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Before I dive into how I stepped out of a life of approval and into my authenticity, I just want to paint a bit of a picture for you.  First of all, I am an extreme introvert, so it was never really in my nature to try and rock the boat. This would only bring unwanted attention to myself, so I always did what I was told.  I also grew up with social anxiety disorder and depression, so I was always terrified of standing up for myself and believed that I deserved absolutely nothing in life. Therefore, straying from the path that someone else had paved for me was not an easy feat.

However, I am here to tell you that it absolutely can be done.  And, if you’re not currently living your life authentically, I highly recommend it.  So, what happened? I must say that there was a long thread of terribly unfortunate events that led me to the life I live now.  I’m happy to tell my entire story to anyone who wants to listen, but that’s not really what I’m here to talk about today. Although, there is a bit in this thread I need to mention because it starts my whole progression towards ditching the approval life.

As I mentioned, I went through a long period of unfortunate events in my life that spanned from the time I was in high school to about one year ago.  Just so you get the depth of that, we are talking about from thirteen until thirty-three. At thirty I was in one of the darkest places I had ever been, and I was hospitalized for trying to take my own life.  While that was the last place I wanted to be, it really helped open my eyes and realize that there was still so much I hadn’t done yet. When I got out of the hospital about two weeks later, I was determined to take better care of my depression and myself.  I never wanted to experience that kind of pain again in life.

For a while everything was really good and I felt like this was my new beginning.  I went back to school to finish my Bachelor’s degree, and then started working on my Master’s.  I got a fairly decent job at a company I really loved and I ended up moving up the ranks at a rapid pace.  I began to travel again and picked up hobbies again that I had always loved. I’m not entirely sure when it was that I started declining, because I didn’t even notice it until there was that black veil over my life again.  I had thought that I had done all the right things, except I started sliding back down into that bottomless pit.

Once I realized that I was headed back to where I had started, I asked through my tears, “What am I supposed to do?  How do I fix this?”. I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t playing the victim this time asking “Why me?”, or if it’s because I asked with an open and sincere heart, but someone or something was listening.  Normally after a night like that I would wake up just to think how much I didn’t want to get out of bed. However, this time, I wanted to get up and seize the day and I felt this clarity to do it.

In this clarity, I realized that even though I had been taking my medications, started going to therapy, and allowed myself to stay in bed when I needed to, I still hated myself and I still refused to deal with my real issues.  I wasn’t taking the time and effort to do the inner work. Because of everything I had been through, I needed to start resolving things instead of continually trying to push them back down. And, when I started doing this…phew, I was quite a mess!  I mean, I had stuff in there from my childhood that I just kept piling more and more shit on top of and forgot it was there.

It wasn’t until going through and cataloging all of this garbage and baggage I had been dragging around that I even became aware that I was living an approval life.  I had actually believed that I had been doing everything from a place of honest authenticity. The more I replayed moment after moment of my life, it became clear that even when I thought I was being true to myself, I was still making decisions out of fear, or a limiting belief, or based on negative thoughts all planted in my brain by someone else.  Until I swept out all of this negativity, I would never live a life as my authentic self.

Making this realization was probably comparable to eating glass.  It was tough to swallow and it hurt like hell. Then, once digested and beginning the process of going through all this garbage and throwing it out, it hurt a hell of a lot more.  Not only was there this pain of reliving all of these moments I truly wanted to forget, there was the pain of thinking about all the things I had missed or sacrificed while living my life for someone else’s approval.  Whether it was for my parents or friends or enemies or boyfriends, I gave up so much of my life, and for what? I never got any of their approval, but all of their pain and negativity was continually tossed inside of me like a garbage can.  And, there I sat sifting through all of it and knowing that I was the only one who cared.

Even though this was all really painful, it was the first time I actually felt some sort of peace.  I felt lighter and calmer and knew I was about to make the first decision that I had ever made that was entirely about myself.  It was the most beautiful and powerful feeling I had ever felt. In that moment, it was quite easy to make the decision to stop living my life for everyone else and to start living it for me.  But, I still knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to just flip that switch.

I knew if I was truly going to commit to living my life authentically, then I was going to need something more than just my thought of commitment.  Even though I had been so hurt and angry that I had lived my life for others for so long, I was still going to need more than that to really change.  Because I knew there were going to be times where I would be fearful, or I wouldn’t believe I could change, or I would think it was too hard, or I would just question what the hell I was even doing, and then I would want to quit on myself.  I needed to have a really clear vision of why I was doing this or I would easily fall back into my old habits.

I then mapped out a very clear, detailed vision of my life and what I wanted it to look like.  I only focused on what I wanted in life and threw out all of the rest. I also didn’t focus on how I was going to get these things in life or what I was going to have to do to get from point A to B to C to D, etc.  It didn’t matter right then and there how I was going to do it because this wasn’t my planning stage. I had never spent any time thinking about what I wanted, so this was my chance to dream it all up.

After making this detailed vision of what my ideal life would look like, I knew that I was going to need some sort of sidekick.  I am a firm believer that everyone needs to be accountable for their own actions and decisions; however, when things get really tough, it helps to have a partner that’s going to kick your ass back into gear when you want to quit.  This became a serious problem for me, because the people I had attracted into my life were part of the negative poison I’d been ingesting. I knew that I couldn’t count on any of them, but I also knew that I could no longer be around any of them either.  As an introvert I love having my alone time, but this was still a really sad thought.

If I’m being honest, I waivered in my decision to see this thing through.  But, I looked back over my life’s vision and knew that it was worth taking the chance.  So, I started some serious soul searching and worked really hard on challenging my unbelievably negative mind.  And, in case you don’t already know, our minds are an incredibly powerful force to be reckoned with. And, I can’t tell you how many times I thought about giving up, especially because I still didn’t have my accountability sidekick.  The things that kept me going were my ideal life vision and the fact that I had found the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Then came the storm, though. It was in this particularly vulnerable moment that I felt extremely weak and knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to quit if the thought came up.  I needed help and I needed it fast.

