In the past week I've had two people laugh in my face when I told them about launching my career coaching business. The first person was a friend whose career goals have never been very ambitious. When I told him about my recent successes, he laughed and said he expected me to be doing bigger things. The second was a very successful woman who I had just been introduced to at an event. She is new to Jackson, Wyoming. I explained that I help people who come here to ski and have fun while they figure out what they want to do with their lives, actually, finally figure out what they want to do with their lives. Then I help them create a smart action plan for moving forward with their goals and create accountability for them following through. She laughed and said, "People actually pay you for that?"
Ouch! I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't hurt. I felt a physical ache of pain in my chest during each encounter. I actually feel a little nauseous writing about it but here's why I'm putting my embarrassment out there for you.
I want you to know that it's ok to want more and go after it. I also want you to know that just because you haven't know exactly what you wanted to be when you grew up since kindergarten doesn't mean you aren't meant to have a fantastic job that you love. I want you to know that if you are 30, 40, 50 and still don't know, that's fine. Whatever age you are when you find something you love doing is just dandy.
If there is a burning inside you to find the right work, that is a sign that there is work you are meant to be doing. It means, somewhere deep inside of you is a very specific craving and all you need to do is unearth it. Along the way, people may laugh in your face. The first time you tell someone that you want more, they may laugh or they may encourage but it doesn't matter. What matters is that you are going after what you want and if you continue to pursue your dream, everyday you will get closer and it will feel amazing.
I want you to know that you aren't alone in being intimidated or scared or embarrassed about going after what you want. You aren't alone in choking on the phrase meaningful work, or life purpose or cool career. The only way to get good at something or make a difference or succeed is to take risks. You are becoming a badass after all. No one said it would be easy. Sometimes it will hurt. I promise you though, you will be amazed at the number of people who show up to support you. You will be blown away at the strength you find inside yourself underneath all that pain.
Someone laughing at your dream doesn't mean your dream is silly. It means you are talking to the wrong person.
Later that night, after being laughed at by the most successful woman in the room, I ran into someone I coach. I walked into the room and he looked up shocked and happy. He said, "Oh, my God! I was seriously just recommending you to my friend!"
I tell you what... damn, it feels good to be a badass.