Tag: pursuing your passions


What Are the Best Resources for Pursuing Your Passions?

When I was a little girl I discovered the savory, salty taste of sunflower seeds. I’ve always loved eating sunflower seeds, especially the ones still in the shells. When my dad first noticed how much I liked them, he decided to use that as an opportunity to teach me about growth and the importance of patience.

He showed me how to plant sunflower seeds in order to grow beautiful tall sunflowers. He taught me even though I couldn’t see any growth right away, that didn’t mean I should give up. Digging up the seeds before putting in the effort of watering them and waiting for them to take root would be a mistake. I’d have to wait a reasonable amount of time to see the fruits of my labor.

After sufficient time and watering of the sown seeds, I saw results. The sunflowers began to grow. And grow they did! They were towering over me! I don’t remember how old I was at the time. I just remember they were up to a couple feet taller than me.

Watching Seeds Grow

For the past three years I’ve focused my work on helping people discover and pursue their passions. This includes helping them find ways to incorporate those passions into their careers. And when that’s not possible, helping them find outlets for their passions in other ways and other areas of their lives.

This work has required the planting of seeds. Seeds of confidence and seeds of encouragement.

Other times it’s included watering those seeds so clients’ dreams wouldn’t dry up and they wouldn’t give up when they didn’t see their own growth happening as quickly as they’d like.

For some clients it’s been a fairly quick growth process with a direct line to their next opportunity.

For others it’s been a longer growth process that includes just helping clients get to their first (or second or third) stepping stone that will eventually lead them to a full pursuit of their passion.

There have been small successes, set backs (many of which were blessings in disguise), and big successes (harvests).

I love watching my clients grow in their passions. It’s like watching the growth process of a beautiful tall sunflower.

Resources to Help You Pursue Your Passions

Do you want to sow the seeds of your own passions so you can grow in your career and your life? Here are several resources I’ve developed over the past three years to help you get started in pursuing your passions!

best resources

Feeling Trapped in Your Career? Here’s How to Cope (Re-Post)


A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. 

I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But, the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. 

There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents.

So, I improvised. I took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under Scenic Highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. 

Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

feeling trapped

Photo source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rfq05J2yyI


Feeling Trapped

feeling trapped

Photo by Lori Bumgarner

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) of the lake where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. 

It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. 

Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers that run for hundreds of miles, I felt a bit trapped.

And unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore. All I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. 

Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated.


The experience of feeling trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career. 

Whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I wasn’t working in my purpose.

It’s not a fun place to be, at all (I’m sure you can probably relate).

When faced with these situations, I’ve used various coping mechanisms that have led to changes in my situation for the better.

My paddle around the lake that day reminded me of all the possible ways to cope when faced with the feeling of being trapped in your career. 


7 Possible Ways to Cope With Feeling Trapped  —  Here Are Your Options:

1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient. 

This is probably the most difficult option since most people aren’t naturally patient, myself included. 

But, sometimes this is what it takes when certain factors aren’t within your control. All you can do are the things within your control. 

For instance, when doing a job search you can build your network, learn how to market your skills and strengths, conduct informational interviews, apply for jobs, and prepare for job interviews. 

After that, it’s out of your hands. You have to be patient while the seeds you’ve sown grow into the right opportunity.


2. Make the best of your current situation. 

Maybe you can’t change your situation right now. But you can change some things about it to make the best of it until another opportunity comes your way. 

Check out my post How to Make Your Sucky Job More Bearable (Until You Can Leave).


3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place or situation because things will soon change for the better. 

Often my clients are in a period of transition which feels uncomfortable for them. 

I too have been in that same situation. 

Instead of letting it continue to frustrate me, I chose to make the most of that time by learning some new things and doing some really fun, awesome things as well. 

I learned to relish that time because I knew it was a rare opportunity to do so. 

That’s why I encourage my clients to relish periods of transition despite the uncertainty they’re facing. 

