Are you feeling a little bit lost? By Katie Ford

I speak to a lot of people who feel like they've forgotten themselves, and who they really are.

They might finally see they're not a fraud, but WHO actually are they?

Some want to do lots of cool things, but feel like they're maybe not sure where to start, or that they're not the right person to do them. Others pressurise themselves that they should have some big plan and idea, and then end up so far from who they are that they feel unaligned; chasing someone else’s dream, if you will.

I appreciate that, because I've been there too.

It was a relief when I realised a job title as a vet was what I DO, but I had been holding it at a level of BEING and identity. This meant that my value was put on my outcomes.

When that was stripped away, I wasn't sure initially what was left. I had worked so much for a number of years, that I’d cancelled my hobbies, lost touch with friends and didn’t spend much time on what I actually loved; in fact, I didn’t really know what I loved.

Thanks to my own mentors and coaches, that I went on to train in their powerful methods, I learned I wasn't the negative voice in my head. I unlearned all about who I wasn't.

Amazing, but I had a little panic of heck, what's left?

Who was I underneath?

Instead of letting that negative voice make this 'unknowing' into a fault, I flipped it.

It was time to learn about myself again. To rediscover that one off, valuable person that I came into the world as. Who I was before the world got its hands on me. Before I was consumed 24/7 by work. What I'd choose.

I spent some time on:

● What ARE my core values? What would I choose them to be? What did I want life to be about? There are plenty of free values exercises out there that you can find online, or if you need guidance, run through with a coach. We so often become unaligned from what matters to us. Perhaps family is a huge value, but we never see them. Perhaps we value adventure, but have become stuck in routine. It’s a useful exercise.

● Looking at what I enjoyed as a child. Reconnecting with that part of me. We all have an inner child, what would make them happy? How could you recreate the bit that you loved?

● Giving myself time to BE, to soak up the moment, to appreciate. Life is so fast, we can blink and suddenly a year has gone by - 2021, anyone?

● Taking note of my energy. What gave me energy? Who did I like spending time with? Without judgement. It wasn’t always about removing what didn’t give me energy, but budgeting that.

● What ingredients was I adding into my life?

● Building awareness of ME not that negative voice. Listening to my gut rather than what I thought everyone else wanted of me.

I started trying new things and re-learning what it was to be me.

Not Katie the vet.

Just the process of BEING me, and what I enjoyed, and what I wanted life to be ABOUT. Without performance pressure. I couldn't get being the real me wrong.

To make it that being me was not just a holiday home I visited during Christmas, holidays and Birthdays.

I hope that this reflection helps you if you feel a little stuck. If you are, it doesn’t have to be this way and I’d definitely recommend reaching out and starting a conversation. That might be with a coach or mentor, or a mental health professional if you feel your day to day life is being negatively affected. There is a path through this.

It might be of interest to you that I run a group coaching programme with fellow vet and coach Claire Grigson. We cover much of the above at Vet Empowered. Find out more: