“Thanks so much for speaking with me today. I hope you have a great day!”
I had just ended a call with an attorney. In fact, she was the 19th woman I had spoken to since starting my market research on working specifically with women litigators and other professionals who had little to no time for work-life balance.
These are women who were tied up with feelings of anxiety, woke up with knots in their stomach every morning, and occasionally day dreamed of living purpose-driven lives.
For most of them, life was going exactly according to their plans.
They made great money. Enjoyed thriving romantic relationships. On the outside, it looked like they had it all.
Yet they were still unhappy. They still felt like something was missing. They were bored, unfulfilled, empty, and just plain stuck. They knew there was more for them in life, but couldn’t quite articulate it.
They sought clarity around their own life visions.
Most importantly, they had never asked themselves what they want.
It was a new feeling and awareness for me. During my entire litigation career, I knew for sure that I wanted to become a life coach and run my own fashion business. The thing that kept me stuck for 15 years was my ego, inner critic and my limiting beliefs about fear and doubt. Not clarity around what I wanted.
For these law firm associates, the question “What do you want” was foreign to them. Deceptively easy, right? But this is one of the most difficult questions clients who are stuck in a rut grapple with. For attorneys, and other professionals or creative entrepreneurs, the zeal and goal to keep running circles around the illusionary ladder of success comes at a cost.
What about you? What is that version of success costing you?
Consider what makes your soul truly happy. Are you doing more or less of it?
MiMi Photo – Photographer: Tina Krohn
One way to gain clarity around your vision is to spend some time reflecting on what you truly want. That thing that you have never told anyone. The things that you’re even scared to tell yourself because they are so bold and audacious, or just completely incongruent with who you are currently being in all the areas of your life. Consider your passions, your core values, your purpose, your dreams, your soul.
Tip: Reflect on what you want, not on what you don’t want; and give yourself permission to dream big.
After all, you are the expert on your life. The only one who truly knows what you want to create for yourself.
When asked what these attorneys loved or enjoyed the most about practicing law, the most popular answer was that the work was “intellectually stimulating.” For 90% of the group, practicing law was not enjoyable. It was just something they had decided they should be doing because they spent the time in law school, earned their spot at a prestigious law firm, and by golly, they deserved to be there, at any cost.
Well, if you’re feeling like you understand these women, and you’re all soul sisters because you know exactly where they’re coming from, then ask yourself, “What really matters to me in life?”
Spend some more time reflecting on what truly does matter to you. Not what should matter or what others have designated as the thing/things that should matter to you. If you come up against your ever-faithful inner critic telling you should care what others think, then remind yourself you are the expert on your life.
Follow up with “What would bring more joy and happiness into my life?”
Tip: Reflect on what you want. Not what will make you feel less guilty for wanting. Lean into your creative space and ponder ideas you never thought possible.
Consider what your vision for your life would be from a transformational perspective. Paint a picture for yourself of what your vision would look like, feel like, taste like, sound like.
If you’re up for it, close your eyes and visualize yourself in the moment.
What will these things/feelings mean in your life?
What if creating a vision for your personal life, your work/business, your marriage, your spiritual life, your financial goals, or your friendships is actually some much needed self-care?
What if knowing your vision allows you to show up fully and pour the best of yourself into who are being, and what you do everyday?
What if creating your own roadmap gives you the freedom to choose?
What will be possible for you?
What areas of your life, if any, will feel or look different? How?
Who or what will you choose to be? How will who you are being influence what you create?
Be very specific.
If you knew you would not fail, how big would you dream? What impact would you want to make in your personal life, your community, your city, your country, the world?
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
For those of you who say you don’t know the answers to any of these questions, if you did know or if you were going to take a guess, what would the answer be?
What do you have to lose if you take the time to create your vision? What do you have to gain? What is possible if you choose you for even just half an hour? Even if no one else does.
So go ahead, close your eyes and dream a little. And if that ever-faithful inner critic shows up to tell you you’re too busy for this, Just ask yourself two quick questions,
“What is in the way of me giving myself the gift of being everything I was created to be?”
“What do I want?”
Now that you know what you want to create, is everything you’re planning on doing this week aligned with the dreams and goals you have for your life?
Or are those things just fillers to occupy your time until you decide that you deserve the opportunity to do what truly lights you up, and makes your soul happy?
Who gets to choose for you?
Want to share your visioning experience? Email [email protected]