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Queen of Your Own Life

The Art of Questioning | The Battle for YOU

by Cindy Ratzlaff

A couple of years ago, over coffee, my friend asked me a powerful question that changed my life.  She asked me “What do you want to do?”

I hadn’t even asked myself that question in a very long time.  I was, as they say, tap dancing as fast as I could.  I’d recently been laid off from a long time job.  For years, I’d defined myself by my job and title.  As that door closed, I had a window of opportunity to explore my own passions and talents to see if that type of work was still a good fit.  I was, however, so fearful of a change I did not ask for, that I had a hard time seeing myself in any other job.  But my friend helped me walk through the fear and waited patiently until I could hear my own voice again.  I came to the conclusion that this job had been a near fit but not an exact fit.

So, for me, the question really became an exercise in comparing want to can. We can do many things.  But what do we really want to do? What career or job would make us hum on the way to work or leap up every morning, excited to get started?  Did such a job exist?

I answered my friend that day by saying I wanted to speak in public about creating personal brands.  I wanted to expand and specialize in the the most exciting part of my previous job.  Just putting words and clarity to that idea helped me bring it to reality.  I’ve worked very hard to get from there to here but I now speak regularly about using social media to create personal brands and increase visibility.  I love what I do so much that I shutter to think what I’d be doing now if I didn’t have a good friend to guide me through the process of answering that question.

That’s why I’m using the art of questioning now to ask myself if anything is holding me back from fully and completely committing to being successful in my field.  I’ve shared here that the answer is yes.  I don’t feel as healthy as I’d like to be because I’m carrying some extra weight. So I’m focused on banishing that excuse from the equation.

I like to give you the same gift that was given to me at a time I still think of as “hard times.”  I want to ask you that question my friend asked me. What do you want to do? For now, don’t think about how.  Just tell me what.  Let’s give a voice to those passions, let them out in the light and see what happens.

10 Responses to “The Art of Questioning | The Battle for YOU”

  1. Kandy Harrell says:

    I want to start my own business and I want to go to college – for myself, for the experience of a formal learning environment, rather than “the school of hard knocks”, but not necessarily for the degree or to advance my career, but just to learn the things I know I can learn. What I currently do is a good fit and I’m good at it, but is not what makes me whistle or sing on the way to work. It’s a job…not my passion!

  2. cindy says:

    Doesn’t it feel great to give voice to those dreams, Queen Kandy? Finding your passion is a journey worth taking. We’re cheering for you!

  3. Dede says:

    I want to reach out to as many women as I can and share my passion for living a better life and helping them to do the same!!
    It is necessary to have defined goals before one can accomplish them:)

  4. cindy says:

    You said it Queen Dede. Thank you so much for sharing your mission and passion. Here’s to giving voice to all of our dreams and claiming the happiness we really do deserve.

  5. Karen T says:

    Thank you so much for this. At 52, I realize that once the marriage and kids came, I never really had any goals for myself – I always seemed to be at the mercy of someone else’s goals, the support staff, if you will. Now it’s my turn, and even though this is a busy week for me with Easter, I promise I’m not going to ‘wait until after the holiday’ to make my list!

  6. cindy says:

    Go Queen Karen. And, put more time for yourself at the top of that list.

  7. Bonnie Pond says:

    This is such an insightful post and so honest. Thanks for sharing.

    I work with women over 40 who want to be their own boss and work at what they love. My first question for them is “What do you want your life to look like?” That can be pretty darn scary when you’ve never really considered it. I know it was for me.

    As for me, what I want to do is help as many women as I possibly can find ways to do what they love and get paid well for doing it. No one should have to exist in job misery or even an “I’ll just settle for this. . .” kind of life. We all have it within our power to create the lives we were meant to live. Let’s help each other along the way and support each other in our personal ReLaunch journeys.

  8. sue h says:

    At 58, I suddenly find myself without a job, and having to move, and not much money at all,come to think of it. However, I do have my truck, my little dog and a determination to find what I am looking for (I am undecided about that also, but a less stressful life would be great to start with LOL), so once I pack up I will be on the road, HOME FREE, not homeless as a good friend of mine said to me recently! I think the life of a gypsy will do for a while, and I am looking forward and not backwards. Everything else can wait, I have decided that I just need to be able to ‘breathe’ for a while….so wish me luck ladies…’cos here I am on the road again!

  9. cindy says:

    Queen Bonnie, Thank you. Change and being in the in-between place between what was and what will be can be positively terrifying. And, we love your mission and are so grateful that you love what you’re doing. No one should ever have to settle for a life of misery.

  10. cindy says:

    Queen Sue, Cindy here. I was 54 when I lost my job and it nearly crushed me. But luckily I had friends who reminded me of my sense of adventure and my will to survive and thrive, and it sounds like you do too. We both cannot wait to hear about your adventures. On the road with Queen Sue should make for an amazing group of updates! Please share.

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