I’m not trying to confuse you. I really believe this. Especially this year. Let me explain.
Some people say you have to give up what you like to do in order to do what you love. I agree with that too, but what if you don’t just like doing more than one thing, you love doing more than one thing?
What if you love doing two, three, or four different things?
For those of us with several pursuits that we love, sometimes we have to make an even harder choice.
Sometimes, you have to give up something you love to do in order to do something else that you love to do.
That is what happened to me this year.
I just removed the COACHING page from my web site. This Monday, October 30, 2017, was my last day of coaching. I have LOVED working with people one-to-one for the past 18+ years. I’ve worked with individuals as a career coach, a career counselor, an academic adviser, a prelaw adviser, a law school admissions consultant, and as a writing coach.
My students and clients have told me that they have loved working with me. Other advisers, counselors, and coaches have told me that I have a gift for working with individuals. There are times when I have felt, while being totally present with someone in a one-to-one session, that I am using my gift to its highest purpose.
I am not pointing all this out because I have a big head and need to brag about my experiences. No, I say this to explain how hard it is to give up what you love to do, especially when other people are also telling you that they love what you do.
It’s hard as hell to make a decision like this. It’s never easy. It can feel right after you’ve made the decision, but it’s never easy.
I am giving up my love for working with individuals in order to focus on two loves that I want to spend more time on: writing and teaching groups of people.
I am also giving up my love for working one-to-one with individuals in order to focus more on one of my core values: freedom. I value having freedom over my daily schedule, where I conduct business, where I live, where I travel, and how much I travel. I want more freedom, and part of fostering that means shifting to a business model that does not involve having set appointments with individuals every week.
It’s scary to make a change.
This fall, I’m rethinking everything. My business. My business mission. My purpose. My daily schedule. How I connect with people now. How I want to connect with people in the future. How I most want to help people. What I want my legacy to be after I die. There’s A LOT going on in my mind and in my soul, and I know things will not be the same in 2018. They might not even be the same tomorrow.
But, even while I’m treading water in this existential soup, and feeling many emotions, fears, doubts, anxieties, and excitement about the future, I know it was right to close down my coaching business. Even though it made me sad to do it, I knew it was the right thing to do. Sometimes, the right thing doesn’t feel good. Not at all. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
I gave up doing something I loved to do in order to do something else I love to do. Some might think that’s tragic, but I don’t. Even while feeling sad, I realize I’m lucky to be able to make this decision. I am very, very lucky.
P.S. Some say the quote at the top is from Louis L’Amour, others say it’s from Anonymous. All I know is I found it while looking for quotes by Liz Gilbert. Go figure.
Peg Cheng is the author of The Contenders, a middle-grade novel centered on the question, can enemies become friends? She is currently writing another novel that is a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale set in 1980s Seattle. Peg is also the creator of Fear & Writing, a workshop for procrastinating writers from all walks of life.