I didn’t even know I had them on.

Just over a year ago, a recruiter called me about a very interesting opportunity which could have been a good fit. Through the conversation, we discussed what my salary was at that time.  He sensed my concern in what the future position compensated. He then said to me, ‘sounds like you are bound by the golden handcuffs.’

That day it hit me, I was pulled over on the side of the road having this conversation, and I got it. The structure of my position was driving the wrong behaviour. I was stuck, and I had just become conscious of it.

Good job security does not drive job satisfaction, and so many of us get in that ‘comfortable’ position. The golden handcuffs had me staying at a job for financial security, and had literally ‘handcuffed’ me from my own personal development.

Purpose.  What am I doing it for? Of course you need to earn money, as most of us do to support our families. However, are you making lives better? This starts with your own personal development. Taking the time to reflect and be honest with yourself. As a child, we are told to dream big and we are capable of doing anything. When did that stop?

At some point that creative unstoppable passion is traded for acceptance. The alternative is finding out what you are good at, what you enjoy, and yes it has to be something people are willing to pay for.

For me it is coaching – growing people – building a positive culture and facilitating teams through change.   I used to think people should just know these things.  I was stuck in a routine, and could not recognize it my own true passion.  I certainly did not know how to change it!

Why not? What was stopping me, if I enjoyed it and felt I was good at it?

Fear. The greatest roadblock, the unknown. The fear of not having the routine of what I was familiar with.  What I was comfortable with was steady paycheck, a performance bonus, 5 weeks vacation and great benefits. I could generally predict each day, with the same people in the same building. That made me feel safe, a security blanket. I love and care for the great people I had the privilege to work with.

Even with all those great things around me, I knew in my heart I needed to make a change.

There is never a perfect time or opportunity, you have to create it. Only by getting out of that comfort zone can you grow, and realize the talents and abilities you did not know you had!

I cannot explain the anxiety I felt preparing to formally leave a job after 18 years when I finally decided to face my fears.  One thing I did not do, was seek other’s approval. I would have totally lost my nerve. I needed to dig deep inside and be honest with myself, which is not easy to do.

When I really became honest to what made me feel worthy, I could begin to see it. It was making a vision become a reality through the minds of the team performing the job. There is nothing like facilitating a group, who ends up getting an opportunity to knock down their roadblocks. Fixing what bugs them. It is that simple through my eyes. I truly found something I love doing – facilitation and coaching. I wake up each morning, excited to do more!

The amazing part is when you see the results come. Many managers instinctively become the man to drive their own ideas down. When one takes a humble approach by supporting their team’s ideas, it gets really fun. Everyone wins, the team becomes engaged being supported in their ideas and needs, and the manager now becomes the leader. Listening is a tough skill. When you stop talking and begin to really listen, communicate, and support – crazy things happen.

Almost a year after starting my own business, I could not imagine doing anything else. I am now improving lives, and having fun doing it.

If you have been waiting, take action. Share your story. I was told that every story is new, because it is your own perspective. The human spirit is powerful, let yours shine!