This is a short and sweet reminder that no matter where you came from, no matter what you thought you should do in life, everything happens for a reason and you shouldn't worry so much about why something happens, but rather what to do with the lessons you learn.
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? I can remember thinking at different points in my childhood I wanted to be so many random things. A teacher, a gymnast, a figure skater, and even a drive through worker at McDonald's. I thought it was so cool how they could take my food order through an intercom. And those savory, warm, salty french fries... who wouldn't want them all day? Well, I know now as an adult that my heart health probably would have suffered dearly. Growing up, I was really involved in sports. I played soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball and even ran track, but I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other girls. Honestly, I wasn't that great. In the 8th grade, I found my calling as a cheerleader. I continued on throughout my high school years and I never lost my passion for it. I loved it so much that after I graduated, I even went on to coach the next year's squad and prepare them for their summer camp competition and they won! I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be.
But that didn't last long. I quickly enrolled in college, started working a part-time job, then started a full-time job and decided to attend night school. That decision is one that I know in some ways I do regret, but everything happens for a reason, and I'm here now. I realize now in hindsight that growing up in cheer-leading led me to many struggles with my self-image. I knew that I was pretty and strong because that's what my parents always told me, but I wasn't ever as skinny or petite as other girls. I was always the "thick girl". As I went through night school and worked full-time, my self-image began to suffer even more. I began to spend more time drinking with friends and began prioritizing my evenings based on which bar had the best drink specials that night. I was getting very little sleep, I was gaining weight, and I wasn't happy. I think that the only thing that kept me going on this path was knowing that I had always been strong, involved in sports, and the view I had of myself was a view in extreme denial of who I was previously. I will never forget the day I was hungover at work and ran across the hallway to puke in the bathroom. Luckily my office was right across from the bathroom and no one saw me, but I knew... and it was one to lowest points in my young adult life.
After going through so many professional battles in my first corporate role with trying to be heard, trying to be good enough, and trying to be accepted, I realized that I had to make a personal change. I began changing my eating habits, I stopped going out in the evenings and joined a fitness community that inspired me to make so many positive changes. I was preparing to evolve from my cocoon. Through all of that, I realized that what I really wanted was to help other women truly become more confident in their own abilities and realize that if they had a plan for their life - they could actually make it happen. I did not want other women to feel and go through the pain that I did. When I see a young woman going down a path similar to mine, I just want to take her under my wing.
It just takes some tough self-discovery, hard looks in the mirror and making the decision to change your path. Not all women have been where I was, but I know too many who struggle with their self-image, their self-confidence, and they fill that void with toxic relationships, bad habits, and negative self-talk. Wherever you are in your life or career, I sure hope that you take time to reflect on your past, let go of your mistakes, and continue to work towards a brighter future. The world needs you to be your best and if you're struggling to find your purpose, it's time to let go of your self-doubt and prepare to fly.
Brittanni Below, MBA is a coach, speaker, and trainer based in Houston, TX that provides services to help fierce and self-driven women to live a more balanced, healthy, and more fulfilling life. By fully understanding your unique talents and gifts and what is distracting you from being successful, Brittanni helps you transform fear, lack of confidence, and life challenges, into lessons that push you to crush the goals that you've set for yourself. If you're interested in business or career coaching, book your FREE coaching session with Brittanni here.