Those were the last words my first life coach said to me before we wrapped our coaching. It had been 8 months and about $10,000 worth of self growth that I had invested in, and those words couldn't have summarized it better. I had climbed mountains, gone on longer treks, at higher altitudes than I ever had before, yes, but I had also taken ownership of a new identity, stopped looking for external validation, come to grips with the toxicity of some of my relationships, started a business, a mountain that had held me back for years before, and so much more.
There was nothing wrong with my life before. I spent 10 years doing biomedical research and started my PhD in Microbiology in 2013. But there was so much that just wasn't what I wanted. I was single, and felt like I wasn't enough. I struggled with self-confidence, imposter syndrome and the constant need for external validation. I didn't know who I was and didn't have any semblance of self-worth. And I just found myself looking at the world knowing that I wanted more. I knew that I didn't want to be one of those people who hated their job, and that's exactly what I felt. I knew that I was beautiful and valuable, even if I hadn't found a relationship that made me feel that way. I knew that I had an inner athlete that just needed me to set her free, even if my recent habits hadn't demonstrated that, and I knew that there was a mental strength there that I just hadn't figured out how to tap into yet. Bottom line? I knew I had the ability to do more with my life, but I didn't know what that looked like! I didn't know how.
Basically, I know where you're at right now. I've been there and I'm here as proof that we can go from jaded to fucking in love with the lives and careers we're creating, and that, despite all those things that we've told ourselves we can't do or that we aren't capable of being, we're fucking capable of transforming ourselves and becoming those things.
- I told myself that I "wasn't a runner" for so long, and yet I ran 2 half marathons in 2015.
- The first time I signed up for a Tough Mudder, I was shared shitless! Running through fricken electrical wires? No thanks, friends! And yet, I've now done 3!
- Climbing Machu Picchu? I was petrified...about doing my first overnight...my first hike at altitude...in a foreign country. But I proved to myself that I CAN do hard things.
And the coolest part? The physical challenges and the physical strength...it became a vehicle. It became mental strength. It became confidence. Confidence to change my identify, regardless of what my peers, parents or all the haters thought. Confidence to no longer hide in my clothes, but rock them like the sexy, badass that I am. The confidence to no longer sleep walk through my life, lost, overwhelmed and frustrated. But to take some fucking intentional and consistent action to make my life what I wanted it to be. Because that's what it's all about.