In June, I resigned from a career and the only person I knew myself to be…..a teacher. Since then, I have worked hard to get to truly know myself on a deeper level. I have had this mission to get to know who I am beyond my career.
It’s a scary process, because getting to know anyone, let alone yourself makes you question, will I like what I learn?” You start to see the insecurities of yourself. However, if you can find the courage to talk about them and the compassion to listen, you can change the way you live, love, parent, work and build relationships.
People often want to believe that insecurities are for the unfortunate who have survived terrible traumas in life, but this isn’t true. We all experience insecurities and hide some in our darkest corners. Mine tend to lurk in familiar places, such as my body image, motherhood, family, being a good partner, my income, my career, and lately how people see me. I left a career and started a business. I know this took courage and guts. I have also rode that roller coaster of up and down emotions along with some insecurities.
And that’s ok. I don’t like everything about myself, and I won’t pretend. I do believe that it’s our work in the world to know ourselves. The real truth of who we are beyond the expectations and the impressions.
The expectations for most is to graduate from high school, go to college, graduate, start your career and have a family. I did all of that, but I did it because I wanted to. I majored in education and dreamed of helping kids. Watching my students faces light up when learning something new, or the appreciation because they knew I cared was my dedication for 19 years. It was all of knew of myself. This learning the whole me has been rewarding, yet the scariest thing I have done in my life. I mean, when do we truly sit and reflect on who we are?
I was a teacher, I am a Mom, but most of all, I am a person with integrity, character and a heart. I struggle with anxiety and I struggle with showing my emotions at times. I have learned a lot through experiences, listening and learning from others. I had to value myself after a hard couple of years in the teaching profession. While many struggle with the new state mandated tests and common core, I had to struggle with getting verbally beat up by the leader of our building. My boss. The principal. The one that kids need to be able to look up to and the one that staff should be able to look up to for support.
I started to question who I was beyond this world of being a teacher. I had to focus on me and not the negative that was being said to me by this leader. Something I had been great at my entire life and something I loved had been deflated out of me.
I had to focus on what I call my inner world….ME….I had to ask myself questions….Why am I feeling this way? Why do I feel so alone? I started to write and journal. I had to reconnect and discover myself beyond being a teacher.
I learned through this that the ultimate relationship is the one I had with myself.
I had put so much importance on being perfect and so much energy into making sure that I met everyone’s expectations and cared about what other people thought and one day I said ENOUGH! It is time for me and it is time to follow my dream in a positive environment.
I am 42 and in June, I left a 19 year career, started my own business as a Life Coach, earned two certifications in adolescent and adult life coaching and continue to dedicate my life in helping others.
I have found that the most effective way to get to know yourself is to share your experiences. Of course, telling your story takes courage.
When people ask me why I became a life coach, I say…”Because I have been there”, and what better way to learn about yourself, help others and use your experiences.
I have truly learned myself by mistakes, failure, disappointment, set backs, endless conversations with my best friends, loss of loved ones, my kids, my family, hours of myself talking to myself which sounds crazy I know…..but my picture is not complete. None of us are every complete.
Learning yourself is a scary, emotional process, but if you approach it with honesty, you will find it cleansing and therapeutic.