Don’t wait any longer. Creating a life you want to live starts today. With Baby Steps.
Motherhood is like a circus act. We juggle 101 balls in the air, whilst taming a roaring toddler. We rarely have a free moment to ourselves. Even as I write this, my four children are running through the house with musical toys that blink and sing!
For years I yearned to find a career I was passionate about. However, I was perpetually busy with my motherly duties: buying last-minute birthday presents for my children’s classmates, delivering wellies left at home on Forest School day, waiting on hold to schedule yet another flu shot at the GP, searching for that sparkly angel costume for the nativity play, and driving around to school pick-ups. There was never time to devise a business plan, let alone contemplate creating a compelling future for myself.
As a mum of four, I found myself in a perpetual state of exhaustion mixed with overwhelm and procrastination. I hoped for that ideal time in my life when all the stars would magically align and I would be able to create a career that fulfilled my purpose. “I’ll brainstorm in the new year, or once my children start nursery school, or after the next move,” I’d convince myself. But between moving eight times within fourteen years throughout the USA, England and Germany, and having two more children (twins), that “perfect” moment never revealed itself to me. And I continued to ignore that little voice inside that told me I was capable of more.
But somewhere between changing twenty nappies a day, feeding infant twins around the clock, and practically sleepwalking up to the gates of my older son and daughter’s schools at pick-up, I had a lightbulb moment. I realized there was never going to be a perfect, organized, chaos-free time to start my own business. Life was always going be crazy, with or without children, with or without moves. If I wanted to change my life and have a career that I was passionate about, I had to quit waiting, procrastinating, and making excuses for myself. I had to stop feeling overwhelmed at the daunting prospect of creating a new career for myself. I needed to take action immediately.
So, I took action. I began writing a list of my strengths and weaknesses. I read a few personal development books and constructing my ideal work schedule. And, most importantly, in between cooking dinner, folding laundry and dashing between football, golf, tennis and swimming practices, I found the time to get quiet and listen to my innermost desires. This is where the magic happened and I rediscovered a hidden dream of mine. Many moons ago, I had wanted to become a life coach, but my career took off in a different direction when I moved to London.
It didn’t take long before I was researching coaching courses throughout the USA and Europe. I began contacting dozens of coaches and asked them where they had studied, I spoke with course directors and asked them questions about their programs, I wrote out pros and cons lists, until I eventually decided on a course well-suited for me. And then I did the unforeseeable: I applied, and subsequently enrolled, in a coaching course.
I remember panicking, Oh. My. Goodness. I have one-year old twins and two primary school-aged children and I just enrolled in a year-long course. A tsunami of fear and anxiety washed over my entire body. I had no idea who was going to be able to watch my four children while I studied and commuted to my course, or how I would ever have enough energy or brainwaves capable to read in-depth coaching case studies and academic texts. How on earth was I going to coach clients, compose coherent essays and continue my current role as a mum of four? I had just taken a leap of faith and had absolutely NO solutions at all.
But the great news was that I didn’t need to know how to accomplish every single step. I just needed to be willing to take the first babystep. And then the next logical step, and the one thereafter. Taking that leap of faith, committing myself to the ultimate goal, and trusting that the next step would appear, regardless of knowing the exact outcome, was key.
After enrolling, I found a nursery school for my twins, I signed my older two up to attend after-school clubs and I devised a schedule sharing the school drop-off routines with my husband. I kept my coaching books in the car and read (sometimes just a few pages) while waiting for my children at pick-up. Without exception, I studied each morning the twins attended nursery school. And when I felt overwhelmed and needed a good laugh, I sought the support of my friends and family. With each baby step I took, I created momentum and subsequently more opportunities, more resources and more people who could help me. And before long, my path to success began slowly unfolding before my eyes.
Was my life more chaotic than before? Yes. Did the family consume more spaghetti than humanly possible in one year? Indeed. Did I forget to send birthday gifts to nieces and nephews? Nod. Was I slow on replying to emails? Yup. But amid all that “organized” chaos, I was doing something for me. And in the process, I slowly became a happier, more energetic (ok, more caffeinated) version of myself and consequently, a better mother, wife and friend.
As a professional life, career, and business coach I now have the privilege of enabling clients to find careers they are passionate about. I run uplifting Life Clubs coaching workshops which inspire people to get more out of life at my office in Alresford. I empower clients in both their personal and professional lives to make lasting change. With just a few baby steps, each one propelling me closer to my dream, I created a future I had always dreamed of.
Since Rome was not built in one day, I must remember, as I regularly remind my clients, that my path to success will continue to unfold if I simply commit to taking one baby step each day. So, what baby step will you take today?
A Few Tips!
Tip #1: Don’t wait for the stars to perfectly align. Take just one baby step closer to your dream/goal: write a few paragraphs of your next book, start taking those French lessons, join the fitness center, open a savings account and research the holiday of your dreams.
Tip #2: Be willing to trust and commit to your goal without seeing how the path in front of you will unfold.
Tip #3: Seek support. From a friend, teacher, coach or colleague.
Tip #4: Have a “whatever it takes” mentality.
Tip #5: Give yourself permission to put yourself first.
Tip #6: Believe in yourself. You can do it.
Tip #7: BREATHE! Its free and easy. If you don’t do any of the other tips, take time to breathe in and out each day. No matter how busy you are, you have a few minutes to breathe deeply. It will change your biochemistry and put you in a new state, I promise!
Are you ready to make change happen or get more out of life? If so, please join my monthly Life Clubs coaching workshops starting this January! The topic this January is “Finding your purpose.” www.lifeclubs.co.uk
For information on scheduling a one-to-one coaching session with me, please email: Coach@AlexandraTerhalle.com