We recently celebrated Mother’s Day, and I want to share a story with you about one of my clients who has totally inspired me.
But first, let me paint you a picture. Do you know someone like this? She’s a mom, who adores her kid (or kids) and wants only the best for them. She’s a working mom, too – with a busy, challenging full-time job. She’s so busy working and taking care of her family that there’s literally no time left for her, and she’s feeling it. She’s started to not care as much about work, and for someone who has the high standards she does, this is a scary place to be. She’s a competent, capable person but recently she’s wondering if she can even call herself that any more. She’s feeling like she’s falling short at home, too – she’s not fixing healthy meals, or exercising, or being present the way she wants with the people she cares about.
At the end of last year, Dawn came to me feeling much like this. She felt like a failure in so many areas of her life, and could only see the ways in which she felt she was falling short. And it was impacting her life – her confidence, her relationships, her health, her state of mind. A part of her was hopeful – she did, after all, reach out to me after a recommendation from her brother – but another part of her felt like she was never going to find her way out of it.
After three sessions over two months, she had a big shift, especially in her confidence. She started asking for what she needed, taking time for herself, and most importantly – believing in herself again. Here’s what she had to say:
“I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for helping me get myself back on track through the coaching sessions. At first, I wasn’t even sure what I needed to fix – I came with ideas of needing to eat better, ski more, spend more time with my family, and potentially find a new job. You helped me whittle it down to some attackable pieces so I could find some success and keep moving forward.
First, your challenge for me to take an entire 8-5 day to myself to ski was sooo much what I needed. Spending that day to myself energized me and reminded me what’s important – getting outside and playing in the mountains.
Next, you helped me figure out how to decide to return to my job next year or give my resignation by pushing me to value myself instead of just go with the status quo of “work is work and it stinks but we all have to do it.” I outlined 3 specific “asks” for my employer if they wanted to keep me.
Then you helped me recognize that I had value. It sounds simple, but you repetitively gave me feedback in the form of questioning me, “Why aren’t you worth that?” It grew roots enough for me to start believing and perhaps remembering that I should in fact prioritize myself, as this is my life and nobody else is going to do it for me. I’m feeling better now about my choice to quit my job and brave the wilderness of the unknown job search while knowing that I deserve a job where I’m valued and supported and able to grow. Also, by the way, my current job is trying to find a way to keep me and get me to rescind my resignation…so we’ll see what they come up with.
Thank you for your time. I will keep you updated with what happens with the job search. We just spent a week in the mountains skiing for spring break and have 2 more weekends booked already!”
I am so proud of Dawn and the shifts that she made in her perspective – especially about recognizing her own value and worth. I could see that she is a rock star from a mile away (and you probably can, too!), but often we struggle to find that perspective for ourselves.
Helping people shift from focusing on all the things that are going “wrong” – at work, at home, in their head – into noticing the things that are going “right” is immensely satisfying to me, and gives me more joy than you could possibly know. That’s why I do what I do!
And since we’re talking about Mother’s Day, I have to give a shout out to my own mother, who also inspires me on a regular basis. She’s retired now, and taking full advantage. She skied 44 days this season, with her ski club buddies (all men, because there are very few women who ski fast enough for her). In fact, my mom skis faster than anyone in the group – they’ve gotten apps that track their speed and my mom has skied 55.3 mph! Plus she’s president of her Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae chapter, organized all the ski trips for the Ski Club, danced in my sister Kristin’s formation team and competed in the World Country Western Ballroom Dance Championships, taught my niece how to swim, and went to Machu Picchu. She is a wonderful role model of how important it is to seize the day, and say “Yes!” to all the opportunities that come your way – or create them. She is never bored! More than anything else, she loves being with her family. And thanks to her, we love being around each other as well. It’s a huge gift she’s given us. And several decades from now, I’m sure that Dawn’s daughter is going to be saying similar things about her!
If you know someone who needs help focusing on what is going right in their world, and really wants to feel confident and positive, I would be honored if you would share this with them so that we can connect for a complimentary Make a Leap session. While I can’t promise that this happens for all of my clients as quickly as it happened for Dawn – and for Dawn, like all of us, there are the inevitable ups and downs – I have discovered that when you want things to change badly enough, it’s usually only a matter of time (and the right guidance) before you get there.
Here’s to seeing ourselves as the rock stars that we are! And especially all the working moms out there!