It must be mentioned here that I had lost any little bit of faith I might have had a very long time ago.  Therefore, I never really believed in God and I definitely didn’t here. But, like having a genie grant you a wish, I found my first business mentor.  I wanted so badly for her to coach me and be my accountability sidekick, but I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it right then and there. Like magic, I got a phone call that my estranged, yet real, dad, who had passed away several years earlier, had actually left money for me.  He didn’t have a will so it had gone unclaimed until now. It was enough money to pay for my mentor, and then another amazing mentor I “stumbled” upon, and everything else for my business that I would have had to save for endlessly.

Through my mentors, my dad (weirdly), and all these magical things that seemed to keep happening, it became clear to me the purpose I was being called to fulfill.  It also led me to a faith in the Universe and its plan for me, my spiritual beliefs, my calling in life, and finally being able to ditch the approval life and live authentically.  This doesn’t mean that I am without moments of fear and weakness though. After all, I am only human. But, I have every faith that the Universe has my back. I questioned my trust in it at first, but it keeps proving that it can be trusted.

While I have many people to thank for being here today and having the clarity that I do, it all started with a decision.  I made the decision to discontinue my wasting of life and to no longer allow myself to live in negativity and unhappiness.  It was by no means easy, but it was absolutely worth it. Also, I have not experienced any symptoms of depression in about four months, which is over four times longer than any record I held previously.  And, now I’m a mindset and self awareness coach for other women who want to live authentically. It’s been an amazing transformation, and I can’t wait to help others through theirs.

My quote: “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.  To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” -Thomas Aquinas

My name is Ruth Thorne. I’m a business strategist, published author and industrialist.  My relationship with approval is ambiguous. I’d consider myself a reasonable person, but will not run to get validation. However, we all have an aspect of our personality that tends to set us up for challenges.  Mine has been acting as a caregiver. Caregiver to my friends, loving family member, and chronic listener. Yes. Chronic. Did not work as I expected. 

Taking charge of your life comes with certain maturity that is not exactly collateral to physical age or “common sense either”. It has a lot to do with honesty to the self.

When you are in touch with your own reality, awareness brings clarity. I’ve had, like most everyone else, my fair share of disappointing personal relationships. No one is perfect. We cannot expect every friend to be 100%  excellent. Even in the friendship fizzles, it may not always mean it didn’t work out due to ill will from either party. 

Years ago, I had a group of friends, mostly from my own age group. We spent long hours of brainstorming, coffee, dinners, discussions, you name it. I met a close friend in that group. Over the years, things didn’t pan out in her relationship, so now she was in the middle of a separation and with a broken heart. As any good friend would, I listened to her. We, as women, tend to ignore the red flags. We are conditioned to be nurturing no matter what. Every warning sign was brushed off with an excuse on my part. Helping and showing kindness is a sign that we have empathy. 

The manner in which the other person receives our assistance determines their character. The way we react to unkindness determines ours. The first warning sign came when I said hello to an acquaintance who was too distracted to realize. She immediately laughed so hard. “Haha! You got ignored! Honey, not everyone wants to say hello to you”. I’ll admit it was truly disturbing. It came so naturally to her, like a knee jerk. She had created a parallel story to what had actually happened. I thought she was so bitter, she wasn’t even thinking straight. After all, the man who had left her was the love of her life. It was almost like she craved for me to feel inadequate. She had a “mean girl moment”.

The second sign happened when we were granted a meeting with a very powerful organization, by my own merits, from out of my diligence and my own contacts. By then, I had attempted to make her a part of one project, fully knowing she was underqualified but truly believing she would slowly learn from the opportunity I was giving her and with the intention of helping her get her mind off her feelings of despair over her breakup.

As I was speaking and presenting what we needed to do, she interrupted me, commanding “be silent, let me talk”. The awkwardness in the room! She went on to repeat what I had just said, somewhat inaccurately, because she actually had nothing to contribute. When we left, I got a phone call asking me to never bring her back again. She seemed hungry, thirsty to shine but owned no real knowledge and the people at the organization were not impressed by her attitude. I’m not afraid to see others shine. I thought it was a stage she was going thru, but it was in poor taste. 

It happened again, but this time she tried to divert the entire meeting and create opportunities for herself, right in front of everyone on board. A team member called her on her lack of a team mindset. We call it “verguenza ajena” in Spanish, or feeling bad that someone is embarrassing themselves.

One day, I “walked” into a chat trail where she was grilling me to a mutual friend. She had accidentally used group messaging to vent about me, how “I was living in my own world, how I had cut her off, and how I should help her more but wasn’t”. I was baffled. We spoke regularly and I had never sensed anything that would signal contempt on her part. I replied to the message. Long silence. I was present as much as any friend could, having no idea this was happening behind my back. 

She never apologized. She just went on to what became a two-year gossip rampage and lame excuses, telling me that it was my fault, for never having invited her to stay over at my house, and implying that she would stop the bad mouthing if I did. I reminded her that I value my privacy. She contested it, looking to shame me via emotional blackmail. One thing was certain, before this underhanded excuse for her actions, she had never, ever, asked me to host her. I did not remind her about how I once paid for her hotel room at a time when she couldn’t afford it, and how I had my own separate room because I’m not interested in losing my privacy.  I would not retaliate to her ingratitude so disgracefully. I became polite but distant. 

People would contact me to let me know how she had now gone from blaming her ex for all her troubles to making me her new target. She spent over a year stalking my facebook profile, calling me on random status updates to check if I was referring to her. I put her on the acquaintances list, so that my updates would not show in her feeds. To no avail, she would just search for me and enter my profile to find “reasons” to validate her actions.  I had stayed in the friendship because, precisely, I did not want to be “another human being” who abandoned her. I’m a person of my word and I had offered to be a friend.  

I have forgiven her, all things fade over time. Trusting her again became impossible, though. Trust is actually not earned. It is implicit and we take notice once it is lost. Best thing that happened. I became my own best friend. 

It all became terribly clear. She had capitalized on everyone’s goodwill, and to some extent, liked to inspire pity. I was forced to see that just as she would occasionally talk about our friends in common, she was doing the same with me.  I deleted her from all my social media. I closed all avenues of communication. My decision was the right one. I owed her no explanations. 

