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Last week I met up with an old college/friend from my teaching days, whom I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

I thought of how I always wanted what she had. The friends she had, the clothes she had, the skills and talents she had and still does. And that made me realize I so often looked outside for what I want, what I would like to be, how I’d like to look…

I used to have an “outer compass”. With that I mean I tried to make other people’s looks, skills and talents mine, although they weren’t, making my life hard and miserable along the way.

Intrinsic motivation

YES it is true you can learn everything and become outstanding at anything, I do truly believe that. Read my blog on talent here. In my case that was teaching. But you also have to really want it for the right reasons. Because it’s something you really want deep down inside. Not because other people’s lives just seem better doing what they do, having what they have, making you want it too. For your hard work to pay off, there has to be a deep longing, an intrinsic motivation to become outstanding at something, even if you don’t seem talented initially.

Take my teaching as an example. Years ago I used to be a primary school teacher. Why did I get into it? Well, for one, I love kids. My own especially. Other peoples’ kids too, but not for days on end, as I’ve come to learn.

Also, I’ve always seemed good with kids, liked taking care of them and playing with them. And I used to play being a teacher when I was a kid (among MANY other role plays). Also, my mom thought it would be a good idea. My dad agreed. Add into this equation the tiny little fact that I’d already started and not finished two other studies (communication and psychology), it was about time I picked a study and finished it.

throwback to 2012
Throwback to 2012


So, yes, I finished teaching school. And I hated every minute of it. And then I needed money, and so my teaching career began… and I gradually grew into it. I even started to like it, working my ass off for years. During those years I focused on how to be more like my colleagues. Working, wishing and praying I would find the magic wand to make (teaching-) life easy, successful and effortless.

Burn-out

Did I allow myself to nót like my job? Nope. Did I allow myself to ‘give up’? Nope. Was I being my true self? NOPE.

And all of a sudden, there it was: my big fat burn-out. Total short-circuit in my brain.
Non-stop crying. And then non-stop sleeping followed by a period of non-stop therapy…Where did that get me?

You won’t believe it, but it actually got me back to teaching. Yes. Teaching. The one thing I was so passionate about…NOT. I was still being led by others. Still not focused on MY compass, on ME. I went back to substitute teaching and told myself this was the best thing for everyone.

Universal intervention

Luckily there was a universal intervention, giving me a way out. We decided to move to Maastricht. Too far away from our previous hometown for me to continue at my job. It’s around this time that I allowed myself to make a small shift. I gave myself some space and started doing more of what made me happy. A different job, a new training. A first step towards coaching. Babysteps, but I was in motion. And as soon as I started my consciousness coaching training with creative consciousness, I came to see: I can choose what I want. I can do what I want. Regardless of what others think. Regardless of what I think they may think. I needed to go deep to realize: I may also be seen for who I am. I may rely on me. I know what is good for me, what works and what doesn’t work. And when my mind tells me otherwise, my body will step in real quick and tell me I’m on the wrong path. My learning process is that it’s ok and it’s safe to rely on me. That looking inside is what I should be doing. That comparing and aiming to be (like) someone else won’t get me anywhere. We are all great at something. My something just doesn’t happen to be teaching.

See us for who we are

It was absolutely wonderful to see my former colleague and friend again. Only this time I could see her for who she is: the best teacher I’ve ever met in my life. And I could see me for who I am: a consciousness coach, working at becoming the absolute best coach I can be and loving every minute of it.

Would you like to check if you’re being led by your outer or inner compass? Download here.

Everything is a choice.