It’s mind-blowing if you think about it. Only within 6 months, I turned around my whole life. All these years before I couldn’t take the plunge and quit with everything that was annoying me. How is it possible to get this far?
The tipping point in my life was a summer vacation we so much needed. Getting off the workaholic ride and re-think what path we are on. Is this how we imagine it to go on? That pace? That lifestyle? What’s the perspective? Pushing the break was the only viable option for us and it was a good choice. (Fun-fact you might wanna know, Tim and I used to work in the same company for the past 6 years. So it was a bold decision for the both of us to cut these strings for good.)
So we spent soul searching, evaluating, and daydreaming of how we could spend our future (together).
The location was perfect. In the middle of the Atlantic ocean, no Wifi, no distractions. Only the big blue sea, a piece of paper, and our thoughts. On that 14-day trip, we started for the first time ever to share our hopes and dreams for our individual futures. We talked through nights and made mind maps all day. It was a very intense time, but a very fruitful one.
Now, I want to share with you how we made our way through that process. Looking back it was a quite structured step-by-step approach. Although it wasn’t intended like this. That’s one of the beauties of life, that you’ll get the big picture once you are at the right point.
Step 1: Check The Past
If you want to know where you are going you’ve got to check out where you’re coming from. We started out by drawing our life circle. It’s a cake diagram where you fragment your past, present, and future into relatable junks. We came across this idea when we saw one infographic of Elon Musk’s life. It was crazy to see the time that had already passed including its achievements, and the blank space for the future to come. This inspired us to structure our past in phases of development. We continued to cluster also our future into milestones what we want to secure for the time to come.
It somehow looked like this:
• For every 10 years of our lives, we defined a “motto”.
• Next, to it, we wrote down the 5 biggest learnings of that phase.
• Plus what we are thankful for or what we wanted to let go/forgive.
Bonus quest: Once you structured your life into 5-10 year junks, define a goal for each chapter. A direction of what you want to aim for in that time.
Step 2: Model Your Role Models
Next up we listed the 30 closest people in our surrounding (family, friends, colleagues). We did this because of the saying “you are the sum of the (5) closest people around you”.
• For each person we went through their character traits, what do they stand for, what do we admire about them. For example, are they “doers”, persistent, disciplined.
• What areas of improvement do they already master, rhetoric, image, resilience, compassion, impact, health?
• One more thought was important for us: Which niche do they represent? What’s their no 1 field of expertise?
Based on this intense groundwork we craved out the main areas we want to improve in. For these areas, we picked the best role models out of our network to help us grow there. And if there is an area where we don’t have a mentor close by we mapped steps to take to expand in that direction.
Then we wrote to these people and asked for their biggest life advice. What they’ve learned along their way. We collected these thoughts and matched them with the areas we wanted to get more clarity in.
In our case the broader categories were:
MYSELF • OTHERS • CAREER • EDUCATION
For each life lesson, we then formulated an action step of how we want to foster it in our life.
The two-week process stopped here, the rest came up in the following months. This is also where we stopped to elaborate together and I worked alone. But the chronology went like this:
Step 3: Dig Into Your Talents
I did intense research and evaluation of my skills and talents. So many personality test and assessments came and went, so many of those didn’t help. This whole phase stretched over 3–4 months, but I’m convinced it could’ve been more efficient have I known the right questions to ask myself. (I’m thinking about setting up a refined/merged model that I’d like to offer you here. If this is of interest to you, please drop me an email!)
Step by step by self-confidence in my skills and interests built up and I soon felt ready to escape my “victim” role. Who knew that the situation in our office was about to get super uncomfortable for me. It was just what I needed in that moment of time to trust in my faith and strengths to take that life-altering decision.
Step 4: Take A Brave Step
In my case, it leads to me quitting my job. But in your case, it might lead to establishing a side business or taking on that long desired adventure.
Once you open up to your inner strength and the trust in the goodness of the universe, amazing things can happen. Back then I couldn’t believe that thought. But today, every day it makes more sense. If you open up your heart and clear out space for something now, be damn sure that something amazing will happen.
Enjoy that moment, you’ll get hooked on that feeling of freedom and belonging at the same time!
If you want to, let’s connect deeper in my private community for female leaders, click here:
I’m looking forward to your experiences — Sharing thoughts doubles their effect!
With lots of love and appreciation,