The experience taught me a lot about entitlement, manipulation, and my own need to look within my own character. How my decision to help her took me to disavow the signs of a thankless friendship. We should not expect anything in return. We should not stand for disrespect either. Friendships should be priceless, yet it always comes at a cost. It’s called respect. You can’t honestly say respect and insincerity can cohabitate. All good traits include respect as the basic boundary for civil relationships.

It became a  game changer and a blessing in disguise that modified my attitude towards myself. I decided to do only things that bring me joy. Life brings conflict in itself, please we don’t need unpleasant situations brought upon by those around us.

I had already begun to create my own reality. I encourage every one of you to appreciate not just yourselves, but your reality. Don’t like it? Then change it. 

I took to writing as a hobby. I “didn’t know” I was a writer until I became one. There are so many talents hidden within us! What I thought would be a small 3-5 page story, became my first novel. I wrote with passion, letting the characters develop. I completed the full book in 2 weeks. A literary agent became interested in it and requested a children’s book because their market was the under 18 age group. I wrote one, she asked if I could write an additional book. This happened during Christmas break. I was honored so far, because the Puerto Rican Department of Education would be evaluating. They accepted my two books and they have become part of the school curriculum. 

Months later, my original story (the 18+ age group novel) was in Borders. I suppose every writer does the same: take a picture of your book on the shelf.  I base my stories on female characters who are deeply flawed and face extreme obstacles. The fabric that pulls the story together is their ability to overcome and how they become an example in their community. They all share a transcendental characteristic: they rise from a poor neighborhood.

I love to help people and collaborate. I learned to avoid letting others’ needs to take precedence over mine. This is not selfish, it is practical and helpful. Some people really need your help. Some people are addicted to the crisis lifestyle. Others may simply want to eat up your time. 

I value the word NO. If someone asks me to do something which is contrary to my moral beliefs, my wellbeing, or my wishes, I utter that word. Believe me, they will push your limits. We live in a society where we are made to justify our boundaries.  Only because you have something doesn’t mean you have to hand it out. No, you’re not obligated to allow someone to stay at your house. No, you should not be shamed into giving your money. No, you should not be talked into using your time on one-sided situations. Your time is yours. Yes, helping out is awesome. Yes, I will invest my time but on my own terms. No, not everyone who is whining is actually crying. 

Think of the proverbial friend who protests the time you spend working on your goals. Do they want you to actually take a break and get some rest, or are they looking to get you to use your time in any way that works to their benefit? 

I am totally against mistreatment of any kind, but I am totally unapologetic when it comes to acting according to my own counsel.  I am blessed to enjoy my lifelong friendships, the kind and sincere type. I have also made new and very fulfilling friendships. 

My true self has driven me so far, to work according to what I feel is aligned with my persona. I am currently head of an industrial project and working with a wonderful international team of people. Everyone is extremely capable and highly educated, yet NONE of them engage in unpleasant attitudes. Why? Because they have a lot to contribute in a circle where arrogance and “shut up I want to be seen” is no substitute for efficiency.

I earned my Master’s Degree in International Business Law. The process was extremely interesting and confronted me with an honest assessment of what is necessary and what is not when you got a lot to do and time is short. Anyone who has undertaken graduate studies can relate this.  As I did, you may want to ask yourself, who should I spend my time with? Who will not be thrilled to learn that I’m working towards my goals? Who will become dismissive of my efforts? Who will act judgemental? Once you answer these questions, you will see who does not deserve a seat at your table. 

I also do pro-bono work. It satisfies my “inner collaborator” while knowing the recipient of my goodwill is doing something constructive.

My personal mantra is dignity. This is oftentimes mistaken by self-respect. Dignity is much more profound. It means “knowing your self-worth”. It means you “know” who you are and, yes, there are people out there who will attack your value as a person. It’s up to you to let them in.

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I would like to start off by saying how disqualified I tend to feel when it comes to sharing my story. But I always have to remind myself of how much of a lie and how crazy that is! I have learned that the things that I went through and the battles that I have fought (some won, some lost, and some still being fought out), NEEDS TO BE SHARED!  I heard someone else say that “your testimony can help free someone from the things that they are going through” …And that is what I have to remind myself of whenever I get discouraged or weary. So here I am…

My name is Keisha M. and I am a Confidence Coach for Girls, I host interactive programs and workshops that allows our girls to be able to cultivate a healthy relationships with herself, so that she can navigate healthy relationships with others in her life (including relationships with her parents, siblings, family members, friendships, and any future romantic relationship that she may have). 

This is important to me because I myself participated in and unhealthy relationship for years that stemmed from having a low self-esteem. It wasn’t until one day while staring at my daughter stare at herself in the mirror, I decided to ask her “what do you see when you look in there?”

She turned and pointed to me…I was not proud of the woman that she was pointing at!

That is when I made it my life’s mission, not only for my children, not even just for myself, but to plant the seeds of encouragement into our school age girls WORLD- WIDE! 

Since making the decision to step up to pour into our girls in this way it has allowed me to also step up my game in multiple ways, and since I am EMPOWERING our girls to be their best self (in a healthy way), it forces me to make sure that I am practicing what I preach. And that could be a powerful thing because it holds me ACCOUNTABLE to the RESPONSIBILITIES that I have been given. 

AND I TAKE THAT VERY SERIOUSLY!

I believe that there are 3 thing that we need to make sure that we are always putting ourselves in a position to live our healthiest lifestyle that I believe that we were all set out to live!

  1. Always remember that you have a PURPSOSE! I believe that we are all on this earth for a specific reason! And that reason is attached serving others. So, if you are artistic, if you are creative, if you are interested in politics, THERE IS A REASON WHY YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS! So get up and do something about it. 
  2. You will always need to be practicing SELF-CARE. And I am not talking about the surface level self-care (getting our nails done etc.) …don’t get me wrong this is all good but make intentional time to do things that brings us peace, joy, and love.
  3. Last but not least, we will need to be making the time to INVEST in ourselves and others around us, and people in our lives. (take the coaching course you have been wanting to, read the book that will give you the knowledge to get to where you are wanting to get in life, make the time to volunteer your time to a worthy cause that you have been wanting to)

I believe that doing these things will allow you to grow into the healthiest version of yourself.

And I will leave you with 3 things that I believe will help support you on this journey, are you ready?

