At 45 years old, I left my executive position because I was tired of burning out while climbing up the corporate ladder.
Today, I lead my own company, work half the hours I used to, and wake-up feeling inspired and in-charge.
My definition of success, today, is different than it was back then.
And, regardless of whether my definition of success is the same as yours,
Here’s what’s the same for all of us…
Joy is your inherent right.
You don’t have to sacrifice it to be successful.
Leading a joy-filled life depends on the way you lead yourself.
I learned a lot about creating a powerful life after burnout.
Of all the changes I made, here are 7 important steps I took to become CEO of my life:
1. I drew a picture of my current vs. future life.
Every navigation system requires two pieces of information to get you from point A to point B – your destination and current location.
The same thing is true for navigating your life.
Without having an idea of where you are and where you are headed, you have no way to assess if you are still on course.
In my early 40’s, the picture of my life looked much like Mt. Everest.
It was filled with peaks and summits, but too often felt like –
An exhaustive climb
A harsh environment
Hard to breathe
And many times clinging for dear life
What I pictured for myself in the future was an apple orchard.
It felt lush and robust and –
In sync with nature
A healthy environment
Where I could shed my leaves
Help new leaves grow
Make a living as abundant as a tree that bears continuous fruit
Here’s that picture: (no judging, please.)
You can download this simple exercise to help you form your own picture. Think about the experience you are committed to creating.
2. I quit making excuses.
“I’d have a life if work wasn’t so demanding.”
“I’ll be happy once this project is behind me.”
“I’d take better care of myself if I had more time.”
Here’s the thing, these mini scripts are nothing but little lies that keep us playing small and worse yet, keep us trapped.
I learned that I am the author of my life and I have the power to rewrite my story.
So, I stopped making excuses and started taking accountability for every part of my life.
3. I rewrote my definition of success.
I stopped measuring my life by social milestones and trying to win at the corporate game of success.
I wrote what success looks like to me and started creating a new reality.
In the process, I learned that succeeding at work is only ONE PART of succeeding at life. It’s not the whole formula.
4. I focused on WHO, then figured out HOW.
Coming up with one plan after another to turn my dream into my reality left me spinning and exhausted.
Look for a new job?
Apply for a new certification?
Move to another town?
Take a sabbatical?
To succeed, we’ve been trained to set goals, devise the plan, take the steps, then measure the results.
What I found out is, life doesn’t care about your plan.
Life only cares about who you are.
So, I changed the question.
Instead, I asked myself who would I be if that apple orchard were already my reality?
-Nourished and healthy
-Trusting I could grow and produce anything I wanted
I focused on being THAT, instead.
And, here’s what I did next…
5. I made time for myself.
Every week, I scheduled time on my calendar for exercise, energy breaks, family dinners, date nights, and “me time.”
I protected it like my life depended on it.
I learned that balancing my time didn’t undercut my success, it accelerated it.
6. I eliminated things that drained me.
If something isn’t a definitive “YES,” it’s always a definitive “NO.”
I fiercely protected my energy, time, and boundaries.
To soar high, I learned to let go of things that weighed me down.
7. I explored my interests.
After decades of leading a successful career, my life had become very uninspired and one-dimensional.
So, I started making time for hobbies and other interests.
While having fun with yoga, hiking, and Reiki, I became a more interesting person.
Even better, I found my purpose.
At 45, I opened my life to possibilities beyond climbing the corporate ladder to achieve success.
That’s why I left my 25+ year corporate career. Today, I help others break free from burnout and reclaim their joy and purpose, too.
These 7 steps, gradually then suddenly, helped me become the CEO of my life.
I feel confident they can help you, too.
What part resonates the most with you? I’d love to know.
p.s. When you feel ready, here are 2 more ways you can drastically increase the power, purpose, and well-being in your life…
PowerPath to Joy to become CEO of your life. This private coaching partnership will help you powerfully live the life you only thought possible in another lifetime.
Joyless to Joyous to reclaim time, energy, and joy you’ve been sacrificing for your work. Our 6-week virtual masterclass runs twice per year.