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From passion to profession


Cheryl Gittens

From passion to profession

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Powerful questions are designed to make us pause and reassess our lives. The ultimate aim of a powerful question is to move us towards transforming our lives into a series of desirable outcomes.
In the process you could become remarkably uncomfortable with only your dream and the belief that it will become a reality to hold onto. So last week I started you on the uncomfortable journey of asking yourself tough questions that may propel you forward or cause you to pause on your passion quest.
Then, fortunately, I turned on my television last Sunday in time to see a fellow coaching colleague, Ian Blanchard, discussing the importance of allowing our children to dream on one of the talk shows.
Also a favourite part of my coaching, I was riveted to the programme. Many children have dreamed of becoming astronauts and having a house with three pools. By the time they’re teenagers, a false sense of reality warns them that money is a scarce commodity, too scarce for their parents to help them fulfill their dreams. Then suddenly “maturity and its attendant commonsense” force them to relegate their dreams to childhood fantasies.  
Of course, this discussion is really much more complicated than I have alluded to, but what remains true is that many of our teens get a lot of help from parents and significant adults in their lives to assassinate their dreams, sometimes based upon a subconscious belief that if they couldn’t do it themselves, how is it even possible for their children to accomplish it, even though many children are smarter than their parents?
This fear is usually love-based because, who wants to see their child “fail”? So the myth is perpetuated. We must have all the answers as to how to manifest, plus the money, to even encourage the thought of pursuing our passions.
By the time you have settled for something else more realistic and attainable, you haven’t even noticed that the years have rolled on. By the time you are starting your fifth decade, or luckily before that, you start to reflect on the mature and responsible decisions you have made.
You accommodated your dependents but now your dreams are resurfacing and nudging your unhappiness and lack of fulfilment. Now you wish 17 could have turned out differently.
And so when I meet the 17-year-old teenagers in their 40-year-old bodies they are propelled but often scared to dream again, though many have even forgotten their dreams. They are overwhelmed with powerlessness, guilt, shame and resentment for allowing, in many instances, someone else to deprive them of their passions. But, remember, you were a dependent teen, not an adult.
At the risk of sounding like a cliché, it really is never too late to live your passion. At 35, 40 or 60, you no longer need to depend on your parents to sponsor your dream; how exciting is it that you get the responsibility to make it a reality?
Now, is it a profession? Ask yourself a few questions first.
• Will turning your passion into a profession steal its joy?
• Will people want your passion as it is or would it lose authenticity when shaping it for the market?
• Who is your ideal client (apart from “everybody”)?
• What is your signature offering; style of delivery; benefit?
• Without doubting your adequacy, are you competent to deliver the service?
• What do you need to do to become competent?
• Are you confident in your business acumen and your ability to deliver?
• Are you creative or willing to become creative to keep your passion and profession afloat?
• What will make you quit?
• Are you open to support to make your chosen profession successful (to be coached or trained)?
• How do you feel about marketing and selling? (Many professionals dislike marketing and selling.
Are you willing to accept that people need your passion and that modern sales is now about service and relationship-building?)
So are you still prepared to sit on your dream instead of finding the courage and learning the know-how to serve your future clients and improve their lives? I think I know the answer to that!
• Cheryl Gittens is a life performance coach to professionals, and a lecturer at the University of the West Indies.

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