LD’s Perspective On… Swimming in Possibilities

Personal Growth & Development | 0 comments

“One foot in. One foot out.”

I have been told twice in the last week that people I work with perceived me as having a “one foot in; one foot out” attitude. As much as this was a comment about my loyalty to that particular organization, it stung a little (okay, maybe a lot). The next day, the guy that I’m dating, said the SAME thing; “it’s like you are here but not really here. Are you in this or not?.” In my mind, my commitment to my work, to the cause — the purpose, the “why” — was always 100%.

This caused me to think and reflect (and overthink)— as an introvert like myself does. It’s now become clear to me that “one foot in; one foot out” IS who I am and I am going to own it. I think it comes from moving through the world literally, since the day I was born, and continuing to move through different nations, cities, teams and workplaces. I know that I make sure the relationships I commit to are honest, transparent and demonstrate commitment both outwardly and hold them dear internally.

I’ve lived in so many different places, and generally feel like I have invested part of me in all of those places. Yet there is so much more of me and my life invested in other places, people and things — including the ones I have yet to explore and meet! Right now though, I’m on the most liberating journey of being purpose-driven.

What does that mean — being on a purpose-driven journey? It means that I give myself permission to swim in the seas of possibilities while remaining true to my values and mission. It means asking questions like ‘who am I’, ‘why do I exist’ and ‘where am I going’? By finding those answers, I can keep holding on to the foundations of my being, being receptive to opening doors and stepping across the thresholds into possibilities. I can keep growing and learning, sharing, influencing and always expanding the horizons of thoughts and feelings. In being-purpose driven, I understand now that it can be perceived as selfish – being here, though not really here. Yet, deep inside, I’ve come to realize that it’s because I’m being pulled to something greater, where my influence can continue to grow. And that’s what keeps pulling me forward to explore and while I may not remain true to one organization, I remain true to my mission and that’s the cost of having one foot in, and one foot out.

As a coach, I encounter intersections of so many things that keep me in the ‘one foot in and one foot out’ realm. Whether I’m working with young people, graduates, business executives, teams, athletes, they all intersect when it comes to human performance. Each one of us has a natural way of thinking, feeling, behaving and have strengths that make us who we are. Understanding our unique wiring opens the doors to living and leading an authentic life.

When it comes to career decision making, planning or exploration, my advice is simple (and complicated at the same time): give yourself permission to explore as many different paths as you can. Follow the intrinsic cues of your life;

  • Do you enjoy some classes more than others?
  • What have you learned from your internships / jobs / roles?
  • What type of teams and leadership styles do you thrive under?

These are all great insights into what energizes you and what you should seek in your career. You don’t have to stay in one lane if you’re someone who wants to draw outside the lines.

“Careers are like a jungle gym, rather than a ladder”

- Sheryl Sandberg

Do you feel like you live, seek, love with ‘one foot in, one foot out’? It might feel like a “bad” thing or a “wrong” way of doing things; we’re taught throughout our lives to be “all in”, to jump into things with both feet — but what if you straddle that line instead and allow your mind to open to the possibilities? What if you keep one foot firmly planted in your values zone while the other one explores? You’ll never know what’s on the other side if you don’t take a peek.

If you need help, I am here. If you are curious to learn more, I can guide you. If you are stuck, need a sounding board or a trusted coach, I am here.

Through coaching conversations, self-assessments and other proven methods, I can help you move through change to embrace the power to be intentional with the direction you want to take. You’ll learn to nurture your being, become aware of those around you (are they helping you grow or keeping you stuck?), to tune inward and get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Laura Dowling

Professional Coach & Facilitator

My name is Laura, but everyone calls me “LD”.
LD Performance Consulting provides emerging and experienced leaders, individuals and teams with world-class, customized leadership development and facilitation services that build confidence, unlock talent and improve performance.