Ever asked the question, “who am I?” because your life just doesn’t feel like the right fit?
Let me back track…
My mum and dad never finished school and they always made this big deal about how important it is to go to school; to get good grades and go to university because this is how you get the good jobs and be successful.
I went to university and came out having no clue what I wanted to be, but I wound up in an amazing job anyway with a great salary.
At 25 I’m living in a whirlwind. I’m being promoted and winning awards and sitting in high-powered meetings making big decisions. However, behind the scenes and the company car and the big cheque I’m burning out and feeling miserable because I’m living away from the love of my life and my self-esteem is being eaten away by bullying colleagues unhappy with my fast success and responsibility. Plus the whole corporate value system of greed over hearts made me feel dirty…
I burnt out. I started to suffer severe anxiety and drank too much to make it go away. I pulled away from my relationship and spent more and more time at my desk, working late, stressing out, trying to keep up the guise of the tenacious go-getter who wanted the career her parents never had, with stable income and success. On the weekends I’m life and soul of the party pretending Monday’s never going to come around again, but it always did. One day I’m making the 3-hour trip like I always did on a Monday morning, up to my office for another week in a hotel and the walls just cave in my mind. Everything goes black. My heart is beating hard in my chest and I have no idea who I am anymore or what I want and I suddenly can’t bear another moment in my job; in my life.
I’m thinking, it’s so easy. I just pull the steering wheel and everything goes away. I’m closing my eyes and feeling the pain just melt away and when I open them again I have no idea how I am alive. I’m on the hard shoulder with the cars whizzing by and sweat is dripping down my eyes, but then I realise it is tears and I can’t stop crying.
That was the beginning of the end of my successful career.
As I walked away from everything I thought I wanted to be my health fell apart, my anxiety got worse and my self-esteem disappeared completely.
I decided the only way to reinvent myself was to move away and start from the beginning.
In 2011 I moved to New Zealand, as my partner was from there and we both craved a fresh start. It was to be the best decision I ever made because it was the start of the journey that brought me to where I am today, but it wasn’t the magic solution to all my problems like I’d thought.
Here in New Zealand I was faced with the same question again, “What do you want to do with your life Clare?” I started going after the same kind of jobs that had nearly killed me and wound up in the same place each time – like a square peg in a round hole – too visionary, too innovative and uncomfortable within the boundaries of a bureaucracy that didn’t seem to be working for the greater good and frustrated by the lack of impact in our beautiful world. Now I can see I was displaying all the traits of an entrepreneur and trying to be an employee who asks permission and does what their told.
Finally the universe stepped in, or that’s what I like to believe.
I’m 6 months pregnant and I’m made redundant, which at the time made me scared and very low, but after a few days with my head under the pillow I emerged with a fresh outlook on life and a feeling of liberating freedom. My eyes set upon a new world of opportunity and impulsively I took up a network marketing opportunity and started writing a blog on my experience of being mum. I start meeting other mums and feeling empowered in my own life. I’m sharing all this good stuff I know about living naturally and healthily and I’m loving every day of my life, especially being able to stay home with my little one. However, I’m also hearing stories of struggle regularly and wanting to be able to help more than I was, so I decided to train to be a life coach. I gained self-awareness, changed my beliefs and thought processes. I peeled back the layers of myself, so to speak, and gained clarity, direction and confidence. I forgave myself and stopped relying on other people to make me OK. And I started to see where I wanted to place my stamp on the world, but I struggled to make it as a coach…
I felt like a fraud in this title full of the responsibility to change lives, when I hadn’t sorted my own life out yet and as my understanding of myself had grown, my comfort in my other business started to fall away. It didn’t feel like it fit me anymore. I thought I needed to work harder on the brand I had begun and even paid for support to build it, but ultimately it felt less and less like it fit me and less like my opportunity to make the difference I wanted to in the world. I was also making very little money and with two hungry mouths to feed life was starting to get tough. Before I know it my cards are being declined in the supermarket, I’m counting pennies in every direction and I’m having to make the heart-breaking decision to go the foodbank to ask for food because my kids are hungry and I’ve got no food in the fridge or money to feed them.
I’m sat on a market stall one Sunday having made $20 that I was about to hand over to pay for my stall when someone I knew and trusted handed me a card and suggested I check the website out. It was yet another network marketing opportunity, but this one seemed different. And it was. As much as the product had the potential to completely change lives, it was me who completely changed! I started plugging in to personal development on a daily basis because it was a big part of what the opportunity offered. I started to discover me – the real me behind the skewed picture of success I’d designed from seeing my parents struggle. I reconnected with a past that went way back before my struggles in a career that didn’t fit me and admitted the thing that has held me trapped by crippling fear for so many years. I started to see the deep learnings in my story and my experiences, which were driving me to change the world like I’d always had a deep passion to do. I discovered my strengths. I changed my belief about money and finally started feeling proud to let my freak flag fly, so to speak; it’s OK to be different, its OK to have quirks and dreams and ideas. It’s OK to have been broken. I made positivity my status quo and pushed everything in my life that didn’t reflect that out. I began aligning my life, contributing my time and applying my heart and passion to everything I discovered I truly am and want to be and as I did I became more successful. As I began to walk proudly as that person my own personal brand burned brighter than any paid support could have ever masterminded and my life filled with colour, fulfilment and enjoyment.
You see, by being the person I thought I should be and doing the things I thought I should do my colour had dulled. My life was a frustrating repeat of not feeling good enough and failing exactly because of that. It was affecting every area of my life, including my parenting. My life was being controlled by fear and limiting beliefs – that I can’t, that I’m not good enough, that I don’t deserve…
The fear was born out of my past.
In that moment, the third time in my life where I really hit rock bottom, I was broken and open and raw enough to really question who I was and what I wanted. What did I love to do? Who was I away from my story and my excuses? Where was my heart and my intuition in the decisions I had made previously? Who was in control of my destiny?
By looking back through my past I discovered that my past held my greatest power – to break through my fears and understand where I truly wanted to be. From there I could take the actions that would take me to that place.
Belief is stronger than fear.