Stop “Shoulding”​ on Your Dreams

Soulbbatical in New Zealand.

Are you in a conference room right now daydreaming and doodling about your secret desire to shake it all up? Pondering your purpose? Feeling that craving for greater fulfillment? Or perhaps just becoming more and more aware of a small but persistent gnawing in your soul.

I get it. I was there. From the outside, my career was enviable. A wild success by most traditional definitions. Accolades, travel, titles, money, mentors, and a fortunate hand in stewarding some of the most iconic brands on the planet (e.g., Harley-Davidson, Visa, McDonald’s). Twenty-six years. Zero regrets.

But, on the inside, I felt a growing void. One that I fought valiantly to fill with work, wine, justifications, more work, more wine, and more justifications. A recurring and terrifying nightmare jolted me from a restless sleep most nights of the week. And Sundays were no longer fun days.

Then someone said to me, “Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it makes you happy.” Boom. A wake up call. There I was standing shell-shocked at the “crossroad of ‘should’ and ‘must.’” (Shout out to Elle Luna for the inspiring essay and book by the same name – read them if you haven’t already!)

The commanding chorus of “should” overwhelmed me: I should stay on the executive track because this is what my Dad did. This is what people expect of me. This is what everyone dreams of. This is what I know. This is what I’ve been working toward all of these years. This is what pays the bills. This is who I am.

The gentler voices of “must” were inspiring yet firm: You must pursue your purpose. You get one shot at this life. It shrinks or expands in proportion to your courage and your belief in yourself. So what do YOU really want from it? You always have choice.

I could talk to you for hours about the messy middle. The struggle to dig deep was real. The stuck-in-my-head should/must negotiation exhausting. The pain a holy messenger of the truth I already knew. But the decision two years ago to become Chief Soul Officer of my own life and to step into my calling as a Coach, Entrepreneur, and Author has been nothing short of liberating.  (And, I still have a roof over my head!)

I’m not here to convince anyone to leave the corporate world or to follow my (very personal) journey. My mission is to support and inspire you to play big, lead from the soul, and live to your fullest potential in this lifetime. Whatever that looks like for you.

It’s time to stop “shoulding” on your dreams.

If this resonates with you, please message me to connect. Our first deep coaching conversation is my treat. No obligation. All I ask in return is that you stay open to the transformational power of possibility.

Happy (Fearless) Friday. 

One Comment

  1. Eva Diegel

    Dear Ms Paxton,
    I have been searching my soul for quite some time as for “what to do next” in my life. As a former diplomat, fundraising director for a small NGO, executive search professional etc. I seem to have arrived at the end of my professional journey which -at the age of 56-makes me feel totally useless.
    Your incredibly invigorating and inspiring story has fueled my ambition to find what resides in my soul and , as you say, embrace intuition over intellect.
    So let me thank you for being my unexpected virtual guide and wish you a lot of happiness and fulfilment in your current and future purpose.
    And yes, I do not know where I’m headed just yet.
    Eva Diegel

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