I didn’t sleep last night and lay in bed thinking about my personal goals and values. Since moving back to South Africa three months ago I have poured my heart and soul into my coaching work and it has been an incredible experience so far. I’ve learned a huge amount in a short time and have met some people who have reinforced how important this work is since so many people are battling addiction and searching for personal empowerment. But at the same time there is resistance to change and people still cling firmly to the traditional treatment and recovery models in South Africa. So I’ve had to actively pursue alternative employment, because as much as I believe in what I am doing, passion and dreams don’t pay the rent.
It’s been oh so humbling to put myself at the mercy of the job market. And it’s also been a little soul destroying. As a language teacher I have years of excellent experience and have literally been able to work where I chose. Not so much the case when I’m looking at other areas that will utilise my skills and experience. I am committed to the employment search, but at the same time I am having to give up a good chunk of my personal business plans (for the time being). Life’s like that – give and take, ebb and flow – but it doesn’t mean that while I have been in this priority shift it hasn’t been challenging. Pragmatism is essential in this case, because my anti-motivation is the thought of having to leave home and work abroad. So I am prepared to do whatever it takes to stay here even if it means a cold, hard dose of nine to five work in the meantime while I slowly develop and build my coaching business.
There have been plenty of exciting developments, but they’re not at the money-making stage yet and one cannot live on promise and hope. So as I lay there last night trying to get my head around the idea, thinking of how this all fits in with my core values which include personal relationships, learning & education and coaching & training, I experienced some strong emotional reactions. The longer sleep eluded me the more dramatic the situation in my head became and the more upset I got. But as the sun rose this morning and I had the opportunity to talk it through with the person whose insight, wisdom and intelligence always helps me find my answers, I understood that this journey was never going to be an easy one. That I would face challenges along the way and that instead of throwing a spectacular self-pity party, the best thing to do was reconcile what I have to do in order to be able to do what I want to.
That instead of looking at having to approach my dream from a different direction, I needed to look at the idea of a new job as a learning and educational opportunity, which is definitely in line with my values. That I should take the opportunity as one that has been put in my path to help me develop further relationships, both personal and professional, and that perhaps the job was the universe’s way of showing me a slightly different way of getting where I want to be. So I did spend a good part of my day shifting my perspective so that I could look at this fork in the road from a different angle and come to a place of calm peace regarding this particular situation.
The more I live the work that I am doing in my personal and professional life, the stronger I become. Of course having someone in my life who is able to hold a safe place for me to experience my emotions and then take my hand while I find an alternative way of getting to where I want to be is something I am grateful for every single day. The thing is that there are times when I am faced with tricky situations that I have to be very vigilant about slipping back into my [addict] default position which was victim!! Instead of lamenting that my course is not a clear and unencumbered one, I need to look at the new opportunities that this little detour presents and see it as an unexpected adventure along the road that I have chosen to walk. Taking some time today to just shift my focus slightly and how I could align the situation with my personal values has left me feeling empowered rather than helpless. It happens constantly that we need to reevaluate where we are and where we are going and by doing this simple activity and coaching myself today, I have come to terms with where I am and what I need to do to move forward from here without feeling stripped of my personal power.
And in closing I always like to remember this quote “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
‘Til next time