The many faces of Perseverance Blog Series. I thought it would be nice to take the filter out of our daily lives and to be able to relate to many different people about struggles that we each face. I am learning everyday to embrace the struggles we go through, instead of fearing them. I am learning that everything we go through is putting us on our path and helping us grow. I am learning that even when its uncomfortable and hard that we are learning so much about ourselves and that our struggles are shaping us into a better version of ourselves. I hope you gain guidance, inspiration, and support from this series – Alexa
What made me want to share my story?
I’ve always felt called to be a storyteller. By opening up and sharing our truth, we connect with others and realize that we aren’t alone. I’m passionate about showing other women who have gone through (or are going through) similar things as me that we are all in this together, we’re all going to be ok, and it’s safe to open up and not just accept but CELEBRATE yourself for where you’re at right in this moment without guilt or shame. When we own our stories and face our fears, we shine a little more light into the world.
This year I turned 30 and it was like a giant weight lifted off my chest. Like I could finally give myself permission to be ME, unapologetic, without fear of judgment or making a wrong step.
My entire life I’ve been working and striving and waiting to “arrive” at some vague destination where I can say “I’ve made it! I can relax and trust in myself now!” and this year I came to the hard realization that we never arrive. We’re all making things up as we go. No one knows what the heck they’re doing. If we want to feel happy and content, we have to make a decision and claim it for ourselves.
I’ve lived with high functioning anxiety almost my entire life. It’s not an official diagnosis (except by a GP who gave me Xanax and sent me on my way when I was having panic attacks a couple of years ago) but to me it is real. It manifested itself in socially acceptable and desirable qualities like perfectionism, excellence, achievement, so for a long time I didn’t even realize that something was wrong. I’ve always set the bar ridiculously high for myself and lived under so much pressure to reach it, striving and hustling in fear of letting myself down, believing that I was not worthy of love or acceptance unless I reached XYZ goals even though the finish line was a constantly moving target. No matter how far I ran, there was always another step on the endless ladder.
I was a straight A student, quiet and obedient, earned multiple scholarships to college and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a full ride to a top graduate school. It wasn’t until I left school and launched into the real world that the framework of achievement upon which I’d built my entire identity collapsed.
I spent my mid-20’s moving around the country, in various states of un/under-employment, feeling worthless and experiencing failure for the first time in my entire life. I just assumed that I’d be able to find a well paying, fulfilling job right away and my life would take off from there but the world had other plans.
So my late 20’s turned into a deep soul searching journey, trying to find my purpose and learn how to define success on my own terms, to find peace and joy and contentment from within instead of seeking happiness in external factors beyond my control. I started my own health and wellness coaching business and drowned my fears and insecurities with workaholism. I discovered personal development, reconnected to my faith, and realized that entrepreneurship is more than just building a business and making a profit — it’s a deep spiritual practice that will force you to uncover and heal any insecurities or fears that you’ve been trying to hide and ignore. You have to make yourself visible, be proud of what you represent, and grounded in a strong sense of worthiness.
Eventually I was drawn to life coaching, because I feel so passionate about not only making my own health and wellbeing a priority, but guiding other women through the journey of coming home to themselves too. We are so incredibly powerful if we allow ourselves to slow down and tune in to what our heart and soul are trying to tell us.
I quit numbing my body on the birth control pill and reconnected to my cyclical nature, which tells me when to hustle and when to rest without second guessing myself.
I learned that my level of success doesn’t depend on external achievements, but on my level of personal development. Instead of demonizing my inner critic and feeling ashamed of my insecurities and darker side, I started getting curious and facing my fears with compassion and love.
I learned that it was safe to relax and work from a place of rest, wholeness, and love, instead of being driven by fear and scarcity.
Heading into this new decade, I feel so much more at peace and at home inside my body and mind. It’s ok to be an intense, emotional, ambitious woman. It’s ok to be a dichotomy and paradox and change your mind every other day.
My anxiety as I knew it has disappeared. If I start to get stressed, I view it as a love tap and reminder to slow down, give myself some space, and reconnect to my priorities, and trust that everything that needs to happen will get done somehow. I can set boundaries and say no guilt-free because I’ve realized I’m the only person who always has my own back.
Right now I’m in a season of life that’s very calm and stable. I know that soon, things will change again and I’ll have to adapt and grow. But for the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to the uncertainty instead of feeling scared because I know that I can trust myself and I know that literally no matter what happens, I’ll be ok.
I feel like our 20’s are a battlefield, a proving ground, a decade of exploration and messiness and mistakes and realizing ultimately that we’re stronger than all our fears and failures. By being open and honest and having deep conversations with people we trust, we realize that we’re not actually ever failing at all — we’re simply humans moving forward. And we’re all in this together.