On inspiring

I’ve been thinking today about the comment many people have made about my journey. They tell me I’m inspiring. We hear a lot about unintended consequences in the learning and development world. I think I’ve stumbled on some. I’ve embarked on this journey to live my dream, to achieve the life I want to live in the way I want to live it. Never did it occur to me that my actions might inspire others.

The free online dictionary defines inspire as: to affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence, or to draw forth; elicit or arouse. Wow! That’s heavy material. But, in fact, I think my actions are doing exactly that. I know many people who, while content in their work, would love nothing more than to step outside of the day-to-day world and live a freer life of their own choosing. My actions are showing them that it’s possible. Not only possible, but acheivable. A year ago, when leaving my full time job and returning to life in Seattle was merely a dream, I was frightened, uncertain, and doubtful I could make it happen. Now, I have to step back a minute and say that I am only starting this journey, but in my deepest soul, I have no doubt I’ll be successful. Just where this confidence has come from, I’m not sure.

I’ve been on a year-long journey of self-reflection, experimentation, and stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s amazing what I’ve learned. I’ve learned people believe in me. I’ve learned I’m a pretty darn good networker. I’ve learned that I’m a good counselor and mentor. And mostly, I’ve learned to have faith in myself, my abilities, and my gifts. It was not an easy year, to say the least. But I like what and who I am on the other side of that struggle.

So, if by living my dream I can inspire others, well, that’s just icing on the cake. I live in the world of leadership development. Never did I imagine that I would be the one leading!


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is www.colecoach.com
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