For just over 10 years, I worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in service to America’s Veterans and Active Duty Service Members. I excelled in this career and moved up quickly into an administrative role. While this career was rewarding at the start, more and more, I found myself hunting for something greater that moved beyond reacting to problems to creating something proactively. I was frustrated with the bureaucratic tape blocking progress, I worried each day what new “fire” would need attention, I doubted that systemic problems would change, feared that I would not have the answers to the many problems brought to me on a daily basis and I even found myself putting what I value most “on the back burner” until I could find more time or energy to deal with it. I began to dread the end of a weekend knowing that I would need to prepare for doing it all without the needed passion or energy to make it all happen.
I then realized that what I had been telling myself was “just a phase” in my career was actually burnout peeking its ugly head into my every day. I was not happy or finding much satisfaction in the minor or even major successes in my job and could not see an easy way to regain the energy or drive needed to do the job well. I know I was not alone in this process as many in this system were feeling the weight of doing more with less support. For me, though, I came to realize that my holding blind loyalty to something outside of myself was quite disappointing and at times demoralizing. I began to look for more, something that does not focus on problems, diagnoses or deficits. What did I find? Coaching came to the top of the list as it views people as whole beings with inherent gifts, strengths and greatness that, with some support, can be accessed and flourish. I knew then and I know now that I have so much more to offer than what could be placed in any specific “box” defined by an organization and I began to transition from therapist to coach.
Then, after much reflection, training, certifications and my own personal coaching sessions, I decided to leave my position and go out on my own. I faced many anxieties and fears taking this risk leading me to learn I could rely on what I have within me, my values and my passion to help others to move into this new world. I know some of you reading this can relate to the journey because if you are working in a professional setting, own a small business, work from home, are retired or whatever your current context is; burnout, ignoring your values and passions or putting yourself last on the list will affect us all. If you find yourself in a similar situation or find yourself compelled to live a bigger life, set up a time to speak; I would love to help you on your journey!