5 Steps to Paint Your Path in Life: A Guest Post about Professional Freedom

5 Steps to Paint Your Path in Life: A Guest Post about Professional Freedom

Mar 09, 2022

Meet Clarissa, who painted her path and is helping aspiring entrepreneurs do it through coaching.

Dr. Clarissa Castillo-Ramsey is a leadership and life coach and practicing abstract artist. She’s been an artist since she was 5. Clarissa's passion for coaching can be traced back to her childhood and young adult days. She was the friend people would go to for advice, counsel, and encouragement. Her mission is to help others, especially creatives who are ready to leave the 9-5, put their work out in the world and create their own version of professional freedom.

Coaching comes naturally to Clarissa and she took Paint Your Path to the next level in 2022. As updated in 2023, she now has this podcast!

walking on a path to professional freedom

Photo by EJ Li on Unsplash

Note: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share, but it does not change your price.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s the question we get asked at some point in our childhood. For me, the answer was simple: Artist. Ever since I can remember, I had a pencil or paintbrush in my hand.

“Artist” was not the answer my parent expected me to say! In fact, my mother’s response was to laugh and then tell me that I’d be rich and famous after I died.

As an adult, I know she meant well. As a 5-year-old, it did a number on my ego.

paint and art

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

My parents moved to the United States from the Philippines to start a new life.

They are practical people. Medical doctors. They sacrificed a lot to be here, leaving their families and friends behind…being an artist didn’t fit in this story.

Like many of us, we grew up with certain beliefs we had to be a certain way or do certain things.

For me that looked like:

  • Piano lessons
  • Tennis lessons
  • Extracurricular schools stuff because if you want to get into a good college…
  • Cotillions
  • Volunteer

tennis lessons

Photo by Leslie Gray Photography on Unsplash

My love for art never left. I just put it on silent mode for a long time.


The other thread that’s run through my life is my love for working with people.

  • Supporting them in some way.
  • Being the tough love co-worker, peer, boss, friend.
  • Helping whoever was in my circle to see new possibilities beyond their current state.

My dream job was to be an internal coach for an organization. I achieved that. I knew for a long time that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

When I take a step back and think about the things I’ve accomplished, I wrote down what I did to get there. The process is simple; not always easy.

RELATED: The Free At 50 category about coaching information for entrepreneurs. Click here to see all the articles.

drinking coffee and reading about a brighter future

Photo by Carrie Borden on Unsplash

Painting Your Path.

What I’d love to share with you are those 5 steps you can take to get whatever you want in life. I call it my Painting Your Path framework.

1. DREAM. When was the last time you really took time to dream?

What do you want in life?
What would you love to do in life and are you doing it?

I get that it’s a big question, and it’s one worth taking time to answer. It’s different for everyone.

2. DECIDE. Now that you’ve got your dream, your vision in mind, decide it is done. This dream is worth going after.

3. PLAN. Once you’ve decided you’re going for it, make a plan. You don’t need to have everything perfectly lined out. Plan out your income and impact goals.

What do you want to earn for the year? Break it down to quarters.
What kind of impact do you want to make with your work?
What are 1-2 action steps you can take each day to move closer to your dream?

4. BE BRAVE. You’ve defined your action steps. Now it’s time to do the thing.

Be brave. Be in action. Execute on your plan.

5. REFLECT. At the end of the week, month, quarter pause.

Did you accomplish what you said you would do – yes or no?
What worked?
What got in the way?

Adjust and keep going.

At the foundation of this framework are two other key elements: mindset and self-care.

RELATED: Click here for the video of Daphne’s Free At 50 discussion in the Ditching the 9-5 Facebook group about shifting your mindset towards professional freedom.

message about changing mindset

Photo by kylie De Guia on Unsplash

How you talk about yourself to yourself matters. How you view life matters.

Are things working out for you or against you?

How you view others matters too. Do you view others as competition or potential collaborators?

Adopting the growth mindset (thank you Dr. Carol Dweck for writing your book!) is important.

With effort and feedback from the right people, you can get to wherever you wish to go! Here’s are few ways you can adopt a growth outlook:

  • Incorporate the word yet. “I’m not at $150K yet and I’m learning from every launch I do.”
  • Ask powerful questions: What did I learn from this event?
  • Beware of labels. Watch the self-talk. If I start going down a negative talk rabbit hole, I say “cancel cancel” to stop it. Maybe you can come up with your own catch phrase.
  • Get constructive feedback from those you look up to.

start with a blank page

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Self-care is the other critical piece in this framework.

On this entrepreneurial journey, you can easily burn out, and that’s not why you decided to work for yourself, right? How can you fill your cup so you can be there for others?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Develop a morning routine. It doesn’t need to be at 5am and it doesn’t need to take two hours either. Can you take a few minutes when you wake up and name 3 things you’re grateful for? Can you do a 5-minute meditation? There are so many apps out there – InsightTimer, Calm, Haven. Maybe you also take a minute to stretch before you get out of bed.
  • Be in nature. Can you get outside for a few minutes? Notice the beauty. If it’s too cold in your neck of the woods, can you look outside a window and see the sky?
  • Stand up and move. If it’s too cold where you are, walk around your home, apartment for a few minutes. If you can get outside, go outside.
  • Feeling stagnant or blocked during the day? That’s a sign to walk away for a few minutes and do something different. Maybe it’s washing the dishes or taking time to call a friend.
  • Create a wind-down routine before bed. Maybe you meditate again. Journal about the day. What a-ha moments did you have? Maybe you carve out time to read. Put the phone on airplane mode.

I hope this was helpful for you. You are embarking on a thrilling journey to professional freedom. I’m rooting for you.

Cheers to your success,

Reach Clarissa:

guest author on the Free At 50 blog Dr. Clarissa Castillo-Ramsey podcaster and coach