Let’s talk about.. your #Life & Career Pathway
When I was younger I thought I could achieve anything. I was (mostly) lucky. I was born into a white middle class british family, directed by a mysogonist, who still today believes firmly in the victorian value system which was blindly installed by his own challenging journey growing up. My mother gave up any thoughts of a professional career at 19 when she married my father, and did the best she could to nurture, protect and herd her family of four children without the constant presence of a husband who was widely travelling to foreign fields building his important and successful career.
As a family, we were financially comfortably off. Money was rarely an issue although we were encouraged to feel guiltily grateful for our lifestyle which was consistently reinforced by the words “I only hope you can continue to live to the standard that you’ve grown accustomed” by our hard working, yet somewhat malevolent head of the family.
Paradoxically whilst I sensed that I was put on a pedestal by my father, (always feeling immense pride when, as a child, I was tasked to complete the luggage tags when we were travelling since I had the “best” handwriting), university and higher education was never discussed for the female members of our family, nor career choices or pathways. The role of a female was to be “barefoot and pregnant” according to the (painful) semi-jocular ‘banter’ which was frequently heard within the walls of our home. Although I’m certain I noted a glimmer of pride when I was made Head Girl of my school, desperate to claim the recognition and sight of my father’s praise.
Early on #determination and resolute #independence were qualities which allowed me to be #courageous and #bold in my choices. After a half-hearted effort at A levels, I left school and went straight into employment in London with the Diplomatic Civil Service in the Accounts Department, following my father's footsteps into accounting. My career thus began. It was a career which had relatively little direction at that point, a career which was largely directed by whim and opportunity. It was only later that I realised my potential in relationship building and inter-personal skills which led me into business development. I enjoyed a kaleidoscopic career with a wealth of exposure and experience in varying industry sectors, always fascinated by the connection between succesful business and succesful people.
'Childbirth' and 'learning to become a mother' interestingly gave me the opportunity to draw a line and become more purposeful with my career and life choices. It was at this time when the impact and significance of my life's journey so far showed itself. My mental health was severely impacted by post natal depression, and anxiety took hold of my reins. I always joke (with tongue in cheek) that "when my children came out, fear went in!" It was at this point in my journey that understanding of my own self, what makes me tick, why I am the way I am, began to show itself as being and feeling vital. The hard work of self awareness began. Selfish determination, courage, humility, fear, anxiety, vulnerability and independence were all bedfellows at this time, along with many more.
When the children were old enough and needed me less, I found my calling through working at the side of a Spanish Psychiatrist for over 4 1/2 years, soaking up all he had to teach in the area of behavioural change. Unconsciously attracted by the image of the relationship with my father, this relationship emerged as an unhealthy one and through the understanding of mine own self, I realised that I needed to forge my own pathway in the world of professional performance development. The rest, as they say, is history. Alli Spargo, the Executive Coach emerged.
As an unintended consequence of continued dedication to my own development as a professionally qualified, accredited Executive Coach (and human being), I have already, and continue to spend a long time working with my own coaches, mentors and counsellors to unpick the milestones of my own journey. The high and lows, the pain and challenge, the successes and achievements. It remains a lifelong journey towards understanding and learning. I can honestly say I'm grateful for the lows as well as the highs, as these have proven to be my greatest teachers. Not always an easy choice, however I have chosen a pathway of knowing myself deeply, accepting and challenging my "whole self", warts and all, understanding the impact I have on others and working hard to be a person I can be proud of. I continually work towards and on my legacy of choice; Alli Spargo: a generous hearted, wise and thoughtful mother, wife, coach and friend, dedicated to making a small but lasting positive ripple in the world in which she belonged. Beware however those people who would have you remain in the role which suits their own needs, for these are those who will challenge and try to make you believe that you are less than you have become, putting you back into the "box" in which they have always had you, not allowing you to be different in their eyes. This is, of course, their journey and not yours to attend to. I don't always get it right and I continue to evolve, remembering that I am, after all, only human!
We all have our stories, our foundational influences and pathways to being the unique people we are today, with the high and low impact of the largely unexplored systemic conscience of our ancestors, culture and familial behavioural patterning. No one promised us at birth that our pathway will be a straightforward, easy one. In fact in the experience of my own life and that of some of my clients, the bigger the dips, the greater the architecture, the bigger the learning, the more resilience and strength we find to ‘be’ and ‘do’ exactly as we envisage and hope our life’s journey will be.
The challenge (and beauty) is how to journey through the dips, the challenges, to learn and grow. How to navigate mental well being and moments of weakness and low points. How to appreciate and take strength from the #successes - rather than not noticing them and skimming over them, we can use their glow to lift the shadows of the dips, to provide resilience and energy when it’s lacking.
➡️ Don’t let the past be the only teacher and guide for your future. As @tonyRobbins is quoted as saying "Let fear be a counsellor not a jailor"
➡️ Learn and take strength from adversity, don’t use it as an excuse to give up.
➡️ Be Courageous with your choices - be nimble and brave like a Goat not a Sheep when climbing the hills. Don’t always follow the herd, be prepared to find your own pathway.
➡️ Believe in your own self - find the diamond within and work constantly to hone and shine the edges
In Episode 8 of Being Humans at Work Podcast (https://pod.fo/e/139eb7) @kanchan Chanana , now a 35 year old, single, Indian female in Engineering shares the challenges, pain and milestones of her remarkable journey. This episode is one of #humility, #honesty, #courage and #vulnerability not to be missed. Whilst her background, heritage, culture, pain and story is so very different from my own and unique to her, Kanchan's resilience, determination and courage feel resonant with my own story.
Working with an executive coach is one way to begin this rich journey of self-discovery. To my own younger self the advice I would now give is “No matter how young or how much you believe you may not need one, get yourself a journey partner, a trusted coach who can ignite, explore and uncover for you your truest potential. Someone who can walk with you to support the dips and celebrate the peaks of life’s architecture. Your personal secret weapon in your life’s journey”
If you haven’t already experienced a conversation with a coach, then take advantage of a complimentary chemistry meeting. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.