The ones who do, are so glad they did, and the ones who don’t, often regret it.


4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable. 

You might have more control than you think. But, you have to make sure you’re taking action in both a timely and responsible way. 

When I first started my business, I didn’t immediately leave my full-time job with benefits. Instead, I started taking small steps toward my goal before taking a leap of faith. 

To learn how to make a career risk doable, read my post How to Make the Risk of Starting Your Own Business Doable.


5. Pay attention to the warning flags. 

Just like I had to pay attention to the beach’s warning flags, you also have to look at the warning flags in your career. 

For example, are you hearing rumors of potential layoffs at your company? 

Is your job at risk of being replaced by the latest technology? 

To know how to best prepare for such a situation, check out my post Want More Job Security? Do This One Simple Thing and also click on the related posts for even more tips.


6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone

Once you’ve done some or all of the above, there eventually comes a time when you have to step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. 

How do you do that? Click here to find out.


7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity. 

Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and make things happen for your career. 

This could mean combining some of your skills and passions to start your own business. 

Or it could mean proposing a new or different role for you at your current company that better incorporates your strengths and interests, therefore improving the company’s bottom line. A real win-win!


Which Option Is Best For You?

The trick is knowing which option to choose at which time. 

In one of my own career trappings, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit and spent that time wisely planning my course of action.

In another situation, I took a leap of faith.

Both coping mechanisms worked for me in those particular situations. But they probably would’ve failed had I taken a leap of faith when it was too early, or had I waited around when I should’ve taken action. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to know which option to choose. And even then it can be difficult to know the best timing for your chosen option. A good career coach can help you determine both.


What’s causing you to feel trapped in your career right now? 

Which option above is speaking to you? 

I invite you to share in the comment box below.

I also invite you to start setting some goals that support the option (or options) that works best for you at this time. 

Learn how to do so by subscribing to my newsletter and receiving a complimentary download of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

Related Posts:

feeling trapped

5 Ways to Discover New Passions in Your Life

Originally published on The Daily Positive.

Is it time for you to learn something new or try something again? Is there a place you’ve never visited? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, explore your surroundings, and talk to interesting people. Here’s how doing so can lead to new passions:

1. Try something new.

When we open ourselves up to new experiences, we discover passions we never imagined! If I was told three years ago I would be spending my free time stand-up paddle boarding down the river, I wouldn’t believe it. And if I was told this new passion would trigger a career change, I really wouldn’t believe it. This all came from taking a beginner paddle boarding class.

new passions

2. Try something old.

The first time I tried rock climbing I was horrible and thought I could never do it. A couple years later, I tried again, and surprisingly, I could! What was the difference? Just a little tweak in my approach. I listened to what an expert said about using my legs more than my arms. This made a huge difference!

Don’t assume because you failed at something once, you’ll fail again. Try a different approach!

3. Travel.

I know a woman who discovered a unique passion when she traveled to Italy. While there, she learned the time-honored art of bookbinding by hand. First, bookbinding became a hobby for her, and now it’s her full-time job! If she had never visited Italy, she may still be stuck in her previously miserable career.

New places or even a simple change of scenery can lead you down a path you never knew existed. You don’t have to travel far away, new passions can be discovered somewhere within driving distance too. 

4.  Pay attention to your surroundings.

When you pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll discover new opportunities for new passions to arise. Sometimes just inquiring about something that catches your eye can lead to a newly discovered passion.

Many cities and local colleges host community classes on topics within arts, languages, computers, etc. In the past, I’ve taken a photography class, an archery class, and even a fly-fishing class. I’ve also taught some classes! This year I plan to take a marketing class and a financial success class. Pay attention to the opportunities around you! 

