This is my story of how I combine perseverance and purpose…
At the age of 35, I experienced a dark year in which I dealt with past events of when I suffered a miscarriage and lost two of my siblings. These three tragic events resulted in me suffering from complete burnout.
It sounds like a lot for one year, however, during the years preceding this dark year, I had led a busy life that consisted of a number of roles that I had to fulfill; a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, employee and more.
During this busy time, I survived by pushing emotions and anything aside that I was not ready to deal with while trying to keep things together as best as I could. It was because of this misinformed survival technique, that everything hit me with such force during the year I turned 35. Fortunately, during this dark period, I was able to recognize that I was walking on a dead-end road; that I would eventually have to face that my approach to dealing with these tragic events was leading nowhere. What followed was what I call “my year of healing.” I found my way back to what gave me purpose. During this process and journey of introspection, I started to ask myself: “Am I on the right path and doing what gives me joy, satisfaction and fulfilment? Am I using all my talents?”
Each of us should give ourselves permission to have such a year or period where we question things, investigate new roads or directions, and open ourselves up to the vulnerability of really finding out what we are about. The end result of that year was a decision to go through a coaching journey that has changed my life, helping me to deal with the issues and make sense of my life.
During this process of healing, I became much more self-aware, authentically myself and I developed a deep connection again with My Father God who made me who I am. During this reconnection with Him, I found my purpose again and I made the decision to pursue my first Coaching Training (many more have followed since then). This training programme gave me the tools I needed to start my own company at the age of 39; becoming and doing what I felt I was meant to do.
Now, 16 years later, perseverance and purpose are two of the key foundational pillars that have kept me going:
- Perseverance for me means doing something consistently and persistently until its conclusion, no matter what hurdles need to be overcome along the way.
- Purpose for me means having the determination to follow the path that was meant for me.
My intention has been, foremost, to make a difference in peoples’ lives and not necessarily to aim for the bottom line of our Income Statement. This intention has so much meaning to me that it provided intense determination to keep on going over these years.
With the Covid19 Lockdown disrupting our lives, I found myself, once again, in a process of introspection. This time it was not about the healing that I had experienced when I was 35 – it was about reflecting on the two foundational pillars mentioned above and finding new directions to focus on to achieve my purpose. Finding hope and joy was my starting point as said in my previous blog; I got through the first 2 months of lockdown, and then, during the next two months, my introspection started about the next steps.
My decision was made and newfound energy and focus was the result; knowing that I am at the right place doing the right thing – I will carry on, perhaps doing things slightly differently, but I will persevere.
With the 16 years of experience working in my own company, I have found my way of getting through the challenges. A chapter of my life I would never take out or rewrite. It will be exactly the same because it made me the person I am.
I am now looking forward to the future ahead while I live each day to the best of my ability.
Particularly relevant scriptures that have helped me during trying times have been:
- James 1:2-4 (MSG)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
- James 1:12 (MSG)
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
My challenges to you are:
- Use this time while still in lockdown to find a balance between work and home life; so many of us have realized we do not have boundaries in place, and both worlds become one. It feels as though we never really rest and catch our breath;
- Be in the moment – if you are at home during family time, really listen, slow down and connect and leave the work where it should stay (somewhere in the house) close that door or mentally move away from the space to connect;
- When you are in the office (at home), do the best you can with the space and resources you have. Try to manage any interruptions in order to get your work done for the day – this does not mean you have to work 10 or 12 hours without a lunch break, or without connecting with people;
- Take time off over weekends and really get into family life to ensure you do not neglect the most important relationships right in front of you;
- Make time to have fun, to laugh, to exercise and to think; and
- Most importantly spend time daily with your Father God to get to know Him and His word better and look for inspiration and direction.
If you feel this year is becoming overwhelming and that you are struggling to cope – please speak to somebody to find hope and to help guide you to your answers and direction. Without doing the same thing over the course of the last 16 years, I would have given up a long time ago. As I look back at my journey, I know that not asking for help would have been a big mistake.
I also know my work is not done and my purpose is still the same; just richer, deeper and with more experience on how to be fully myself, to show up and be there for and with the person right in front of me. What a privilege to do this work!