Episode 38: Stop Shoulding Yourself. How to Go For What You Truly Want in Life with Anna Lundberg

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This soul searching business isn’t easy!  As we travel this journey to the heart, we're asked to take leaps, look fear in the eyes and move with great courage and unfold into who we really are.  Stories from each other can hearten this experience - the mere fact of knowing that we're not alone and that somebody else has done it too is uplifting.  In this week’s episode Anna Lundberg shares her story of breaking through - from neatly living the life that she was expected to (being a “good girl”), to busting into the success coach/author/business strategist lady boss that she is today.  There are so many golden nuggets of wisdom as we talk about shedding external expectations, finding success for ourselves and trialing the many different paths to figure out how what we truly want from life.  Anna shares her Guiding Star model that can help you figure out what you want, or if you already know, can help you stay on track to get it!

Before we dive in, a little bit more about Anna - Anna is a success coach and business strategist who helps people create businesses and build a lifestyle that allows them an unimagined sense of freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. She works individually with a select number of clients to help them reimagine success in their personal and professional lives and runs a group programme that helps people take their ‘One Step Outside the 9 to 5’.




Key Nuggets:

  • Anna's Story:
    • Grew up as a “good girl” and was motivated to meet up to the expectations and standards that were expected of her and to not make mistakes.
    • As a young student she wanted to change the world by working in international development (thought she was going to move to Africa to help ppl) but ended up in private sector in marketing.  
    • Eventually she saw the dissonance between her original desires to change the world and work for the UN or something versus where she currently working in marketing, selling perfumes.  There's no regret in the time spent in her marketing career as most of her opportunities present day stemmed from the skills and connections she made at her time there.  However, seeing the disconnection between what she really wanted versus what she was doing did create unhappiness in her life.
    • Eventually Anna ended up taking a sabbatical.   
      • Transformational experiences in our lives like taking a step back or a big travelling trip expands our vision of what the possibilities are.  For Anna it was the sabbatical that she took.  She used that time to travel to South America and realized that there were so many ex-employees and retirees who are now living a life “out of the ordinary”.  In that moment her view was expanded and she quit her job.
  • The expected path is like a conveyor belt, but at one point in our lives, we do find ourselves asking “what is it that I really want?”
    • Another spin on that question is “what do you want from life?”
    •  It’s a hard and arduous journey to figure that out but Anna’s principle that she lives by is so grounding: “What you want is just one step outside of your comfort zone”
  • One important lesson learned in Anna’s journey is that a new job isn’t the answer.  Work is not life and there are so many different facets to life as well – relationships, health, spirituality…
    • There are so many paths to your best life.  It's not just a matter of quit your job or not - there is no straight path and sometimes we just have to try.  We also need to look at the big picture and take all aspects of life into our happiness - relationships, health, spirituality....
      • In Anna’s  story, she took a few turns before landing to where she is today.  She tried consulting, living as a free bird and along the way she collected information as to what she liked and didn't like and then moved from there.
        • This story shows that it’s okay to try.  You’ll make turns and shifts as needed. There is no “right answer” or "wrong answer" for that matter.  There are many paths that can take you where you desire.
  • Once you figure out what you want, you need clarity and commitment to push forth.
    • This goes back to the wisdom that intention will anchor you.  So know what your intentions are going into it.  Another way to put it is to “hone into your why”.
      • I love Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map because it helps you hone into how you really want to feel, and at the end of the day all of the goals that we create is because we want to feel a certain way.
        • Anna’s take on this is to break it down even further.  For example, if you want to be a writer, why?  And what kind - for example, are you aiming to be a famous writer? For herself she knew that she didn’t need to get famous from a book or anything but she loved writing and really desired engagement with people through her work.
        •   When it comes to intentions, when Anna says "intentional" she means that you need to remember that you have a choice in whatever you are doing, whether it be a certain client or the job you’re in. 
  •  Anna’s own model that she created to help create transformation in your life and strip away the “should” is the: Guiding Star 
  • Use these five points to carve out what you really want
    • Feelings: how do you want to feel?
    • Values:  What values are important to you ex. freedom, stability, security...
    • Strengths: understand your strengths and in turn gain confidence
    • Characters: there are many different characters within us ex. A business woman, a rebel hippie…and all of them need space to play out.  Identifying all of them will help you better understand what needs to be expressed.
      • Figure it out by answering: what kinds of roles are you playing in the moment?  What kind of roles will you want to play in the future?  Who are the people that you admire and what roles do they play that make them so special?
    • Environment: envision and develop an environment that can nurture you; to help you thrive rather than drain you.
      • It can be even as simple as knowing that being by the ocean will help you thrive.  If that's the case then go take a walk by the ocean (if it's available to you)
  • In Anna’s experience and work, the biggest things that hold us back are:
    •  The “good girl” “good boy” syndrome where we keep trying to meet the expectations of somebody else’s definition of success
    • Beliefs about fear – fear of failure, making mistakes, looking foolish
      • A quote that helps: “discipline is remembering what we want”.  So the first obstacle is figuring out what we want and the second is actually going out to get it.  So you know that you want to be a writer but you don’t take the time to do some writing.  Or maybe you want to leave your job but you don’t take action to actually leave.
    • We falter when we don’t understand why our goals are meaningful and why we want it in the first place.  It could be that we don’t have the right goals, in which case it'd be wise to re-evaluate with the guiding star.
  • Tools to overcome these obstacles:
    • Take some time away from your regular life whether it be a sabbatical or simply a day off in the mountains or something.  Gives yourself time to daydream and dissolve out of your regular rut.
    • Try new things – you’ll meet new people, learn new things and eventually the possibilities will expand.
    • Surround yourself with people who inspire you, lift you up and ideally are a few steps ahead of you so that you can learn from them.  You can do this in a variety of ways – the podcasts you listen to, Facebook communities, and even life coaches.  

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Success means ‘the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose” - and that means that you get to decide what that aim or purpose is! So be curious, try new things, strip away all those ‘shoulds’ and get back to who you are and what you really want - and then go out and take steps towards creating that as a reality in your life today.  Live out what your aim is any little way that you can right now.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with everyone who is on this journey of growth and transformation?

Anna bases her work on the quote

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone”

and there are two key elements of that. First, in order to grow and transform you need to get out of that comfort zone - ‘scary’ tends to come along with ‘exciting’.  Anything that is worth achieving is bound to bring some discomfort and fears. But the second part is the ‘one step’ - you don’t need to take a massive leap, you don’t want to push too far into the ‘panic zone’, and taking imperfect but consistent action is going to get you much further in the long run.


If you have any questions for Anna or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  onestepoutside.com

Facebook: FB group  One Step Outside