There was a long period before I started my coaching business when I wasn't acting as the leader of my own life.
I felt lost and powerless. The truth is, I surrendered all my power because it was easier to just lay low and go with the flow.
I wasted my energy, my talent, my skills, and my soul doing work that didn't really matter to me. At one point, I was so burned out that I couldn't care for others any more.
I alienated myself from my team members, and justified it by making up stories about how they weren't the type of people I wanted to hang out with.
I was grumpy, cynical, so unhappy, and I no longer liked the person I had become; it was a very dark time for me.
Yet, in spite of my angst, I was in a great place financially. My resume was strong, and I had a good job, good salary, good benefits, good company, a nice condo, a German car, and plenty of savings.
From the outside, I had all the trappings of success. So why was I so miserable on the inside?
I got the wake up call when my boss announced possible layoffs. From that moment, I knew I needed to turn my life around. At that moment, I decided it was time I started to excel in my own life.
For me, to excel is to make purposeful choices about the way I live. It doesn't mean never making mistakes and being perfect. I'm far from perfect.
Here are a few steps I took when I decided to excel:
1. Catch the cue
My wake up call came when my boss told me there might be another round of layoffs coming up and I might be subject to it. Hearing that hurt, but, honestly, that was the best news I had ever got.
That's when I started asking myself why I was wasting my life on work that made me so unhappy. What is keeping me here? What do I really want to do? What is important to me?
2. Take time for introspection
Before that moment, I didn't take time to consider what I really wanted and why I wanted it. I was driven, and I chased goals that made my resume look good. I didn't realize back then that chasing those empty goals was the cause of my burn out.
3. Let it go
My first step was to admit I needed to stop worrying about what other people might think. Then, I had to get clear on what was really important to me in my life, and embrace myself for the person I am. That meant letting go of my ego, pride, and the baggage I was carrying around.
4. Slow down
I discovered that I needed to slow down to excel. It was scary to slow down. I was afraid my peers would leave me behind. But, I realized that, just like in a car in a high-speed race, pit stops were unavoidable. You need to stop, refuel, check your alignment and recharge to go farther, faster. This is crucial for your life because you are in it for the long run.
5. Stop comparing yourself with others
I was so used to being part of the pack. It took me a while to get comfortable not being on the same path as everyone else and to stop comparing myself with them.
6. Be present
Even when you are not where you want to be, you must pause to be present in every moment. Never check out. Don't act as if you don't care. Don't be indifferent. When things are not going the way you want, find a different way. Open your mind, eyes and heart to options. There is always a solution, but you must be present and open minded to find it.
When you decide to excel, you naturally become the leader of your own life.
But first, you must get clear on the mindsets that are holding you back. Then you develop strategies and skills to help you trust your inner guide.
I can be there, with you, every step of the way.
Are you ready to be happy and successful as you travel your own path? Take the first step by downloading the free "Leadership Discovery Tool."
Nozomi Morgan, MBA, is a certified Executive Coach and the Founder and President of Michiki Morgan Worldwide LLC. Addition to coaching, she speaks and trains on leadership, career, professional development and cross-cultural business communication.