To begin, I am an Explorer…
...regularly reinventing myself. Growing up, my family moved frequently and I believe I developed itchy feet and a deeply embedded sense of adventure as a result.
I grew up in a large, low-income family, but from an early age, I always dreamt of living an exceptional life. It was unusual in my family to pursue a college degree—out of 12 children, I’m one of three who accomplished this seemingly lofty goal. I was among the few to move out of state to a big city, to travel to foreign countries, to pursue ambitious opportunities.
I am a bit ashamed of my original motivation to seek these adventures; I think I was trying to elevate myself above my humble environment and to stand out among those who took the road most traveled. I like to think I’ve recovered from this need for superiority.
…who imagines a world of endless possibilities for her children, and who wishes for them an education by which they develop resiliency and grit, from which they learn that challenges are to be sought not avoided for fear of making a mistake. I want them to understand that every mistake is actually a gift, an opportunity for learning and growth, and that when you fail at something, you pick yourself back up and figure out how to make the next attempt more successful.
I’m passionate about this because I am still recovering from a fixed mindset and a desperate need to appear more intelligent and capable than others. As a child, this presented as perfectionism and it was crippling! I avoided any situation where I wasn’t confident I would excel among my peers. When I had no choice but to participate in activities in which I had no natural ability, I didn’t bother to try. Then I could claim apathy and avoid humiliation. As a result, I missed out on so many things. For instance, I avoided all sports. “I am not an athlete,” I would say. I was way too cool to sing in choir or to play an instrument in band. I skipped Spanish class as often as I could get away with and still pass. But the real reason I declined these and many other opportunities to develop myself was because I couldn’t bear the discomfort of “looking stupid.” Even when I did have natural ability, like in art and dance, I abandoned these activities when they became challenging and I had to actually put effort into my progress. You see, this threatened my identity of being naturally gifted.
I want my children to understand that THIS is actually how you fail—in LIFE. That to thrive and experience sustained joy during this journey, you must be willing to be vulnerable and make mistakes, to take risks that move you out of your comfort zone.
…who was recently scolded by her clients because I referred to myself as a former educator. I spent a number of years as a classroom teacher and finally walked away from that career when I could no longer tolerate the conformity needed to be successful in that system, or that part of my role was to condition my students in this conformity.
My clients reminded me that they are now my students and I am still sharing knowledge, resources, strategies, and wisdom only now I get to choose my students, and how and what they will learn.
I understand that good educators are also life-long learners. I now passionately embrace my identity as a learner and know I am a more effective educator as a result.
I am an Entrepreneur…
…who became a certified coach and started my business because I imagine a world where more people take responsibility for the quality of life they are living and for creating their happiness throughout their journey—a world where more people understand that success is a state of mind, not a destination.
My vision for myself as an entrepreneur is to become an engaging presenter and trainer who compels others to make major shifts in mindset and to seek and embrace personal responsibility and growth.
I am passionate about the work I have committed to and recognize the importance of developing my skills if I am to be effective. I am committed to pursuing the necessary resources and opportunities to share my message and reach those who would choose to create a joyful life for themselves.
And lastly, I am Excited…
…to be on this new journey, far outside my comfort zone, sharing my vulnerability, and contributing to a new world of forward-thinking citizens who understand how to maximize their own potential through the pursuit of a meaningful life!
p.s. Still terrified, but I’ve learned that if it scares me, that’s an indication that I should move toward it…