In my last career as a freelance events producer and media manager in the action sports industry, I was incredibly driven to succeed, hungry with the need to prove myself. As the only woman and often the youngest person on each of my work teams, I put my tomboy-ish nature, my competitive spirit, and my biting humor to good use and had very little problem blending in with all-males teams. If anything, I rose to the occasion all too well. I was dominant, forcefully taking up space, voicing my opinion louder than most, demanding a spot at the table. I felt like a leopard in a pride of lions, hunting like them, feasting like them, blending in as best I could to ensure that one day, they wouldn’t all wake up to the fact that I wasn’t one of them, that I wasn’t a predator, but possibly a prey instead.
I assumed that I had left those survival tactics and that prominent Saboteur behind when I moved into coaching, a path much more focused on nurturing and growing than it is hunting. This is a space where I have nothing to prove. The transformation that takes place within my client isn’t about me, it’s about the power of the coach/client relationship so there’s very little room for my ego or my hunger. But just like when you walk face first into a spider web, my dog eat dog world mentality still hangs limply on my clothing or in my hair some days. Especially when it comes to growing my business, I have to actively work through the desire to prove people wrong, to show what I’m made of, to prepare for the fight. I have to fight off the Saboteur who wants to show up bearing teeth out of fear. Instead, I choose to invest in my Inner Leader, the wisest part of me, the part that has been slowly and gently putting deep roots into the soil, the one who understands that all of the work I’ve put in is for the long term gain. The most powerful version of myself is not a predator or a prey; it’s not a hunter but a gardener, a gatherer. It’s a primitive wisdom that asks for time, that coaxes growth from seeds, that toils the earth until it’s ready again. Instead of fight or flight, it looks to stand still, to dig deep, and to be. This is what drives me now. Not running away but running to. Not fear but hope. Not the need to fit in but the need to grow as tall as I can. Not to be part of a pack but to be part of a cycle of give and take.
What’s driving you?
Let’s find out!