Today we meet Sibylle Leon. Sibylle discovered the Passions Pilot’s blog somewhere last March and reached out to me in a very nice email (see below) saying “Hi from Ireland”.
I just discovered your website, and it warms my heart to see others working for people with passion(s) too! I’m a multi-passionate myself (love Barbara Sher) and a Coach who empowers wild spirits to put their passions front and center in their lives, rather than leaving them as an afterthought.
Just wanted to say, keep up the good work! I subscribed to your blog and will link back to your page from one of my next weekly newsletters.
Warm greetings from Ireland,
Since then we are following each other’s blog, sharing each other’s content and you will often find comments of Sibylle under my blog articles.
I was very happy when Sibylle agreed to do an interview for Passions Pilot. So here we go!
From University Teacher to Passions Priority Coach
Hi Sibylle, thanks a lot for doing this interview. Can you first tell us your story and what you do?
Of course. I’m Sibylle, and I call myself a Passions Priority Coach. Looking back now, this work seems to be the logical choice for me, but it took me over 40 years of my life to get there! Like many multi-passionates / multi-potentialites, I have lots of interests, which made it a challenge to settle on any one path or job. However, I always knew I liked talking to people and so I started out as a university teacher after I got my MA.
In my 30s, I spent some years as a self-employed wellness consultant and there I learned about Coaching for the first time. It happened when I ran into problems, in the shape of self-sabotage. Somewhere deep down inside, I didn’t believe I deserved success so as soon as my business took off, I went into a depression, was practically incapable of working for a year, and ended up with debts.
My Coach basically saved my life during that time. Instead of crawling under a rock ashamed of myself, I faced my problems and dug myself out. I educated myself about finances, moved to Ireland, and got a good job. Over the next ten years, I paid back every last cent I owed. I also started working as a Coach and got a recognised Coaching qualification.
I’m proud of myself for taking control and getting from debts to financial security. But those years also took a toll on me: I saved every penny and gradually withdrew from my friends, because I felt awful about never being able to join a night-out or any activities. I worked all hours in a soulless job, put on weight from comfort-eating junk, and basically hid from the world.
The moment my debts were paid back, I quit my job, got a much nicer, work-from-home role, moved to my favourite part of the country (the West), and reached out to friends again. I also began to uncompromisingly pursue my passions, and I was astonished at how outrageously happy this made me!
That’s when I decided to specialise my Coaching on helping people put their passions front and centre and started my current business Wild Spirits Coaching. Prioritising passions absolutely transforms life; we’re not on this planet to pay bills, we were put here to be joyful and share love.
Well, I agree on that, totally! It’s quite a story and it takes guts to do all that, take control of your life, get out of debt, start a business and follow your passions. That is so cool. Tell me, when and how did you find out you’re a multi-potentialite?
All my life, I’ve been interested in a myriad of things. I was the kid who went to piano and flute lessons, two different choirs, gymnastics and volleyball, a crafting club, and I honestly forget what else! For the longest time, I and those around me regarded this as negative. I was seen as inconsistent and flaky for not sticking with one particular passion or even career.
The word multi-passionate or multi-potentialite simply wasn’t around back then, or at least it wasn’t a well-known concept (it still isn’t, but now there’s the Internet and some books and people can get educated about it).
It was only over the past 5 years or so that I learned about being a multi-potentialite. I can’t even begin to express what a relief it was to find out! I’d felt “less than”, “not good enough” for so much of my life, it was wonderful to learn that I am simply wired differently from the majority of people and that my approach has value of its own.
Taking control and discovering a true calling
Fortunately for all of us multi-potentialites, multi-potentiality is getting more and more known. What were or are your biggest successes?
I’ve always been able to “sell myself” well and achieve what I set my mind to, but I was never very interested in conventional career success, being more of a curious, artsy-minded hippy who looks for alternative ways of living life.
In terms of successes, I’d say taking control of my finances and repaying the debt is definitely an achievement, and so is discovering my calling, Coaching. It’s perfect for me as a multi-potentialite because my clients are very diverse, from artists, writers, and freelancers, to ordinary working people with an unusual interest or hobby. I am highly sensitive and intuitive, and I’m in love with people. Together with the training and experience I have as a Coach, it makes this work ideal for me.
