Category: Pursuing Your Passions


Thank You to My Clients Who Are Such a Blessing to Me!

As I work with my clients, I see so many with similar and overlapping passions and goals. Because of this, they serve as resources for each other. But only if they know each other.

So, I decided to introduce all my clients to each other over coffee and dessert.

But I also had other reasons for getting them in the same room. I wanted to thank them. And to honor them.

client appreciation

Client Appreciation

I wanted to thank them for being such a blessing to me. They have no idea how much of a blessing they’ve been. And I can’t even begin to count the number of ways they’ve blessed me.

I’ve had clients call on me when I had eye surgery to see how I was doing.

I’ve had clients give me handmade jewelry as a gift and do a drawing of my as my childhood hero.

But most of all, I’ve gained such joy in just getting to know my clients. To hear them share their dreams and to help them pursue those dreams with success.

client appreciation

It Takes Courage

I also wanted to honor them for their courage. It took all of them a lot of courage to take that first step in seeking coaching to pursue their passions.

Because they took that step, they are the ones who are no longer feeling stuck in their lives and careers.

They are the ones who are putting one foot in front of the other to make their passions and goals a reality.

client appreciation

You’re the Inspiration

When I had each person at the event go around and tell about their passion, it was like I was hearing their story for the first time. Even though my work with each of them allows me to know the details of their efforts, hearing them share their stories with others was so inspiring!

It was inspiring to hear how goals are being clarified, pursued, and achieved. Whether it is someone working to make their side hustle their full-time gig, or another finding a job they love going to everyday.

client appreciation

Growing in Confidence

Since many of my clients are spread out across the country, not everyone could attend. But one client came all the way from West Palm Beach, Florida.

One of my local clients couldn’t attend because she had play practice for a musical she’d finally had the courage and confidence to audition for because of the coaching she’s received thus far. It was her first time in years auditioning or singing, and she landed one of the main roles in a production of Little Shop of Horrors. She’s also finally gained the confidence to start her own business, something she’s wanted to do for some time.

client appreciation

I can’t help but beam when I see my clients stepping out of their comfort zone and growing in their confidence.

Because that’s what it’s all about.

Are you ready to get unstuck and start pursing your passions? Take the first step by completing the paNASH intake form. I’d love to help you grow in your confidence and achieve your goals!

Photos by Katie Gooch

client appreciation

How to Overcome Your Fear of Risk and Improve Your Life


Risk is something that can instill fear in all of us. The risk of rejection, the risk of failure, and so on and so on.

My clients often express fear of starting something new in their careers. My friends are sometimes afraid of making a major life change. I too have experienced fear of certain risks.

I’ve had several people say to me they admire the fact that I wasn’t afraid to risk traveling to the other side of the world by myself, risk ending a sub-par relationship, or risk starting my own business.

I never said I wasn’t afraid to do those things. There was some fear involved in all those things because each of them came with certain risks.

It wasn’t about being unafraid.

It was about pushing through and overcoming the fears in order to get to something better in my life.


7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Risk and Improve Your Life

A couple of years ago I read an article entitled “7 Ways to Control Your Fear and Advance Your Career” by bestselling author Harvey Mackay.

The seven things he outlined can be applied to any area of your life, not just your career.

I’d like to expand on the seven things he mentioned, but I’m going to slightly change the order of them.


1. Try new things.

Yes, you’ve heard me say that more than once. But, it’s always worth repeating.

Why? Because there are always new things to try.

And you never know what new thing is going to become the thing that gets you over your fears and improves your life until you try.

Mackay says,

“There is only one thing worse than a quitter, and that is someone who is afraid to begin…Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic. Think about it.”

Trying new things will lessen future fears, build your confidence, and increase your ability to handle future risks.

So, let me ask you the same question Darius Rucker is asking in his recent hit song,

When was the last time you did something for the first time?


2. Review your risks

If taking future risks will help you overcome your fear and build your confidence, then certainly any past risks you’ve taken and fears you’ve already faced have built a certain level of confidence in you.

Spend some time reviewing all the times you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone or done something you were afraid of.

What was the result?

How did you feel after you did it?

Even if it failed, what was the biggest lesson you learned from it?

What was successful about the experience?

How did it help you overcome fear?

Chances are the outcome wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be and most of the risks you took turned out to be okay.

Mackay says,

“Figure out what made them work. Can you duplicate those decisions that led to success and apply them to other situations?”


3. Explore your memories

Since you’re already looking back, take some time to also look back over your life and career to explore what exactly instills fear in you.

