When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a star! Not just an actress, but a star. When
someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my pat answer from the time I can
remember was, I want to be a star. No beating around the bush, just a straight out answer.
Looking back at our desires, day dreams and things we loved to do when we were younger is a gateway to finding our path in life.
I encounter dozens of women, not to eliminate the men, but it’s mostly women (it appears) who are looking for what’s next. Being of the age when the kids are mostly gone from the home, many women are searching for something to fulfill their soul, and/or add to their bank account. Whether or not they work for themselves or someone else, or manage a household, many of them (us) feel an urge, an itch or even a burning desire to find out what’s next.
For me, my kids structured my life. I have always worked on my own time, with my own business. I had the flexibility to be PTA President, work in the classroom, drive to activities and generally be up in my kids business, for better or worse! Much to their chagrin, I went on field trips, helped at every school event (to my credit I never chaperoned a dance), and basically knew what was going on at all times with their lives. (Ok, T and T, I know I wasn’t aware of EVERYthing!)
NOW, nothing. Nada. One out of college, one with one year left, and life has changed. Simply put, I have no real focus to my days. I know that is my fault, I do have a business, but with a little adult hyperactivity messing with my brain - I find that structure and focus are HARD!
It’s been almost 4 years since my youngest flew the coop for the playground- I mean for the structure and learning at an institute of higher education. Now I do start my day with a dog walk and exercise, but the rest is fly by the seat of my non-mom jeans.
I have become a Kaizen-Muse Creativity coach, completed a few other online classes, see a fabulous life coach and read self- improvement books like others watch the news. I have found that a LOT of people out there subscribe to the theory that you should go back to what you wanted to do/be as a child. So I contemplated and I did. Yup – all I can remember ever wanting to be was A star….
How does that serve me in my next chapter you may ask?
Here are the four questions I asked myself, along with the answers to give you an idea of what is working for me right now.
1. What did you want to be when you were 8?
Write down your answer and stare at the words. Then really think about it. Is this truly what you wanted, or is this what you think you should say based on your reality over the past however many years since you turned 8? Don’t think too hard though, just write . If you can’t remember age 8, then go to whatever age you were when people asked what you wanted to do.
2. WHY did you want to be a ….(in my case) Star?
This is where it gets juicy and requires some thought.
I wanted to be a star because I liked being on stage making people laugh and smile. I loved the idea of pretending to be someone other than myself. The applause generated at the completion of a performance lifted me to a higher plane.
Your answer may be something completely different. I have worked with a few groups of women, some of whom experienced extremely adverse living conditions when they were younger. One of them wanted to be a Ninja so she could harm her stepfather. No, it’s not always light and fluffy. I won’t go on to divulge the details, but suffice it to say, that dream has stayed with her and we are working on how to develop the strength of a Ninja in her life today – in a healthy way.
3. What are the essences around what you wanted to be as a child?
This is a tough one for me, since it seems so egotistic. Our ego often gets in the way of our desires. My ego loved the praise, the love and applause I received from performing.
In my case I was raised in a loving home, with parents who doted on me and lifted me up. I didn’t lack for kudos and praise at home and that’s how I know that I truly am meant to do something in the realm of performing (making others happy) in some way. For others who wanted to act as a child, they may have wanted to try on a different persona so they could escape their life at home. For each person it is totally a unique essence surrounding their dream.
The essence around my next step is making people feel good about themselves and it comes down to empowering women to live a more fulfilled and joyful life.. It’s that simple. I am good at public speaking, I enjoy entertaining, and through my studies and life experience, I make a darn good listener and reflector. (Stay tuned for a spectacular, eye opening, women’s conference I am co-creating with my good friend Beth Goehring in May 2015 in NYC).
4. EXPLORE your Essences and investigate opportunities.
Now you have to do the actual work. I suggest a journal just for your next step. Write down all the essences you discovered. Perhaps meditate on them, doodle around them, don’t look at them for a week or so. When you do go back to spend time with them, think of what you can do now to infuse the essence of what you wanted to be back in the day into your life NOW.
There are opportunities for everyone, if you can think it you can do it. Entrepreneurs are everywhere, home businesses built by women are on the rise. Or perhaps you want to be in an office setting, or volunteer, write a blog, create recipes.
Remember that Thoughts are Things….you can DO IT, you can find what’s next.
Thoughts are things, so think the good ones!
Go out there and think about what’s NEXT for YOU!