2012 was one hell of a chaotic year for me.
In January, I was still recovering from having broken up with my long-term boyfriend and I was in a boring, unfulfilling, soul-sucking job that made me feel numb.
I was exhausted, even though I did so little during the day. The lack of purpose was so draining that I’d come home in the evenings and cook dinner, watch TV, then go to sleep. I didn’t do anything, which made me feel even worse about myself, which exhausted me even more, which made me shut down even further … and so it went.
I was having panic attacks in the shower multiple times per week (because it’s one of the only places where you can’t really distract yourself with anything, and you have to face your own thoughts). I was staring down the next few decades of my life, and I knew it couldn’t continue like this, but I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. The idea of feeling this purposeless for the rest of my life cued monumental fear.
It’s no surprise that the rest of 2012 ended up being the most emotionally fraught time of my life. This is just a snapshot of what happened that year, in mostly chronological order:
- I brought home an 8-week-old puppy, because I knew it would give me some of the love and purpose I’d been missing (but it was so much more work than I’d predicted).
- I quit my miserable job. I had no plan whatsoever, so I went from working in marketing to nannying twin toddlers while I was “figuring things out.”
- I got back together with my ex-boyfriend because I was honestly too afraid to be alone.
- I met a mentor who introduced me to coaching and referred me to a coach training program. I decided I wanted to use my life in some meaningful way to help people, and coaching felt like the best way to do it.
- We started the teeny-tiny beginnings of our coaching business, which has grown into Clarity on Fire.
- I reconnected with a long-lost family member, which has been wonderful but was very emotionally charged at the time.
- My puppy was hit by a car. She completely healed, and I’m so thankful for that, but it was incredibly scary.
- The ex-boyfriend broke up with me. It had never been right to begin with, and he sensed that and was willing to act on it in a way that I wasn’t.
- I quit my nannying job, because I was scarily close to running out of money.
- I got another full-time job, working for a family friend, because my business was so new that I had zero idea what I was doing or how to make money.
While I’m very grateful that I was able to find another full-time job right before things were about to go financially sour for me, I still ended the year in a full-time job that wasn’t right for me, that paid less than the first miserable full-time job, that had a much longer commute, and with much less money in my bank account than at the beginning of the year.
On paper, my life at the end of 2012 looked just as bad (if not worse) than it had at the very beginning.
EXCEPT THERE WAS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE
You’d think it might have taken years for me to recover from the emotional upheaval of a year like 2012, let alone actually make changes to my life.
But in reality, it only took 3 days to change everything.
My first 3-day weekend in coach training was the proverbial “fork in the road” that changed the course of my entire life.
I’m not saying that I was able to change all of my circumstances in 3 days flat. What did happen was that I made a choice to “wake up” and take responsibility for my situation.
In so many ways, I felt like a victim who had no control over the course of my life. I’d been plagued by feeling like life was happening to me: Miserable jobs, relationships ending, and unpredictable upheaval had been the norm.
Those shower-induced panic attacks were a big symptom of feeling completely out of control and helpless.
In those 3 days I woke up to my own power, and my life is now unrecognizable.
Going through coach training made me see that life wasn’t “happening” to me; I was actually getting myself into the same old issues over and over again completely unconsciously. Realizing that I was responsible for my reality was simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating because it meant I could change the course of my life, just as easily as I’d gotten myself onto my current track.
WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE IN 2015?
This sounds mushy, but I’m actually close to tears as I write this. I literally don’t know what my life would be like if I hadn’t chosen to “wake up” and change my life. The upheaval of 2012 could have easily continued, or compounded, and I can’t imagine how badly things might have turned out if the chaos had multiplied.
Actually, my life did compound on itself, but in an amazing way. Each year since 2012 has been countlessly better than the last. I don’t even recognize the “me” from 2012 anymore. I’m purposeful, happy, and motivated in a way I couldn’t even have imagined in 2012.
I share all of this with you because you might be having a “2012” kind of year, and I want you to know that you have the same choice I did.
Life isn’t happening “to” you. All of the upheaval might be happening to force you to wake up. That’s definitely what was happening for me in 2012.
We’re about to start a brand new year. One year from now, in December of 2015, you can either look back and think “How did this happen? What did I do with myself?” or “I’m awestruck by everything I was able to achieve and create.”
WE’RE GOING TO HELP YOU MAKE THAT CHANGE, IF YOU WANT
A huge part of the purpose I began to discover 3 years ago is helping other people “wake up” and avoid the pitfalls that I fell into.
Some of you know that we’re very close to launching the second round of the Passion Plan Virtual Experience.
It won’t be right for all of you, but for those who are intrigued, I want you to know that everything Kristen and I have ever learned that’s helped us wake up & find purpose and passion has been distilled into the Virtual Experience.
There’s no need for everyone to repeat the same mistakes, over and over again. That’s the whole reason we created the PPVE: to help other people take a monumental shortcut around the crap that we didn’t avoid.
And just like I experienced, it doesn’t take long to make monumental shifts. Spending a few weeks with someone who can help you navigate the rocky terrain of life saves months and years of angst and avoidable mishaps.
We’ll be sharing more with you about the PPVE in the coming weeks, so stay tuned, if you’re interested.
Whether or not you join us, I hope sharing my story with you will make you ponder what’s possible for you this next year. I have no doubt you can choose to make it amazing.
See you in 2015!
Rachel (+ Kristen)
P.S. We’ve created a special interest list for the Virtual Experience, and these VIPs will get to enroll 2 days early and will also get a $50 discount code. Want in? All you’ve got to do to be “in the know” is put your name on the list.