Meet the real change leaders... who you've never heard of.
There I was, in my third coaching call of the day, and on the other end of the phone was a woman who was saying the same thing as the previous two - "...If I go all in on myself I'm afraid I will lose what matters most to me."
When I wrote the first draft of this email, I included stories of now infamous people throughout history who defied odds to get where they are today. Then I deleted those stories. They are all good ones, but when you want to go all in on yourself, the last thing I recommend is comparing yourself to people who've "made it."
Instead, I want to share stories about the people I get to work with and coach every week who are also defying the odds. You probably don't know any of them, but one day you will. My clients haven't "made it" yet, but they are making it every single day. We don't give ourselves and the people standing beside us enough respect for the daily effort required to stand firm for the things we believe are possible.
I used to want to coach Brene Brown, Oprah, Mastin Kipp, Elon Musk...just to name a few.
See, working with and coaching those who are radically successful is easy. Although our trials are never complete, to be where they are today required work, faith, trust, and moving through the dark, especially when it seemed impossible. I want to be there when you think it's impossible, because that's the stuff your legacy is made of.
Let's meet them, shall we? Although I have permission to share these stories, out of respect I won't share nitty-gritty details.
Jessica has the vision to put more women into positions of power. Not just in the boardroom but in business, education, and government. She wants women to understand that the things that make them women are the very things that we need to bring more harmony to leadership. She believes that until we do this, we are missing half our unified voice and this simply isn't good enough.
Here's the thing - Jessica, despite her beautiful vision, gets criticism for it almost weekly. Turns out, a woman using her voice and requesting that more women do the same doesn't always draw a friendly crowd. She battles this because she knows what's truly at stake and you can't pay her to quit her mission. You can join her mission here: www.superwomanproject.com
Marli is a camp counselor...for adult women. In fact, she runs the ONLY camp for only women in the country. Yes, there's campfires, music, s'mores, and crafts. But really there's courage. Marli doesn't just want to sing "kumbaya" and give women a place to play for the weekend. She wants to use the power of community to help women reignite their self-love, self-worth, and self-trust. All things we too easily give away.
Marli was scared that just showing up in the rawness of her wanting wasn't enough. Even worse, she was scared that if she trusted her voice fully and was simply herself that people would walk away. Because they had before. But when she peeled back the layers, she remembers this one moment at a camp she attended, sitting around a fire, looking at a community of humans really trying to be good and do good in the world, and she found something that no one can take away - her own "yes" to herself. You can go to camp at any age: www.campyesforwomen.com
Damien took the more traditional path at first by being a doctor. But when he discovered that diagnosis can be more damaging, he walked away from his career to pursue a real path of healing. See, Damien is also an intuitive and an empath. He feels things and he sees things. In fact, when he was 6 he had a profound spiritual experience. In his own words, "While the details of what I saw that day have faded, that feeling of connection never has. It has inspired me throughout my life in very powerful ways. By exploring the feeling of oneness I shared with that stranger throughout the course of my life, I have been able to develop deeper connections with myself, with my friends and family, and with the Divine."
Damien knows how much "easier" it would have been to keep on the traditional path. But easier isn't always, if ever, why we're here. He knows that being a healer isn't always convenient, but trying to fit into someone else's box is more inconvenient. You can read his full story here: www.damiensullivan.com
Brian is a trainer, coach, and speaker. His career has spanned training pro-athletes in the NFL and NBA to notoriously being Mark Wahlberg's trainer for the past decade. And yet even after hundreds of conversations with him, this information won't come out. He refuses to be defined by his accolades because he doesn't see them that way. Brian is really a healer and an inspirational speaker with the biggest heart. He closed his gym this year because a deeper calling was poking him. Well, more like slapping him across the face.
He fought closing his gym. He thought it defined him. Then after three leases on new gym spaces fell through he surrendered, gave into his deeper calling, and suddenly he was soaring. Brian is building his company, Elementally Strong, to inspire coaches to crack their hearts open and meet their clients not from expertise but vulnerability. Something that in the fitness world is not just uncommon, it's unfounded. Although people are falling over his message, he is risking himself every day because he refuses to go back into the box. Listen to an interview he did here.
There are hundreds of stories where these four come from. Stories that have their own unique path but also show the connecting thread between us all. You don't get to follow your truth without trials and tribulation. The beauty of trial is not endurance or resiliency but our truth.
In our darkest hour we don't peel back the layers, they more so get ripped off, and in that raw state there's no room for bullsh*t and there's no room for dishonesty. Each story I chose to share today is wrapped around a core of conviction born from having to leap when it mattered most and truly not knowing if they would fall or not.
And guess what? You will fall. But each time you do, your truth cracks open just that much more. Listen to what is has to say. You might not believe it picked the right person. Upon hearing it you might respond with, "Who? Me?" while shaking your head fiercely side to side with a "Nooooo."
Your truth doesn't hand you instructions or tell you how to share it with the world. This is the most frustrating piece. It isn't even about marketing or curating the perfect Instagram account. It's the desire to so badly let people in to see and feel even just a piece of the vision you hold so dear to your heart. The desire for others to value what you do.
And trusting that what you have to share with the world is enough. It may not feel like it. You will likely get tired of trying to convince people of the possibility you see when they can't. And it will certainly be frustrating when you look behind you for years and no one is following you.
I can assure you that anyone who's "made it" experienced this. But here's a secret few are willing to admit, or maybe even understand enough to share -- your belief has to be stronger than anyone's doubt and you have to KNOW even when the doubt does find a way in that you are built for this.
If the desire to so badly let people in to see and feel even just a piece of the vision you hold so dear to your heart is here and now, then I suggest joining us at the third Awaken Your Practice.