What do those situations look like?

What are their common denominators?

What happened when you were afraid to do something but did it anyway?


4. Look at your responsibilities

Regardless of your age, marital status, work situation, etc., you have a lot of priorities and responsibilities in your life.

Sometimes I think my friends who are married with children assume I’m not as busy as them or don’t have as many responsibilities, but it’s not true. I just have a different set of responsibilities and pressures.

As a single person who owns and runs her own business, I have a lot of pressures on me to get everything done without the help of a partner (or children old enough to earn an allowance). All the household responsibilities fall on me, and all the finances and expenses are covered by only one income.

It’s my name and reputation that’s at stake when something goes wrong in the business. The business is sometimes like a baby in that, on some days, it’s a never-ending 24–7 job.

Your challenges might be the same or might be totally different.

You can’t compare your situation to someone else’s because it’s likely you’ll be comparing apples to oranges.

Just look at your own responsibilities.

Which ones make you feel afraid or anxious?

Why are you afraid of them?

Keep digging and ask “why” until you’ve discovered the root of your fear.


5. Construct a worst-case scenario

Mackay says,

“When a certain situation makes you nervous, try to think of the worst thing that could realistically happen. Chances are the reality won’t be as devastating as you think, and examining the possibilities ahead of time will prepare you to avoid the potential pitfalls.”

Yes, I agree, it is good to do this.

However, if you’re the type of person who already has a bad habit of immediately going to the worst-case scenario, I suggest limiting the amount of time you spend constructing the worst-case scenario.

Instead, spend your energy shifting your focus, as described in #6.


6. Shift your focus

After you construct a worst-case scenario, you want to shift your focus to potential best-case scenarios.

Think about all the possible benefits and positive by-products of facing your fear.

By focusing on the potential positive outcomes, you reduce your anxiety and worry less.

7. Expect your fears to occasionally resurface

Mackay says to accept the fact that there will still be times when you feel fear or a lack of control.

This is true. There are still things that cause me to panic or become afraid. But because I’ve faced my fears in the past, new fears don’t have as strong of a grip on me now days.

Prepare yourself as best you can (by using the tips above and the ones in the related posts listed below) to handle potential risks that may cause anxiety or fear.

Mackay’s Moral:

“Don’t let your fears get in your head — get ahead of your fears.”


Once you begin to overcome some of your fears, you’ll be eager and ready to set more goals for yourself.

And if you want to not just set goals but achieve them, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. When you do you’ll receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

Related Posts:

fear of risk

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question we all got when we were children.

My own answers to that question were all over the place and would change pretty frequently.

In trying to remember what my answers were, I’m sure I probably said any of the following on any given day: a teacher, an author, a businesswoman, an artist, etc.

But the only one I distinctly remember being the most sure about was a fashion designer. That was after my grandmother gave me some Fashion Plates for Christmas one year.

 

I loved my fashion plates and enjoyed the creativity of them. They made me want to learn how to really sketch clothing designs by hand. 

Ask yourself:

What did you want to be when you grew up? What do you still want to be?


So when I got to high school I decided to take art all four years to learn how to sketch. 

That is until I got into my first year of art where I ditched the idea of becoming a fashion designer (or an artist) after my art teacher made my life a living a hell. 

She was such a rigid woman, too rigid to be teaching anything that’s supposed to be creative. Her teaching methods and personality made me never want to take another art class again.

Ask yourself:

Has there ever been a person or an experience in your life that was so negative it turned you off from what you wanted to be when you grew up? How did that affect you?


So next I looked to the subject I was enjoying the most at the time…beginner-level Spanish. I really loved it and thought I’d like to eventually major in foreign languages once I got to college. 

But then came Spanish II, which was really difficult for me, much more than Spanish 1 where I was making all A’s.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever lacked the skill or ability to be the thing you wanted to be when you grew up? How did you shift your focus?


Finally, I discovered psychology…which changed everything for me.

I found psychology so interesting, and my understanding of it came naturally to me. It was becoming my passion.

Ask yourself:

What comes naturally to you? What are you passionate about?


But when I announced to my family I was going to study psychology as my college major, they weren’t as enthusiastic about it as I was.

I kept hearing, 

“Oh, how in the world are you going to make any money with THAT kind of degree?”

My dad said I should major in business (his passion)…because I’d make more money.

My mother said I should be a nurse…because I’d make more money.

Even my brother chimed in and said I should be an accountant because, again,… I’d make more money.

