We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Marcy Cole and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Marcy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
This is a time of unprecedented stressors, including economic hardship. Many individuals are losing their jobs or choosing to change course. Consequently, much is being revealed regarding what is working well and what has never truly been in alignment in the first place. To thrive, during this turbulent time of uncertainly and the dismantling of what we thought we knew or wanted, will require some level of risk. Risk to let go and move on from what is familiar, in order to find what companies, causes and possibilities resonate with you.
The idea of “risk” comes from the mindset that there could be a possibility of loss or injury. When it comes to career pursuits, my perspective is that taking what you may assume to be a “risk” is really about listening to the whispers in your heart, that are calling you forth. The next step requires due diligence research, necessary to vet an inspired idea or opportunity. What beckons us then is to trust taking that leap into the unknown, which requires courage and faith…courage to step into uncharted territory and faith that there will be unknown blessings on their way as a result. From that perspective, in many instances …if risk is about the fear of losing something, then it was never really a risk after all. Rather, what becomes clear is that what you truly feel called to let go of…whether it be a career, a relationship or a home, more often leads to greener pastures and alignment with who you are today and what your true heart desires.
Upon reflection, I have changed gears on the career front many times and chosen to leap into the unknown. Here are a few examples to share, along with the subsequent rewards.
The Leap: Upon graduating from college, I was initially thrilled to be invited into a prestigious broadcasting masters program in Washington DC, through Northwestern University. Very close to the start date, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do at after all. What had been leading me there was following an assumed destiny to continue on a path that supported my Radio/TV/Film major. But it became apparent to me that this felt rote versus real, and out of the ego illusion of pursuing a career in the public eye that seemed glamorous. I consequently spent the summer, out of college, having zero idea what the alternative path would be.
The Reward: This space, inquiry, and exploration led me to discover a new career opportunity that I had never known existed. I ended up working as an Account Executive for a Television Rep firm, offering me an amazing work/life balance and financial dependable flow in my twenties.
The Leap: As serendipity would have it, a roommate informed me about a two-year clinical masters program in Social Work. It was one of those moments, when “you just know”. I left the corporate company, which was grooming me for management. Many in my world were overtly or covertly wondering “What in the world is she thinking?”
The Reward: A Lifelong career as a psychotherapist, stimulating my innate curiosity about why we are the way we are and my heart’s longing to be of service to other hearts in this lifetime.
The Leap: Leaving Chicago after a twenty year run and a wait-listed private practice…moving to Los Angeles, where the state did not recognize my accredited doctoral degree or license! I had to begin anew, pass the state exam, and be supervised by another licensed professional.
The Reward: I launched a successful private practice yet again. And my transformational leadership career expanded, as my connectivity with notable thought leaders and influencers entered my profession orbit. It has been a true joy and honor to have many of them speak on the stages of the Life Enrichment events I produced monthly, through a platform called “First Tuesday”.
The Leap: With zero experience in the Non-profit arena, In 2011, I launched a 501-C3 organization, advocating for the connection between individuals and couples without children with children in need.
The Reward: As Maya Angela said “Giving Liberates the Soul of the Giver”. There were the blessings that followed for folks who are childless, by choice or circumstance, along with orphaned and abandoned children.
The Leap: After six years, it was time to let go of managing the non-profit. It felt like “my baby” and it was not easy to do.
The Reward: A larger organization, Kidsave.org, adopted our programing which we were able to support financially for the next 3 years!
The Leap: With space now open, I asked the universe to bring something in part-time (in addition to keeping my private practice). I asked specifically for something I would not have to create from the ground up, that would stimulate me intellectually, that would use my transferable skills, and that would offer work/life balance and would be FUN!
The Reward: A totally new career in education literally fell into my lap. For the past three years, I’ve worked part-time with a K-6 Independent school teaching Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mindfulness…providing education support to Parents, Faculty and Students. My current title there is Wellness Educator and Facilitator, which feels so right ON. This IS what happens when we get clear on what we desire, let go of what no longer serves us and have the courage to ask for guidance.
What led me to taking all of these “risks” was visceral and intuitive. While I may have dreamt of the generous expense account during my media days (which literally did come up in my dreams :)…I never looked back. They ALL brought gifts beyond what my mind could have imaged.
Thus, I am clearly a staunch believer in Goethe’s sage wisdom: “At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”
So it’s no surprise that…
The Leap: To Be Determined
The Reward: Something FABULOUS I’m SURE!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a west-sider, so a bit short-sighted I admit:
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes Yes! We cannot have our talents utilized or visions soar unless we have folks along the way who believe in our potential, hold space for our growing pains, and inspire us to strive for new heights of awareness and achievement. There are so many along the way whose shoulders I rode to find my own wings. I’d begin with my mother, who grew up with very little means as a child, but who later became a leader in her field, incorporating and sharing the optimistic lens of “you can do anything” with a “go for it” stride. Teachers in school reflected back my talents, as well as pointed out areas that deserved greater attention, focus, discipline and grit.