As far back as I can remember I’ve always felt joy in helping others. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher. I was often the person my friends sought advice from when they needed help in their own lives. It felt natural to give advice and help others improve their lives.

Then life happened. Being on my own at the age of 16, I did what I thought I had to do to get by. I landed in retail, creating a very successful career, working my way up the corporate ladder. I loved training, developing, and mentoring others and I was really good at it. But helping others was only part of my job. There were many other aspects of my career I learned to be good at, that I didn’t feel good about doing. I mastered those other things because that’s what I thought I had to do to have a successful career. At the end of the day my values weren’t aligned with a 100% of the work I was doing.

I was only living part of my purpose. I settled because that’s what I thought I had to do to survive.

Something was missing. It was my identity. I worked so much, and made my work the top priority for so long, that I lost sight of who I really was.

I didn’t know what it was like anymore to REALLY be happy.

My heart was calling to me.

It was time for change—but I chose not to answer the call.

My wake up call came when my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I could no longer ignore my heart’s call to change the way I was living my life.

I had to learn the hard way just how precious time really is. I knew that I couldn’t wait any longer and that I had to make a change now.

I reached my final breaking point when I was flying back and forth to be with my Mom, and I was still trying to manage various projects and conference calls for work at the same time, work that I wasn’t even passionate about anymore.

And we’re not talking about simply working on my off time in between tasks or on the drive to the hospital.

I was handling multiple projects while I was next to my Mom’s bedside trying to keep her company, administer her medication, help her with breathing treatments, get her food, drink or whatever else she needed. I was trying to spend quality time with her, every minute that passed knowing that it would be one of the last.

And even though I knew the moments were counting down, I STILL couldn’t be fully present with my dying Mom. I was allowing the job to take that away from me.

That was a new bottom for me.

At that very moment I made a vow to myself that I would create a life on my own terms. That I would be happy and free.

Life now is very different. I do live on my own terms and I choose how I want to spend my time and who I want to spend it with.

I am present and connected in my relationships and I am able to maintain healthy boundaries in every area of my life. I love my work and my life has purpose because I make the choice to follow my heart. I’m free.

I now help other women business leaders get aligned with the work they’re meant to do. I teach them the mindset tools they need to take action and succeed in setting themselves free to follow their heart to find joy, happiness, and create a life they live ON THEIR TERMS.

It wasn’t until I left my corporate career and focused on transformational coaching and mentoring full time that I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be.

I knew I’d fully stepped into my purpose, what I was born to do.

You are born with a unique blueprint. You have natural talent and abilities that only YOU can offer. These are the things you’re passionate about that light you up inside. Whatever this is for you…this is your purpose.

Think about it. Do you have a career that you’re good at because you learned to be and you thought that’s what you had to do?

Have you fully stepped into the work you’re meant to do?

It took me a long time to figure this out, and for a long time I felt alone. I didn’t know where to go for support and guidance.

I’ve shared my story to let you know that you’re not alone. You’re meant to enjoy what you do in every area of your life.

Your career can and should reflect who you are in work and in life. That’s when you know you’re where you’re meant to be.

If I can change my life, you can too – I promise.

Setting yourself up for success by having the right level of support and guidance on your journey will make all the difference.

Go here and apply for a free clarity session to connect with me and learn more about how to get aligned with the work you’re meant to do, develop a mindset for success, and take action to make living on your own terms your new reality.

Originally published on LinkedIn on February 20, 2018