Ask yourself:

Did anyone ever try to discourage you from becoming what you wanted to grow up to be? How did you respond?


So why didn’t I listen to any of my family members? Several reasons:

  1. I can’t stand the site of blood. And I can’t stand the smell of a hospital. Hearing people talk about their surgeries or ailments literally makes my skin crawl.
  2. I’m completely bored with math and number crunching. While other people find numbers fun and fascinating, I do not.
  3. Business didn’t interest me at the time. At least not enough for me to have done well in business classes.
  4. I get good grades when I’m studying something I find interesting. If I’m the one who has to take the classes and do the homework, the material has to keep me awake.
  5. Loving what I do is more important to me than making a lot of money.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why choosing a career path that paid well over choosing one I loved was important to my parents. 

They were both born in the late 1930s, still early enough to have felt some of the long-term effects of the Great Depression. 

Their parents drilled into them the importance of being financially secure in the event of another depression, so they were just doing what they thought was best for me by trying to encourage me into fields considered more lucrative.

My brother is a lot older than me. In fact, he’s closer in age to my dad’s generation than he is to mine. Therefore, his mentality has also been “get a job that pays well regardless of whether you like it.”

Ask yourself:

Is there something you’re passionate about even though it may not make you a lot of money? Which is more important to you?


I stood firm in my decision to major in psychology (and minor in sociology), did well in all my psychology classes, and made the dean’s list several times.

It wasn’t until the summer between my junior and senior year that I knew what I wanted to do with my degree.

That summer I had been an orientation leader at my alma mater and had also been working the previous two years in the Provost’s office as a student worker.

I loved the college atmosphere, loved working with incoming students, and had developed a strong understanding of the organizational structure of a university.

I decided to ask my Dean of Students how do I get a job like his? (This was my first time conducing an informational interview and had no idea at the time that was what it was called.)

He explained I would need a master’s degree in a field I had no previous idea existed. I started researching graduate programs in higher education administration and student personnel services. 

Ask yourself:

Have you explored a career path that was previously unknown to you? What is it? What have you learned about it? What else do you want to learn about it?

The more I found out, the more I realized my psychology degree was the best foundation for what I would study in graduate school. 

In fact, much of what I learned in grad school was just an extension from undergrad.

Unlike my fellow grad students who came from other majors like finance and business, I already had familiarity with a lot of the theories and material.


Once I had decided on higher education as a career path, I still had to narrow down what area of higher ed I wanted to go into. 

My degree was readying me for so many possibilities.

I could go into financial aid, housing/residential living, Greek life, admissions, orientation, career services, academic advising, first-year programs, student activities, study abroad, international student services, and on and on.

Ask yourself:

Do you sometimes have so many career options or career interests you find it hard to narrow down your choices? 

I narrowed my choices down into three areas based on the ones that interested me most: orientation programs, freshman year experience programs, and career services. 

I delved into those three areas by gaining practical experience through internships, volunteer work and special projects while finishing my degree.

It was while volunteering in the university’s career center I knew I wanted to help students figure out what they wanted to be “when they grew up” based on their own interests and passions instead of their parents’ wishes.

Ask yourself:

Has a previous personal experience inspired you to a career helping others facing the same experience?


After earning my masters, I went on to be a college career adviser at various universities and even held the title of director of career services at one time. 

I also got to teach some college level courses.

I loved what I did. 

My job even allowed me to use my creative side in developing career-related programs for my students.

But when my creativity began to be stifled, I decided to make a bit of a career change and started my own image consulting business (click here to read the story on how that happened).

Ask yourself:

Have you ever felt so stifled or burned out in your career you knew you were ready for a change?


For 8 years I worked independently as an image consultant but in that time I also continued to do career coaching on the side. 

The image consulting fed my childhood interest in fashion since it included some wardrobe styling work. 

And I even became an author when I released my first book, an Amazon #1 bestseller about image and style.

Then, after 8 years of image consulting, I was ready for another career change, but also a bit of a return to my roots.

I became an independent career coach with a focus on helping people discover and pursue their passions.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever had a yearning to go back to something you once did before?


It’s an interesting story how I shifted my image consulting business back to a career coaching focus (click here to read that story).

I knew I wanted to go back to career coaching but I had two requirements for myself:

  1. I still wanted to work for myself, so I avoided applying for jobs at college career centers. Instead I re-structured my business’s mission.
  2. I wanted to work with people going through mid-career transitions with a focus on helping them pursue their passions and the things they once wanted to be when they grew up.

My background and own personal experiences have served me well in accomplishing those two goals. 

