175. Finding Purpose in Your Work

Posted by Erin Aquin on Sep 8, 2021 7:26:29 PM

You may have spent a lot of time trying to find the secure and smart career route, only to discover that at some point you woke up and didn't know what exactly it is that you're looking for anymore.

Today in my conversation with Life and Purpose Coach Gabrielle Smith, we talk about how to discover and actually live in your purpose.

When it comes to your career, it seems like everyone has an opinion about what you should do. But unless you know the difference between what you want versus what everyone else wants for you, you will never have the impact and fulfillment you desire.

In this episode you will discover how to:

  • Get clear on what you are actually looking for in life

  • Discover your area of greatest impact

  • Believe in yourself and your goals

And if you loved this episode and want to learn more about Gabrielle and her work, you can connect with her below: 

Website: www.thethoughttrainer.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thethoughttrainer

If you want to learn how to work with me while I still have a few spots open for coaching, schedule a free consultation here.

If you want to build the business and life of your dreams, join the waitlist for the Love + Success Formula program here.

Read the full show transcript here. 

Subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts here

Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Love and Success podcast you are listening to episode 175, Finding Purpose in Your Work. 

Hello there, lover. My name is Erin Aquin. Today, I'm very excited to introduce you to Gabrielle Smith, who is a love and purpose coach who specifically helps women who work in corporate spaces find and do work that actually feels purposeful and meaningful. 

I really love Gabrielle, and I love this conversation that we had because so many of us go through our work and life trying to be very responsible and choose the most secure path we'll need to find. Then 10-20 years down the road, all of those things we thought we would get, all of those ways we thought we would feel fulfilled don't actually happen. I talk about this in the episode. 

I didn't work in a corporate world for very long, but I know so many of my clients spent a lot of time trying to find the secure and smart route, only to discover that at some point they wake up and don't know what exactly it is that they're looking for anymore. So I think this is a very important conversation. 

Even if you are an entrepreneur, you need to hear what Gabriel has to say about challenging yourself about finding purpose and living it. You will be so blown away by her story and some really powerful insights that she has to share with us today. So without further Ado, meet the one and only Gabriel Smith. 


The first question I always ask all of my guests is, who are you? And why should we listen to you? 


I am Gabrielle Smith, and I am a life and purpose coach for corporate women who want more fulfillment in their lives. They want to do work that is fulfilling that helps them feel meaningful in their lives. And you should listen to us. 

I was that corporate woman who was looking for fulfillment, and I have found it and created that for myself. So I know how to do it. I know how I got there, and I am the person to help others get there as well. 


I love that. My corporate career was very short. I worked in an entertainment business. I worked for a big Corporation for a couple of years and then decided that was not the life for me. But for many people, being in a corporate environment offers a certain sense of security and a pathway a lot of us really do seek. A pathway that's laid out with positions that are very well defined.

But I think over the last year and a half or two years now, it might be the way work has been happening for most people has really changed. And I think that (you probably know this from your clients) but I've seen a lot of my clients really question that traditional climbing the corporate ladder. And they started to find out that maybe it's not as fulfilling. 


Yes. Absolutely. And that's exactly it. I see that all the time with my clients. And that was my story as well. You know, just going back to the way that we're conditioned is to go to College, get a degree, get a good job. And the good job for most people when we're being taught that is a job like you mentioned with stability and security that pays well. That allows growth. 

And what we envision is that whole corporate life is being in corporate America, climbing the corporate ladder and doing all the things to do that. And then along the way, we get to a certain point and you realize that. “Okay. What now, what next?” 

Because we get to a point where we're thinking that we're going to have this big party, this big confetti, all the confetti drops. Once we get there, we don't get that. And so then everybody's confused. “Okay, well, Where's the party? What happened?” 

And then we start going down this path of like, “What is it? If this is not it, then what is it that I want to do? What is it that would bring me fulfillment?” And we get confused because we've always been taught once you do all these things, check all these boxes, you're going to be fulfilled. You will have made it. And so we get confused when that doesn't happen. And that's where I pick up with my clients. 


So when people kind of get to that place and they're like, “There was no party, actually, all I got was a kind of a raise and more responsibility and higher sales targets and more people I have to look after.” Often it's like, here's your basket of next level stress and responsibility. When you say I pick people up at that place, what's kind of the first thing that you really explore with people to help them figure out what's beyond those boxes that they've checked? 


So what I like to first get clear on is people have different definitions or views of purpose. And so what I like to do is to get clear or help them get clear on what it is they're actually looking for in a purpose. Like, what is the feeling? What exactly is it that you're looking for? And so I like to help them get clear on that. 