Ok here goes:

#1 One of the most important relationships that you will have is the one that you will have with yourself. We will always need to be caring for ourselves, valuing ourselves, and investing in ourselves. This will allow us to be able to care for ourselves in such a way that we will be able to CONFIDENTLY set boundaries, pick up any type of red flags, and have standards for yourself and others in our lives!

#2 Doing this will set you up for other relationships in your life (and again when I say relationships, I mean ALL types of relationships: relationships with parents, siblings, other family members, friendships and romantic relationships). You will be able to see things and people for who and what they really are, and will be less likely to make excuses for the other person

#3 This is the last step, BUT definitely needs to be remembered and always put in the forefront of everything that we do. 

ALL OF THIS TAKES PRACTICE!!!

We are not robots, you are allowed to have your routine, BUT it’s ok to change your mind about something…change your routine up a bit…do what you need to do to make your life the way that you want it to be.

I hope that by reading my testimony it frees, encourages and empowers you to do what you were meant to do on this earth.

You gots this! 

And I just want to leave you with one of my favorite mantra’s: 

“Tomorrow is going to come…are you available for it?”

If you would like more information on the services that I provide you can reach me on Facebook and Instagram at : Abundantly Authentic

I have resources available that supports our girls confidence in order for her to be able to have a healthy relationship with herself, so that she is able to have healthy relationships with others. 

My name is Janice Lee and I’m a fitness and nutrition coach. I’m 38 years old and a mom to 4 kids with a very busy lifestyle. I’m happily married to a wonderful man for 6 years now but it hasn’t always been this way for me.

Back in 2006 I was a single mom to a baby girl who was severely depressed , suffered from eating disorders and alcohol abuse. It came over me most often at night, after my little girl was in bed. That’s when the suffocating waves of grief and loneliness hit hardest, coming at me again and again, threatening to pull me under and drown me in my own tears.

Of course, I knew why I was depressed. Life had gotten hard, confusing, and scary. My partner at the time moved out and I was on my own raising this baby girl. But if it hadn’t been for my daughter, standing on land before me as the waves kept threatening to pull me down, I’m honestly not sure I would have survived it.

Not surviving wasn’t an option, though. As a single mother, I didn’t have the luxury of falling apart. I didn’t have the option of breaking. There was just this little girl, whom I love more than anything or anyone else in this world, counting on me to keep it together. So I did my best. Every day was a battle. I had limited energy for anyone else. But for her, I pushed every ounce of strength I had to the surface.

I don’t believe I was the best mom in those months. I was certainly not the mom she deserved. But I forced myself out of bed day after day. I got on the floor and played with her. I took us out on mommy-daughter adventures. I fought through the fog to show up, again and again. I did all of that for her.

I was too busy raising her I didn’t have time for self care. Too busy thinking how I was going to support us financially. I was overwhelmed about everything being a new single mom.

How did I make it? I still remember everything like it was yesterday. The feeling of hopelessness and emptiness. I survived it all and more …

I woke up one day I said to myself I needed to change, I needed to get better for us and that’s when I decided to get myself certified as a Personal Trainer. I wanted to help others struggling to lose weight so they can feel and look their best. It’s a pleasure and honour to play a part in someone’s wellness journey to keep fit, have fun and feel better. This is what I wanted for myself as well so it helped me heal tremendously!

I love delivering high-energy training in exercise, cardio programs, and strength training. Deliver fitness, weight loss and nutrition programs for busy moms that are fun, safe, extremely effective and tailored to individual needs/goals.

I love to share my love with others who have the aspiration to become a better stronger version of themselves. As a mom of 4, I truly understand how challenging it can be to find the time to workout and take care of the family as well. Although, I know the importance of a healthy lifestyle in order to feel and look great! So for those busy moms, I know time is valuable which is why I develop programs with the most calories burned at a short amount of time.

Having the right plan and sticking to it is the key to achieving your goals. The real key to safe and successful weight loss is to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Keeping track of what is going into your body is a great way to get healthy. Knowing how to read labels and ingredients are important because if a product has ingredients you are unfamiliar with , chances are its not the healthiest option. Proper nutrition and physical fitness go hand in hand when working to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Properly nourishing your body will result in waking up more energized and a clear mind that will last all day. The programs not only changes your relationship with food but will also help with actual digestion of it.

Overall keeping fit and healthy leads to a happier lifestyle. It is my mission to help as many people out there as I can. Although I love being a mom , I also feel there is so much more I can do in this world. I know there are many out there who are needing help mentally and physically. And I know I can help them and guide them because I have been through it all.

I can encourage , engage and equip others to believe in the possibilities ! I can help others be their best and glow from the inside out ! And as my children grow I can also teach them the importance of being healthy so they too can live a happier life. Being a good role model is definitely one of the best things I can ever give my children !

We all want our kids to become good, healthy, kind and successful individuals. However, raising our kids right is as much about setting examples as it is about setting guidelines. Kids learn much more from what we do than what we say and I want to be the example that my kids have always dreamt of!

“Be awesome , live life to the fullest, shoot for the stars an NEVER settle” Jillian Michaels

I am extremely honored to be sharing my story with you.

Before we dive in, let me introduce myself. My name is Cara Wray, I’m a Mindset and Business Coach. Coaching AMBITIOUS online female entrepreneurs to create the wealth and abundance they desire in their business, bank account and personal life. I’m a wife, Mother and Step Mother to 3 beautiful children and we currently have one on the way. I’m truly blessed with this life that I’m living. I created this abundant life. I made the choice to step into my authentic self and I’m honoured to share my story with you.

Prior to meeting my husband, I lived a life pleasing others. Trying to impress everyone else but myself. I lived with my head in the clouds, making decisions based on alcohol, drugs and sex. I had zero self-respect, self-confidence or self-love for the Women I was. This behaviour continued for years until I had the privilege of meeting my husband. This man completely blew me away. At the time of our meeting he was going through a divorce and had two children from his previous marriage. I grew up with divorced parents, they separated when I was five years old. Ever since I was a young girl, I knew I always wanted a family…but I continuously doubted if it was even in the cards.

Through living a life of constantly feeling this need to please every other person but myself, my husband showed me there was a different way. He showed me how much I could be loved, how I deserved to be treated. Through a ton of communications, up’s and down’s, I started to build my self-confidence and dreaming more and more of the life I desired and envisioned for myself and my family.

My relationship with my husband moved quickly. We moved in together within the first 3 months of dating and I was pregnant with my first child (his third) six months in and engaged at 9 months. I remember being extremely excited…but also more nervous than I had every felt in my entire life. That’s when the judgement came flying in like wild fire.

The judgement came in hard and fast… hit me like a ton of bricks. We had “friends” and family who didn’t talk to us for months because they felt we were moving too fast. We had the rumours go around that we had only become engaged because I was pregnant and it was the “proper” thing to do. Friends of mine called me an idiot and my unborn child “disgusting”, and of course we were told we were making a HUGE mistake. It even went as far as certain family members wanted us to keep my pregnancy a secret so we wouldn’t tick off his ex-wife. I was furious and enraged. How little I felt I knew my friends and family at that point. How little support we felt. How lonely it was. This wasn’t how I pictured announcing my first pregnancy. I pictured support and excitement. I pictured love and honesty. Not cruelty. The part that blew me away the most was those who provided their opinions felt they had a say over our lives and felt that their opinion was the only right one. I felt silenced as through my words were no longer my own.

Fast forward to when our daughter was born, all the hormones and aspects of pregnancy and birth they DON’T tell you. I remember this feeling of euphoria about 2 weeks post-partum and then about 2 weeks after I woke up one morning feeling like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. I felt angry, scared, worried, frustrated and emotional. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t shower, eat or let alone sleep. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breast-feed my daughter, but once the postpartum depression and anxiety hit, I dried up like a prune. It completely tore me a part. I remember yelling and screaming at myself, disgusted to look in the mirror, afraid that my body had not only let me down, but also my child. I couldn’t bear looking at anyone else while they fed her. It literally tore me a part. I remember crying in the corner of our hallway and my husband looking at me. He was trying to do everything in his power to fix what was going on but little did he know, he couldn’t. The worst part…I felt I had little support. I still held onto all the judgement prior to my daughter making her way earth side.

I remember wanting to talk about it, the feeling of being lost and numb. Feeling invisible, unseen and unheard. I reached out and received the help I needed (professionally). I’m not ashamed of asking for help, but I must admit, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I started reaching out to Mothers and utilizing social media as a platform. Creating posts regarding postpartum depression and it took like wild fire. I found Mothers were happy that someone was brave enough to discuss a topic that was usually so hush hushed. Even when I started talking about my struggle and what was going on, family members told me that I shouldn’t be discussing this openly. That is was something they were never able to talk about and it’s not fair that I speak so openly about it. THIS WAS THE PROBLEM. Mothers were continuously feeling silenced with their internal struggle and I knew from that moment on…something needed to change. I was no longer going to allow anyone to make me feel like my voice wasn’t my own.

There was a point when my daughter was about 8 months old and I felt this intuitive nudge that I needed to make a serious and positive change in my life. I knew a shift needed to happen and I knew I wanted to empower Women to reclaim their voice and open up the discussion towards topics such as postpartum depression and anxiety. So, I did just that. I feel like the judgement was a fuel to my fire. The more judgement and back lash I received for opening this floor and supporting Women and Mothers, the more I felt called to pursuing something that ignited my soul. I then hired an Intuitive Business and Life Coach, I started taking intentional action and living the life that I chose for myself. I started re-writing my own limiting beliefs and silencing the limiting beliefs of others. I made a choice. I chose me and I’m forever grateful that I did.

I’ve received judgement from my father; he originally didn’t believe in Entrepreneurship. They believed in getting an education and working a 9-5 with good benefits. Now, his opinion has changed. He see’s my passion and grace. He apologized and vocalized how proud he was to watch me pursue something that ignited a fire in my soul.

I received judgement from my In-Laws asking me if what I was doing was event “legit” and if it was a pyramid scheme. They soon realized that’s not the case, and after further discussion – I realized they simply wanted the best for our family.

I received judgment from my husband, asking me when I would start making an income. At the time of his judgement, we were financially going through a tough time. He has never passed judgement since. He has only supported each of my decisions. I also make sure to include him.

My business has been a hush-hush topic around my friends and family. It isn’t asked about or discussed. It’s something they know about but they simply choose to turn a blind eye. (There are a select few recently who have reached out and asked within the past few weeks)  

I’ve had trolls all over my Facebook and Social Media platforms trying to tell break me down. Telling my followers that I was plagiarising the work of others. This was false but talk about blowing up the Social Media world that day. (New Level, New Devil)

I’ve over come the need for constant approval. I lived a portion of my life feeling the need to impress everyone and constantly give but never refill my own cup. I now choose me every damn day. In choosing me – I show up stronger for my children, husband, family, friends and clients.

I’ve now learnt that I don’t need the approval of anyone but myself. I’ve learnt that I have a choice. I get to live the life I’ve always dreamed of living. Each morning I wake up taking intentional actions and honouring the events that transpire throughout my day.

I’ve learnt that through all the negative feedback, the limiting beliefs of others and the obstacles that have been placed in front of me, they were all placed there for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. However, I get to choose what I allow into my life each day. 

Even through the negative, I am proud to say that I continuously EMPOWER Women to reclaim their voice. To break the stigma and speak openly, I’ve created my own business and I’m teaching my children how incredible it is to lead with grace, understanding and faith. 

Life is meant to be lived, live the life YOU desire. Take actions towards what sets your soul on fire. The limiting beliefs of others are not your own and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you do what you do. 

When you start taking intentional actions towards your desires each day, you start manifesting and creating the most abundant and wealthy life imaginable. The opinions of others will no longer matter because you intuitively listened to your soul…your deepest desires…and that is stepping into your authentic self.
Cara Wray – Mindset and Business Coach

My name is Corina. Here is my story on how I left the approval world to shine my authenticity.

Amanda Rose, (1988-Present), was born in Toronto Ontario, to Paul and Deborah Rose. She grew up in Kingston Ontario, and has lived in Southern Ontario all of her life. Amanda took an interest in reading and writing from a young age. In high school she began competing her short stories in contests, and at age 16 she wrote her first adventure novel, Fire Fury Freedom (2018).

From Conformity to Creator:

Growing up I was a straight arrow. I was an “A” student, I didn’t break the rules, I didn’t get into trouble. I only ever got into detention once, and it was for laughing at other students for being out of control – go figure.

I bought into the whole baloney story that if you follow the rules, get good grades, and go to college, that you’ll just get to live the life you want. I was sorely mistaken.

Deep down I wasn’t much of a conformist, in fact, I was quite a rebel. I was always fascinated by the rule-breakers. It didn’t clue in for me until my adult years that often the rule-breakers are the ones to be the most successful in life. I suppose in my own way I began shifting into this in my teens, with my decision to go into the performing arts.

I went to college for Acting for Film and TV and I graduated from college in 2008, right when the recession was at its worst. This was particularly bad for the film industry in Canada; for the first time in years the Canadian dollar was well above the US dollar, which meant US film productions were not coming to Canada to film.

There were seemingly no jobs to be had, neither in film, or any other industry. I was somewhat shocked, I thought, “But I was an “A” Student, I followed the rules, I graduated with honors, I’m supposed to be successful!”

I felt my dreams slipping away.

As time ticked by I eventually managed to get a job doing door to door sales, and then a minimum wage job in a store. I was miserable, and going deeper into debt each month not being able to even afford my basic necessities.

A couple years later I got a job doing live in-store presentations. I was actually really good at it. They gave us 1 or 2 months with a steady paycheck and then it switched to 100% commissions. I remember my first day on straight commissions I was panicking; the safety net was gone. Commission work (we’re taught) isn’t secure, it’s dangerous. I called up a co-worker who’d been one of my trainers, I was so scared, but I only got his voicemail. I explained how I felt, hung up, and pushed through my fear to do a presentation.

After the show I had a voicemail from him waiting, and I really wish I’d known how to save it. It was one of the most inspiring speeches of my life, it was something like… “Amanda, this is a great day. This is the day you no longer have a ceiling on your income. You have no limits. This is a day to celebrate. Congratulations!” There was more to his message, but that was the gist, and I’d never felt quite so empowered in my life. I made a lot of money in sales that day.

In many ways that was my turning point, embracing change, and pushing through fear. But let’s face it, this isn’t a quick fix journey.

Fast forward about a year, there was a horrific management change, not to mention the extensive hours I worked were insane, and all of my passion for my work in that job faded. I quit, having no idea what to do next. All I knew was I no longer wanted to give all my time to work. I wanted to be free.

I ended up getting into network marketing for several years and that really had me thinking outside of the box. It lead me into personal development, which eventually spawned into me teaching and writing books about the Law of Attraction.

Throughout all of it there were naysayers, people who scoffed at my big dreams, and so on. That’s a part of anyone’s life who is aiming to live big and free and outside of the box.

“What, you don’t have a stable income?”

“You know 9 out of 10 businesses fail, right?”

“Money isn’t everything.”

“______ is hiring.”

The list goes on of not-so-helpful advice. It’s so important when we’re breaking the mold to surround ourselves with people who are also doing big things.

I challenge everything now, and I challenge others to think outside of the box. Our rules, our society, it’s all made-up concepts we’ve just bought into. Our beliefs can change, but we have to take a step back and see the world for what it really is.

Is it scary? Oh yes. But I’m much more terrified of a mediocre life.

No job is really secure, and you sure won’t ever get rich trading time for money.

When we accept ourselves, when we accept the fear, and when we push through and live authentically as us, loud and proud, we give others permission to do the same. All of these types of changes start in our minds. Work on that inner dialogue and the rest of your life will follow suit.

My name is Glenda. Here is my story on how I left the approval world to shine my authenticity.

Hello Beautiful Ladies! My name is Cathy McKinnon. As the founder of Wellness Warrior Coaching, I work with ambitious women to create personalized success rituals to gain more energy, strength, beauty and confidence along their journey to optimal living. My coaching works to address health, wellness and mindfulness habits to remove limiting beliefs, create habits that fit with your individual lifestyle and goals while reducing stress! I came to this career through my own transformation and battles.  Now I share my learnings to help other women not fall into the same pitfalls I did and start to show up as their authentic selves!

I thought if I listened to them, if I followed their guidance, if I played safe I would be happy, right? That’s what I was taught- go to college, get a degree, get a good job. After some harsh words by a family member I thought, screw it I will prove them wrong, they will see. I dove in head first at many times working multiple jobs, purchasing my first house by age 20 and grinding through long days because I thought this is what I was supposed to do.

Why did I still feel empty and alone? I thought this is what they said would be the fulfilling moment of my life?

Because I was supposed to be seen as this success; when I had a struggle I hid it from everyone. When the tumor in my thyroid was inadvertently found at a fertility workup due to my multiple miscarriages, I didn’t want to tell anyone. While I heard the words the doctors said, something felt off and every other time I have had this off feeling- a bombshell happened within the next few days.

At this point I was hiding my depression by doing what I did best, grinding and hustling to hide the pain. My family praised success, right? So lets give them that and not show them what I felt was a failure. I come from a large Irish Catholic family and I couldn’t maintain a pregnancy? How is that logical? I needed to know the rationale before I could explain it to anyone else. That is how I handle most situations in life, I have to step back and process them myself before I can share and explain them to others, this would be no different.

POSITIVE FOR MALIGNANCY- I read those words over and over again, staring at the print out I made the surgeon give me. I sat in the hallway of that Cancer center staring at that piece of paper for what seemed like forever. How do I even begin to share this with anyone?

I sat on that news for a weekend, keeping it to myself, processing it…and not going to lie, drinking it away.

I shared the news of the cancer with my inner circle but did not share the struggle to have a baby, how would they begin to understand my sadness.

A few weeks after my cancer diagnosis I received notice that my position was being eliminated and I would be offered a small severance package. The kicks kept coming. I interviewed for the company I am still at today with a turtle neck on to hide the fresh scar, still not supposed to be driving and still facing side effects from the harsh hormonal crash my body was on. Thankfully I was able to hold it together to get through the interviews.

