When I decided to quit my regular job and go into coaching full time - all of the sudden I had so much extra time. You see, for roughly 3.5 years I was juggling so many things; I had been doing coaching on the side while still working my regular 9-5 job. I worked 8 hours per day at my job, + 2 hours driving to and from my job (in Los Angeles traffic) AND working with coaching clients in the evenings and on the weekends. I still kept faithfully going to the gym either before or after work as well as having a relationship with my partner and a social life. Oh and I wrote a book during that time as well!
>> Needless to say… I always felt I had NO TIME.
I was exhausted at the end of every week - obviously.
But I kept it up thinking I can do it ALL. After all, there have been plenty of other people that have started a side business while working another job. It’s been done before - I told myself I just have to keep my eye on the prize of one day working for ME. It worked for awhile… then things started to slip. I wasn’t focused at my 9-5 job. My performance suffered. Relationships with co-workers and management became very stressful. I was being called out on NOT doing my job and fell back to defending the work I had done. I was struggling…
I knew I longed to just be coaching. I longed to do fulfilling work that made an impact in the world. I wanted to make my own hours.
I wanted to hone my skills and learn all I could about how to be the best at what I loved doing.
I want to do it all. I should be able to do it all! <<
I kept trying to figure out how to make time for everything that’s important? My day job was important - I wanted to do it because it paid the majority of my bills and gave me financial security. Yet it left me feeling empty, bored and frustrated… I felt like I was wasting precious time and energy on something that I just wasn’t passionate about. I wanted to do coaching because I realized it was truly my life’s work that filled me up like no other - yet it couldn’t sustain my lifestyle.
I was talking with a friend and fellow coach about it and she asked me:
“What are you willing to give up to have the life you keep saying that you want?”
I thought well, I guess I need to learn to stop saying yes to doing the things I don’t want to do. Maybe I could look at my schedule and cut out grocery shopping or house cleaning (both things I don’t want to do), thinking that may free up more time for coaching… I shared this with my friend and she said, “No, it’s much harder than that… You need to start saying no to the things you DO want to do… with the understanding that you only have 1 life and you don’t have time and energy for EVERYTHING.”
Her response was a gigantic slap in my face. It never occurred to me to cut out things I DID want to do. But the thing is, there are MANY things I want to do… and there will always be too many.
Then I realized… she was right, I can’t do it all.
And you know what? You can’t do it all. Nobody can. Let’s accept it. The problem is, we all keep stuffing so much into our lives that we end up making ourselves miserable in the process.
Take a sheet of paper and draw a line vertically down the center.
At the top of the left column write - “What I want”
At the top of the right column write - “What I want EVEN MORE”
While doing this exercise, remove anything that is not helping you reach your goal. Simplify and let go of the things that are not in alignment with what you truly want. This will take brutal honesty with yourself. Remove unnecessary events, commitments, busy work and distractions that you think matter in the short term, but don’t actually matter in the long run.
Once you do this, what happens is you stop acting like a slave to time, you stop blaming “time” for what is or is not going well in your life and you CHOOSE. You choose where to put your time and energy...you choose the thing that matters above all other things and when you do this…
Time begins to serve YOU and what you’re here to do.
As a result of applying this exercise to my life a little over a year and a half ago, I was able to make the decision to let go of what I wanted to do (my regular job) to do what I wanted EVEN MORE (my coaching business). It was not easy, and it was painful - yet liberating all at the same time.
Making that decision and getting clear on what I truly wanted drove me to create an exit strategy to set myself up for an easier transition to working for myself. Then, every step I took after making that decision was in alignment with what I wanted for my life and brought me closer to where I am today. Now, I have the time to follow my passion, helping as many people as I can realize they’re worthy of being a priority in their lives. That’s what I’m here to do… and it feels SO GOOD.
Now let me ask you… Are you always running late? Are you busy, busy, busy? What are you making a priority that is keeping you from doing what you want EVEN MORE? Is it time you made a list to figure out why you feel so stressed?