"Jennifer Lee Success Alchemy Fall 2012"by Jennifer Lee (Excerpt from WE Magazine for Women Fall Success Alchemy)

When I was a kid, I was always painting or drawing. Just hand me some markers and paper and I could entertain myself for hours by living in the world of my imagination. I enjoyed playtime and creating art projects.

As I got older, when I’d pick up a pencil to sketch, I would try to copy images to make them look as realistic as possible. I became more concerned with my end products “looking good” rather than the pure delight of creating. By the time I was in high school, I began comparing my creativity and artwork to others and gave into limiting beliefs like “I’m not talented enough. I’m not good enough. What right do I have to say I’m an artist? If you’re creative, you’re not taken seriously. And so on.” There went my creative spark!

So, like all other good young adults, I focused on doing well in school so I could get into a good college and have a good career.

I tried my very, very best to “look good” and stay within the lines.

I spent 10 years climbing the corporate ladder. My creativity and intuition gave way to drive and ambition. Sure, I was quite successful on paper and there were parts of my work that were intellectually stimulating and interesting. But I wasn’t happy or fulfilled. I didn’t feel like I was making a meaningful difference. I knew something was missing.

The catalyst that ignited my Success Alchemy of Coloring Outside the Lines was not one moment in time or a specific event. Rather, it was the culmination of aha moments along a long and winding path of inner work.

In 2000, I hired my first life coach and that started me in a journey of self-discovery and reclaiming my creativity. I uncovered my values, clarified my life vision, and I realized I was the artist of my own life.

In 2003, I started coaching certification and began building my coaching practice while working full-time. I loved truly making a positive difference in people’s lives. Around the same time I also participated in a powerful year-long leadership program which helped me own my gifts as a strong yet gentle, feminine, creative leader.

Yet even though I was reclaiming my creative self, I still kept my work and my creativity separate for a few more (painful!) years.

I finally decided to flee Corporate America after co-facilitating a leadership retreat for a friend’s non-profit and empowering participants to live their big dreams. I realized I needed to stop living my own dream “on-the-side.” I needed to walk my talk!

To read the entire article check out WE Magazine for Women PDF Version