My angel baby was born and what should have been the happiest time of my life turned into a living nightmare. My partner coped with the new stress by increasing his alcohol intake, hiding his drinking, lashing out in rage and anger. Threatening text messages, emails, and explosive arguments in public and private. The game of survival began, as his drinking raged on so did his hiding things ( or so he thought) including hiding a firearm, vodka bottles under his bathroom sink and his sneaking out to the bar after
the baby and I were asleep. I couldn’t allow my son to be raised in such a toxic environment, he deserved better.

I launched into Mama Bear mode, this baby took me 5 years and I’d do what I had to to protect him including bringing him into my bed at night and locking us both in the master bedroom as I had no idea what was going to go down when my partner arrived home from the bar. When we moved to our new home it was a fresh start for my son and I. A new state, a new school for him and a new neighborhood. I started to reconnect with my friends and do more things for myself, something I hadn’t done in ages due to the chaos that had become my life. I discovered yoga, I laughed more than cried, I enjoyed bike rides with my son, we went on adventures without the heaviness I previously carried.

Everything got overhauled, from our habits, routines, street address, and mindset. I found ways to incorporate this new way of living into our busy schedules. I became clear headed, less stressed and smiled more than I had in years. It took years of trial and error, frustrations, depression and impatience…..but we were there, it wasn’t perfect but the number of days that included laughter were more than ever.

Buried my old story, embraced a new purpose, new way of behaving, new way of taking on life. It took standing my ground on some decisions which were difficult but I knew my path was bigger It wasn’t always pretty, it included many tears but it was a definite awakening on what was truly important in life and what I truly wanted for life, to teach my son. It was this series of life events that shook me to the core and made me realize what/how I wanted to live.

As those close to me started to see the shift in me this new sense of joy, several had asked how I did it. I started helping those around me. One woman close to me asked, why are you not doing this for others, you could impact so many – your story is powerful. I didn’t have a good answer to oppose it, which meant to me it was time to dive in!

Today I work with busy women to incorporate success habits creating more beauty, strength, energy and confidence than ever so they can show up as the best possible version of themselves! It is never too late to reinvent yourself! Your path is not permanent and if it no longer suits you; it is time to change it up! Implement everyday habits to get you the life you desire today!

My name is Sarah. I’m a homesteading coach. I currently reside in Oregon with my husband. I’m a mom to two Jack Russell Terriers and 15 chickens. 

It took a few years to get me to where I am today, a homesteading coach who teaches others how to live more authentic and self-sustainable lives. 

What does that mean exactly? I teach others valuable skills to help them become more reliant on themselves than outside sources. I teach on several topics: gardening, canning, food preservation, raising chickens, raising meatbirds, and more. I also focus on mindset work and help women become comfortable in their own skin.

I haven’t always accepted or loved myself for who I am. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago before I began to fully embrace who I was.

In middle and high school, I was the shy girl, the fat girl, the weird girl, the girl who never took risks, and just hid in the shadows of everyone else – so desperately wanting to be accepted. I was made fun of by fellow classmates, sexually abused from the age of 9 to 16, felt abandoned by certain family members, and felt rejected by almost everyone I knew. I did everything I could think of to make other people happy just so that they could, maybe, accept me into their life; even if I wasn’t happy or being true to myself.

My senior year of high school was when I hit rock bottom – I fell into a massive depression and almost gave up on life. I never felt like I fit in anywhere.

At the end of my senior year of high school – I met my husband. He showed me what it was like to truly be accepted and loved for who I am. He helped me through my darkest times. He accepted me and embraced every weird, quirky, irritating, random quality I have. And, yet, I still didn’t see my value. I still had this huge fear that the more he learned about me, the more he would want to leave me. I had that fear about everyone I met.

In April of 2017, I joined a few of my friends in a book study. We read John C. Maxwell’s “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” This book was a game changer for me. It helped me to really dig deep and discover my passions in life. It was then that I discovered, well remembered, my passion and desire to teach, motivate, and inspire others.

Ever since the book study, I have been focused on finding more ways to grow. I have dug even deeper into my soul to discover just exactly who I am. I have read several books, followed several high-vibe women, changed who I hung around, and started removing as much negativity from my life as possible. 

Now, you’re probably wondering – how does this have anything to do with homesteading? Well, it goes back to childhood… While I grew up in the city, my heart has always been in the country. I love everything nature related and love being outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, gardening, camping, or boating – I love it all! I have always wanted to have my own farm and a giant garden where I can raise and grow my own food. I never really fully understood this dream until the last couple of years while digging into my passions and discovering who I am. 

My husband and I have always wanted to grow our own food. But there were times we lived in a studio apartment or on a really small lot. At first, we thought there was no way we could grow anything. Thankfully, we were wrong. We learned many techniques and ways to grow veggies and herbs in an apartment. 

In 2017 we moved to a house on 1/3 of an acre. Still wanting to experience that farm life, but not thinking we could do much. We researched, a lot, and discovered so many ways to live more self-sustainably right where we are! We got some chickens, a couple of pigs, expanded our garden, and began researching ways that we could begin relying more on ourselves. 

We got an idea in February 2018 to start up a little nursery and sell plants. Within a week of this idea, we found over $2,000 with of nursery supplies….for FREE! People were giving away pots, compost bins, pallets, tables, and other gardening tools. It was amazing. A month after that, I won a gardening basket at my work…. when I put my name in for that drawing, I declared it was mine. And I won it! It was that day that I got the idea to become a homesteading coach. 

I started working on my business idea. I started creating a website, built a group, wrote down some ideas on a few courses. And then I stopped. I let fear consume me. I let my old, limiting beliefs of how I wasn’t good enough overrule everything I had done. I let the opinions of others overrule the opinions I had. I started believing every single person who told me I wouldn’t succeed, running a business isn’t easy, I don’t know enough to teach others, and so many other negative stories. I let my fear and insecurities rule the entire year of 2018 and did nothing. I was still hiding in the shadows. Maybe not as much as I used to, but I was still there…not wanting to come out for fear of more judgement and ridicule. 

January 1, 2019. I saw a post asking people what word they would choose for 2019. Immediately, the word transformation came to mind. So, that’s the word I wrote down. Little did I know just what that would truly mean. I still felt stuck. I still felt like I didn’t quite belong. I wanted something more. I was ready to finally shove my fears aside, but I knew I needed help. I knew I needed to make a change. To finally invest in a coach. Within days, this amazing woman came across my feed. She was doing a 5 day challenge where we were to release our past baggage, push fear aside, and rebuild our confidence. That challenge was a game changer. It wasn’t long before I signed up for three of her programs and 1:1 coaching. 

