Lessons My 18 Year-Old Self Taught Me at 40May 26, 2022
I have found you can learn a lot about someone by asking them one little question; “How are you different or similar to your 18 year-old self?”
When I was 18, I was full of ambition, confidence, and curiosity. Having grown up in a small town in rural Kentucky, I was ready to take on the world, and had no doubt it would receive me with open arms.
For my 18th birthday, I had the fortune of tagging along with a foreign study trip to Ecuador. The experience of visiting a women’s prison and trekking to an ecotourism lodge deep into the jungle, at the headwaters of the Amazon, filled me with so much wonder and awe. It was there, the idea was born that I wanted to become a foreign diplomat, and “right the injustices of the world.”
She was beautifully naive, but had so much spirit and inspiration. She knew an interesting and somewhat unconventional life was before her, and she was ready to seize it with all her force and might.
The other question I like to ask is, “How would your 18 year-old self feel about your current day self?”
I think this can be a great invitation to be honest with ourselves about whether or not we have lost the thread:
- Have we allowed practicality to overcome our ability to dream?
- Have we accepted a limited view of what is possible in our lives?
- Have we allowed life’s disappointments to rob us of the belief there is still joy to be had?
As I approached the 40 threshold, this question seemed especially pressing. After letting go of my foreign diplomat dream in my early 20s, I had unexpectedly manifested a contract opportunity to live and work overseas in the country of Rwanda, drawing upon my passion for entrepreneurship and leadership, supporting a new university focused on conservation agriculture.
I had a relationship that entered my life, and while I had doubts about its long-term prospects, it brought companionship, adventure, and new perspectives into my world. It allowed me to practice non-attachment and unconditional love.
Throughout COVID, I had found a series of routines and rituals that helped me feel both grounded and spiritually connected through a lot of trial and error, including journaling, intuitive readings, sound baths, and daily walks.
But still, something was missing… I could tell there was a deeper calling that had continued to nag at me that I had not quite figured out how to honor. I felt the shift had already started where I saw my value moving away from seeing myself as a “producer” at work to a person who offers myself as “presence.”
I had mastered the masculine ways of doing and being in my career, and it had reaped rewards and accolades, but my softer and more divine feminine nature had been emerging and was ready to be expressed and shared in a balanced way.
Through a call with my own coach, I was reminded that the things I was feeling drawn to all existed within the realm of coaching.
The power of manifestation emerged again, as I received an ad for a coaching program focused on integrating the masculine and feminine, and supporting women in their expansion journey, and so I said "YES" to becoming a Certified Expansion CoachTM.
Now that I am working with clients, I love the ways intuitive coaching slows me down, gives me an ongoing mirror for my own development, and lifts my vibration after every call.
I love seeing women shift from overwhelm to peace...
from constriction to possibilities...
from living for others to honoring their own truest desires.
So, how am I different from my 18 year-old self?
My confidence is there, but more deeply rooted in my internal being vs. my ability to perform.
My curiosity is there, but it is more focused and aligned with a clear vision.
My ambition is there, but it is for the transformation of individuals and communities, not for my own need to be recognized and seen.
And how would she feel about my coaching pursuit?
I believe she would be so delighted that I have been willing to break free of traditional structures, to listen to the whispers and honor my unique calling, and inspire others to reach for an authentic life of abundance.
What can you do to get in touch with your 18 year old self?
I invite you to write to me [email protected] and tell me about her and what she has to say about your current life. If you'd like guidance in hearing her voice and remembering what she stood for or what she is urging you to do in this world, schedule a free call HERE.
About the Author
Elizabeth Scutchfield is an entrepreneurially minded, soul-centric, playful spirit who helps women who are ready to release outdated structures, expectations, and ideas to create more authenticity, balance, and inspiration in their lives. She believes that the journey to finding our truest selves is a noble and beautiful quest. Her career has led her to enjoy living at the intersections of organizations, industries, cities, and cultures. She has served as a career coach, recruiter, program manager, community builder, partnership manager, and product developer, and has become quite adept at manifesting strategic career pivots which have supported her desire for greater flexibility and adventure. Now as a Certified Expansion Coach, she is ready to help you design your next adventure.