Choosing Passion Over Perfection

Lauren Russ-Constant

Deciding where to go professionally can be a struggle when there is so much going on around us. Sometimes certain things can be affecting our decisions, whether we are aware of it or not. When we choose our passion over perfection or a “perfect career”, it can be challenging to accomplish.

I had the chance to speak with Lauren Russ-Constant, an Identity Coach, NLP Practitioner, and Hypnotist, who chose to pursue her passion over her perfect job. Read more below to find out what we discussed on the latest podcast episode of Tea & Honey Live.

What inspired you to choose your career path?

So in the UK, I went to a university called Bournemouth and I studied Advertising of Marketing Communications. So I knew that I wanted to do something that helped people. I considered things like psychology and sociology, but at the time of my life, advertising just felt like the right route because I loved the power. I did my dissertation in politics and communications, and then I went out and started getting jobs in strategy and political strategy, as I felt like that was what I was meant to do. I was definitely doing that, and you can’t see me, but I’m kind of doing the quote marks the “right thing.” So I then got jobs in the course that I studied. I did enjoy the work, but there was always this part of me that wondered whether that was actually fully what I wanted to do.

I got a really good job. I was doing brand strategy in the UK, but working for global clients or I was traveling. I was settled. I was living with my boyfriend at the time. You know I had that and it looked great. My life was great and it was. 

But there was something that just felt like it wasn’t really what I wanted. It wasn’t what I would choose. And I guess long story short, I ended up deciding that wasn’t what I wanted to do. And I wanted to follow my gut and I wanted to try something a little bit different, something that felt true to who I actually was. 

So I ended up quitting my job, ending my relationship, moving in with my mom, saving loads of money, traveling, and then on a whim applying for a visa to live in Canada. 

I’d never been to Canada. I didn’t have a job. I came here with two suitcases and two weeks in an Airbnb and almost two years later, I can honestly say, I am the happiest I have ever been. I’m still doing some marketing strategy, honestly, as it pays the bills. But identity coaching is my passion. I’m working with amazing clients. I set up space parties, which is a new business venture. I’m living in my dream flat in a beautiful city. And honestly, it all came about for me really spending some time figuring out who I was, how I wanted to show up, and then intentionally doing that.

Why is it important for us to understand our own underlying beliefs?

One thing I guess I didn’t address upfront is that I am an NLP certified coach. So what that means is NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming and I’m also satisfied in hypnotherapy. But essentially what it does is it links back to really understanding our subconscious mind. So a lot of what we think drives our life. We think that consciously we are making decisions, right? But actually, the reality is that 90% of what we think, how we feel, how we show up to reflect the actions that we take. 

During the first seven years of our life, most of our core foundational beliefs are formed. So our beliefs about money, our beliefs about ourselves, our beliefs about the world, our beliefs about relationships and success and jobs, they all formed from just the environment that we are around. So picking up on things that our family believes, what the media tells us, and what we see in newspapers and films. It forms how we see the world and then how we view the world. But these aren’t necessarily what we would choose.

These beliefs that are unchecked and unquestioned then dictate and completely drive how we show up because they are what are driving our subconscious. So when I talk about those habits and those goals and the beliefs, they come from these things that were formed so many years ago, that we had no choice over. So the work that I do and what I think is really important and what has helped me get to where I am now is really taking back control of how I choose to see the world and therefore how I choose to show up in the world.

Compare your life before this versus now. What have you learned within that journey?

I love that question. So there is a stark difference. So you guys obviously can’t see me, but I am mixed race. And I mention that because growing up, really shaped my inability to truly know where I belonged and where I fit in. And it was no one specific person’s fault. It was just that I really didn’t know where I fit in. So I have an amazing family and I have a black family and I have a white family. And in both families, I was different. I didn’t look the same. You know, I didn’t have the same experiences. If I went to a shop with my white family, I would be looked at differently. I would always stand out when I was younger and I didn’t have the critical faculty and the ability to really understand and contextualize what I learned was that I just didn’t really fit in.

So I developed this need to rely on other people’s validation. I needed other people to help me feel like I belonged and helped me figure out who I was. So it meant that I was such a “people pleaser.” I needed people to like me. I cared so much about what other people thought and I would trust other people’s opinions and judgments over my own, which then also meant I did not trust myself. So if I had a gut feel about something, I would need to ask someone else’s opinion. I essentially asked someone else’s permission. Like:

  • “Was this a good idea?” 
  • “Does this look good?” 
  • “Should I study this or should I do that?”

And so everything internally, I guess I felt numb because I was constantly giving my power away. I was looking for other people to tell me who I was and tell me what to do.

I am someone that really cares about people, which means, yes, that was always going to be a part of me that cares about what people think. But now, I’m in a space where I can love and value and hear that comment, but also think, “Yeah, you know, I hear you, but I know what I want and I’m going to do what I’m going to do.” 

I’m able to show up and know not everyone is going to like me and I’m okay with that as long as I like me. And so I think it’s less about the material things like the job and the house and the business, which is beautiful, but more about me when I’m alone and really knowing and liking who I am and knowing I’ve chosen this life. And I get to show up the way that I intentionally want to show up, which for me is everything.

For people who are trying to figure it out their purpose, what would you recommend for these types of people that have that crossroad in their life?

I think the first thing is just to be kind to yourself. Like the world can be a lot and we are constantly being bombarded. Whether we realize it or not, with messages that are telling us:

  • “Be more like this”
  • “Be less like that”
  • “Show up like this”
  • “Don’t show up like that.” 

So just be kind to yourself and know that this is a process and it’s a journey. Secondly, you never complete it, right? It’s not like it’s like, “Oh, killing it! Figured out my identity. No more work to be done.” Like every single day, we all have to choose to show up the way that we want to show up. And some days it’s going to be easier than others. And some days it’s going to be hard and you need to be really kind to yourself on those days. 

I think the other point is just holding space for realism. I talk about the journey I’ve been on and I have got to the point of where I wanted to get to, but we also have to be realistic about the fact that we also need to make a living. We don’t all have the luxury where we can just quit our job and follow our passions. I have a job that I know pays money and makes sure I can continue to pay my rent but allows me the privilege and the luxury to continue also building the business that I want to build. I’m not gonna come on here and tell people to be unrealistic at the same time. 

Final Remarks

Listening to Lauren talking about our own power of choosing, realism, and her own career journey has taught me that not everything has to be picture perfect. You may not like where you are now and that’s fine, but what are you going to do about it? 

Creating a space for yourself to reflect and to be real every day is so important. Your actions today can impact the way you move tomorrow. 

Let Lauren’s story be an inspiration to all that are still figuring it out. If you feel it’s for you, take the chance. If you don’t think it’s the best time, wait for when it feels right. Understand your underlying beliefs, reflect, and most importantly, act.


For more about Lauren Russ-Contstant, visit her 8-Week Identity Excavation Program

For her social media, reach out to her via Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/laurenaisharc https://www.instagram.com/space.parties

Lauren’s Audible Recommendations:

(Recieve a 1 Month Free Trial using Tea & Honey Live’s Audible link at: http://www.audibletrial.com/teandhoneylive)

  • Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown
  • Untamed – Glennon Doyle
  • Personality isn’t Permanent – Benjamin Hardy
  • Feel the Fear and do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers
  • Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Think like a Monk – Jay Shetty (currently reading)

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