Having been brought up in three different foster homes, I have learned the art of being a “chameleon” which means that I can “fit in” no matter what the circumstances.
For the longest time, I valued this trait, in fact I prided myself on being this way. I could literally be dropped into any new environment and figure out the name of the game and play it very well.
In regards to work, this same ability tripped me up.
I just didn’t know, not having had any family to encourage me or focus me on developing any particular talents, what I was good for. I worked for money. I worked to survive and put food on the table, pay my rent and pay for anything else that needed to be paid for.
The upside of this is that I never felt like I had to measure up to anyone’s expectations except my own. However at times this was very intense as I felt that I never measured up to my own expectations.
Learning Through Experience
In college I began working at a restaurant to pay for school, and then went onto a psychiatric hospital because the pay was amazing and I could work the evening shift and go to school during the day. I went back to waitressing and bartending because I wanted to make more money to pay for my dance lessons. I had discovered that I truly loved dancing when in college.
I loved school and the challenge of doing it all, but my grades suffered. In my early thirties, I had one year left to finish my BA and went back to school, studying psychology, dance and business. My father-in-law at the time suggested to consider studying business, as a “good skill to have”. To please him and because I also had the business bug, I went ahead and studied business.
Somewhere between high school and Cegep (the equivalent of an associate degree in Quebec) I chose to attend the first massage school in Montreal because I figured that I could make money more independently. At that point in time, massage was popular yet not considered a therapeutic modality (call it “specials”).
I quit after two weeks.
I first discovered life coaching while finishing my BA. I attended the first coaching training that ever offered by the coaches training institute on the East Coast and the rest is history. I knew that I had connected to something deeply meaningful.
So far so good in the story right?
I happened to “think” back then that it wasn’t enough.. I wasn’t enough.
Despite the fact that I was truly doing well coming out of coaching school with very little experience in building businesses, I was maintaining between 7 and 10 clients at the time per week yet I “thought” that I wasn’t doing well.
When a corporate training job was offered to me, I accepted. It was a great challenge, not having had any experience as a corporate trainer nor banker, yet for the first six months I felt like I was “dying” inside. The banking environment was not especially the kind of environment I had imagined myself working in.
I was looking forward to the challenge of learning; I climbed the learning curve really fast, which at the end made me proud of my accomplishments, yet I got lost!
I learned to “fit in” all over again. I learned to do things because they were “acceptable” not because I truly enjoyed them. After four years I “knew” that I was done!
Two years after I got laid off. I couldn’t quit. I had become afraid and cynical. I was cynical of coaches in practice for themselves. I thought that it was the “best kept secret” that coaching schools were spitting out graduates like crazy yet very few people were making a true living as a coach.
When I got laid off I stepped into the business that my husband and I had started two years prior without too much thinking. There were a series of events that happened that made my brain go on “strike”.
I didn’t asked myself “what do I want” or “what do I need”, instead I asked “what is needed” and when our front desk manager quit 3 months after I got laid off, I stepped in. I “knew” within six months that it wasn’t what I wanted yet couldn’t pull myself out. I had been trained at an early age, to ask that question “what is needed” versus “what do I need/want”?
Fast forward four years later, I was dealing with Epstein Bar and another two years later, I was dealing with breast cancer which is when I truly decided to take a deeper look at what my life was truly about. I wanted to shine my light and realized that I had dimmed it to “fit in”.
In her second book, Anita Moorjani, a stage 4 lymphoma cancer survivor, who spent 30 hours in a coma, explains that when we go in the “other realm” we are received and surrounded by unconditional love because of who we are, NOT what we do or didn’t do. We realize that who we are is truly unique and that we are on the earth to shine our light not to suffer or pay our dues.
We are here to live in joy, to claim our passion and live with purpose, that at the core we are all connected and deeply loved and that the more we do what we love, the more our light shines!
Are You Dimming Your Light To “Fit In“?
So.. take a look..
Where in your life do you do things to “fit in”?
Where have you given up on trusting yourself to do the things you love and expect that something of value will come out of it?
Where have you adapted your behavior to please others and lost yourself in the process?
Take a look at the places/people in your life with whom you feel drained by or obligated to, where you lose your personal power. These are the places where you may have dimmed your light!
It is never too late to re-ignite your spark. |Focus on what you love and do more of that!
Until we speak again.. May you be filled with love!