I recently shared with you my learnings from taking a sabbatical. The Covid-19 crisis also made way for me to start my own transformation journey. I’ll admit, it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life, yet the most rewarding. The timing was perfect. I couldn’t escape from it. I was able to confront myself, reflect and take concrete actions. Let me take you through my personal journey and share with you some tips I learnt along the way.
“Self-transformation is not just about changing yourself. It means shifting yourself to a completely new dimension of experience and perception.”
Lost and confused
Any transformation starts in a stage of confusion, doubt, and uncertainty. I didn’t know where this would lead me; I just consciously decided to transform my life. At the start of the pandemic, in April 2020, I had this deep inner feeling that what was happening around us was too big for us to maintain living and doing things in the same way. It was a clear call for change. But what kind of change, I had no clue.
Tip: Of course, it’s okay if you also don’t have a clue yet. That’s all part of the transformation process. Simply acknowledging the need for change is the first step, and then, let yourself go with the flow.
Shifting my mindset
I couldn’t transform my life loaded with a set of limiting beliefs that blocked me, like a heavy backpack I’d been carrying around for years. This was my first challenge; shifting my mind and my perspective on life. Going to the gym, journaling, practising meditation, reading, and coaching eventually exercised my brain to be optimistic and have faith in whatever setbacks life might throw at me. I’d never done such work on myself before. It was deep inner work, creating the foundation for whatever lies ahead.
Tip: Unsure of how to get started? Why not watch some Ted Talks? You’ll hear incredible stories from real people who faced tremendous challenges and took a leap to transform their lives.
“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”
Becoming the CEO of my life
This was one of my main objectives; to become the CEO of my life. A strong statement though! This meant making all the decisions and being held 100% accountable for them. Yes, not blaming other people, not complaining, and being responsible. Before this, I was always waiting for an organisation or one of my superiors to invest in my personal growth. It was their responsibility. I was working for them. I must admit, I was wrong. Taking ownership of my career instead of “waiting for things to happen” has been a huge step towards becoming the CEO of my life.
Tip: Visualisation is a great exercise to start taking action. It pushes you to dream without limits. Visualise your life, where you want to live, the people you want around you, or the work you will be doing. After that, you will start taking action naturally. A CEO is a visionary ????
A purpose-driven life
I had two options: keep going on the same path or reflect and define a new one. I decided to take the second option. But before exploring what I could do, I focused on the why. Why was I going to do this? What would my purpose be? In interviews, I remember saying the same thing: It’s important for me to make an impact. But what kind of impact?
Purpose is your North Star. It guides your decisions keeping you consistent and aligned. An encounter with a video from the United Nations presenting the Sustainable Developments Goals (i.e. SDGs) was, for me, the beginning of something new. I felt deeply concerned, worried, and powerless. What would be my legacy? How can I contribute to future generations? That was the starting point on my path into sustainability.
I believe in business for good. I believe in organisations balancing profit with people and the planet. I believe in purpose-driven companies that give us a reason to wake up in the morning and do our best to positively impact the world. I want to be part of the change. I want to drive it along with many other like-minded people.
Tip: It’s rare to be suddenly hit with that ‘A-ha’ moment of finding your purpose. It will happen by putting yourself out there and talking to people, digging into topics you’re interested in, exploring, and reading articles. Be curious. Follow your intuition. Eventually, at some point, things will connect.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”
John F. Kennedy
Taking concrete actions
In a journey of transformation, there’s a time for reflection and a time for action. Becoming clearer about my purpose triggered actions, such as spending months learning new skills, investing in myself, and relocating to a new country. I believe that once you know what you want, and what your purpose is, your actions will flow naturally. The biggest decision I then made, was to start my entrepreneur journey.
I started my own consulting firm providing advisory and coaching services in sustainability to organisations. My impact took a different shape of form compared to what I’d been doing for more than 10 years. Yet, it all made sense and prepared me to take a big leap. The leap of faith. I am now living my purpose as a sustainability leader helping people and organisations make a sustainable impact.
Tip: What’s the one thing you can do to keep yourself accountable? Remember to take small steps that will keep you in motion. And of course, celebrate along the way.
A transformation is a process. It impacts your personal and professional life. Did I expect all of this to happen when I started the process? Of course not! I just knew I had to let go of the old me and my rigid programming and give room to something new. Something much more fulfilling. Something bigger than myself. Has it been easy? No. And it’s not a linear process. It has ups and downs, successes, and learnings… never failure! It’s the path I choose for myself. And you can choose your path too!