When I hit my early twenties, I struggled a lot with finding ME. I was newly married, had a beautiful home, 2 adorable pups, a full time job that paid me well over what I ever thought was possible, but I had no clue who I was, or who I even wanted to be. Over and over, I found myself feeling sad more than I was happy, seeking expensive, material things that I thought would define me, and trying to eat and drink my feelings away. I remember one night, laying on the floor of the shower, sobbing, because SOMETHING was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what it was or how to fix it. I did know that whatever it was had to change.
I spent tons of time really digging into those feelings, and I really started working on the things I wanted to see in my life. Instead of focusing on what was wrong, I started looking for what was right, or what I had control over that I could change.
Here’s the part of the story where so many people ask how I actually created the change in my life that I always talk about. I thought I’d share a little more about that today, since it gets asked a lot. First, I didn’t do any of this on my own. One of the very first changes I made was to start seeking God and His plan for my life. I didn’t always do the right things, I still don’t. There were times when I didn’t even believe any of it was real, but I kept going back and searching anyway. I started surrounding myself with people who prayed for me and with me, we found a local church, and I stayed committed to trying. Because of the positivity around me, my actions started to change, my faith grew stronger, and my heart eventually surrendered to God’s love. Throughout that time, even if I wasn’t being a “whole-hearted Christian” I was certainly being a better person.
There’s no other lens like the one of a questioning Christian. Don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously grateful that God has chosen to come into my life and work so strongly that I couldn’t question His existence now, even if I wanted to. But, every once in awhile, I get a reminder of how it felt to be straddling that line – and I’m also incredibly grateful for the lessons learned during that time. The best way I can describe it is this: you can pretty much relate to, and respect, everyone. You start to see people for who they are, not their opinions. It’s the most unbiased stance I’ve ever had on anything, because my feelings covered the entire spectrum. Sometimes, I wanted so badly to believe with the believers, and other times, there’s nothing that made more sense than to bash with the non-believers.
Throughout the time that God was making major changes (I’m sure He still is – I can’t wait to write a post about these current changes next year!) on my heart, He was also making major changes in my life. The things I prayed about, cried about, and worried about we’re about to be rocked – in a really good way.
An opportunity came into my life at the perfect moment and saved me. I wasn’t taking care of myself, and was beginning to suffer the consequences of it. I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my clothes, I wasn’t eating for health, I was drinking most nights, and I did very little physical exercise. I ended up with several kidney stones, multiple trips to the hospital, and medical bills through the roof, which ultimately lead me to start seeking a new lifestyle. I had no idea what I was finding when I stumbled on a friend’s results from doing a 25 minute workout from home, but I had that feeling of “this is what you need to do.”
Before I knew it, I was cancelling our cable to use the money for the start of a new me, and looking back on it, I never questioned it. I did it with such conviction that there was no room for doubt. I started working out at home, drinking a health food shake, eating 80% healthy foods, and participating in an online accountability group. Before I knew it, I had lost 10 pounds, dropped a pant size, and started feeling more confident than ever. I was asking my husband to take progress pictures of me in a sports bra, I was taking selfies at the pool, I was saying no to vodka and yes to water (most of the time!) by choice. I no longer wanted to just participate in a virtual group, I wanted to run one. If I had seen amazing results like this, I knew other women could too. If I had so much success from participating, I knew I could double my success by leading.
Simultaneously, I was finally ready to tackle the last big weight on my chest – my career choice. I got into nursing because of the money and the security. All of the quotes that you hear people say like “do something that you would do for free” or “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” didn’t apply to me in the slightest. When I started nursing school, money was my goal. Now, money was much less important. The girl who applied for nursing school was trying to buy her happiness. The girl who was struggling with her choice was seeking happiness in other places. She didn’t need to do something that wasn’t her passion anymore. So, I made the crazy decision to quit school.
I knew from day 1 that it was the wrong choice – but guilt kept me stuck there far too long. I finally decided not to go back after passing my LPN boards, finding a job, and completing another year of RN classes. I struggled with my decision for quite some time – not because it didn’t feel right, but because I was convinced that I let everyone around me down. I wanted to live up to the expectations of family and friends. I wasn’t sure if what I had done was ultimately the right choice, but I had already burned my bridges and I needed to move on. I decided to spend my time helping others see the physical and mental changes I had seen from these incredible fitness programs, nutrition plans, and support groups. I dove in head first, and I didn’t come up for air for 2 years.
In that time, I’ve not only connected with thousands of people, seen incredible transformation pictures and heard stories from people who can now play with their kids, were given the okay to stop their blood pressure medication, or competed in their first fitness competition, but I’ve also seen hundreds of women leave their full-time jobs. Women just like me that felt trapped in jobs that no longer provided them passion or focused on their top priorities.
I don’t mean to give the impression that I gave up a life of hard work for a life of ease – that’s not at all what I’m saying, but in some ways, it’s not far from the truth. Nursing was hard work physically, and it was mentally even harder, because my heart wasn’t there. Coaching is hard work because it requires a consistency and dedication that I’ve never had before in my life – but it’s easy, hard work, because I love it. and even more so, I’m sure of why I’m doing it. Marathoners love running 26 miles, not because it’s easy, but because it’s their passion, and their reason for doing it is bigger than their excuses or complaints. This is the same idea.
It’s now been over 2 years since I made the decision to leave school and there’s not one part of me that regrets my choice. Looking back, I don’t think I ever really did regret it, I was just sick of seeing that “how sad for her look” on people’s faces when they heard what I had done. Briefly, I allowed their fears and apprehensions to become my own. Luckily, there was no place for those fears in God’s plan and they were quickly erased.
People want to know what the difference is between my company and other network marketing companies – there’s plenty of differences, but I don’t think that’s what’s really being asked. I think the real question is this: “how do I know that I would be successful when I’ve seen so many people around me fail at something similar?”
To that, I can give a few pieces of advice. First, pray about it. God wants to lead you, and more than that, He wants you to WANT to be lead by Him.
::: Timeout::: Is anyone else imaging the scene from The Breakup right now? I want you to WANT to do the dishes. HA.. does anyone WANT to do dishes? Moving on.
Second, know your who, what, and why. Know who you’re doing it for, what you’re doing it for, and why you’re doing it. Because my who/what/why have always been firmly planted, my belief in what I’m doing has never wavered.
Last, be brave. Not because it sounds cute to say, but because life is HARD! No matter what choices you make, they will be hard to live out. If I had stayed in nursing, it would have been hard to get up every day and do something I didn’t love. If I hadn’t taken control my health, it would have been hard to upgrade pant sizes every 6 months and close my eyes when walking by a mirror. We all have to choose a certain version of “hard”. That doesn’t mean that building a virtual business from the ground up or losing 30 pounds is any easier – it means that I know my who/what/why and they are leading me through this version of hard.
So, if you’re that person who was asking that original question, “how did you make such radical changes in your life?”, your Cliffsnotes version is God first, priorities second, and never let fear guide your path.