This June, I was in Roxanne Hobbs' Daring Way ™ workshop organised by DrivenWoman UK and the first exercise was to write down the arena where I want to be seen. I had been looking forward to this fantastic workshop and started briskly doing the task. To my surprise I was struggling to formulate the sentence. Everybody else was ready and I started to feel anxious. I thought I had already gone further in my purpose hunting. The first task, and I'm not able to complete!
What happened next was one of the biggest moments of light for me, a kind of tipping point in my journey to become who I want to be. With the help of Roxanne's well pointed questions I realised that what I really needed was to embrace my purpose, to truly commit to my journey.
I realised that not being fully committed is one of my protection mechanisms.
If I fail it doesn't hurt so much because I can always explain that it wasn't for me after all, or it wasn't the right place and time. In a way I haven't given myself even a chance to succeed. I immediately recalled many situations when this has happened and felt both shame and relief. Shame for being lazy and relief for recognising this mechanism.
Ok, then what?
Start being committed and problems solved! That was my first thought but easier said than done. Protecting myself from true success has been my life strategy, changing it will not be easy. And this strategy has worked pretty well, so far.
Since January, being a DrivenWoman Group Leader, I've heard many stories from bright women who get easily excited about new things, like to try this and that but feel a bit lost since they don't have a clear purpose, or they are constantly searching for it. As they are sharp and brilliant women, they know it's their job to do the change. But the line of excuses is long and comes in all forms: family situation, work situation, finances, I need to do that first, I'm not in a rush, kids, house... And they resonate with me so well, as it sounds like my own story.
So, how am I planning to start?
How will I become committed and embrace my purpose?
The last task at Roxanne's workshop was to write down three things I'm going to do differently. My list consisted of the following things:
1) Practise self-compassion actively, create habit for it (eg. meditation)
2) Practise empathy, pay attention vs. escape to being busy with household chores, emails, social media etc.
3) Start taking steps towards embracing my purpose (commit, be seen)
Now, two months after the workshop I can proudly say that I have been able to do things differently. Not everyday, not always but step by step, not blaming myself for little setbacks.
And luckily, I have the amazing group of DrivenWoman to support me on this journey, to become the woman I want to be.
Susanna Saikkonen is a DrivenWoman Group Leader in Helsinki, Finland.
If you want to find out how to start your journey to find your purpose with a help and support of like minded women, check out one of our Introduction to LifeWorking evenings in London Soho, East London, Guildford, Helsinki, Singapore or Auckland (NZ). More groups and locations will be added soon.