IN A NUTSHELL (well, two columns)
What I am
Tenacious (imagine a dog with a bone...)
Funny (well, I think so. My husband disagrees)
What I'm Not
Tony Robbins (evidently). No fist bumps thanks
The person who does the work for you
A last resort
Completely sorted. No-one is. Not really
THE FULL STORY
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Walt Whitman (confession: I had to Google who he actually was, and I have an English Literature degree)
By nature, I am a bull in a china shop. Flaming red energy all over the place, fixated on what I want and figuring out the quickest way to get there. I spent over a decade in the corporate world, gaining a reputation for quick-thinking, tenacity, and never shying away from a confrontation. I was supremely proud of this. I thought it was the way I was going to get the life I wanted.
Then, when I was 28, something happened that I couldn't resolve with enthusiasm or humour. I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (menopause, basically), and told I'd never been able to have children of my own. You can read more on my blog about the comedy medical experience that followed, but the important point here is that I could not control the outcome. No force of will or logical thinking would kick-start my ovaries. For someone who was used to creating their own success, this was HUGELY uncomfortable, and left me disconnected from my previous identity as a woman who could have it all.
Fast forward several years, and I was returning to London after a stint in NYC with my now-husband (that's a whole other story...), taking on a leadership role that had been created for me. I thought this was my dream job, but within six months I was having weekly difficult conversations with my boss, all various iterations of 'you've changed. We want Red Vikki back'. It was true. I had changed. I no longer felt connected to the bolshy, uber-confident professional who had got this far. I was nervous, unsure of myself, and constantly felt I wasn't good enough. Something wasn't right, but I couldn't understand it, and I couldn't articulate it.
That was the first time in my life I experienced coaching. Unsurprisingly, it was transformational, connecting me to my values and emotions and resulting in a realisation that I no longer cared about the work I was doing, and I no longer needed an organisation to meet my values of freedom and success. I was ready to go it alone, and so I did, retraining as a professional life coach, setting up my own business, and hustling.
This is not to say I am ‘finished’. A million miles from it. I have regular periods of feeling ungrounded, disconnected, and comparing myself to others. But that's life - the aim isn't to make everything perfect, it's to keep on learning.
And one last thing. Wherever you are right now, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. I promise :)