Several weeks ago I was dealing with the sudden death of a very close friend.
I was having a bit of an existential crisis and having many ‘What is the point?’ moments. Why was I bothering running a business? Why was I bothering doing a PhD? What purpose did any of this serve?
It all felt a bit meaningless and it was made worse by the fact that I was in grief and hurting.
The thing is, over the last three years, since I’ve had my business and been doing a PhD I have had an inner conflict bubbling away beneath the surface about what direction I am going to take. Will it be the academic route or the coaching route?
I have studied criminology for many years and have run my own coaching business for three. And I would bounce back from one side to the other like a game of mental ping pong, one week I’d be siding with academia and the next it would be coaching. I have always secretly had a vision of combining them, but I never really knew if this was going to be possible and so I’d just say ‘yeah, well maybe’, but in doing so, not really commit to any.
The closer I’ve come to finishing my PhD the more I’ve felt the pressure of needing to decide what I will do afterwards. To be honest, the academic route has always felt like the easier, safer, option and while I have wanted to create an organisation that provided success coaching to entrepreneurs and creatives in the community as well as workshops and research based in prisons I have been incredibly scared about what that would actually mean in terms of, well, doing it.
It’s alright to have visions, dreams and ideas about what we want, but doing them is a completely different story. That means being seen. That means taking risks. That means backing ourselves 100% and investing time, money and energy into things when we don’t know if they will ‘work’.
So, when my close friend passed away in January I headed back to New Zealand to spend some time with my family and while I was there, on a whim I just started writing a new business plan of my business and where I actually wanted it to go in 5 years. I do this often, but this time I said to myself ‘If fear didn’t exist, what would it look like?’ ‘If there was no opportunity to fail, what would it look like?’ And the result was something bigger and more impressive than I knew was possible. It involved rebranding from Holistic Coaching to This Simple Space, working as a success coach and a research consultant and basically owning that shit!
The thing is though, that I hadn’t actually decided if I was going to do it.
I was still umming and ahhhhing about academia vs This Simple Space and not committing to either. And it was seriously doing my head in. I was spending so much time in my mind trying to work out the pros and cons of each, trying to write up the mental tallies of each one, trying to debate each side’s merit that I felt exhausted.
It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I was journaling and doing some questions outlined by Tim Ferris in the 4 Hour Work week that I realised I was putting off a life changing decision, that I consider to be my purpose, because of fear. I said to myself, if the worst case scenario were to happen and I created This Simple Space and a year down the track it had turned to custard, I could still apply for research and lecturing positions.
In that moment I decided.
I decided to commit to This Simple Space’s vision.
I went onto facebook and set up a business page.
I shared it with my friends, inviting them to support me in this venture.
I opened myself up to the Universe and said ‘God, show me what to do. I trust you.’
And the next day I got an email in my inbox from a client inquiring about coaching.
The following Monday she signed up and we just had her first session and she sent me a message after saying
‘Feeling very grounded and energetic now, so pleased I found you for this ride!’
This is what happens when you decide.
This is what happens when you commit to yourself.
This is what happens when you trust that you can do it.
Energy flows, clients come to you, the Universe provides.
I truly hope that this gives someone who may be experiencing inner conflict what is needed to take the plunge, decide and say yes to you.
It is so worth it.
Is this something you relate to? I would love for you to share in the comments.