How I had to lose my purpose to help teachers find theirs.
Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of working with many teachers. Some of them were frazzled and way too hard on themselves. They gave so much every day to the school community yet weren’t taking care of themselves. Their passion and energy for what they do were in danger of burning out, but I saw they still had that spark and love to teach. Teaching isn’t a job to them; it is who they are.
Although I’m not a teacher, I’ve been in many classrooms. I’ve facilitated, spoken, and coached people in my role, and I can certainly see similarities with teaching and what I do.
I feel some of the challenges I’ve faced over the years have helped me connect on a deeper level with teachers. The times when I have become disillusioned, when I feel I’ve moved far away from what I was born to do, when I’ve lost my “why”. As many entrepreneurs will tell you building a business involves things you love to do and things that suck the life out of you and mastering the balance can be tricky. In my case, spending less time with people and more time creating writing proposals, content and doing admin tasks in front of a screen.
From what I’ve seen, masses of paperwork and the pressures of testing impacts on what teachers want to do — inspire and teach. The “detail” is draining, and it takes a lot of the valuable energy that teachers could use to inspire their students. I completely empathise with teachers. They’re in a role they love, but it has so many parts that get in the way of what they really want to do.
Over the last four years I have used the Turn Lights On practice to get out of some pretty dark times, and I’m grateful that I can offer a solution to teachers experiencing similar issues.
I can say wholeheartedly that TLO works for me and over the last four years, it has helped hundreds of others. The strange thing is I didn’t value TLO before I experienced real hardship. In the last few years business growing pains, not knowing what to do, testing different products and services has taken all of me at times. I had to lose my purpose and use Turn Lights On myself. I was then able to help others to get their purpose back. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to share this with people that really need it.
Teachers and I have something intrinsic in common, we both turn people’s lights on. I ask teachers why do you teach? Usually, one of them says “I love it when I have that lightbulb moment”.
Yes, the lightbulb moment is such a wonderful feeling. When you see something click, the person’s whole face lights up with a surge of energy and the connection you feel with that person is addictive and highly rewarding.
My advice when you are lost is to come back to WHY! Focus on why you do what you do and don’t lose sight of the impact you have. You have influence, your energy matters and it makes a difference. The detail is part of what you do, but it is not the whole part. No matter how hard it is, hold on to that, it’s important.
I received some feedback that totally covers coming back to what matters.
“Georgina was inspirational for my staff! She brought us back to what is important about ourselves and how we impact on each other and our pupil’s. It was a day that challenged us, made us laugh (and cry at times!) but ultimately refocused us on our core values leaving us feeling positive and ready for anything!”
Head Teacher — Carl Sherlock, High Cross Primary School.
If you are struggling with your why start doing things that turn your light on. It doesn’t matter what it is — riding a bike, baking a cake, talking to a friend. Connect to your energy, and I promise you will feel re-energised and stronger. Small things make big differences and it’s about energising yourself so you can get out of your busy mind and connect to yourself and others.
Keep reminding yourself the difference you make every day. You’re constantly using your energy to influence people so take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and ask why?