What if part of the secret to getting the life you want lay in a simple childhood game of pretend?

My niece was over on the weekend and I was listening to her and my son play.
Every sentence she said started with the word “pretend”. “Pretend you are trapped, and I need to save you.”, “pretend we’re going to another planet.”, “pretend we’re superheroes…”.
You get it.
And I thought, what would be possible for grownups if we started sentences this way?
Pretend I cannot fail…
Pretend I can have exactly the life I want…
Pretend I have all the time in the world…
Sara Smeaton, coach, writer

14 months ago, I was unemployed. I hoped there was something more for me, but I was in a dark place. I knew I no longer wanted to be an administrator. I knew I was tired. I was burned out and grieving the loss of the life I thought I had. I was just a few months into writing this weekly blog. As I looked for a topic to write on, I stumbled on this “let’s pretend” question and it changed me.


The question opened up the possibility of future options I had not yet considered. For some reason asking the question this way stripped away the fear of failure and got down deep to the root of what I love, what inspires me and the best way I think I can contribute. (You can read the rest of that post here)

In this birthplace of dreams, I imagined becoming a writer, a coach and a speaker. All seemed so far out of reach and yet the “let’s pretend you can not fail” allowed me to envision it – to taste the possibility of contributing as much as I wanted, of pushing the boundaries on how much I could inspire others. Somehow creating the vision brought the dreams close enough that I could create some tangible next steps. And so, the days passed, the months passed … a year. It seems all those small, daily choices added up to quite a journey. A simple game of pretending brought with it the power of choice and a decision to act.

Today as I look at my life, just 13 months after I asked myself that question, I see that a lot has changed. I am a writer – both for a magazine and of this blog (which has a lot more people reading it than I imagined it would. At last count 8910 hits from 59 countries). I am a coach – with an active business and paying clients, currently on my way to becoming certified. The last piece, I am thrilled to have been asked to speak at another big event. That’s two significant speaking engagements in less than a year! I hesitate to write, “I am a speaker” because( in this area) I’m still wrestling with the voices that compete as they whisper, “who do you think you are” and “you are not enough”. I’m a work in progress.

What is possible for you if you pretend… you’re not afraid to fail…you have a choice …you’re loved…you’re enough …you can make a difference … you have the power to change?

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Photo by Bekah Russom on Unsplash
I work with women to awaken the courage to find their version of extraordinary and live it! I’d love to put my honours degree in social work and my expertise in coaching to work for you. Connect with me here.

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