Persona, Myself, and Reality

I have developed this persona of sports chick meets business casual.  And that’s what it is, a persona.  It has been hard edged and intimidating, which is really not what I had intended.  It was a barrier in a sense for people not to get too close.  The weirdest part?  I didn’t even know I was doing it.  All I need to fulfill that is persona is some straight up killer heels, super spiffy clothes, and then boom.  Intimidation persona complete.

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The reality is I am a down-to-earth, relatively easy going person who is easy to talk to.  Now, it would be MUCH easier to get the aforementioned clothes than change my style and approach to people.  However, I am not the type of person to take the easy way out.  I am nothing if not true to myself.  It will suck some of the time, and take more personal growth that will most likely be painful.  But I will do it, because that is my truth and my destiny to be that kind of leader in Arbonne.

Becoming Yourself

This year possibly more than any other year has been a year of change, epiphanies, and becoming the person I am truly meant to be.  If there was one thing I thought about myself my entire adult life was that I was always me.  I didn’t put on airs with people.  The odd thing is as you grow into adulthood is sometimes who you are smacks you right in the face.  Like BOOYAH, the past 34 years I was just kidding, this is who you truly are.  And it’s scary.  Despite Facebook and this blog, I really don’t like people knowing the real me.  In the past that has just led to heartbreak and misery.  The keywords in that sentence are the past.  I am sure I will have heartbreak again, but at least this time it’ll be in my truth.

Reality

What is scarier to you:  becoming the person you were meant to be and letting people see you or staying stymied in your old self?  For most of my life the former was infinitely scarier than the latter.  Some people do not want to see the truth, and would rather keep you down than see you blossom into the person you were meant to be.  The people that really love you will accept it right away, and sometimes the people who have known you the longest may take some time to see it or they may not see it at all.

The year of change and epiphanies just keeps getting better, and I am evolving into the person I am meant to be.

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Day 12, Gym 11 Walking with Dad

After so many of years, months, etc of trying to figure out things.  I have figured it out.

There is such a thing as fear based versus caution.  Fear based is based on limited information, fear, and an overall scared mentality.  Caution is based on informed decision making, facts, and pros and cons list.

Having lived this life on fear based thinking and mentality, I get it.  Trust me, I get it ALL of it.   Fear is easier to handle, it’s easier to push away, it’s easier in general.  I’m scared of heights, boom, done.  I’m scared to talk to that person because I’ve been devastated before in the past when opening up to someone BOOM, done.  I’m afraid to do this thing so outside my comfort zone, what if I get ridiculed, embarrassed, and want to hide in a corner?  BOOM, activity over.  People coddle you when you make excuses, hide yourself, and hide under a rock.  They do not coddle you when you make a decision to change your life.

People commiserate over sadness, and make excuses for you.  My friend Keri, said when she broke her foot, that people would say to her, “oh it’s ok you’ve gained such and such weight, you broke your foot.  Let me help you.”  All of that is okay.  But it is so much easier to commiserate than it is to move past your own obstacles, own them, figure out a way to fix the problem, and move on.  This is why people stay where they are for years.

Own your life, your decisions, and be happy with it.  I had a talk with my dad about a few different things tonight as we were walking.  The universe conspires in weird and wonderful ways, and sometimes those ways suck hairy monkey balls.  The best thing that ever happened to me was being fired for forgetting to lock a door, literally.  I was working 60-70s a week between two jobs, and quite honestly, I didn’t see that changing.  I got a promotion at work, and literally two days later was fired.

I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do with myself.  I spent the first month vegging out on TV turning off my brain.  Then I took my first whitewater kayaking class, and started paddling.

However, for the next two out of the three jobs I had were fear based.  Fear that I would lose my job, that I wasn’t good enough, and I put in more hours than ever.  This is really no way to live life.  When my last environmental consulting job, which was the worst in terms of job security than any of the others, ended, I was actually relieved.

Fast forward to the present.  I am working retail at a job I’ve worked since  high school, which is as far from fear based as you could possible get; and I am passionately working my beloved Arbonne business.

