I spent eight years climbing the corporate ladder, working in advertising as a senior art director on huge accounts like Frito-Lay, Coca Cola and Cover Girl. It seemed glamorous, but the fast-paced life caught up to me and resulted in severe depression. Some days it got so bad, I would cry in the bathroom at work. I knew something needed to change. It was painful to pretend to be someone else. What I really wanted was to be free to work from anywhere in the world; free to explore other cultures while sharing my experiences with others.
Three years ago I left behind that secure corporate job to venture out and follow my heart, to become a travel writer. Although the corporate grind proved unfulfilling for me, the lessons I learned were irreplaceable.
Today, I'm more successful and more fulfilled than I ever imagined possible. As a life coach, I work with people in transition — people just like the person I used to be — who are hoping to find happiness in their line of work or to follow my lead and find the courage to branch out into something new and exciting.
The first step to creating a new life is to accept and appreciate where you are. Once I turned my advertising frown upside down, I was able to see miraculous shifts occur.
Although my office has changed, I’ve found the lessons I learned in advertising can be applied to many problems I’ve encountered in my life. I found that solving problems creatively can help in myriad ways. For starters, I no longer sweat the small stuff. I see how everything is connected, and that the best cure for a bad day is patience, trust, and compassion.
I have created a go-to list and mantras to help me get out of any rut. Although I learned them in my corporate advertising career, it’s amazing how they apply even today. Maybe you're felling stuck or are having a bad day; perhaps these tips can help.
1. Everything is connected.
Everything we do is part of a bigger life plan. We may not understand why we are going through a painful situation, but in the future the dots will always connect. It's important to keep your head up, try not to burn bridges, and to stay open to experiences.
2. Don't wait for tomorrow.
In the creative field, it's easy to procrastinate, especially when a deadline stretches out far into the future. Waiting to start anything can hurt your emotional health. We don't know how much time we have. Accomplishing as much as you can each day will help you not only reach your goals faster, but be more fulfilled and have more time to enjoy them as you reach them.
3. Find a hero.
Looking up to someone you admire is important. Having a mentor can help you get out of your own way. Whether you work with a career coach, a dream coach, a relationship coach, or you just follow and lean on a dear friend you admire, picking people who represent what you want in life can help you get to your bliss faster. It's important to surround yourself with people who call you a superstar.
4. Show, don't tell.
Actions will always speak louder than words. Don't tell people what you want to do, or what you stand for; show them by doing it.
5. Follow your bliss.
When you lead life from your heart, the universe will reward you in miraculous ways. Do what you love daily, and you'll never work a day in your life.
6. Don't take yourself too seriously.
When I was in advertising, there was a lot of ego, competition, and an “I'm better than you” mindset. That way of life felt stifling and people took themselves extremely seriously. I learned to let go of trying to make people like me, and started to laugh at myself and my silly ideas. My world became a more joyful place.
7. If YOU believe, you will achieve.
If you don't believe in yourself and your dreams, no one else will. Furthermore, you need to stop giving the energy you need to achieve your goals away by listening to everyone else’s opinions of you and your ideas. Trust yourself and your gut. It knows what you need.