Well, here we are suddenly in December – how did that happen??
It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch as I got back from holiday at the start of September and found myself in a veritable whirlwind of re-launching my group coaching course and taking on a lot of new clients.
Unsurprisingly, this year with all its twists and turns has upended many people and caused them to really look at how they feel, how they’re living their lives and what they want for the future which has been keeping me out of mischief as I support them.
I noticed a pattern however in October, with lots of my clients feeling really low and lacking in motivation. It seemed fairly pervasive as in my own coaching mastermind group, we were all feeling quite similar!
Likely to be due to a combination of the seasonal change where our stone-age hardwiring wants to power down into Autumnal rest and recuperation, whilst our modern 24/7 lives refuse to permit this PLUS the cumulative effects of the last few months, I’ve been both practicing and teaching a LOT of self-care in the recent weeks.
For some people, that self-care has looked like me signposting them straight to Vetlife and other support services to help protect their mental health, as when you’re super-low you need therapeutic support rather than coaching support.
For others, myself included, part of the recalibration process to get out of a low phase has been to take it back to basics and that means reconnecting with, or deciding on your vision and mission. Connecting with your bigger ‘why’ and sense of purpose.
This can be aspirational for sure if your current circumstances are a long way from where you want to be, and if you haven’t got a clue what your vision and mission are because you’re totally exhausted and just in survival-mode then that’s an even stronger indication that you need to find a way to hit the pause button and do some reflection.
These terms get banded about a lot and can sound a bit ‘management-wanky’ if you’ll pardon the expression, so what do I mean by them?
I’m using Vision here to mean what you want for yourself and your family, so that could be material, financial and lifestyle aspirations that are in line with your values.
For Kyle and I at the moment, things on the wish-list include a detached house with room for converting outbuildings, some land in Portugal where he could build me a beautiful retreat centre to work from, plus the financial abundance to have options when it comes to schools for Eva.
Are we anywhere remotely near those aspirations currently?? Erm, nope!! 😂
However, I know that I desire those things, and I want to harness the incredible creative power of the human subconscious to help me bring them into existence over the next few years.
This requires faith, belief and being willing to go for it despite not knowing what the pathway will be.
What often stops us creating a powerful vision for ourselves is that being the analytical, data-and-evidence based creatures we often are as vets, if we can’t immediately think of all the steps we’d take to get there, we don’t believe it’s possible.
Or we buy into the false belief that what has happened in our past is an accurate predictor of what’s possible for us in the future, so if we’ve not been able to create anything close to our vision previously, why would that be any different moving forwards?
Both of these thought processes are restrictive, not true and need examining and releasing if you want to grow and evolve moving forwards.
For many of my potential clients, their current vision is to find a job role that they look forward to going into each day rather than dread, to have found more of a sense of direction and to have a better life balance giving them the time and energy to spend time doing more of the things they enjoy or being with the people they love.
Taking time to work out what you want in this way shifts you from feeling like a victim of your current life to having a powerful vision you can then empower yourself to move towards, one small action at a time.
How we then bring our vision to life is usually through our mission. Mission here is what you do each day to serve people and why you care about that. This can be income-generating or not.
Why do you get out of bed each morning and go to work, other than out of financial necessity? What is it that you care about contributing to and why?
This can throw up some interesting answers. It can give you a painful realisation that you’re no longer connected emotionally to the work you do which is often why we’re feeling so out of alignment or hitting burnout frequently.
If this is you, please reach out for support so that you can start to make some changes moving forwards!
Alternatively, it can remind you that underneath any stress or tiredness, that you DO still care about what you do, and maybe need to find ways to do it in a slightly different way.
I see this happening both ways in my coaching practice.
For me personally, looking at what’s going on in the world right now has deepened my commitment to my mission more than ever!
Right now, I believe the world needs as many people as possible who are feeling connected to what they do, in alignment with who they truly are, on the right path for them, lit up from within and feeling good as it’s from that internal place of feeling good that we get to be a driving force for change.
Often though, to achieve our mission, we have to work through some changes and therefore inevitably some level of discomfort.
For me at the moment, it’s been the realisation that in order to help support more people in better and different ways, I have to change how I’m running my business. This means getting my pricing structure for my intensive one-to-one work nearer where it should be and working with fewer one-to-one clients per year.
That’s brought up a LOT of resistance and discomfort for me to work through. 🤯
It was actually a post on Vets Stay Go Diversify that made my pull my head out of the sand on that one. The post was asking, “Do you have skin in the game?” i.e. are you investing in your own personal development financially.
This spawned a conversation offline between myself and a couple of the other coaches in the vet space. We’d all spent upwards of £15,000 over the previous three years on our own coaching and training despite none of us being super well-off!
I’ve left my one-to-one prices where they were when I first opened three years ago when I was in ‘proof of concept’ mode. Despite having consistently proven how powerful and transformational my one-to-one coaching is, I’ve ignored putting my prices up for the same reasons many vets struggle with charging properly in the consult room.
Also, because of my values, I’ve not wanted to only coach people who can afford high-level coaching!
However, as my connection to my mission has deepened in recent weeks, I’ve realised that in order to grow the range of what I can provide to service people at differing levels of investment, I need creative time and space in my week.
I need to not be exhausted and as a passionate advocate for protecting and improving your self-worth, I need to embody charging properly for the transformation I create at the highest level of what I do, whilst finding effective lower-priced ways to serve all the budgets of those I am able to help.
So for me, working through this process has looked like this over the last 3 months:
Phase One – Identify when you feel out of alignment. Took on lots of clients due to the need out there, realised working this way was not sustainable for me and faced up to my undercharging behaviour that I’d been hiding from as I didn’t yet know what to do about it
Phase Two – Clarify your vision and mission. Used self-reflective journaling and support from my coaching group to pull the lens back and work out what I’m aiming for and how I want to show up and serve people
Phase Three – Work out what needs to change and support yourself as any resistance or fear comes up in response. I’ve been doing deep healing work on some of my old negative stories, and using my amazing business coach to help me work out how to move through the change in a way that feels aligned for me.
It’s beginning to come together now into a fantastic 4-tiered service plan ranging from free to higher levels of investment that I will share with you very soon!
My point in sharing this is that if you currently feel disconnected, tune back into your vision and mission.
If you’ve never actively defined them in this way, grab a journal and 30mins of time and write out some thoughts on this.
Know that if you discover you either don’t have a mission currently, or you do but feel there are strategic and mindset barriers between you and achieving it, that it’s time to do some inner work, either on your own or with the help of a coach.
If you’re looking for support at the moment, I am currently full for one-to-one clients until January however I’ve just launched my brand-spanking new monthly coaching membership, The Crossroads which you can check out here! 😀