As senior director of marketing at LaFace Records in the 1990's, I was responsible for the marketing of some of the biggest artists, including Toni Braxton, TLC and Usher. I was in my late twenties and making six figures, complete with a luxury car allowance and an unlimited expense account. I bought my mom a home. I loved the people I worked with. And I was miserable. I felt stuck in this amazing life that I had created for myself. How on earth could I have the career of my dreams yet feel so empty?
I agonized for months over this question, and then it hit me: I was spending 100 percent of my time on 10 percent of who I was, expecting 100 percent of my fulfillment. I discovered I didn't just want a good career, I wanted a great life. So I redesigned how I lived and now coach others to do the same.
When I ask my clients how they feel about something, I never allow them to say, "I don't know." The truth is, we always know what's going on. We may not want to accept our truth, make difficult decisions or commit to doing the work the truth requires. But we always know.
When I resigned from my job, I realized there are many people struggling with the same challenges to reimagine their lives. I figured out common ways we are kept stuck and the solutions to get us moving.
In my new book, Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are (NAL), I explain how we can pursue peace, choose clarity and live courageously. Here are some stories from the manual on how women like you moved past life's roadblocks.
Why You're Stuck: I've Reached My Goals, But I Still Have More To Do.
The First Step: Give Yourself Permission
My client Lisa Tanker is a fitness and lifestyle expert who owned a thriving enterprise. She wanted to expand her brand nationally but felt trapped by the success of her local studio. To get unstuck, she had to keep asking herself, What do I want to accomplish? Being truthful empowered her to celebrate her achievements, stop trying to control every outcome, increase her faith in herself and stretch beyond her comfort zone. She recently shared: "I am now able to make decisions that move me forward in business and life even with uncertainty."
Why You're Stuck: I Faced A Major Life Change And I Am Overwhelmed.
The First Step: Embrace Your Updated Life
"I am so overwhelmed and out of sync. I feel as if I am always behind in every area of my life," TaskMasters, Inc., owner LaShon Allen-Spearman said to me a few years ago. She was a mom and wife still living with the mind-set of a single entrepreneur with light responsibilities. "When I was able to accept my new norm as a married woman with children who was also a full-time student, my perspective on my situation changed, allowing me to focus on who I am today versus the woman I used to be," says Allen-Spearman.
Why You're Stuck: My Career Is Where I Want It, But My Life Feels Empty.
The First Step: Reclaim Your Power
Denise Hendricks achieved her professional dream and is an award-winning television producer. After working her way up to her fab job, she realized she wasn't completely fulfilled. She decided to stop saying yes to the demands of others and determine what her heart truly craved. This empowered her to believe in herself, not just her professional abilities. Hendricks says, "A desire that had lived in my heart came to fruition and changed my life forever," she says. "I adopted a baby boy last May and my heart has been full since. I was happy before, but not at peace or satisfied." You are much more than a job title. Pursue your happiness.
Why You're Stuck: This Is Not The Life I Envisioned.
The First Step: Decide What You'll Give Up To Go Up
Every time I saw my client Tanya Forrest Hall, a radio executive, she was unhappy. She had a good marriage and job, but wasn't sure of her life's purpose. During our coaching sessions, I encouraged her to be still and get quiet. "Embracing stillness allowed me to clear my mental cache by identifying and dealing with things I needed to give up, including unresolved grief, deep fears and dreams that no longer fit my life," she says. Hall didn't change jobs—she changed her mind, which changed her life. Now when we see each other, she smiles and shares amazing updates of how things are going for her and her family.
What do all these women have in common? To get unstuck, they invested in themselves, committed to uncovering their truth and surrendered. As you launch into the excitement of a new year, I encourage you repeat this sentence every day: "Today I will dive into my deepest fears, to elevate to my highest faith and accomplish my greatest achievements." Our greatest achievements are not just about what we do, but also about finding peace and power in who we are. If you commit to being true to yourself and confident in your life's journey, you will discover that peace is the power that gets us unstuck. Peace is the new success.
Sheri Riley is an empowerment speaker, life strategist and author. During her career she has worked with such companies as BMW, Nike, The Ludacris Foundation and the WNBA.