I was just at the wrong job, working for the wrong person. And it was coming across in the work I was doing - or rather the work I wasn’t doing - and I knew it had to leave.
Looking back, it was such a bad fit that it’s almost like something or some force put me there for a reason, and it was a final little push to get me to make the decision to branch out.
I had already planned on leaving by the end of the year after I finished school and when I had actually launched my business, and had been saving and making sacrifices for a while, but it came to a critical point on multiple levels last March and I left.
And wow, was that a scary day.
I gave up my steady income and was relying solely on myself and the belief that I had what it took to do this. And I can now say that I was right.
But I also knew that I would have to change the way I had been living, working, networking, creating - basically, everything in my life had to change.
Included, and at the top of that, was my own mindset. I had, overnight, changed myself from an employee into a business owner, and that was going to require a new set of thoughts, skills, disciplines, executions, and processes.
And I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
It was going to be solely up to me to get it done. Although the change was of a powerful magnitude, I was up to the challenge because I was an agent of change, someone who had learned through the years to say “yes” and figure it out on my way.
Believe it or not, I wasn’t always like that. I used to hide behind my perfectionism (and I’m still recovering from it) as a result of my childhood, and only took on tasks I already knew how to do. When I did find myself in a situation that didn’t turn out like I expected, I would place blame or feel shame whenever I didn’t meet the expectations of others - or even my own - so I usually avoided anything new or unfamiliar.
What was my catalyst for change?
Becoming a mother.
I was suddenly in charge of this tiny human. I had never done it before, but it just felt right. Every day I would come up against something new and no one got hurt, and as he got older he still loved and wanted to be with me, and that feeling started to spill over into other parts of my life, particularly the professional side.
I started volunteering for new projects, or made process improvements where needed without being asked, and started speaking up in meetings. To my surprise, I wasn’t only heard and appreciated, but became a sought-out and respected member of the team and company, and became known as the queen of GSD! I was also the unofficial counselor, trainer, and coach for others who wanted to expand themselves and make change.
And it started me on my path to abundance.
This slow process is what ultimately what lead me to becoming an executive coach. It’s interesting where life takes you when just believe in yourself, bet on yourself, and take charge of your own path.
My current work leads me to meet people every week who desire change in their lives, but for some reason they almost expect it to just happen, like some magical force will take control and make things happen.
It doesn’t work like that.
A popular topic today, and a process and practice I firmly believe in, is manifesting and opening yourself up to the universe to accept all it is ready to send your way. In addition, the Law of Attraction states that the magnetic power of the Universe draws similar energies together, so people think that if you act a certain way, or desire a certain thing, it will appear in your life. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen - because it does - but there is one important element in the process that is sometimes missing: action on your part.
Manifesting and sending your desires into the Universe is so much more than just making a wish. It requires intent, a plan, and action.
You can spend all day visualizing, seeing your perfect new world, a desired new reality. You can see what you want and the path to get there. But if you don’t take action, it remains a picture in your mind.
And let me make this very clear and state this up front: If you want to make change in your life, you alone are responsible for activating that change.
Let me pause right here for a little disclaimer and clarification on who I am and where my beliefs are. While I do not classify myself as an atheist - because I am a highly spiritual person - I believe that for all forces in your life, positive or negative, you - and you alone - are the sole force behind it. If you need or are expecting me to say that you should put yourself and your life into the hands of an almighty power to bring you success, I’m not for you. I may even cause you distress and anger because that’s just not how I see things.
I prefer to take credit for my successes as I worked my butt off for them. No one has given me anything. My gifts and talents are mine and I view them a result of my genetics, how my brain is wired, and years of hard work, and not bestowed upon me by anyone or anything else.
My failures are also mine. That means that I am free to choose, and although sometimes I choose wrong, I have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes - and boy, have there been some doozies. But they put me on the path to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Now that I’ve clarified that for you, and you’re hopefully still with me and eager to find a life of abundance and put it on the path you desire, let’s keep going.
When it comes to leading a happier, more fulfilling life, I constantly see long lists (31 things to do, 51 things to change, 101 ideas to implement, etc.), about things to do or stop doing to lead a happier life. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated, and we need to remember that we all have different priorities, and one is never better over the other.
