Guest blog by Shelley Verducci
Shelley is an Intuitive Life & Business Coach, a 37-year-old mom of twins, a dog mom, wife, and lifelong passion pursuer. She worked in sales for the last 14 years while studying and trailblazing businesses with a focus in wellness, fitness, and nutrition.
Along the way, Shelley realized that it is possible to embrace both passion and skill to do what you love. And what she loves is to help women live as their most authentic selves. To create a safe space for honesty and authenticity, and to support you at every turn. She empowers women to redefine their own version of success, honoring themselves in the process through one on one coaching sessions, group work, and workshops.
The Fear and Exhilaration of Following Your Calling
Transitions. We’ve all had them. They’re one of the only constants in our lives.
We experience many changes over time - some unconscious, some intentional. Some big and drastic, others smaller and unassuming. They take us from somewhere we’ve been, to somewhere we want or need to go. Sometimes they completely change the course of our lives.
Child to adult.
Student to graduate.
Individual to parent.
Maybe a big move, a career change, or a change in our life’s path. Our lives are full of transitions, and as I write this blog, I’m facing my biggest one yet!
I feel like I’ve been in transition for years, never really landing on “the other side” although desperately wanting to. Dipping my toe in, submerged with fear, and then stepping back into the comfortably uncomfortable. And yet here I am, 2 weeks away from ending a 14 year career in sales. Starting the coaching business I’ve been dreaming of for over 10 years.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is the scariest transition I’ve ever been through.
For the first time in 14 years, I have uncertainty in my career. The transition I’m embarking upon is a combination of external factors and an internal knowing. With this career change comes some major life changes too. My priorities have shifted from quotas, clients and my employer, to happiness, fulfillment and a genuine desire to help others.
Even though that all sounds amazing to me, it still comes with some massive fear.
I’ve always had something to fall back on, whether it was a company I worked for, my education, or the opinions and guidance of my family and friends. Something I thought was bigger than me that would ultimately keep me on the right path.
I’ve lived this way for so many years, and yet always wanted something more, something different. The problem was that the things I was drawn to were unconventional in my family’s eyes.
Ten years ago, my dream to become a personal trainer was discouraged due to financial uncertainty. Everyone wondered: would it pay my bills? So instead of ever going all in, I fit it into my already busy life. I worked with those clients before and after my day job in sales, literally counting down the minutes until I could leave the office and do the thing I loved.
When I couldn't energetically sustain that kind of lifestyle, I threw myself into learning as much as I could. I enrolled in life coaching programs to try to fill that void, to quench that thirst, and because it literally lit me up from inside. And hey - it wasn’t affecting my bottom line or career, so win-win.
I lived this life for over 10 years.
At the beginning of 2021, I decided to find a life coaching certification program for the last time. When I enrolled in Lumia's coach training program, I knew that if I was going to take a third course in coaching, I had to actually follow through with using these skills and making my dream a reality!
So I put off my start date.
Another month passed, and I was still too scared to begin. Once May started approaching, I realized I had to just suck it up and pull the trigger. So I did. I joined the May cohort, and dove right in.
The momentum started. I was around other people who were living the same life I’d been living. Moving from dreaming to doing.
At the end of my first month in the program, I decided to set a non-negotiable end date for my sales career: December 31, 2021. I had 6 months to finish my program, graduate, and come to terms with my decision.
What I knew for sure is that I was not turning back.
When I made this decision, it was the same story as years prior. My family was supportive of my education, but unsure about an actual career change.
- How would I pay my mortgage?
- How would I get clients?
- Would I be able to support my family?
All of the usual questions that used to trigger me into a spiral, ultimately backing out of my decision.
But this time I wasn’t triggered.
For some reason, I just knew this was right. All those questions I couldn't answer didn’t bug me anymore. Instead, I embraced, “I dont know.” I said it so many times, that “I don't know” started to become exciting!
My world felt like it was opening up.
Finally I was seeing that I actually had options, possibilities, and choices. I was capable of my job in sales, but know that I have so much more to offer. I knew this transition was right for me, for my soul, and for my family.
As a result, my sales career became less and less attractive. The things that made me good at my job had taken their toll on my body, my spirit, and even my family. The elements I liked about my career dwindled until I wasn’t experiencing them at all.
We tend to stay in careers for money, glorify the unruly hours, the extreme exhaustion and stress in the name of success. But what is it about that approach to life that actually makes it successful?
I had reached a point in my life where the more money I made in my sales career, the more unhappy I was. Life was giving me all the signs that I was making the right decision to transition out of this old version of me. This was my time to make the change.
This transition really feels like the ending of a chapter of my life.
I sometimes get stuck in looking back at all the years I could’ve already been a coach, already out of a career I never fully enjoyed. It’s easy to get stuck in that “shoulda-woulda-coulda” maze. So much sadness, and anger about the choices I didn't follow through with. Angry at the person I was, and sad for the one who couldn't find her way.
It’s a process to look back on your life and realize that it actually unfolds the way it's supposed to. The timing of everything may not make sense in the moment, but always ends up being exactly right.
I now have so much compassion for the past version of me, and so much gratitude for this current me. I’ve realized that for too many years I let someone or something else dictate my decisions.
It’s time to write my own story.
I made it. It's been a long, hard-earned journey. But I made it.
The thing that I’ve learned from all my toe dips is that when you follow your inner knowing, the decision will always be right in that moment. This incredible process of life is mostly about walking into the unknown, after all. And how cool is it that at any point we can take one step and change the whole direction of our life?
Embrace the rhythms and transitions of life.
Trust that northstar inside of you - it won’t steer you wrong. If you’re thinking about a career in coaching but are feeling the same fear that held me back over the past decade, you might like to read Second Act: Making A Mid-Career Transition into Life Coaching.
Want to Become A Coach?
One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our coaches like Shelley ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.