My 12th Grade Dream


Have you ever found yourself stuck in the middle of a career crisis? Asking yourself, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Does it seem like you are dangling somewhere between a successful career that you've built and a passion that seems to be tugging at your heart? It is a complex question that it is often hard to boil down to one-word answers. If you are like me, the answer has changed a number of times over the course of your life. But the lack of a meaningful transition strategy oftentimes results in responses such as, "I don't know what I want to do next" or "I don't know how to make that happen."

Over time, I realized that there are two groups of people: those that know what they want to do and those that don't. However, I believe the latter actually does know; but fear, uncertainty, and family responsibilities stall or stop the pursuit of it. To say you "don't know" means nothing has ever sparked an interest. But if pressed about it, most people would say there has always been this "thing" (sometimes a couple of "things") that they've thought about doing but ...

Common hindrances expressed were:
  • They didn't know how
  • It seemed unrealistic
  • It was an untraditional path that would be difficult to follow

This made it clear to me that many had yet to yield to the possibility of that "thing". More importantly, they had yet to yield to the process of what it would take to get from where they were to where they wanted to be. I experienced similar feelings of uncertainty and intimidation with my own idea many years ago. I always knew I would own a personal development company to inspire, teach, and train others. I wanted to travel the world speaking and teaching on stages large and small, inspiring others to be their best selves.

This was the vision that occurred to me sitting in my bedroom during my senior year of high school. It became what I call My 12th Grade Dream. I never shared it with anyone at the time, but the seed was planted.
It seemed too lofty of an idea at such a young age, so I did what most people do and followed a traditional career path. However, my prayer was always, "Never let me stay longer than I am supposed to, and never let me leave before it's my time." I knew that each place or position was purposeful, but it was only a part of my story.

Like me, something keeps telling you where you are is not it; that looming, nagging, uncomfortable feeling that screams "This is not where you are supposed to be!" Or you might be a work in progress and know you could be doing more. These feelings are not new or unfamiliar; however the level of comfort that we have established for ourselves is sometimes far too great to let go and too rewarding to allow even the most conservative interruption.

Reflect on the following:

"Every move of elevation will always require some level of discomfort as you leave what it is familiar to what it is unknown."- Melissa J Nixon