Because of these programs, because of her guidance, and because of my willingness to make a change, to actually do the inner work – my business has made massive leaps.   Not only that, but I have found ways to accept and love myself for who I am, more so than I ever thought possible. I am no longer bound by other people’s opinions or beliefs. I have come to an understanding that not everyone is going to like me or agree with me. And, for the first time in my life, I am ok with that. I feel free. For the first time in my life, I have confidence. I show up on Facebook live, almost daily, without hesitation. I engage and connect and have built meaningful relationships with amazing women. I have overcome and pushed so much of my fear and self-doubt aside and just gone all in. My life has, literally, changed in more ways that I could’ve ever imagined. I even look in the mirror now and smile! I no longer see an insecure, ugly, unworthy person. I see a strong, confident, and amazing women staring right back at me.

Must plays such a huge role in our lives. If it hadn’t been for the inner work I did and reframing my mindset, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. I wouldn’t be here inspiring and motivating others to step into their own power. I wouldn’t be teaching others valuable skills that will help them live more self-sustainable lives. And I wouldn’t be here, writing this story and sharing it with so many amazing, wonderful people. 

Fear has two meanings: Forget Everything and Run…. Or…. Face Everything and Rise. Which meaning do you allow into your life? 

That thought kind of goes with one of my favorite mantras that I like to live by: “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Let me start off by introducing myself…. My name is Ashtyn Pharis, I am 25 years old and I live in Columbus, OH. I have a HUGE personality, I love working out (duh), I have a bulldog named Diva, I dropped out of college after one semester, I was extremely successful working my corporate job for almost 5 years and I decided to start my own business in September 2017. Some call me crazy…. Some call me courageous. I’ll let you form your own opinion after telling you a little bit more.

In 2012 I graduated high school, I did what everyone else does and went to college in the fall; I went for pre-med because I had this AWFUL idea of becoming a doctor (no thank you). From August – December of 2012 I gained your solid freshman 15, I partied and drank almost every night, skipped classes and I think the more fitting word for “dropping out of college” would be I failed out of college. During Christmas break I moved all my stuff back home, lived with mom and dad again, started working at a tanning salon and was more confused than ever. I quickly got promoted to Manager at the tanning salon at the age of 18, made some pretty decent money and managed the salon for almost 2 years. During this time I continued to party… and party hard. I had no idea what direction I wanted to take my life in, I had no idea how to say no and stop partying. I knew I did not want to go back to school, so I started looking for jobs that would take me out of Columbus. I knew that if I wanted to change my life I needed to physically remove myself from my surroundings. Fast forward to May 2014, I received a job offer from a large dental corporation and moved out to Kansas City, MO. I quickly moved up the ladder with the company I was working for and genuinely loved my job.

During this time, I put on about 20 pounds and I felt EXTREMELY uncomfortable. None of my clothes fit, I did not want to be in any photos, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. In 2016 I had enough and decided to make a change; I started working out and eating healthier. After seeing results, I quickly learned to LOVE watching my body change and gained my confidence back. When I moved back to Columbus in 2017 I started working for a different dental corporation, but my heart was no longer in it. I was obsessed with all things health and fitness, but I was even more obsessed with supporting women in becoming the best version of themselves. I knew that I was NOT going to live a life of going to a job I hated, deep down I knew I had more to offer to this world. After many months of going back and forth with myself on when the perfect time would be for me to quit my job and coach online full time, I decided to go all in with my passion in February 2018. The decision was weighing HEAVY on my heart, I have bills to pay, what if I fail, what if I can’t pay my rent, all the what ifs came flooding in all at once… but there was this burning fire in me that said “if you go all in right now, you will have no limitations and you will change the world”. As I was sitting at Starbucks on my lunch break on a Wednesday afternoon, I had no plan, I had no idea how I was going to make it… but I walked back into my office, dripping sweat of how nervous I was and told my boss I am putting in my notice. She said “WHAT, what are you going to do?!” I said, I am going to change the lives of women around me every day, I am going to wake up with LIFE, I am going to do what I love and make it my career.

In between all that, I was in a long term relationship that was on the verge of ending at the same time I was quitting my job to pursue my passion. If you been in any relationship before, you know that SOMETIMES it is just “easier” to stay. I knew I could do better and I knew I was being held back by the one person I once was head over heels for. Sometimes, you aren’t leaving the person, but you are leaving the dream you once had. Which is a hard pill to swallow. So… I did it. I left my relationship. I quit my job and I moved 700 miles to start over. 

It has been rainbows and butterflies since then – NOT! If it were only that easy! LOL Pursing your dream is not always easy, but I enjoy the journey. I believe the journey IS the destination. When I set goals for myself and reach them, there is always more that can be done; you’re never really at your final destination. I decided that I will create my life; I will not live my life for someone else’s dream. No matter how hard it gets or how long it takes or how terrifying it is, I WILL live my life for ME. Each day brings on joys and struggles, but I will never go back. I’ve been called crazy more times than you can count, maybe I’m naive, but I think it’s courageous. It’s courageous to get up and walk out of a job that paid me extremely well, to have “security” in knowing my bills were getting paid… I have faith and power in knowing that I am here to serve others. My God will NOT let me fail because I am doing what I am called to do. I am protected no matter what comes my way.

I urge you to follow that burning passion inside of you. It is NEVER too late to go after your dreams; it is NEVER too late to start over. You have to get uncomfortable in order to grow. Growth is on the other side of change. If you stay comfortable, you stay stagnant and you are not taking enough risks. Whether that is with your employer, your relationship, your fitness, ANYTHING… getuncomfortable if you want change.

There is one mantra that takes me through each day: “You serve no one by staying asleep.” When you choose to pursue your dreams it is HARD. It takes so much dedication to show up simply for yourself every day; and some days it is just easier to stay asleep. But the longer you choose to “stay asleep” or avoid what your heart so desperately longs for, the longer you are putting the power that lies within you to the side. And the world needs you in your most powerful state.

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