And then once we get clear on that and within that, too, I'll just back up and say that a lot of our definition of purpose ends up being so so heavy. It's one of those heavy things where you feel this pressure to figure it out or my life will be in vain or my life is not worth living. Like, if you don't figure out this one thing, this one purpose and start doing it, then what am I even here for?

And so I like to help people help release some of that pressure by just getting really clear on what it is that you want to do and just letting people know that it's not anything that you go out there and accomplish or achieve that's going to make you feel any more worthy or any more complete. Like them just knowing that helps to release that pressure and allows them to better tap into what it is that they truly want. 

So once we release that pressure, we can tap into what the true desires are. And that's where the magic happens. 


I have chills right now. I think that that is the key. So everybody's listening, you should rewind 20 seconds. Listen to that again. And I actually imagine that's probably really hard for people who've been told that there's a right way and there's a clear path. And like, we just check the boxes. Then suddenly you wake up one day and realize I don't even know what it is I want. I don't even know what I'm here to do. And it's probably got to be something super heavy. 

So I love that you're bringing to the fact that everybody has a different purpose. Perhaps it doesn't have to be this one heavy thing that we're all supposed to find. This is something I love about you, I stalk you on Instagram as you know, which is how we've connected. We're in the same community. And you're always, like posting your amazing gym selfies for inspiration. And I just love that you do this work that most people could think of as very deep and very heavy. But you have so much fun. People miss that. Like our purpose should be something we feel magnetized towards. 


Yes. Absolutely. And that's part of it. That's part of the heaviness that people pick up and take along with them. Exactly, I feel like it's fun. Like I truly, truly, truly have such a good time living in my purpose and just kind of pulling back those layers all the time. And I have such a good time with my clients, we have a good time as well. It's just pulling back the layers. 

It seems like it should be something heavy because it's something that is serious. Like, we want to take it seriously, but that doesn't mean that we can't have fun at the same time. We can't have fun taking it seriously, right? 


I imagine, too, for the corporate folks listening, that's maybe not something you've ever had. I don't know a lot of people who associate corporate life with super fun times it's true that's one of the things I struggled with in the beginning of becoming a life coach and trying to do that transition from corporate into life coaching where I was like, okay, well, how much fun should I be having on my page? Like, how much fun should I show on my Instagram and all of this? 

Because I was so used to having to think I had to have this certain appearance and this persona about myself as being a professional, as if being a professional means that you have to be serious and you can't have fun. And so I had to learn that I can be professional and have fun

and love all the things, love all the people, I can do all of that. And so to your point, it can be challenging. Coming from a corporate culture. I see you as starting a revolution, like a professional doesn't mean we have to only show one little sliver of ourselves. Yes, we can do the whole thing. 

So because you may be new to people, I would love to hear how your story evolved, like you were in this corporate world. And now you're a full time life coach. And I think that would be a really interesting exploration if you want to tell us. 


Yeah, sure. So again, I like going all the way back when I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up in College, trying to decide what my major would be and how I made that decision back then was not what I was passionate about. It wasn't what I would enjoy doing. It wasn't what would set my soul on fire. It wasn't any of that. 

It was what degree can I get that would guarantee me a job right out of College, making the amount of money that I want to make or making the most money. And that's how I made my decision. Now,, had I been real with myself during that time, it probably would have been psychology or something along those lines. I was honest with myself about what I wanted, and I was going for what I thought I was supposed to do, what society expected me to do, what my family expected me to do and be. I chose that career. 

I chose to be a software engineer, and that's what I did for several years. And then I got to a point where I'm just like, oh, my gosh, all this technology just sitting in front of a computer, right? And cold all day. It clashes with my personality so badly. I'm a people person by far and to just sit in front of the computer with just me. And the screen was not cutting it for me. 

And so I was like, okay, well, what can I do where I can kind of pull in some of my personality a little more and still stay safe. So that was me changing positions within the corporation, right. So I became a project manager where I could manage projects. I worked a lot more with people, and I eventually became a consultant where I managed several projects with several different clients and all of that. And I did that for several years and still was not feeling it. 

I'm like, something is still missing. This is not what I'm meant to be doing. But it was safe for sure. It was. It was safe and it was paying the bills, you know? So that's what I continued to do. And after a while, I was just like, this cannot be it. Honestly, it wasn't even about the money anymore. I'm like, I don't care what the money looks like. I have to find something else. 

That is where I'm making more of an impact, because that was the other thing. Like I didn't feel I couldn't see where I was making an impact in what I was doing or any of that. And so, yeah. And so what ended up happening is I eventually attended a, like a seminar, like a week long seminar about transformation, where I really learned that our thoughts create our results. And that's when I first got into this work.