5. Talk to people.

A few years ago a friend of mine and his girlfriend were traveling in Florida when they noticed a van with the picture of a stand-up paddle boarder on it. They inquired about it and discovered a place where they could learn to paddle board. The first day, they fell in the water several times but went back a second day to try again. They quickly became so passionate about this experience they decided to open their own paddle boarding company. They talked to everyone in the business to learn as much as they could. Nine months later, they opened their own paddle shop with much success! Their success happened just from expressing an interest and learning from the people around them.

New Passions

Everyone has the opportunity to discover new passions.

Find more ways to do so in the complimentary on-demand webinar 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Work and Life.

Click here for more ways to pursue new passions.

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Feeling trapped? 7 Possible Ways to Cope

A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents. 

So, I improvised and took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under scenic highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

2016-11-08_1227

Feeling Trappedpicture1

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers with an unlimited amount of distance available, I felt a bit trapped.

Unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore, so all I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated. 

7 Possible Ways to Cope With Feeling Trapped

I’ve thought about that day a lot since returning from my trip, feeling like there is some kind of lesson in it (and there probably is because there have been so many from my various paddling excursions). But what? As soon as I started writing this story, several possibilities came to mind:

  1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient.
  2. Make the best of your current situation.
  3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place/situation. Things will soon change for the better.
  4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable.
  5. Pay attention to the warning flags.
  6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity.

Can You Relate?

I’m still not sure which of the above lessons I was supposed to learn that day. But the experience of feeling blocked in or trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career, whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I was not working in my purpose.

Can you relate?

In two instances, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit, and spent my time wisely planning my course of action for when the appropriate time arrived. In one instance, I stopped focusing on the warning flags and took a leap of faith.

I know which approach has worked best for me, but in general I can’t say for sure that either of those approaches is better than the other. And I can’t say that there’s one approach that fits everyone experiencing the same frustrations because everyone’s journey is different. What I can do is coach my clients on the approach that works best for them, their personal situation, and their unique goals and strengths. Which lesson from the list above speaks most to your current situation?

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paNASH Success Story: Making a living on rediscovered passions

I always love sharing paNASH Success Stories, and here’s another one! I’ve been working with this client for about six months. When I first met her, she was coming out of a very successful career as a professional athlete, and didn’t know what was next for her. She had a lot of interests, skills, and creativity, but didn’t know how to put them to use. She was working a retail job that didn’t match any of those skills or interests and hated it.

Rediscovered Passions

Since we started working together, she has quit her retail job, explored a variety of possible career options, and has rediscovered her previous passion for writing. She has also rediscovered her love for all things design, including graphic design and interior design, and is putting into action a way to help her and her family prosper.

She is using her love for writing to write for her husband’s home improvement and renovation business’s company blog, and she is revamping her own interior decorating blog she started a long time ago. In addition, she is using her graphic design skills to improve the brand and promotion of her husband’s business, resulting in new clients. And, she is developing her interior decorating talents to keep current clients by providing a “next step” service for them after their home renovations are completed. It is the perfect complement to her husband’s own business and passion.

The Process of Experimentation

It took some time for this client to arrive at this plan. She was trying several different things and considering an array of possible options. This often made her feel like she was aimless and all over the place. I reminded her this is a season of experimentation for her and encouraged her to embrace it.

I told her that by trying different things she would eventually arrive at the answer to her “What’s next?” question. And she has. She did so probably sooner rather than later because she was using the tools my coaching services provide, including:

  • goal-setting
  • accountability
  • encouragement
  • soul-reflection and self-assessment
  • personal branding
  • and much more.

rediscovered passions

Lessons Learned

Some of the biggest lessons she says she’s learned from the coaching is to not try to fit someone else’s mold and to not listen too much to what other “well-meaning” family members say she should be doing. She’s instead learned to take the talents and interests that go all the way back to her childhood and discover ways to incorporate them into adulthood. 

Adulting doesn’t mean letting go of your childhood passions. It just means learning how to rediscover those talents and interests and develop them in a responsible way that benefits the world around you.  Is it time for you to do this? Let’s talk!

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