The Full story
I thought I was going to be a broadcast journalist when I applied for college. Katie Couric was my idol. Looking back, I realize I wanted to interview fascinating people and ignite my curiosity about humans. However, after getting C's in my Psych and Philosophy 101 classes, coupled with fears of a) working a 4AM news shift in Fargo, ND and b) not making "enough" money to live my desired lifestyle, I redirected my studies to finance. At the ripe age of 21, with a desire to be a strong, independent woman, climbing the corporate ladder to a six-figure salary job sounded like it could be pretty exciting!
Corporate finance was exciting and shiny at first, but the luster wore off pretty quickly. Financial stability didn't feel so fulfilling when all I wanted to do in my free time was sleep and watch The Real Housewives of NY.
Why was I so tired? Why did I feel so empty and lost when I did everything society told me to do to be successful?
This lost feeling was coupled with anxiety, panic attacks, back/neck pain, headaches, digestive issues, and intermittent insomnia. Stuff we all totally want to experience on a daily basis, right?!?
Something my dad taught me from a young age was to always listen to my body; it knows when something's wrong. What I thought was trivial information as a child, I now look at as such a gift - it let me know that there was something missing and that'd I'd need to look inward for my answers.
I'd love to say it was easy from there, but realizing something is missing and actually making change are two completely different things.
I had become comfortably uncomfortable in my skin. Perfectionism was my "drug of choice." I loved giving advice and doing things for others - external validation was my key source of self-worth, motivation, and subconsciously, my purpose. When I was praised for my efforts, I felt great; when I felt my efforts went unnoticed (which was most of the time) I felt miserable. My brain CONSTANTLY churned how I could do better at work, solve more problems for friends and family, look better in my clothes and ultimately be more liked by everyone. And the catch was, I had to do this all myself. Asking for help was for the weak. This lifestyle was EXHAUSTING.
The idea of change extremely frightening to me. I would need to undo EVERYTHING I knew, step into the land of the unknown, and ask for help. I had to admit that I didn't have all of the answers to run my own life. Doing that felt humiliating. What's worse is, in a way, I felt like I was giving up, like my life was about to fully unravel and swallow me alive and all the good I did for others would cease. It's like saying "game over," do not collect $200, you failed at life. You can no longer pretend that all is ok. You must rip off the bandaid and let help in.
For a girl driven by external validation, it was fitting that my tipping point was on New Year's eve, when a complete stranger, named Kevin, told me he could see how unhappy I was. He said he could feel it because he had been there in his own life and he was able to turn things around.
The game was officially over. As much as that stranger scared me, I couldn't have asked for a greater gift upon entering 2012. I finally asked for help.
Asking for help was the ticket to my liberation! The coolest thing about taking that initial step (for me it was finding an incredible therapist) was that the giant weight of overwhelm was immediately lifted. I knew that it would be a process to change the parts of me that were unsustainable, but the fact that I was making progress on my journey relieved so much of the pressure for perfection.
From there, I started to feel SO much better! I traveled, made new friends, created healthier boundaries, journaled, continued spending time in therapy, and had many "stepping outside my comfort zone" experiences. I learned important life skills like self-compassion, vulnerability, deep empathy for others, and the strength that comes from opening up to others. I started to accept myself just as I am (no sugar coating)! I also learned that in order to genuinely help others and feel a sense of satisfaction in my life, I would have to take care of myself first.
The amount of meaning and transformation that has taken place over the past few years is more than I could have ever fathomed. My perspective transformed - I saw a world of sparkly possibility instead of gray status quo. I knew I that I desired much more meaning and connection to my work. I spent so many hours working each week; I needed to love what I was doing. I knew that love would seep into all areas of my life.
I started to realize that I wanted to work closely with people, helping them on their career and life journeys. I created so much appreciation for my journey, that I wanted to make it more enjoyable for others. Everyday doesn't have to be a struggle! The moment I figured it out, I quit my six-figure, 8-year corporate finance career for my next chapter:
Being 100% me as a vehicle to inspire and support others to love each part of themselves. I want to empower them to live to their fullest potential and support people when they feel alone in a world that can feel very lonely.
So far so good. I rebuilt my life and my career into one I L-O-V-E, love! It's not so coincidentally similar to my Katie Couric vision of learning more about interesting humans, but I had to get there, my way.
I want to help you see your desire for change to fruition, whether its a career 180, pivot, or entrepreneurial endeavor. Interested in learning more? Let's chat. <3