I say that I found myself in Arbonne, and it’s true.  I have found so much more than that.  I have found my purpose for being on this planet.  If I can inspire one other tree-hugging hippie paddler, introvert, and outdoor junkie to understand that they can do whatever the hell they want in this life, than what better honor is there than that?

To inspire others to live their dreams, and make them realize that if I can do them, than why the hell not them?  Truly is there any better privilege than that?  No there isn’t.

Yet another big shift.   And I’ve only just begun.

Year in Review

This year has been a roller coaster ride of loss, painful personal growth, healthier lifestyle, recognition, pinnacle achievements in two different passions, many personal revelations, family stuff, and an outstanding blow up in my business.

 

Resolve face

The look of determination

The personal revelations have come from the gauntlet of family events and personal events in my life the past couple of months that have set my soul on fire with focus.  I had written about it before, and the impact on my state of mind and sense of purpose.  The past month I reached the achievement of going into Area Manager in Qualification in my Arbonne business.  I won’t go into what that means here, just know that it’s really important and it means I can build a financial legacy for my family very soon.

A few things happened when this achievement was posted on the ubiquitous Facebook.  My Facebook exploded with people from all over congratulating me; I had people reach out to me privately to congratulate and to tell me how inspired they were, and I was a very humbled, proud person.

This kind of appreciation, love, recognition, and acceptance is not necessarily new for me to receive, especially this past year.  What is new to me is the level of appreciation, gratitude, and just overall sense of happiness and amazement I feel within myself to be receiving all of those things.

This year has been primarily about growing through some very painful (not physical, fortunately) limitations in my life.  Lately, I have realized my self-worth; what an inspiration I am to others, an overall sense of self and what I can give to this world.

It’s an incredibly amazing, gratifying experience to be able to inspire (their words) people I haven’t met yet.  I understand where I am going, I understand what I have to offer, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to get .  Perhaps more importantly, I am not going withhold the belief and gift of inspiration in myself.

Fear and Success

There are so many intangibles for fear as an adult.  As a kid the intangibles are clear and straight forward for the most part, the dark, monsters, etc.  The one least discussed for adults is the fear of success.  It may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s more prevalent than you may think.

There is a certain sense of responsibility when it comes to success.  Whether it be for other people (management), financially (raise), or even just to yourself, and it can be daunting.  This is especially true if you have low confidence, morale, and general low self-worth.  If people didn’t expect you to achieve highly, and you’ve been told that (hopefully inadvertently) you couldn’t do certain things for whatever reason.  It is a monumental task to mentally overcome that mindset.  To defeat it, you have to force yourself to personally grow, and to grow into BELIEVING you are WORTHY of love and success.  It’s a daily, demanding battle to change that story you have told yourself your entire life.   And it is worth all of the effort to achieve believing in your own self-worth.

anything you want copy 2

It is here that you will feel worthy of success.  It starts and ends with you.  You have to change, you have to want it, and you have to be viligant.  And you will feel free.  There will still be those days where you want to retreat into your “old” story.  Don’t let yourself…fight for your new found freedom.

Community and Vulnerability

I am loving life these days, and in every aspect.  I am brimming with gratitude, happiness, and determination, along with a sense of self that I have never had before.  Why?  Many reasons, but one of the biggest is the community I surround myself with.

Photograph taken by unknown paddler.  Features Looie Voorhees, Diane Z, Grace Jones, Ruth Krieger, and Alexis Krukovsky

Photograph taken by unknown paddler. Features Looie Voorhees, Diane Z, Grace Jones, Ruth Krieger, and Alexis Krukovsky

I have many different communities I am privileged to be apart of.  Some of the characteristics they all have in common are a huge sense of support, unity towards a common purpose, mentoring, and constructive feedback.  Everyone is a collection of experiences they have throughout their lifetime.  It is one’s job to sift through it, and find one’s place where you can feel at home and “safe” at.  Where you can be vulnerable without having to worry about what people are going to think.  I started small by venturing out where I feel safest, paddling.  Since the summer it has snowballed into other areas, and now I feel at peace with myself.  Free even.

