Leaping Over the “How” Hurdle

Post by Lamisha Serf for the Kindness in Business series.


photo by Michael W. May on Flickr

When you follow your heart and do the work you were meant to do in the world, the path you follow may not be logical or realistic. It might not be the path that others have taken or the road with blinking lights screaming “THIS WAY”. It just might end up being a string of seemingly insignificant, yet inspired steps that ultimately lead you to your true purpose. At least that’s how it worked out for me.

The truth is, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life and growing up I didn’t really have a dream of what I wanted to become. Getting to college was the goal and the rest, well; I supposed I would figure it out along the way. I figured I would choose an interesting major, take the necessary classes, graduate, and find a job. (Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in college?) What I didn’t know is through that process I was going to be introduced to my passion, my path, and my purpose. Only I didn’t recognize it at first.

I heard about life coaching for the first time about 11 years ago while sitting in one of my personal fitness classes (I was an Exercise Science major at the time). A one-hour lecture and a simple article about coaching were just enough to cause a stirring in my soul that I just couldn’t shake. Back then life coaching was still in its early years so there wasn’t much information available. Add to that the fact that I was already over half way through my studies and almost out into the real world, I decided to just finish my degree and forget about coaching.

Lacking passion and purpose, I went out into the world and got a real job, like adults are supposed to do.

My first job was working for a mutual fund company (clearly not using my degree) where I became one of the top paper-pushing office assistants the company had ever had. Stellar in answering phones, filing, and making copies, my creative, soulful side was dying a slow and very painful death.

For two years I did the adult thing (you know working and paying bills), yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more out there for me. Being the youngest person in my department, I wondered if the group of very professional people that surrounded me was enjoying their work. I was curious about how they were able to work for the same company for 10-15 years and if they truly loved what they were doing. Was being a retirement plan administrator their dream job? I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I was just in the wrong place.

My curiosity got the best of me and I began asking my co-workers questions like: “If you could do anything in the world and money weren’t an issue, what would you do?” I started getting answers like ‘sing’, ‘perform’, ‘go back to school for social work’. My follow-up question would always be, “Well, why aren’t you doing it?”

I realized several years later that these were questions I should have been asking myself.

Fast forward through two more years of desk jobs, a major move 300+ miles from home, and an insatiable appetite for connection, joy, and freedom in my work, I stumbled upon a graduate program in Psychology that peaked my interest. It seemed like the ‘logical’ place to begin to find my purpose since I had come to the realization I really wanted to help people.

During the program, I took a Positive Psychology class that resonated with me and resulted in the same tug I felt when I first heard about life coaching.

Two distinct points in my history were creating a line that would eventually point to my future purpose and passionate career. But, how was I going to get there?

This is when I first recognized the “how” hurdle.

When I finally recognized that coaching others was what I wanted to do, I thought the path would be relatively easy, logical even. All I had to do was find a program, get certified, start coaching, and live happily ever after. Seemed easy enough.

Only it wasn’t.

The more I searched for the right program, the more I came up empty. The programs I found were all either too far away, too expensive, or too general. Feeling frustrated and defeated, I wondered how I was ever going to achieve the life of my dreams helping others do the same?

How???

My “how” hurdle came in the form of a traditional route. Most coaches I researched had gone the same logical route I was trying to take. They did the work, took the courses, and were now living the life that I wanted. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get the realistic and traditional route to work for me. Nothing I did felt right…for me.

Until one day (almost 2 years later) everything changed. A friend and coworker of mine said a few simple words that set my creative wheels in motion and sent me leaping over the “how” hurdle.

She said, “Sometimes, you just have to take that leap.”

Simple words, but full of so much power my head was spinning. I could feel the resonance to my core and in that moment, I realized I had been ‘coaching’ people my entire life. Friends, coworkers, and family members had been my real-life guinea pigs and I didn’t even realize it…until that moment.

In the end, I realized the logical and even realistic paths were not a good fit for me, but that didn’t mean coaching wasn’t a fit for me. It simply meant I had to find another way and I did, the inspired way.

Does that mean I will never go back and try pieces of the logical and realistic paths? Nope. It just means that if I do, it’s because I am inspired to.

If I could share a few nuggets of wisdom based on what I have learned over the last 11 years it is this:
• Trust your gut and if the logical/realistic route keeps showing you a dead end, open your mind to more creative ways to make your dreams a reality.
• Your journey is yours alone and only you can determine what is the best route to take, don’t let others dictate what is realistic for you.
• Doing what you love doesn’t have to be hard, unless you believe it to be.
• Let your inspiration be your guide to what works for you. Truly amazing things can happen when you do.

Should you find yourself wondering what to do about your own ‘how’ hurdle, remember, just because it’s tried and true for some, doesn’t mean it’s the path for you. There are many ways to get to where you are going and if you open yourself to the other options, you might just find yourself leaping sooner than you think.

Lamisha Serf is a dreamer, partner, and mama of one whose passion is to help women identify and live the life of their dreams. As a life coach she uses her Masters in Psychology to work with inspired souls who are ready to make their dreams a reality. With her unique, inspiration-driven coaching philosophy, she helps clients get out of their minds and into their hearts as they find creative and inspired ways to overcome challenges and live the life they once dreamt.
She can be found Online and on Facebook.

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