And from there, I like, the whole world kind of opened up. And within that period, I found Brook’s podcast, Castillo podcast and started listening to her and ended up listening to her story. And it's like, oh my gosh, because she was corporate as well. And so just listening to her story resonated with me so much that I'm like, yes, this is what I am meant to do. Like, I felt it all over my body. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. 

And so from there, I got certified and still did my corporate job because it was safe and totally safe and secure. And until recently, almost two months now, I've been a full time coach doing my own thing, and I am loving every second of it. And again, that's my story. And so that's what I want to help other people do, just find it for themselves, because I could not. I cannot explain the difference. It is like knowing that you're impacting so many people that you're living in your purpose and the fulfillment just matches. 


It’s honestly everything. And I know we're kind of joking about the safety of the other path, the safety of sticking with the corporate nine to five and slowly edging towards the thing that you are actually passionate about. That actually feels like your purpose. But, I mean, I kind of did the same thing, too, even though I wasn't in a corporate environment with slowly edging towards it, even though we are joking on it, because we're kind of both on the other side, doing the thing that feels most purposeful. 

There's no disrespect towards those of you who maybe haven't made that leap. That's why Gabrielle does what she does, because there are real considerations. We all have to feed our families. The old phrase, like, the devil, you know, versus the devil you don't. And sometimes the status quo is just like our company place. We don't honestly know just how soul sucking it is until you're in the new thing and you're like, I can't believe it. Like, I can't believe I was doing that for so long. I was only showing up as a sliver of me. 

And for people who are listening to that and maybe they're shifting in their seat, feeling their own discomfort around knowing that there's something out there they haven't quite found. What's the first thing? I mean, obviously they should work with you. But what's kind of the first thing that people could really start to take a look at if they feel pulled towards that purpose? But it's not as clear and formed as their nine to five job. 


Yeah. So one question that I like to ask my clients or ask people is to ask themselves, what if time, money and family were not a factor? What is it that you would challenge yourself to do just because you want to do it, not to prove anything, because it'll make you feel more worthy or more valuable just because it's something that you think it would be cool to do? Cool to challenge yourself to accomplish, that's it. 

And I like to ask that question because most of the reasons that we give ourselves as to why we don't kind of lean towards that nudge that we get is because of family and money. All of the real constraints that we have in our lives. Like, those are definitely valid concerns and constraints

that we have in our lives. But I think a lot of times it’s our safety blanket, and that's what we use so we can use it against ourselves to hold ourselves back. 


I've heard variations of that question before, but something that you said, I'm really curious about you said the challenge, you saw a challenge, and I think that is very unique because most people don't realize that just because you feel called to something just because you found your purpose doesn't mean it's going to be easy. 

Like what challenge we were talking about? Your gym selfies going to the gym is not easy. Working out is not easy. We don't do it because it's easy. We do it because there's something compelling about that challenge. I don't know if you have another framework for why having the challenge in there is important, not just like what would be just a frivolous thing you could do because you felt like it. 


I think when you challenge yourself to do something because again, our purpose, just because it’s our thing doesn't mean that it's going to be easy. I remember thinking that if it's my purpose, it should be easy. There should be no stress, no challenges. Not any of that. 

And so I like to incorporate that challenge piece in there because it's something that stretches you, something that takes you into the next version of yourself. And that's what purpose is all about, right? It's not going to be that like pouring a glass of water that we're used to doing every day that we've done a million times over. It's something that challenges you that stretches you to become that next version of yourself. 

And you also learn your why within that, like within that, you learn why you want to pursue. That is why it is important to you. And when you know that, then you stick with it, right? You stick with it even when it gets challenging, even when you don't feel like it. And I like to use that to help my clients. 


So good. Yeah. The purpose. You know, it's real if you're willing to be challenged, if you're willing to stick with it when it's hard. I think that's so good and so important. 


So there's two pieces to what I do. There's the piece of helping people to find and figure out their purpose. And then there's the piece to actually do it. So it’s very important to have that second step. 


You mean, I'm not just going to get to talk about my purposes to you for six months, I have to do something?


You have to do something and I think that the first piece of it is believing. Once you tap into those desires and you identify some of your true desires, the challenge comes in with believing that it's possible for you. And I like to guide my clients through a process of believing that if possible. 

And once you believe that it's possible, then you can make it easier to take steps towards making it happen. And so that's where most of the work comes in. Once we uncover it and kind of identify that is something that's possible, believe that is possible. Then it is the doing and the staying in doing and being able to feel all of the discomfort and the all of the emotions that come with doing the thing that will get you closer to the result that you want. 


And I think that a lot of times people will, you know, find a business book that kind of maybe walks them through that. And, you know, they'll be like, oh, I don't know. That didn't really work. I cannot stress enough that having your own one on one coach for this type of work, when you're discovering your purpose and you're trying to actually figure out how to basically reorganize your life around that which you actually feel is the reason that you are here on this planet. 

