This brilliant story is full of introspection and reassurance that following your dreams is possible, if you are willing to see past the fear. After making a career change to become a freelance writer, Ellie describes how completing Game Changers was always about much more than just work though, as is so often the case….
My name is Ellie and I have three children: Lucas (age 6), Aurora (age 3) and Jake (age 3). I am a freelance writer and family travel blogger and I live with my husband and children in Stockport. I took part in the Game Changers course in May-August 2018.
I was interested in doing the Game Changers course for a couple of years, but something always held me back: time, cost, too many other commitments… some of my friends have completed the course and always enthuse about it. They have made some really positive changes as a result of Game Changers and I was intrigued to learn more.
Earlier in the year I was feeling in a bit of a rut. I was running a community organisation and although it was incredibly rewarding, I was starting to feel tired and burned out. My health wasn’t good and I was looking at regular hospital appointments for myself and two of our children. In short, I felt stuck. I wasn’t sure what my next move should be, but I felt motivated to make one. When I saw that Helen was running another cohort of Game Changers, I knew it was the right time for me to enrol.
The Game Changers course that I participated in was all online, which suited me perfectly as I could slot it in around family and work commitments. I enrolled at the last minute, not sure what to expect but feeling excited about taking a positive step to improve my situation.
It is difficult to describe just how much I learned along the way as there is so much value in the course. One of the things that has stuck with me is that many of the constraints I felt were in the way of creating my dream life were easy to overcome with a bit of creative thinking.
We can end up feeling tied to one path because circumstances have led us there, looking enviously at others who appear to have the lives we want to lead. But once we strip away a lot of the fear and anxiety we feel, we can begin to re-plot our lives and work towards a vision that makes us feel fulfilled. I know this might sound a bit unrealistic – after all, how much can a 12-week course really change things? – and I admit I was a bit skeptical at first, too. But we did so much reflection and dreaming during the first part of the course that anything seemed possible!
It’s not all vision boards and what-ifs: Game Changers is full of practical tips, worksheets, and exercises to ensure our dreams turn into reality. Helen emphasises crafting a life that works for you and your family, and your game change doesn’t have to be as dramatic as selling everything to travel the world! But stripping back the fear and expectations that we live with, especially as mothers helped me to identify what I really wanted to do: write.
My own game change is crafting a life where I have time to write stuff that is important to me while being available for school runs and nurturing my family. I also want to make sure that we prioritise what’s important to our family: travel, freedom, and togetherness. Doing Game Changers gave me the confidence to admit that I want to be a writer; that I have always wanted to be a writer, and to take steps to make that happen. It also gave me a supportive community of other women who are following their own dreams – no excuses allowed!
Since doing Game Changers, I am no longer running the community organisation. That was a huge, daunting, and very positive step for me and my family and I would not have had the confidence to take it without everything I learned during the course. I have successfully pitched essays to parenting websites, and started a blog documenting our family adventures. I have given myself permission to slow down and focus on myself when my children are at school, so that I feel fulfilled and have enough energy to give them my attention when they are at home.
Our lives are not perfect (whose are?!) but I no longer feel in a rut. Through Game Changers I found the hope and belief that I can change things for myself and our family. I relearned the joy of daydreaming and imagining possibilities without constraints. I picked up the tools I need to translate my dreams into a happy and fulfilling future, and so far, our future looks bright!
You can read more about Ellie and her family travel adventures here – www.fivegoexploring.co.uk
And if you fancy turning your middle of the night ‘what ifs’ into something more like a plan then here is where you can find out more about our Game Changers programme.