November 12, 2014

Figuring out a little more about who I am and what I want to do. (With help)

After spending much of my life charging toward what's next in order to get to this goal – which quickly shifted to that goal or back to this one again – I lost my bearings. At times it seems like a quarter-life crisis lasting two years too long.

Almost four years ago I graduated college with a bachelor's degree in hand and decided I didn't want to do what I originally set out to do. Since then I occasionally wrestle with feelings of inadequacy (Why did I go from a large well-known university to a tiny invisible college? Should I have studied this instead of that?) and frustration (How do I know when it's not a pipe dream? Why do I keep feeling inadequate when I know I'm more than capable?)

I quiet those feelings by saying yes and figuring out the rest later. And I pay better attention to the markers in my path, the ones I miss when I focus on being overwhelmed. I also made changes. Looking back I can't help but roll my eyes at how some were blown out of proportion but I was afraid and fear makes you do crazy things. Like cussing out actors in a haunted house and hiding behind your cane-swinging grandma for protection. Another story for another time.

Encouragement and inspiration came from a few places. Braid Creative was one of them, providing solace as I narrowed down what I wanted to do. And when Kathleen sent out an email about Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do, I went balls to the wall and signed up.


Turns out I had to get creative about figuring out the rest. The course was open for nine of the busiest days in my month so I scribbled frantic notes and printed out all the worksheets to work through in more depth later.

Super practical and completely rad, the worksheets are the best part of the course. I polished off two or three a night and every time I started a new one my brain put up a fight. Long mental lists of why I shouldn't or couldn't or didn't want to do the work and how hard it'd all be populated without any effort. I saw it as a sign I was doing exactly what I needed to do. When I ignored the lists and started writing, I couldn't get my thoughts onto paper fast enough.

I walked away from it with a better idea of what I want to do and – surprisingly – a more defined sense of who I am. A little more clarity, a little more confidence. It helped me uncover and embrace parts of myself I didn't think fit with what I want to do. By pulling apart the bits, I felt a little more whole. And my bearings feel a little more gathered, professionally and personally.

If you're struggling with sorting out who you are and what you want to do, I can't recommend Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do highly enough. It's a small investment with huge returns. Only $75. And the best part? You don't have to wait long to get started. The next course opens on Friday. Registration is open until tomorrow.

Can't hurt, right?

[image courtesy of Braid Creative]

*When you use one of the above links to sign up for the course, I make a small commission from it. I will never recommend anything I don't absolutely love and adding affiliate links like this helps me make a tiny bit of revenue to support this space. Any questions? Feel free to send me an email.

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