This afternoon on my daily quest for inspiration, guidance, and a magical energy mushroom boost to do more, be more, and create more I read a coaching for coaches blog.
One video link in particular caught my attention: Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out against passion!
Before watching the talk, I’ll admit I was a little fired up. My first thought: What a hack! My second thought: What a hypocrite!
Elizabeth Gilbert, the motherlove guru (second perhaps only to Oprah) of Find-and-Pursue-Your-Passion-with-Hawk-like-Focus-and-Unapologetic-Relentlessness flip flopping on her bread and butter? This I had to watch.
And I’m glad I did. I didn’t think I had fully internalized the find-your-passion agenda because passions can be as misleading as leading. But while I watched and listened, I realized just how much that very message had become ingrained and embedded in my psyche because it hit me that in some ways I feel like the woman Liz describes in this talk.
In my quest to focus in on my own drive, meaning, and, yes, passion and turn it into a business, I admit I have felt a bit lost and a bit…less. Less driven than I’m supposed to be; less energetic than I’m supposed to be; less certain than I’m supposed to be. Quite frankly, at the end of a full workday and evening of prioritizing and connecting with my husband, my family, myself, my dogs, and puttering around the house with to-do’s, I don’t have the mental energy to sit down and write and post and design and inspire and market and create ta-da’s. But most of the literature out there and even my own head tell me that if I had the passion and if it was my true calling, I’d find the energy. I’d do those things no matter what, no matter when, and no matter how.
And maybe for some people there’s a modicum of truth to that. But it’s not true for me.
This talk resonated deeply with me. I certainly don’t feel like a loser, but I have definitely felt like that something was missing from me, that I’m lacking something fundamental and foundational to success: an unwavering and un-meandering drive of all-encompassing PASSION.
Ironically, my own journey to figure out my purpose and passion are what lead me to coaching as a client and as a profession. What I love and appreciate most about coaching is that it helps me understand where I am now, to be non-judgmentally curious about myself, my journey, and to get clarity where I can and lean into the questions where I can’t. I think the best I or anyone else can do to help others is to listen, to ask questions that encourage people to get curious and, hopefully, get clarity.
Ultimately what I was left with is this: When it comes to your life’s direction, listen to yourself. Not to Elizabeth Gilbert or to Oprah or to me…or anyone else.
Don’t be guided down a path that leaves you feeling like less of something because that path worked for someone else.
I’m not saying don’t challenge or question yourself, I’m not saying indulge every whim you have in the name of curiosity. I guess I’m just saying remember that the gurus we emulate and idolize often topple from their pedestals on their own life journeys.
You know yourself best. You have your own answers within you. Listen to you.
Let me know your thoughts after you watch the video. Are you a jack hammer or a hummingbird? I’m a hummingbird all the way…