Ask yourself:

What are some of your career goals? What are some of your “must haves” for your work? How has your background prepared you for your goals?


Unlike most other career coaches, I didn’t just decide to be a career coach after having worked in another industry. Career coaching has been part of my entire career.

It has evolved out of a combination of childhood interests, natural gifts and talents, and passion. 

And it has taken some exciting twists and turns along the way.

I’m thankful there’s been more than just one way to pursue my passion. 

I’m also thankful my current situation allows me to combine some of my other passions like writing and stand up paddle boarding with my work as a career coach. 

And I love helping others find unique and creative ways to pursue and combine all the passions they have, helping them become some of the things they always wanted to be when they grew up.

Ask yourself:

What are some ways you can pursue your own passions? How can you combine your passions? What steps will you take next to do so?

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to help you start taking the next steps to becoming what you want to be when you grow up (again)!

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How to Hack Your Way to a More Passionate Life and Career

Life can often be mundane, causing you to feel stuck. Especially when you aren’t living and working in your purpose.

I remember what that felt like for me.

So how can you become more passionate about your life and your work?

How can you better enjoy both?

By following these 8 simple life and career hacks:


1. Try again at a previously failed attempt.

Most people will suggest you try something new and I’m all for that.

I’m a big believer in trying new things, whether it’s new food, a new hobby, or even something as simple as a new route to work.

But I also know it’s important to try something old. Especially something you once attempted and failed at before.

You may remember from my post 5 Ways to Discover New Passions, I shared how I failed at my first attempt at rock climbing and how something clicked after giving it a second chance.

This gave me more confidence and a greater interest in the activity, resulting in physical improvement in my body.

What’s something you can try again?

What would be the possible benefits of trying it again?

Source: 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work: How to Overcome Obstacles + Achieve Job Search Success


2. Do one thing you can complete within 24–48 hours that will put you one step closer to achieving a long-term goal.

You can accomplish a large goal by taking a step-by-step approach.

Incremental steps add up to big achievements. Simply doing one small thing each day will help you develop habits necessary to reaching your goal.

What’s one thing you can do today to get you closer to achieving your bigger goal?

What’s one thing you can do tomorrow?

Ask yourself these questions every day.

Before you know it, you’ll have accomplished more than you thought you were capable of!

Source: Don’t Just Set Goals, ACHIEVE Them!


3. Understand how your strengths and skills benefit others.

Knowledge of what you’re good at is power, especially when trying to win a job interview or get promoted.

But knowing how your skills solve other people’s problems also helps you better understand your purpose, not just in work but also in life.

Think about your strengths and skills you possess both within and outside of your job.

How do they benefit others?

For example, my top spiritual gift is encouragement. I use this strength in so many aspects of my life, including my work, my interactions with friends, and when learning alongside others.

I’ve been fortunate to see how this gift helps people gain the courage to pursue their passions.

Source: Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic!


4. Update your resume every 6 months, even when you’re not looking for a job.

Because of my background as a career coach, I’ve helped thousands of people with their resumes.

I always tell them the same thing,

“Keep your resume updated every six months.”

Why?

  1. Because you never know when someone will ask for a copy of it.
  2. You never know when another career opportunity or promotion will come your way.
  3. It’s easier to remember what you’ve accomplished in the past six months than in the past six years if you find yourself in another job search down the road.

Source: Resumes That Get You the Interview: Little Known Tips to Get Your Resume Noticed


5. Ask 3 people who have your dream job how they got to where they are.

These conversations can open your mind up to ideas and opportunities you never before considered!

Listen carefully to their stories while asking a lot of good questions.

Learn not just from their successes but also from their failures.

You may find there wasn’t a straight line to their career path. There rarely is for most people.

This can give you confidence to pursue a new career path despite lack of formal education or direct experience.

Take their encouragement and advice.

Put it into action to see how far you can go in the direction of your personal and professional pursuits.

Source: The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively


6. Make a list of questions you’d ask if you were interviewing the interviewer.

People often forget the job interview is a two-way street.

You should always ask questions to help you make the right decision when faced with multiple offers.

Besides money, think about the things you’d need or want in your next job.

They could include similar core values, a flexible schedule, a culture that promotes “family first,” healthy living, etc.

Formulate a few questions you’d need to ask to determine if your next opportunity will provide those things.

Make sure to ask these questions in your next job interview, along with the other type of questions I outline in my Quora answer to “What are some interview hacks?”

