Is Your Heart Burned Out? This Is How I Rekindled My Fire!

For the longest time I held on tight to my accomplishments, to my career, to things I had acquired along the way – they gave me security, certainty. I knew what I had and I thought I knew who I was. So why then was I so unhappy? Why did I feel so bad about myself? Why did I numb my feelings by indulging in overeating, which caused me to be overweight and thus even more unhappy? Why was there no joy in my life? Why was my heart burned out?

I didn’t fully realize it at the time but all that time I was holding on tight to what I had achieved so far, I was also dreaming about another life.

I dreamed of a life away from the pressures of project management and chasing ever elusive client satisfaction. A life away from competing with the Joneses to see who could get a better career, bigger house, car, vacation, __________ [fill in the blank]

That is, until I consciously decided to let go of all I was holding on to. It meant letting go of most if not all that gave me a sense of security and safety.

Stepping into the unknown, I was finally taking time to think about what was really important.

I was lucky enough to connect with some amazing therapists and coaches, and they helped me find those answers I craved. I wanted freedom and independence. I wanted to guide and teach others. I wanted to spend time in nature.

None of which abounded in my career so far.

So I quit. Yes, just like that! I took myself to Austria, and started guiding hikes into the mountains.

While not fully knowing what I was getting myself into, everything felt so much better (and scarier) than continuing to hang on to a life that wasn’t fulfilling.

Those who questioned my decision I told with some bravado: “At worst I’ll have lived my dream life for a couple of years. At best I will succeed and actually live the life I’ve dreamed of for so long. Either way, it’s an experience nobody will take away from me!”

It has been eight years since I let go of what others possibly viewed as things to strive for in life: a good career, a well-paying job, a house, ….

One quick look at my LinkedIn profile will show you my career path since has been anything but traditional. Nor for that matter has my life ever been the same.

Sure I’m unhappy at times and I have moments where I feel bad about myself. Letting go of that what was behind me and reaching for whatever lay in front of me hasn’t made for a perfect life. But is there even such a thing?

Overall I would say life is pretty darn good! I’m still getting better at letting go and reaching out to whatever is in my future. My accomplishments are less about the physical stuff and more about insights into myself, others and life. My work is more about service to others instead of service to the bottom line.

Most importantly though, all this rekindled the fire in my heart and brings joy into my life.

Going back to what I held onto so tightly for so long is not an option anymore; not just because these things are no longer there (though I could probably accomplish similar things), but because I have come so much closer to who I really am. I would no longer, nor do I even want to, fit in that world. I’m much happier in my mountains; I’m much happier being a Trailblazer.

HOW ABOUT YOU? When the fire in your heart has burned out, what small action can you take today to rekindle it? 

Go on…. and please let me know. Your thoughts and answers will really help me be a better coach and guide to the people who need and want it most.

As always…

Go dare greatly!

Photo credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha (Unsplash)

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