It’s no secret that I fell back into a bit of a rut recently. In my last blog, Anxiety, Anger, and Acceptance: The Expectation Hangover of 2020, I shared that soon after ridding myself of the anxiety that overcame me when this pandemic hit, a different emotion took its place. Anger.
Not only had I been quick to trigger, I had also lost motivation in both my dream job and day job. Yikes! I also found out that no amount of workouts can offset binge eating on the sofa. Double yikes!
Covid stuff really hit me hard.
I had worried for a long time about whether or not my company would face layoffs or if my parents would be ok. There were so many “what ifs” that plagued my mind. Then when the worry subsided, anger swooped in to take its place. I experienced a massive expectation hangover that was leading to an extra pissy mood.
My only solution was that I needed to accept it.
Accepting it was actually really helpful. It felt like I gave myself permission to just be… To be whatever I was in that moment – To feel whatever I was feeling in that moment. It was the permission I needed and it helped me breathe a sigh of relief.
But it also led to another problem.
I want to be a life coach.
It’s something I’ve wanted for years now and only recently did I start to pursue it. But after years of dreaming about it, and only months of working towards it, Covid-19 happened and nearly stopped me dead in my tracks.
There I was, Little Miss Grouch, angry about being angry and working hard to accept it.
It felt like I got to this place pretty easily too. I mean, yes, this is the first pandemic any one of us have ever seen so it’s a big deal. But factually speaking, nothing major has happened to me. I didn’t feel like my bitchy mood or even high anxiety was warranted so I started to question this new path I was on.
I wondered, “How could I possibly be a good life coach when I feel this way? How could I possibly be of service to others when I can’t even be of service to myself? If it was so easy to knock me off course, maybe I’m not supposed to be a life coach after all.”
These thoughts hurt.
Thinking that maybe I wasn’t actually meant to be a life coach really weighed heavily on me. It hurt to think that life coaching wasn’t something I was actually equipped to do. Being in this rut, unable to get unstuck, proved that theory.
I wanted to cancel all upcoming sessions.
In this state of mind, that seemed like the right thing to do. But if I did that, I’d be leaving behind people who entrusted me to help them better themselves. It also felt like I’d be throwing in the towel on my dreams far too soon.
I decided to just try a session.
A couple weeks into this covid quarantine, I was set to have my first call with an existing client. While I wanted to cancel the session, I didn’t have the heart to do that – not to her or myself. So I took the call and made a promise that I would just do the best I could. I didn’t need to change the world or her life in one call, all I needed to do was show up and do my best.
So I showed up. I took the call. I did my best.
To my surprise, the call went great! She ended it thanking me as she always does. I ended it thanking her too. I was almost in disbelief that I was able to be helpful to someone given the headspace I was in. I was in even more disbelief that immediately after the call, I felt different.
I felt like myself again.
Yes, life coaches typically help their clients, but in that call, my client helped me too. I provided her with the space to open up, share freely, and come up with solutions to problems that were really challenging.
But she gave me space too. She gave me space to use and share the gifts and talents inherently built within me – gifts and talents I almost forgot I had until that call.
After our session, it was clear to me.
Using your gifts and talents to be of service is the way out [of the rut].
I’d heard it time and time again. Every influential person I follow was saying something similar, but somehow, I missed the message entirely.
They were saying, “Do good for your community”, “Show up in a way that only you can”, “Use your gifts and talents to be of service”.
Yet, every time I heard this message, I’d roll my eyes and scour the web for something else that would guide me out of my rut. I don’t know what I was looking for but that message didn’t seem to be it.
Why did I ignore this for so long?!
Looking back on it now, it’s so obvious.
When you know what gifts you were born with and what talents you’ve worked to refine, you feel good about yourself. But when you pair those gifts and talents with helping someone else, you feel better than good. You feel great! And it’s impossible to stay in your rut while feeling great.
Right now, so many people are looking for a way out of their own proverbial ruts.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re in a rut of your own. You might be stuck in a state of anger and frustration or one of sadness and despair. Maybe, like me, you’re riding a roller coaster of up and down days you can’t seem to get a grasp of. Either way, we’re all facing challenges during this time.
What I want for you to take away from this blog is the message that there is a way out. You can get unstuck while being stuck at home. And that way out may not be immediately appealing to you. But it works. I know it does because I’m proof of that.
I went from being angry and questioning my path to totally aligned and excited again in just a single hour. I found myself in darkness looking for a light to find my way out. When I used my gifts and talents to be a light for someone else, I found that I didn’t need a light. I was the light.
So I’m here to encourage you.
Use what you have at your disposal as a force for good. Do what you can, with what you have, to provide something to others. You don’t need much.
If you’re a gifted comedian, share jokes to make others laugh. If you’ve got a good voice or can play an instrument well, sing and play outside. Let others hear the music only you can create. If you’re like me and all you can offer up is a safe space to explore and release, then hop on a call and be a support system for that friend that’s having a hard day.
Every time you use your gifts and talents to help someone else, it’s like unlocking shackles one at a time. Until eventually, you’re free.
If you don’t know what your gifts or talents are, this is the perfect time to explore that! I feel so passionately about this that I’m more than willing to help you discover them. Do I need to mention again what my gifts and talents are?!
And please, whether you take this unsolicited advice or not, keep in mind that you don’t have to be out of the dark in order to be a light for someone else. You are the light!
So tell me, how do you plan to use the gifts and talents unique to you to help during this time? How have you used them in the past! I want to hear! Your words and ideas might be the thing that helps others realize their own potential to help.