I’m proud of having downsized my life and focusing on what matters these days. My friends and clients are some of the best humans one could hope to meet, and I’m so very grateful to have them in my life. And my passions are a constant source of joy. I guess you could say, my greatest success is finding so much happiness!
That is just wonderful! I am so happy for you that it all worked out so well. But I can imagine that not everything went well immediately. What were or are your biggest struggles or roadblocks, being a multi-potentialite?
The biggest struggle came from believing that the only way to be successful or happy was to choose just one passion and pursue that. Trying to fit myself into a mold that didn’t fit me, caused a lot of suffering in my life and made me feel permanently inadequate for many years.
These days, the main challenge is to focus on not too many passions at a time. Like everyone else, I get only 24 hours per day and I need to fit in a job, some sleep, a lot of me-time (I’ve always needed time to process myself and my emotions; this is part of being highly sensitive), as well as my passions.
A handful of passions and a handful of tips for other multi-potentialites
Do you have a solution for it? How do you manage to do everything that you want to do?
What I find works best for me is to focus on a handful of passions at a time, and review regularly to see if I’m done with one of those passions and would rather focus on a different one for a while. This way, it never gets too much.
For example, at the moment I focus on movement, as it has given me so much joy to get healthy again over the past years, lose the extra weight I’d been carrying, nourish my body with vibrant, whole food, and get moving – and all that in ways that give me joy! So the passions I prioritise right now are dancing (just freestyle jumping-around at home), traditional archery which is done in outdoors archery ranges, and historical sword fighting.
I also focus on my Coaching which is also a passion, and it’s just so important to me to pass on this insight about putting one’s passion first in life, instead of relegating it to an hour on a Sunday after everything else is done.
Yes, a passion is often reduced to just one hour on a Sunday and it’s really a shame. Is there any tool or resource you can give us that made a big impact on your life and that could also help other multi-potentialites?
I love Barbara Sher’s work; reading her books was like balm on my soul, and I cried a lot, in sheer relief, when I first read them. Also, your Passions Pilot page is always great and inspiring!
Since I work as a Coach, it may sound a little lame if I recommend Coaching, but it truly is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Coaching gets you to squeeze every ounce of joy and fulfilment out of life, and it’ll help you get organised and focused with your passions.
I often say, if people realised just how transformational Coaching is, they’d spend every last penny on it! Honestly, if you want more from life than just existing and paying bills, then find a Coach you resonate with and watch your life take off.
That is such a valuable tip! Awesome! If you could give us just one advice, what is this one and best advice you can give other multi-potentialites?
Seek joy. I’ve found that my own joy and passion is the best guide there is. As a multi-potentialite, it’s easy to get excited about something. By all means, go along with it, test-drive it, but stay conscious of how the new interest or passion makes you feel.
A lot of the time, the initial spark will fade, and there is NO reason to keep pursuing it if that happens. Give yourself permission for trial and error, play, see it as a joyful discovery the way children discover their world starry-eyed and full of wonder.
To feel your way along your own pleasure and joy, is the truest compass I know of. It won’t steer you wrong. It’ll get you to pursue the passions which will stay with you in the long term. It’ll also get you to try out more short-lived interests, and there’s nothing wrong with that; trust that you are getting exactly the experience and learning out of it that you were meant to.
Sound advice that I will put in practice in my life from now on. That’s a promise to myself! If people want to know more or get in contact with you, where can they find you?
The best way is my website, http://www.wildspiritscoaching.com, where you can join the tribe by signing up for the “Monday Sparkles” newsletter or the free video training series on finances. My tribe can always reach out to me via email or for a quick chat on Skype.
OK, and I saw on your website that there are links to you on Facebook, Twitter etc. So people can also connect with you on their preferred social media platform, if they want to. I wish you lots of success with the archery, the sword fighting and of course with your coaching business. Thank you so much for the interview.