I remember my 40th birthday, when I felt I had it all. At the elaborate party I was throwing myself, I was so happy, my only wish was for my life to stay exactly like this forever. Of course, we all know that’s the point where the music comes to a screeching halt and the story changes course.
Less than a year later, as I found myself broken-hearted and boxing up my life (again!), my mind went from that amazing birthday bash where everything had still been perfect to a conversation soon after, where I told my girlfriends, If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t have fulfilled my purpose in life. Sounded like things hadn’t been that perfect after all.
I had ignored that sentiment for several months, but now it was back and not going anywhere. Not exactly a rock bottom moment, but a turning point nevertheless.
I had no idea what my purpose was, so I did what I always do: I made a list. This one included getting a dog, changing hair color, writing another novel, training as a coach, moving back to the US, and a couple of other things I can’t recall. All very helpful purpose-finding exercises, I figured.
You may find this list a bit much. But long lists are my comfort zone, as is massive action. So I did most of it within the next two years (getting a dog took a little longer).
I turned my entire life upside down – and found that change does not necessarily equal growth, especially not if you are a change embracer like I am
Truly learning this lesson required me to go through burnout and depression. Through two years feeling like stuck in quicksand, constantly exhausted, often crying, unable to pinpoint why I was so unhappy, and unwilling to talk about it.
Instead, I did my comfort zone thing: I made a list, this one summarizing 27 recommendations what to do to feel better.
I went into massive action – and did them all.
It did not work.
What worked, and what led me where I am today – not running from my life but embracing it – was facing up to the fact that I needed help, and rest. I got myself help, and I am working on giving myself more rest. (Still struggling with that one, though.)
But along the way, I’ve learned that I am indeed a woman who has it all. Not in the way I felt on that birthday night years ago. But all as in all the feelings, all the responsibility, all the choices. It’s a lot messier than my old life, but I’ve come to love it. And I don’t even need a list for it.
Inspired by Micha's story and tips? Reach out!
She’s one of Go Love Yourself's featured coaches for May!
Micha Goebig works with female professionals, primarily in male-dominated industries, helping them rewrite their story so that they can change the world, one boardroom at a time. She is a certified coach, speaker, published author of novels and non-fiction, and the founder of Go Big Coaching. Micha follows a German-style coaching approach: efficient, pragmatic, solution-driven, direct. Her signature Unlearn Series focuses on going beyond negative self-talk, impostor syndrome, perfectionism, self-sabotage and on building positive habits and routines.