Where do you see your strength? Let me back up a moment. Do you see your strength? When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and shared the news on social media, everyone told me how strong I was. I let it roll over me. I even laughed a little. I didn't stop to consider what folks were saying, because in many ways I didn't believe it. It felt foreign to me. I didn't think of myself as strong. It’s not a word that I ever used to describe myself. I don’t think I ever allowed myself to identify that way, because I never recognized my own strength. I just did whatever I needed to do. It’s kind of funny, because that in itself takes a shit ton of strength. I can see that now. I’m always fascinated by how we don’t give ourselves credit. I say we, because I know I’m not alone here. I was so busy criticizing myself, even after a cancer diagnosis, that I never stopped to notice everything I was actually doing. Not once. It wasn’t until I was well into my battle with breast cancer and treatment that I was able to sit back and realize the strength it took to face it head on; the strength it took to keep working through all of it; and the strength it took to continue being a mom and wife. My kids were only 4 and 5 at the time. I give a ton of credit to my super amazing & awesome husband, but I had a big role in this too. I am finally giving myself the props I deserve. Earlier in the week I was thinking about how hard it has been to start a business. For me, it's been tough mentally and emotionally. As an entrepreneur I have to reach out, put myself out there, and actually see people. That can be very challenging for an introvert. And, let’s face the fact that this is not just my business, it's my life. I've chosen to serve and support people on a topic that has been my whole existence. As a coach, I specialize in an area that has been very traumatic for me personally - my weight - my body - my worth. It's kind of a double whammy. It’s not just starting a business, it’s starting a business that shares my very own, deeply personal, story with my body. Wow. I'm still very much in the process of my own healing, but I am a few steps ahead of the clients I work with. My teachers and mentors said it would happen that way. Every week I share pieces from my own personal journey. Thousands of people see what I put out there. I know that my story resonates with folks. Certain aspects of my journey can be helpful, and that’s why I put it out there. The comments, private messages, and emails I receive each week confirm that. My point is that I never really considered the inner strength it takes to put this stuff out there. I just keep doing what I do. One more story to share. This week I went to a networking event. It was my very first one here, in my new home of Georgia. I purchased my ticket several weeks ago, because I knew I would have excuses why I shouldn’t go. I even secured a babysitter, knowing that my husband would be traveling. I intentionally set all of this up so I would not be able to rely on my excuses. I even knew a friend who was going. It was perfect.
I woke up Tuesday morning ready to puke. I didn’t want to go. I remembered the money I spent on a ticket. I remembered the babysitter my kids love, who was counting on this job. I got myself ready and drove to the venue. I sat in the parking lot and kept thinking of reasons why I should drive home. I was terrified to go in. I texted my friend. I talked to my husband. Then, I put on my lipstick and walked into the event. I ended up having a great time, which is always the case. I got to meet some incredible women. I stayed for the entire event, until the very end. My point is that I did it anyway. I just keep doing what I do. That is strength. I took a selfie after I got home just because I was feeling fierce, and beautiful, and proud. That's the picture I used for this blog.
So, let's go back to the original questions I started with: Do you see your strength? Where do you see your strength? I invite you to take a few minutes and think about the answers to these questions for yourself.
What are your examples of strength? I bet you have at least one, maybe more. Your stories won’t be the same as mine, because we all have different experiences. That’s what makes this so beautiful. I would love for you to write down the answers that come up for you. Put them in a place where you can refer back and remember. If you want to share your answers, even better!! If you want to share them with me, I would be honored. Just hit reply and fire away. I hope you never forget your power, and the strength you have to do all the things. xo