I think one has to be vulnerable to be great, because you have to get out of your comfort zone to achieve greatness.  This involves opening yourself to others, something which has terrified me for most of my life.  We’ve been taught that vulnerable is a dirty word, and it means to be weak.  In my experience, it’s the combination of vulnerability and mental toughness that brings people to greatness.  I have experienced within the past month what I would consider a shift.  I am making myself more vulnerable, and trying to be more open with people in my communities.  And I think it’s one step of many in my path to a greater sense of self and purpose.

Goals – Creating Your Own Definition

Goals. It’s a word that people throw around all time often without much meaning behind it. What does it mean, though? I always thought it had to be some grand, epic event that I was striving to get to. And it can be, absolutely. But it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it matters to you. A goal is something that drives you every day towards a greater sense of self. Big or small, short or long-term.

Photograph taken by Alexis Krukovsky.  Taken in Lambertville along the Tow Path during the Spring.

Photograph taken by Alexis Krukovsky. Taken in Lambertville along the Tow Path during the Spring.

It could be going for a promotion, taking the perfect photograph, or doing something that is outside your comfort zone that will be a victory for only you to recognize.  The point is to tie your goal into whatever you are passionate about, and make it fun because then you will actually do it.

It may sound odd or even corny. But just wait until you start planning the goal, and writing down the plan to fulfill it. It changes your entire mindset. No matter how small that shift may be, and you will start to see a change in yourself. It was mind blowing for me. Then you will start to shine brighter than you ever thought possible.

And maybe even Dream again.

Personal Growth and Change

My life is enormously different than it was two years ago.  The reason?  Personal growth.  I have read so many personal growth books in that time, I could start a section at Barnes and Noble.  All of those books I thought were a bunch of new-age, feel-good b.s. (complete with me rolling my eyes at such things).  But, I was WRONG.  They have changed my life fundamentally.

Stolen from Facebook. I don't know who, but I love it.

Stolen from Facebook. I don’t know who, but I love it.

I am a scientist.  That is my background, and essentially my faith.  I love puzzles, I love questions, and I love figuring out how those two things intertwine.

When it comes to personal, emotional stuff though?  I was not so much about that.  I like cause and effect, clear and simple.  Human emotion is not about cause and effect.  It’s about experience and learning.  It’s about applying often the b.s. you’ve been through throughout your lifetime, and figuring out how to get past it to live a better life.

Does this sound familiar?  I have LIVED this life.  The life of hiding, oppressing, and down-right scared life.  Everyone’s life is different.  I certainly do not know your experiences, but I do know mine.  And I think being scared to be someone else, scared to live someone else’s story that you think should be yours, and scared to possibly grow out of that story is real for a lot of people.  It was for me.

Fast-forward to now.  I am happier than I have EVER been.  It was due to discipline, personal growth, and reliance on people close to me.  The last one was a big step for me.  The other two were easy.  Relying on other people, was not.  But it was perhaps the single biggest force in my metamorphosis into being a happy, content person.  Trust others; however hard it may be.

BE YOU.  Even when it is the scariest thing you might ever do.

Mentors and Life

I have been privileged to be having many amazing and brilliant mentors throughout my lifetime.  I have been fortunate enough to have them during every period of my life: high school, college, environmental consulting, paddling, and most recently Arbonne.

One of my Arbonne, mentors, Maria Spillane, and I travelling to a training.

One of my Arbonne mentors, Maria Woodford Spillane, and I travelling to a training.

Everyone needs mentors and stable figures in their lives to help guide them through difficult times and decisions, and sometimes the mundane.  I have been blessed with an abundance of both since high school.  One cannot succeed and expect to get better without guidance and constructive criticism.  Some call it tough love; I call it wisdom.  All of it is necessary for one to exist and make one better.  I am forever in debt to all of the people who have guided me; thank you.

Epiphanies and Joy

There is something amazing about Realizing things you thought dictated your life story, and realizing They no longer Matter.

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What a freeing thought that is.
And to embrace and accept it as FACT is even bigger.

To be an adult is to be free.  From what freedom that is for you to choose.

Enjoy.
Live.
Choose.

GO!

P.S.  Everyone has those thoughts.  I don’t care how powerful or your title in life, EVERYONE has those thoughts of imperfection.