For a long time now I have had a bit of a hang up in regard to the phrase, 'jack of all trades, master of none,' and it has caused a bit of a block in my business growth. However, coming home from my Yoga Teacher Training I started to see the fact that I have multiple passions as a hugely positive thing - rather than a sign of confusion. We are constantly told that we have to know our niche, understand our audience, not put out confusing messages, keep things simple, do one thing and do it well... but I really struggle with this because I genuinely love so many different things and feel that when I focus on just one of them - I am constantly being guided back to the others.
I have spent the past 6 months trying to figure out 'what I do', and have ended up flitting from being a Health Coach, to a Business Coach, to a Communication Strategist, to a Writer, to a Recipe Developer, to a Yoga Teacher... and I never felt complete when I was doing just one of these things. When I was just focusing on Health Coaching and Nutrition I felt sad that I wasn't fulfilling my passion for helping people in business. When I was focusing just on Business Coaching I missed the nutrition and well being element. I wasn't answering my calling and that frustrated me - but I felt I had to stick to 'the rules' in order to be successful.
Instead of feeling open and excited about the new adventures, I felt that my options were getting narrower and narrower, and the various messages that I was putting out 'had to be' in line with what I was focusing on. Don't get me wrong - I asked for this focus. I wanted to know exactly what I was supposed to be doing - but what I didn't realise, was that by putting myself in a box I was trapping myself and enhancing the feeling of being stuck. The result was a lack of enthusiasm, the need to distract myself, a desire to escape. In fact at one time I was even considering whether I should go traveling to figure it out - now I realise that this was simply a way to take myself away from the pressure of 'needing to know' what I was doing.
Coming home from my trip confirmed that home is truly where my heart is.
I knew that going away to Costa Rica would change me, and change the way I perceived things, and I wasn't wrong. Even half way through I knew that finally I had shed this feeling of confusion about what I wanted to do. When I returned I felt ease, I felt contentment - I also felt utterly exhausted - but in a happy kind of way!
In my old business I felt like I was that 'jack of all trades, master of none' and I didn't like it. I felt that I wasn't focused on anything properly and was doing a half arsed job on each element. I don't like not doing my best (that comes from the perfectionist within me) and I made it my priority when I transitioned my career to stay focused but in doing so I turned my back on some of the things that make my heart sing.
Now I realise that actually being multi passionate and having a range of skills and offerings will never be a bad thing for me. I am the kind of person who likes variety, I thrive on mixing my days up and connecting with a range of different people. I can do all the things that I love! I can be a Yoga Teacher and a Health Coach. I can help and support individuals and brands in their business lives. I can write to my heart's content and actually be very good at it. I can create a safe space for people to develop and find clarity in their own lives. All of these things make up me... Lauren. I do all of these things well and actually if I hold back then I am doing a dis-service to the people that need my help.
So, I have abandoned this hang up about not confusing my messages. My life is one big bundle of different interests and skills and why would I want to hide parts of me that are so important to my well being and fulfillment? If someone doesn't 'get me' because of that then it's OK!
And this brings me on to perhaps the biggest 'ah ha' moment of this message.
Letting go of feeling the need to validate myself, to seek the approval of other people and to be everyone's cup of tea. That is what allowing myself to do all of the things I love is about. I don't feel judged anymore, I don't actually mind if someone doesn't like me or my messages. We cannot please everyone, we cannot live our lives 'trying to be liked' and for the first time since I went to secondary school I finally feel at peace with who I am.
Yes I swear, yes I overshare at times, yes I am a bit of a bulldozer when it comes to getting what I want, yes I can be silly and a bit crazy at times, yes I can be very extroverted at times, but also very introverted, yes I live with anxiety and some people don't 'get it... all of these things are part of me and make me the unique and magical person that I am.
And yes... I will hold my hands up and admit it to the world... I actually LIKE myself. I am PROUD of myself. I BELIEVE in myself.
I have finally given myself the permission to be me, and not just to be me, but to ADORE me!
I really want to urge anyone feeling the urge to pigeon hole yourself, despite it not being what your heart wants, to be brave and be bold in following multiple passions. It DOES not make you fickle or flakey. It makes you balanced, rounded and full of life. Own the variety. Step up to being unique and embrace the beautiful chaos that life brings!