Martha's Dare inspiring you to achieve your dreams

Using frustration to drive clarity

Do you ever finish work day and feel totally exhausted and unfulfilled and wonder, “is this what I am meant to be doing with my life” ?

I had a couple of these days in April and early May that motivated me to spend some time reflecting on my life’s calling and how and where my career fit into it. I was super frustrated at work. Each day I felt like I was running in circles, totally unfulfilled, and wondering what I was doing with my life. I know who I am. I know what I love to do. What was getting me down?

As I explored my feelings and what was triggering me at work I realized that the part of me that is impatient, likes to get things done, thrives on positive energy, and who inspires, was surrounded at work by projects and people who were exactly the opposite. I needed to BREAK free. So I did. I gave myself permission to step out of my day and re-assess my work and the bigger question of is this what I love to do ?! I explored all avenues. I thought about the kind of companies I would want to work for (fast moving, thrive on change, leaders in their pack, innovators), the type of work day I wanted (flexible, able to work from home, fast paced), the type of work I wanted to do (lead teams, innovate, try new things, work with customers/partners, define new business models, flex my big picture muscle)….I explored it all.

As I wrote down my notes and how I would articulate this grand vision to friends and colleagues in my network, I felt at a loss of words. How do I describe the multi faceted thing that I do. I needed some help articulating it. My fiancée Mark pointed me to Career Leader. Based on Harvard Research, it provides you a personalized report highlighting areas of interest, abilities and motivators. Most of all it was a report full of descriptive words. My three interests identified by Career Leader were counselling and mentoring, managing people and relationships and enterprise control. As soon as I read it I realized that I knew this all along but just didn’t put the pieces together. I was all of these things.

I love to mentor and provide counsel. In fact, Martha’s Dare comes directly from this passion in my life. It is why I speak at conferences and mentor new grads and students. Managing People and Relationships, or what I call being a leader and connecter is a deep part of who I am. I love leading my current team and navigating through the day to day. I love challenging them and motivating them. Finally Enterprise control is a nice way of saying that I like to be in charge. No surprise to anyone who knows me. Hmm, this may be why I was frustrated at work. The project that I am most passionate about has been inundated with decision makers to a point where no decisions are being made and it is going no-where. This was what was driving me crazy at work.

With this great realization, I gave my boss a call, shared my Career Leader profile with him and then shared how frustrated I was with the current environment. I want to lead, I want to manage, I want to be able to make decisions for me and my team. I want to do all of them. What I am delighted to say is that my manager listened and acted. Together we re-assessed our strategy, re-defined my role and are back on track.

But is leading a team at a large company really my calling ?! During an interview with self help author Dan Millman, he said that your calling often surfaces as that voice that speaks from deep within you. He also states that your career is to give you income to support your lifestyle and gives you the foundation that enables you to pursue our calling. Your calling is something you feel you need to do, something of a higher purpose.

Since May 1st, my career is the foundation enabling my fiancée Mark to go after his calling. His dream has been to start a company, be his own boss, and create something that would better this world. His inner voice has been telling him to do it for years, and now I am able to enable him to go for it. Fuelled by endless passion and pure determination, on May 1st, he quit his job, and started on his journey. Since he has been on his calling’s path, I have noticed a big change in his energy level, motivation and overall happiness. Living his dream has brought him new life, energy and boundless joy.

So what is the little voice deep inside of me saying ? The words that come to mind are inspire, coach, and believe. I believe that Martha’s Dare is part of my calling, an avenue for me to get clarity, and practice taking a leap of faith . Something going after your calling needs a lot of !

About Martha van Berkel

Martha is the co-founder of Marketing Technology company - Hunch Manifest. She likes to fire up customer adoption and disrupting industries! She is a entrepreneur and a Mom!

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