Updated: Dec 28, 2019
“If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got. If you always think the way you’ve always thought then you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Only YOU can decide if that is enough”! - Dr. Kim
I realize that this quote is attributed to many people, but the first time I heard it was from an audio series entitled If I’m So Special, Why Do I Feel Ordinary? by motivational speaker Dr. Kimberly Ventus-Darks. This teaching series was a life-line to me at a time when I felt overworked, undervalued and just downright tired. I was caught up in my own unrealistic pursuit of being the perfect mother of two small children, the high-potential professional on the corporate ladder of success, and the dutiful pastor’s wife and First Lady of our church. I bought into the idealistic picture painted by the Enjoli perfume commercial of the 1980’s “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man! I can work ’til five o’clock; Come home and read Tickety-Tock”. I was trying so hard to be what I thought everyone expected me to be that I lost myself in the process.
Those words from Dr. Kim planted a seed that was further nurtured by my first encounter with a professional life coach years later when I was still running hard and living way out of balance. My coach challenged me to slow down long enough to take inventory of where I was and where I was heading if I continued that trajectory. I didn’t like what I saw, so I made a commitment to change my course. I began to make conscious decisions that were in true alignment with my values, passions and purpose. I started really prioritizing my quality of life over my job title, pay grade and salary. For the first time in a very long time, I began to focus on my needs instead of trying to please and appease other people. A few years after this coaching encounter, I decided to become a professionally trained and certified coach myself. Why? Because despite the fabulous leadership development programs I’ve been through over the course of my career, the accelerated growth that I personally experienced from coaching gave me something that I never had before. I realized from the seeds planted by Dr. Kim years ago that I wasn’t satisfied with what I had, but I didn’t quite know what to do differently. My coach didn’t wave a magic wand that made everything better. She simply employed the coach-approach to help me discover my own truth, find my own voice, and develop a robust action plan (with accountability) to close the gaps between where I was and where I wanted to be.
Regardless of the title or role I’ve held throughout my career, I’ve always had an affinity towards helping people learn, grow & develop. I’m better able to carry out my passion for helping people uncover and unleash their full potential now that I’m living in purposeful alignment with this calling.
Listen to this Regina Ross "Paying It Forward" interview on the "She's About Business" podcast with Diathe Garnes during which I explain why I do what I do! I also invite you to leverage this simple yet powerful Wheel of Life exercise to help you honestly assess your current state of balance and life satisfaction.
If your satisfaction scores reveal opportunities to improve in one or more categories of your life (i.e. career, family, health), I encourage you to enlist the support you need to take meaningful action NOW! Life is short. Make the most of the time that you have to become the best version of yourself!
Regina Ross is a certified HR & Change Management Practitioner and ICF-credentialed Executive Coach who helps leaders successfully navigate organizational and personal transformations. Contact Regina at firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-768-4965 or www.walkonpurpose.com/contact.