I remember leaving my office and taking the short walk to my car, my shoulders slumped, my mind overwhelmed, hungry from not taking time to eat, but jittery from trying to replace lunch with caffeine and sugar to get myself through, and deciding that I couldn’t continue in that job. The decision was heart-breaking because I loved the work, my colleagues and the students I taught. Feeling I had to carry everything on my own, I couldn’t see any other way out.
I spoke to my coach. She asked me what else I had tried and what else was left to try. When met with my assessment of how any attempt on my part was likely to be met by my management, she gently asked me to think about how I could reconnect with the reasons I had loved the job, and find my strength to speak out. I said I’d try but that I didn’t expect any change. That was fine, she said, at least I would know for sure rather than second-guessing what other people would say or do.
It worked. Being honest felt possible because I was at the point where I had nothing to lose and was ready to leave anyway. My manager surprised me by being brilliant about listening to how I felt, addressing the concerns that he could immediately, and by apologising for not having realised that I felt so bad. It opened the door to a much more open dialogue between us, where my feelings as well as my performance are considered and where I feel valued and secure. I did reduce my hours so that I could pursue my other passion, my coaching, but with an open heart and full support.
I am able to bring my spirit of adventure into both my teaching and my coaching, and having a portfolio career now means that I can include all of the things that I love into my working week. It feels like an adventure too, because it’s something I’ve never tried before. Trying new things helps me to stay curious, and this is a key element to the way that I coach. I am always curious about how a client came to be the way that they are and believe what they do, and about how I can help them to use all of their natural skills and abilities to improve their lives.
What opportunities do you have for adventure in your work or in your business? What small adventure could you add to your week this week?
This week I felt that I needed a mini-adventure so I camped out in the garden with my lovely dog, Poppy. Even a small adventure, tucked in against the cold air, filled my soul with a sense of fun and adventure and I feel topped up again now and ready to serve my coaching clients at full capacity.
Adventure is an act of self-love that causes us to look carefully at what we need and how we can provide those things for ourselves.
Sometimes, simply looking at a problem with a sense of adventure changes how you see it. Give it a go and let me know what results you get!