“When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.” - Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes.
That is my year 2020 in crux. I found my truest self in 2020. Got a little more closer to my loved ones. Tried all new things. Built a new brand - a new me.
When I look at my journal there are two words that occur most frequently - purpose and calling, and I’ve been searching these for quite a while now. I have been a working professional for over 25 years until 2020 brought me to myself, face to face and ushered all the reality checks in a single year. Minus the virus (of course) and the financial misfortune it brought, the year 2020 has been one good self-discovery adventurous ride.
The year made me grateful for what I have and turned me into a believer. It made me more resilient and brought a lot of perseverance, way more than I thought I had. And I survived. Yes, I survived with less, without eating out, being creative and with minimal shopping (necessities of course, yes!). The days when weekends were meant for a stroll to the mall, buying and doing aimless stuff, seem so meaningless now.
Everyone has a great fear in life. My worst fear is uncertainty and 2020 had it in abundance. And the other one is loneliness. I always knew that once you face your fear you get closer to your own greatness and uniqueness. I experienced the same in 2020. I realized our greatest fear is usually the one that needs to be conquered to achieve our life’s dreams. My dream has always been to be creative with my writing and polish my craft. As it is said, the true evolution takes place from within and last year gave me an opportunity to dive deep into my being and explore what I could possibly do. I saw that there were immense opportunities and possibilities once I turned to myself and believed in me.
I became an entrepreneur — a budding one. Entrepreneurship should come with a disclaimer: Warning! Prepare to experience the highest highs and the lowest lows in the same hour. And I’ve been here, there, and everywhere literally this year. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. You probably don’t think of yourself that way either. But eventually I realized I had to make a transition if I wanted to do ‘my thing’ — write, coach and help people who are living on autopilot mode, like I was, and when life suddenly just slips.
I proactively put myself and my ideas out in the open in an effort to attract opportunities. This is my life, I thought and all these years I’ve gained ample expertise professionally. And so, I wondered what problems can I help to solve? What’s the most effective way for me to provide my service to people? Sharing your expertise can be daunting. When I started I felt, hasn’t everything already been said about management, leadership and people? I also believed that there’s one story that hasn’t been told yet: mine. My life experiences, diverse paths and obstacles are unique to me. No one else has that — this is what I keep telling my clients, remember to tap into the deep vein of skills and expertise that is unique to you.
When I was standing at a crossroad in my life, I believed I could bring something unique to the table — something that no one else has. 2020 has taught me to believe in myself, embrace it, own it and be it. During the most uncertain times I told myself again and again — my experience has value, my knowledge has value, and I’ve something valuable to add to the conversation, to the people. No one has lived my story. The year taught me to keep going, keep trying, to be confident in what I know and I built on that knowledge as I took new projects.
Everything is changing all the time. The only way to keep up — or even better, stay ahead — is to keep learning. I’m a lifelong learner. I learn by reading blog posts and books, and listening to podcasts. The authors and people have helped illuminate my path forward. I talked with people who explained what they did to achieve the success they wanted in their lives. I built my people tribe, and constantly experimented and tried new things. Sometimes your experiments will succeed, and sometimes they won’t. But as long as you learn something from every experiment, you haven’t truly failed.
In 2020, I stayed curious and kept my mind open to the possibilities laid out before me. It's important to experiment, learn from results, and try again. Like it is said, “If you’re not falling, you’re not learning.” I’m enthusiastically skeptical of everything that I’m doing. I am always searching for a better way to do my writing. 2020 brought me to a journey of reinventing myself and I will continue to believe in me.