That is not just something that most people, even if you're the most brilliant, amazing human on the planet, most of us are not quite able to hold that kind of space and have that mindset to make that a reality. This is why I think having your own one on one coach, like Gabrielle, is such a great idea, because I guess it's possible some of us have done it. But, I mean, even in your story, you talked about going to this week-long transformational seminar becoming a coach, and not everybody wants to become a life coach to figure out their own transformation. You could just hire Gabrielle. 

So I think if you're ever going to give yourself a gift, like, I don't know, finding your purpose is probably a really beautiful, very worthy pursuit. I can't stress enough how important it is to actually do that with someone who's walked so many people through this and your time as a coach. Are there any other pitfalls that people should kind of look out for? I mean, you mentioned family, and I want to talk about that, maybe just for a second, because relationships are something that we talk about a lot here. You know what happens if you discover your purpose, you're moving towards it and your partner is not into it? It's like, I don't want you to be working an extra 30 hours a week on top of your nine to five. 


Yeah. And it goes back to what do you want versus what everybody else wants for you, right? It's about being true to yourself and what you want. And what I found, though, in working with my clients is when you believe in yourself in your goal and just knowing and believing that it's possible for you to get to this place where you can do your purpose. And what it might take is working a few extra hours every week on top of your job.

Then if you believe in that, then other people will believe in it, too. Like your significant others, your family. Everybody will believe in it, too. What I found is that when most people have spouses or somebody who's not very supportive, it's usually because they are not showing up in full belief of themselves. 

Typically, if you're showing up very powerful and in full belief of what you know you want and can do, then other people around you have no choice but to believe like, “Oh, yeah. She's serious. This is real for her. There's no stopping her.” And so they get on. And even if they don't, it's okay. Right. It's okay. What's important is, you know, what you want in your past, the past that you set for yourself. 


I'm totally with you. And, you know, sometimes I'll just say, well, let them be adversarial and you go show them. Go show them. They'll get on board eventually. I mean, if they don't, they don't. And usually other things happen. 


But most times people usually get on board. They usually get on board and they're like, surprised for sure. But they're like, oh, yeah. You said it. You're doing that. 


You are so amazing. Well, you are amazing. I love that we get to hang out. And I was saying before we started the recording today, I like to use my podcast as a way to hang out with other coaches who I think are amazing. So thank you so much for all of your wisdom and for people who are interested if they've been feeling very uncomfortable during this episode and they're like, she's talking about me, I need to talk to her. How did they get in touch with you? 


You can reach me and find out all the information on my website, thethoughtrainer.com, and you can set up a purpose clarity call where we get on a call, and I'll walk you through getting clear on your purpose and figuring out if we are a good match for each other to work together to make it happen. 


And, you know, everyone should follow you on Instagram. You're a @thethoughttrainer. You will see why she's such an amazing coach. I love the realness that you bring. I love it. 


I bring my daughter into all of the drama because let me tell you, I'm a mom to a teenager and talk about purpose. 


I was actually thinking about that before we hopped on today. I was just thinking, like, what you are offering your teenager as just being an example and a person in her life. I'm so curious to

see what she's gonna believe if she goes to College, what is she going to choose? Is she going to choose something based on what's going to make the most money and what's going to be the safest? Or is she going to follow in your footsteps and based on what sets her soul on fire? 


Oh, yeah. She's going to have different questions that she asked when she goes in to decide to make that decision totally up to her. But there will be different questions that she'll be asking herself. 


I think this is something people overlook when they are considering working towards a purpose. If you have kids, not everybody has kids. But if you have kids, our kids are watching us, and I know for sure that I love being someone in their life who doesn't have the typical jobs, the person who I make the most money in my relationship at this point, my husband and I work together, and it's just a beautiful thing to show our kids. 

We’re like, we just created something that didn't exist because it felt in Horton. And all we do all day is help people. We get to be an example for our kids. And I think that that is something most people overlook. But it's so powerful. So if you need another reason to do a clarity and purpose session with Gabriel, it’s not just for you. It's for the next generation. We're such good parents. 


Yes, we are. Yes, we are. It is what we do, it’s part of our purpose as well. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Erin, for having me. This is so fun. 


If you are enjoying the new Love and Success Podcast, now is the time to get on the waitlist to join my fall group coaching program, where I'm going to walk you through all of my favorite love and success tools and help you create not only the business of your dreams, but the life of your dreams. This is a gift I believe every entrepreneur really deserves, and I hope that you will join me in the next class. You can sign up for the waitlist over at revitalizeyourrelationship.com/formula, and I will see you in the group.

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