By Sarah A. Sparks
When was the last time you looked into the mirror and saw a woman you admire, love, and adore staring back at you?
If it’s been awhile, you’re not alone. So many sharp, successful, dedicated women are feeling pulled in many different directions. It can leave you feeling stuck.
To keep everything together we know something has got to give. Many of us give of ourselves first, sacrificing ourselves, our happiness, health, and joy to serve others. The consequence is we begin feeling resentful, tired, worn out, and frustrated, which affects our relationships and performance at work and at home.
The good news is it doesn’t have to stay that way. We can rebuild our inner peace, reconnect to our purpose, and reignite the spark for our life and work. Which reminds me of my own story…
On paper my life looked pretty good. I worked for a local government, making a fantastic living. I was attending graduate school to obtain my master’s in public administration. I was married and lived in a little utopian community. It was all good! Yet, I hated my job, hated the town I worked in, and I was not in love. It all came to a head on a warm November day after a statistics class. I was upset with the professor for letting us out of class two hours early. I walked right up to the professor and told him how frustrated I was with the school, my graduate studies, and my work. The professor then asked me, “What does your husband think about all of this?”
I heard myself say, “He doesn’t care.”
I looked at the professor and simply said, “THANK YOU.”
In that moment I knew it was all over. The way I recreated the life I love is through the three steps I now use to guide women who are stuck. I teach them how to become clear on who they are and where they are going, so they may have the confidence and trust in themselves to make the right decisions and move forward with inspired action. Let’s take a moment to explore these three steps.
Build it. In order to build your spark, you must be brave—braver than you have ever been before. You must be ready and willing to be honest and open with yourself about yourself. This takes courage.
Most of us would rather keep living our lives just as they are because we are in our comfort zone. Yet we know growth occurs outside of our comfort zone.
Think of it this way: You wouldn’t build a new home on an old foundation. Likewise, you wouldn’t create your NEW spark for life and love on old beliefs and values that didn’t work for you. In order to discover where you want to go, you must understand where you’ve been, and why it didn’t work. Take time to look within and release the old foundation, so you are able to build your spark.
Ignite it. Igniting your spark is simple; it is that ah-ha moment, and it happens in the blink of an eye. For example, when someone says something to you that you’ve never thought of before. It is the split-second decision you make. It is the moment when the missing pieces of your life’s puzzle come together.
Live it: Now you want to move into action, solidifying this as your new lifestyle, and then create a plan to sustain it.
There are three outcomes you will have the opportunity to receive when you Live Your Spark:
You will have the confidence and trust in yourself to ask for what you want, say what you need to say, and stop second-guessing your decisions.
You will have a grander meaning and purpose to all you have experienced in life. You will KNOW, with every fiber of your being, you matter just by being yourself and always doing your best.
You will begin to believe you are limitless. You will know the strength you have within to succeed at whatever you put your mind to accomplish.
Living your spark takes action and commitment.
Here is what two individuals expressed to me about their lives after they took action:
Donna from Tarpon Springs, FL: “I can accomplish anything, have fun in relationships, for I do not have to choose or settle. I have quit smoking. I am going back to school to work in the field I enjoy most. I don’t allow people to dictate to me what they think is right or wrong for me. I don’t allow some people to poison me with their negativity. I face things head on with confidence. I am being the best me.”
Paula from Santa Cruz, CA: “I now know I don’t have to search for my spark. ‘Spark’ doesn’t mean perfection. It means constantly readjusting by going back to my SELF and doing my best to adore that person rather than making others adore me.”
Today I live life on my own terms because I chose to “Live My Spark!” I love my work. I love my husband. I love my life. People walk up to me in the grocery store, while I am riding my bike, while I am officiating a wedding, and they often tell me there is a “spark” about me. And then want me to teach them how to generate the same spark within themselves.
Imagine if you were able to walk into any room, into your office, into your clients’ offices with a spark that naturally attracted people to you, including those who wanted to do business with you. You can get back to doing the things you love, to performing at a higher level, and to getting noticed for it. My question to you is: Are you ready to look into the mirror and see the woman you admire, love, and adore?
Sarah A. Sparks, MPA, is the speaker and relationship mentor for Create The Spark, LLC. Sarah has her BA in Human Resource Management, a certificate in Training: Design and Development from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a MPA from Drake University. Sarah worked as a leader for two local governments in Iowa from 2004-2010, in the capacity of an Operations Transit Supervisor and Safety Coordinator, and as a Parks and Recreation Director. While serving these communities, Sarah mentored and trained numerous employees. Through this experience, she discovered the belief in one’s self is what limits someone from creating the life she desires. From that point onward, Sarah made it her mission to guide those who want to be mentored to create the life they desire by having the confidence and trust in themselves to make the right decision and say what they need to say, with love! Email Sarah at email@example.com or visit www.createthespark.org.