When we feel inexplicably blue there are always circumstances or people available to blame, a convenient way to offset the discomfort for a while until it circles back around.
Yet there are signs. We expect things to be a certain way so our brains filter and reinforce, dodging the signs staring us in the face.
In order to feel better and grow we must first recognize our discomfort. That in itself is a major, often life-changing step.
We can then accept the search for something new, at the edge of our comfort zone, where transformation lives.
Here’s how it happened to me.
My camera and press badge granted me access to a variety of experience that I dreamt about in my early 20s. I rubbed elbows with a broad spectrum of subjects, from the New York elite to the voiceless poor.
Self-assigned projects arose from insecurities that I wanted to overcome.
I moved to Poland to examine my nightmares about the Holocaust.
I wandered for months in the NY countryside to make a book after the collapse of a relationship.
I met dozens of fetishists and kinksters to face my ignorance about the complexity of human sexuality.
Directly interacting with people brought me a sense of fulfillment.
But as years passed, my passion was depleted and was replaced by cynicism. Have you ever noticed the news is usually negative? It seems there's always something to criticize.
This fault-finding mentality was already programmed in my brain from a young age, and was exacerbated by my work.
Admitting to myself that I was unhappy felt like a betrayal to all I’d worked for.
In the meantime, there were signs beckoning me to the coaching field. My uncle was completing his doctoral research on coaching; I had photographed a story about coaching for the newspaper; coaching-related TED Talks and articles were all over my social media feeds.
For the most part I ignored these signs until I was so desperate for change that I had no choice.
I examined my driving forces very closely, looking at my strengths and what I needed to feel fulfilled. When I finally accepted a new fundamental vision of myself, I was able to look at coaching in earnest.
As it turns out, the field met my needs with flying colors.
It’s not about judging and fixing problems, but a focus on solutions in a collaborative process designed to empower.
It's multidisciplinary, influenced by positive psychology, adult learning, and cognitive-behavioral theory, just to name a few.
Flexibility is built in to adapt the practice to my personal style and my clients’ needs.
My transformation took years, and I am grateful for its lessons, but in hindsight I know there are more direct routes to finding fulfillment. I’m beyond excited to help others navigate theirs.