Here’s what one of my clients experienced when she did this:

“One of the companies I interviewed with I decided not to accept any offers from them based on their answers to my questions so as not to get myself into the same work situation I was in previously. It is SO empowering to know what is good for me and to be able to say no! I have the tools now to spot the red flags and this has been helpful on several interviews. I am so glad to have this confidence.”

Source: Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety


7. Start a collection of your best work.

Curate a collection of your best work both from your job and your outside projects.

This can include personal things you’ve made (i.e. a book, a painting, etc.), and the projects your most proud of from your job.

Your body of work will help you see how your skills overlap.

But most of all, it will reveal your own career path thus far and where it might be pointing to next.

Source: The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers: Stand Out Above Your Competition


8. List the ways you’ve impacted the bottom line in your job.

When you’re working on hack #4, always include your on-the-job accomplishments and results of your efforts.

By focusing on results and not just your job duties, you’re able to easily see where you’ve had an impact, giving you a greater sense of purpose.

Also, it helps you confidently discuss your worth when it comes time to negotiate a new job offer, a promotion, or a pay raise.

Source: Make More Money, Without Taking a Second Job


When you follow these life and career hacks, you’ll start to see ways to become unstuck. Soon you’ll be living a more passionate, vibrant, and productive life!

For more life and career hacks, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

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How to Know When Passion Is Knocking On Your Door

I recently responded to a Quora question asking,

“How do you know if you’ve discovered your passion?”

Sometimes you find your passion, and sometimes your passion finds you. But in either case, you’ll be able to hear it knocking by listening for these eight clues:


1. If you’re so engaged in it you lose track of time.

How many times have you been working on something and looked up and saw two hours had passed before you realized it?

What were you doing in those two hours?


2. If you’re energized by it, as opposed to being emotionally and/or physically drained by it.

Now, of course there will be times when you’re tired from working in your passion. But usually it’s a good kind of tired.

Be sure to get your rest though. While hustle is good, you need to make time to re-energize so you don’t burn out.


3. If you’re at peace with it instead of stressed out by it.

This doesn’t mean you won’t ever get stressed while working in your passion. But if there’s far more peace than stress, you’ve probably found your passion.


4. If you’re willing to do it for free.

Don’t misunderstand me. If your passion is something you’re hoping to make a career out of, you definitely need to get paid what you’re worth.

While in the beginning you may need to do some free work to build up your portfolio, you eventually need to start charging for your expertise when there becomes a demand for it.


5. If you forget to eat.

This one is an easy clue for me personally. If I find myself skipping or delaying a meal for something, I know I must really be really passionate about it!

But just like you need enough sleep to be healthy, you also need to maintain a balanced diet to keep your passion productive.


6. If you wake up in the morning looking forward to it.

Since I started working for myself in pursuit of my own passion, I no longer dread Monday mornings.

In fact, I actually look forward to them!


7. When it doesn’t feel like work.

I’m very passionate about my work, but it often doesn’t feel like work. When that happens, sometimes it’s hard for me to take a break from my work.

But again, balance and moderation in everything is what keeps me productive and helps me avoid burn out.

Being a workaholic is not healthy, nor is it necessary. We all need to stop falling for the glorification of workaholism and busyness.


8. OR, when at times it does feel like work.

Even if it does feel like work but you’re willing to persevere and push through the tough times instead of just giving up or quitting when it gets hard, you’ve probably found your passion.

There have been numerous times of challenge in pursuing my own passions, but I never had a desire to give up no matter what the challenge was.

This is the true definition of passion.


Designing Your Life

In addition to (and in overlap of) the above, the authors of Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett and Dave Evans) pose the question,

“What things in your daily routine make you feel all (or most) of the following?”
  • Complete involvement in an activity.
  • Euphoria/joy.
  • A clear idea of exactly what to do and how to do it.
  • Calmness and peace.
  • Time is gone before you know it.

Burnett and Evans refer to this as “flow,” or in other words, total engagement. Flow feels more like play than work, and it includes not being concerned about the outcomes of what you’re engaged in.

Fear of Failure

I consider a lack of concern about the outcomes to be a willingness to fail and to learn from that failure.

But there are some people who allow their fear of failure to put a damper on their passions and they never end up pursuing those passions.

Let’s cut to the chase. The fear of failure will always be there. You just have to decide if your fear of never knowing what would’ve happened is greater than your fear of failure.

I hope it is, because if you let fear of failure win, you’re not only missing out, but so are all the people who could benefit from your passion.


Need help recognizing and pursuing your own passions? Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to help get you started!

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