The impact of Ikigai

For those of you who understand the concept of Ikigai, as well as its application to coaching, you already know that the results can be striking and powerful. Here is one experience I recently had as an executive coach.


My client (we’ll call her Beth to both protect her privacy and respect confidentiality) came to me as a very accomplished leader who worked in a Treasury role for a large organization. By all outward signs, she was successful, skilled, and had established a career with a continuing upward trajectory. There was only one problem: Beth was absolutely miserable in her role. Moreover, she wasn’t sure why she felt as she did. And, she had no idea how to think this thru and work toward a solution.


Beth had attended a webinar in which I had discussed my approach to coaching and my use of Ikigai and other tools in my practice. She hired me and I utilized Ikigai as the predominant coaching methodology to help Beth dig deep and help her uncover the reasons why she was feeling unfulfilled and unhappy in her position. As we discussed each of the components of the Ikigai coaching framework (You Love It, You’re Good At It, and Reality Check), it became clear rather quickly that Beth’s fundamental issue was that she did not “Love” her Treasury role. While she was very good at it and it provided her and her family with a good lifestyle (reality check), Treasury did not energize her, it did not “light her up.” This was an eye-opening, “aha” moment for her and she resigned her role shortly after realizing this fundamental disconnect in her life.


As we continued to discuss and review her answers to the Ikigai questions, what came to light for her was that she would much rather be in a creative role that had a purpose larger than herself and that was more fulfilling than simply making a good living. A topic that had always intrigued her was DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). She enthusiastically began reaching out to leaders in the field, asked for connections on LinkedIn, and requested virtual meetings to learn more about what these leaders did as well as uncover any work opportunities of which they might be aware.


Ikigai was Beth’s lighthouse in the storm.


As I write this, Beth is still networking and homing in on her next role. Ikigai gave her the insight to leave behind an unfulfilling role and career while providing her with the courage and energy to find her purpose. Beth’s answer was already within her and it was our Ikigai program which helped her to unleash it.


Better career | Better life | Better planet


This story comes from our Licensed Ikigai Coach in New York/New Jersey: Peter Accettura. If you want to reach out to Peter, just contact him directly via his website. If you want to connect to any other of our Licensed Ikigai Coaches worldwide, please use our Coach Locator.