“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Four years ago I completed a rigorous coach-training program with a renowned author and leader in the self- help industry. I was so excited to have finally found my tribe of like-minded, inspired, intelligent women who wanted to use their passion for helping others as a career.
Soon after, I went to my website designer team and excitedly told them about my new venture and my ideas for an updated site. My previous one was mainly a portfolio of my free-lance writing work.
They proceeded to laugh me out of the place. They made jokes about coaching and acted out a comedy routine where they role-played with each other what one of my sessions would be like with another woman in a demeaning and mocking tone. They acted as if women only had problems with their wardrobe or so- and- so gossiping about them.
I left their office crushed. I’m not sure why I let these two men (who obviously knew nothing about the business of coaching and inspirational writing) destroy my dreams, but I did.
After this experience I kept my dream very guarded. I was so afraid to talk about it with anyone, and I doubted myself for even thinking about trying to do this type of work; even though my heart longed to help empower people and help them through life challenges.
I finally mustered enough courage to start a website again, and this time I hired a designer who specialized in coaches. At last, I had my website finished with a designer who ‘got me,’ and I was ready to re-market myself as a coach. Then it happened again. I started telling people about my dream, and my bubble burst again.
I was met with phrases like, “What’s that? You can’t make any money doing that. Maybe you should get a practical job. That’s a crock of sh#%. You should work at a bank; that’s a steady long-term career,” and much more unsolicited ‘advice.’
So, I mistakenly listened, took down my website, and took a ‘practical’ job. That job turned out to be the worst professional experience of my life and far, far from a steady or long-term career. I lasted less than a year and ended up seriously ill.
It was a tough lesson to learn, because before I even started, I knew in my gut it was wrong for me. Instead of listening to my intuition and my heart, I listened to my fear and limited thinking. I also allowed other people’s fear and limited thinking to become a stronger voice in my head than my own.
Although that was a tough experience, I learned so many valuable lessons about life and grew into a stronger and more self-assured person.
Today, I am happy to say I’m back on track with my website and business that helps people through coaching and inspirational products. I also feel confident in the fact my work is not for everyone; however, my messages reach the ‘tribe’ that needs to hear it. That’s what I’m on this earth to do, and I love every minute of it.
It took a long time to recover from those experiences and gain the confidence back to try again; but luckily I did. They key was surrounding myself with supportive people who respect and understand me and are also fully expressing themselves in their own work and life.
Also, another key was to say “thank you for your perspective” to anyone who feels the need to tell me how much they don’t get it. I also learned not to take it personally or let it defeat me.
The risk to remain tight in the bud of other people’s expectations and comfort levels became more painful the risk to be authentically myself. I’m still challenged every day with obstacles, but I now know I am blossoming into the best version of myself.
And, I am waiting for one of those web designer guys to call me, because they desperately need my coaching help!
Maureen Keyte is a Certified Personal Coach and Professional Writer with a passion for helping others through life transitions in order to become the best versions of themselves. Her writing has been published in several regional and national print and online publications. She is also a grant and marketing writer for non-profit agencies and businesses that focus on empowering women and young girls. Contact – Website – Facebook – LinkedIn – Pinterest – Twitter
Photo Credit – Bill Perry