Leaving corporate America and building shelves

Alisha Wielfaert Creative Life Coach

After 11 years in the financial industry I put in my notice last week.  I shared with you that I've found my calling and with that urgency I know without a doubt I must move forward fully into this new roll of coaching even though I don't have a crystal ball and I can't tell you (or me) specifically how it will turn out.  I'm telling myself I can, and so I am and I will.  No one else is going to give me permission and tell me that I can do it.  I have to give myself permission.  There are times in my life when it seems confidence is the only thing that matters.  I wonder if I've let myself stay stuck this long solely because I didn't have the confidence to say that I could do something else? 

A project I was working on this weekend seems to be the perfect analogy for what a lack of confidence can block us from and what a touch of confidence can help us achieve.  I've always fancied myself handy.  Deep down I have a conviction that if I need to do something around my house I can figure it out and make it work myself.  In the past I've done things like replace a garbage disposal or a pop-up drain in my bathroom or fixed the toilet in one way or the other.   During the studio years I'd gotten away from trying to do these projects myself.  Lack of time got in the way and I'd reason that it's easier to call someone who knows what they're doing rather than take the time to do it myself.  The problem is that started to build a story that I couldn't do it and that I needed someone else to do it for me.  My confidence in the idea that I could eroded and similarly the longer I stayed an internal wholesaler I started to believe that was all I'd ever be good at, that maybe I couldn't do anything else.  I started to believe a false internal story.  

Friday provide me with an opportunity to remind myself that I could change my story when a few shelving units arrived.  I’ve been waiting for these shelves to arrive for two weeks and I imagined they’d be easy to put up.  But when I got them out of the box, it was two shelves, 4 L brackets per shelve that needed to fit tightly into the one another.  This would require time, patience, a level and attention to detail (something I struggle with).  Did I mention that the shelves didn't come with instructions?  I was completely intimidated but I wanted these shelves up before the weekend was over.  I'm in nesting overdrive these days wanting to create a comfortable space for my local coaching clients.  Which means all of a sudden it's become very important for my home to be as cozy and hygge as I can make it.  I want my client's to see a space that's a reflection of my personality and one that's comfortable for them.  

Growing up I've seen my dad and mom do these types of improvements and home repairs, they rarely call a repair person.  This is probably why I believe I can do things like refinish floors or strip woodwork even though I've never actually tried.  I've watched my dad's skilled hands do everything under the sun and often the moon (because home projects kept him working until very late at night), plumbing electrical, hanging dry wall.  You name it and I feel like he's done it or could do it.  I didn't often help him much, not because I didn't want to be helpful, but more out of a fear of not wanting to get in the way.  Fearing that I'd take up too much precious time being shown therefore making the project double the amount of time to actually complete.  For the most part I feel like knowing they could do it meant I could do it eventually too.  

When this set of shelves showed up on my door in pieces with no instructions I could feel my gut tighten.  My first thought was who am I going to call to help me put these up.  I did text a friend hoping she could come help, but she was busy for the weekend.  I was determined, like I'm determined to launch this new business successfully, so off to Lowes I went for a longer level, and a new flat head screwdriver, items that were necessary to begin.  Equipped with a level and a new screwdriver I felt a little more confident, just like I felt a little more confident when I got this website updated to reflect it's main purpose and when my new business cards arrived in the mail today.  Once I had the right tools I could do the work and I hung the shelves with elbow grease and determination.  I know I have the right tools to coach, lead workshops, speak at events and host meaningful retreats, I just need to be confident, put in the work and stay determined.  

Any of us can do what we put our minds to.  I know that tackling the projects that look the hardest not only builds confidence but also brings the most joy.  There's no easy way around it, you have to be brave, give yourself permission, and move forward to do it.  Standing on a ladder measuring the space between each bracket I began to get excited about how things were going to look and how the project was turning out.  As I watched the shelves come together slowly I started to become more excited about what I was building.  I feel like I'm still standing on a ladder metaphorically speaking, looking out at the foundation I'm laying and I'm filled with excitement and confidence about the possibilities to come.  

Alisha Wielfaert's Shelves with L brackets