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  • Writer's pictureJoão Leite

It takes courage to change!

I wish my move had happened sooner. It took me 20 years to get to my "zero point", the moment I realized internally that I no longer wanted to continue working as a manager. And it was harder because I was doing my job well and I was successful in my career. But doing well and succeeding doesn't necessarily lead to happiness.

It only happened when I became aware of my unhappiness and was unable to visualize a future that was different. There was nothing I could hang on to: neither past, present or future. I wanted to be responsible for my path and stop depositing the responsibility of my professional unhappiness in others or in external conditions.

But after the "zero point" things were also not easy (still aren’t 😊). I had a lot of unanswered questions. What am I going to do now? What is my life purpose? What's my passion? And how am I going to sustain myself and the family?

Instead of seeing myself as a "problem to be solved" I decided to opt for curiosity, to pay attention to myself and began to approach the topics and issues that have always interested me: awareness, emotional intelligence, and human development. I began to investigate how one could link these topics to the universe of organizations.

Maybe this is the great teaching I've learned; you can't be happy at work if you don't align who you are with what you do.

I remember well, back in 2015, in London, when my mentor said: "you already have everything you need". At the time I really wanted to believe in myself like this, but I couldn't. But the fact that he believed, helped me. In fact, even before I knew it, I was already connected to my purpose.

I studied (to silence my inner fears of lack of competence), I thought about what I wanted to do and tested it. First in a safe environment, then seriously. Was it perfect? Far from it. But you could tell I was on the right track. I've been continuously improving since.

Then came the most difficult part: quitting my job. Security and the paycheck at the end of the month. Taking a step in the unknown it’s easy to say but less tempting when you’re at the edge of the cliff. All my inner fears were activated: the fear of starting over in a completely new area for me and in which I had no experience; the fear of not being able to live financially from this activity; the fear of relying 100% on me and, finally, the fear of who I am and what I know not being good enough. You can't imagine how weird it was, the first time I wrote that my activity was “coach”. I felt diminished. As I was also teaching at the university, I often wrote "professor".

What helped me at that point was the fact that I had already tried and knew what I liked. I believed. I took a risk. I gave myself. Even when I knew less than I do today, I always felt confident in what I was doing.

I love what I do. I keep doing it better and better.

Do I still have fears? Of course. Every day. But I'm going to starve them all to death. One at a time… but with persistence!



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