“It’s ok to want a bigger life.” This sentence resonated big time with me when I was in the first DrivenWoman session almost three years ago. I did not exactly know what that ‘bigger life’ would mean to me and I felt a bit ungrateful and ashamed to say that I was not totally happy with what I already had.
Nevertheless, I decided to live with the guilt and start finding my path to the mysterious ‘bigger life’. The journey started with writing down my goals, saying out loud what I really want. It’s amazing how difficult a task that was!
It was difficult for me, and it’s been difficult for so many other women I have met in the DrivenWoman Lifeworking groups. The more women came together, the more evident it was that most of us have never really worked through the question of “What do I really want?” It sounds like a selfish and ego-centric question – the qualities not many want to be related to. Especially us women. We should only care and share, look nice and not be too loud about our needs.
The further you get to find answers to this question, the more evident it becomes that the question is actually: “Who am I and what’s my task on this planet?”
It’s hard to know what you want if you don’t know who you are.
To be able to answer that question is a scary and uncertain road to travel. But, there’s no other road if you really want to live a ‘bigger life’.
Bigger life is about following your heart.
Bigger life is to be vulnerable and not always having the answers, giving the controller in you a day off.
Bigger life is not letting fear of failure to guide your decisions.
Bigger life is to connect with people, letting others to support your journey and letting go of those relationships that restrain your efforts to be who you really are.
Bigger life is not to accuse your parents, boss, partner, whoever for your current situation and take responsibility of your own life.
Bigger life is welcoming the good and the bad in life and accepting that you are not a perfect mother, daughter, partner, colleague, boss – nobody is.
Bigger life is a feeling of being enough.
Like in every journey, there is a tipping point where things start to change dramatically.
For me it was my first 43 km trail marathon in the Finnish Lapland in a very difficult terrain a year ago. I finally realised that the fear of failure is stopping me to live a bigger life. Writing down a concrete life goal was difficult for me because it meant I may never achieve that goal, I could fail.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
― Brené Brown
DrivenWoman groups have truly pushed me forward, giving me the right kind of peer support. I have also used therapists and coaches to help me to find myself. As I am a very physical person (I realised) I also need to do something with my body, something I thought was impossible.
So, I started to train for a trail marathon. I needed the physical “extra mile” on top of mental coaching to deal with the fear of failure. It changed my attitude towards fear and helped me to concretely understand how to achieve big goals.
If you truly want a ‘bigger life’, start finding your path now and don’t give up, accept all kinds of road blocks. I promise you’ll like it when you get there :).
Susanna Saikkonen is a DrivenWoman group leader in Finland