This post is from our graduate Lena Popretinskaya:

“For the last several years, I have been feeling a strong pull towards finding and serving my purpose. For a while, I felt a bit disoriented and confused. After all, I was reasonably successful, achieved everything I seemingly wanted (living abroad, evolving professionally, a good stable income, a balanced life, good friends, spending time in mountains, that I love). So why the feeling that something is missing? A word like “purpose” may sound abstract and philosophical. Still, the feeling, the pull towards something more significant was very real and tangible for me. I experienced it almost every day, almost like a physical sensation.

I valued freedom, the ability to choose for myself. I felt solely responsible for my life. I loved learning and never stopped growing. I appreciated meaningful human connections and had a strong desire to be of service. My career was (and still is) mostly about being a supporter. I played leadership roles for most of my professional life, and leadership meant for me serving those around me. There were so many good people, challenges, opportunities, and events in my life.

And yet, I had difficulty figuring out who I am, apart from my roles in my life: at work, with my friends, etc. I often struggled to appreciate “here” and “now,” always seeking the next “best version” of me, never happy with and grateful for my current self, despite all the success I had in life. I felt difficulty in being calm, finding my focused state. I often felt anxious and unsure about myself. I struggled with uncertainties and complexities at work, and in my life, I wasn’t sure what exactly my purpose is and if I am serving it. I wasn’t sure I am helping and supporting people well.

One day, I received a seemingly unexpected gift from the universe: I discovered professional coaching. It was almost like a miracle. Something deep inside told me — “this could be your dream.” I had a hunch that a professional coach is someone I truly wanted to be: a person unreservedly and unconditionally serving another human being. So, without much hesitance, I pursued exploring the path of becoming a professional coach. I have been on this journey since.

Upon reflection, I realized something. On my way, I had myself to go through the territory I nowadays cover with my coaching clients. I have discovered and shaped my purpose, got to know my values, my beliefs on a more profound level. (I got to know and make peace with my quirks as well, ha-ha). I learned how to deal with and accept the uncertainties and complexities of life.

I still have ways to go, and like any normal human being, I have many limitations, ignorances, and fears. I accept all of this as part of being human and being me. And I know — I have everything I need to enjoy the journey here and now. I started to appreciate the journey itself as much as the destination. And most of the days, my path is very clear.

As a coach, I genuinely believe that all of that is possible for other people too. The only condition: their willingness, their commitment to figure it out.

I believe in it because I have been through this journey alone and with my coach. More than that, I believe in it because I see the evidence with my coaching clients. The best reward for me personally is seeing transformation for the better with my coaching clients on their terms with what “better” means.

I will never forget when one of my clients exclaimed excitedly, “I know who I am!”, with tears of joy and excitement. Moments like this are when I feel I serve my purpose.

Naturally curious, I would love to hear from you: What has been your life journey so far? What do you love about your life? What are your struggles?

This post was initially published on Lena’s blog on Medium. If you’d like to join the conversation drop a message to Lena on LinkedIn

If you feel coaching is your calling, visit our Professional Coaching Diploma programme to start your coaching journey.