There are 3 things I’ve learned about creating a life of abundance. It has taken me half a lifetime to get here, and to narrow them down:
1. Think positively about yourself and your goals. I love the example using a car. Say you fall in love with the idea of getting and having a green car. Suddenly, every where you look, everywhere you go, you see green cars. Or you want to get married or start a family…everyone around you suddenly is engaged or pregnant.
This is very simplified, but that’s how the mind works. Where you focus your attention is where your energy flows. When you dwell on what you don’t have, or how upset or disappointed you are in something or a situation, that’s what you see. That’s where you live. But if you focus on what you want, and the positive things you want to enter your life, you start thinking of ways to get it. No, it probably won’t happen overnight, but you will notice that your decisions, choices, and actions will start to naturally guide you to your goal.
And what about this…do you let yourself worry about making a mistake, or a wrong choice? Do you think you should wait until the timing is “right”? Both are a waste of energy. Fear is a dream killer, and there is never is a “right” time - except for NOW. Any day can be your Day 1 - make it today. And the best part - you can change your mind, your path, or your decision, at any time! Wow, what a novel idea! The only thing written in stone is your headstone - so make your plan and execute. You’ll do great!
2. Live within your means. This isn’t just about finances - although that is a very important aspect of this point. I am also talking about all your priorities to live the life you desire - your sleep, your self-care, your schedule and time you have to spend on certain tasks and commitments, and your routines.
Take back your time, and if it doesn’t support your goals, let it go. And you are sure to have conflicting goals. You have work, families, children, friends, side hustles, vacations…so only you (and your partner or spouse, of course) can decide if your plans and actions are required. If your friends or family want you to do something, but you’re so darned tired you just want to sleep, or retreat into your cave, or go the gym, you have every right to make that choice. If you want to choose one thing over something else, and someone gives you grief for it, know that their attitude is about them, not you.
3. And finally - and this is a big one - live your life according to your priorities, not someone else’s. I even mean your partner or spouse. Hopefully you two are on the same page and support each other so it’s not an issue, but at the end of the day, you deserve to live an authentic life. We get one shot at this (at least on a conscious level, but that’s another discussion for another day). If you choose to live a life that doesn’t make sense to anyone else, or others think it’s too risky, or silly, or a waste of time - so what? They have their own lives to live.
But, you are responsible for taking action on what you desire.
Do you feel your comfort zone? Step outside. How far you step is up to you - but the more steps you take, the closer you’ll get to experiencing the positive effects. But the number of steps is up to you.
If you want to be healthier, make better choices. Change your diet, exercise, and stop putting toxins into and onto your body.
If you desire more money, you need to make a budget and stick to it, stop spending on things you don’t really need, and possibly make plans to change careers or jobs.
If you want a different career or job, it’s not just going to appear. Find out what you need to do to make the change and start taking steps. If you need more or different education, get it. Enroll now. If you need to expand your network and just meet the right people, clean up your LinkedIn profile (or create one), start showing up where your desired contacts are - events, seminars, wherever.
If you need something different out of a relationship - your partner, your friendship, your boss - you need to take the initiative and start that conversation. People aren’t mind-readers and they have their own things they are dealing with and planning. They’re either too afraid to start the conversation themselves, don’t know how to start it, don’t want to start it because they’re afraid of change, or they may not even know there is an issue.
If there is any change you desire in your life, the only person responsible for getting it done is YOU.
Some just desire to be happier in general. If that’s the case, then you’re just a decision away. There is no outside force that will magically make you happier. No one else can do it for you. Start by removing toxic thoughts and possibly people from your life, or at least remove your permission from allowing them to affect your life so strongly.
In fact, here is an exercise to implement into your daily routine.
When you wake up, sit up, close your eyes, and take 3 slow, deep breaths. Picture how you want your day to go and say to yourself, “Today, I choose to be happy. Today will be a good day.” Do something similar when you go to bed at night. If needed, do it again at lunch. Do it every day for a week, with an open mind an open heart, and you’ll start to feel a shift.
I made the choice to create a life I can look back on and not wonder “what if.” I am working on creating a lifestyle and wellness empire that I have been dreaming of for years. It’s going very well so far, pretty much on original schedule, but if it does falter or even fail - I have no stress about it. Because I know that I will have given it my heart, my soul, my all, and everything that I’ve got. I have nothing but positive thoughts, and know that it’s success is up to ME and no one else.
The only question for you is - are you ready to commit to creating your own life of abundance?