Yesterday marked my official one year anniversary with Beachbody coaching! I spent most of the day thinking, writing, and reflecting on how far I’ve come, and it was amazing. My friend/Beachbody sponsor Deidre sent me a surprise bouquet of the most gorgeous flowers I’ve ever received, I cried a lot, I made a raw and vulnerable video and posted it on YouTube (who am I?? Coaching has made me so brave haha), and I hosted a virtual “Happy Hour Birthday Party” and popped some bubbly with my coaches to celebrate!
Today I have an emotional and physical hangover….apparently two glasses of $5 Aldi bubbly will give you a headache, and opening up all your raw emotions and blasting them to the internet will make you want to run and hide under a blanket. But I’m really passionate about sharing my story and experiences, as uncomfortably messy and real as it is, because I know that I have the capacity to inspire other women who connect with me and THAT is the greatest gift I’ve received from Beachbody coaching. That realization that I can be ME, I don’t need to hide or conform to expectations, and I’m good enough just as I am.
I’m so excited and relieved to have this first year behind me because I really struggle with feeling like a “beginner” and all the overwhelm that comes with starting something new. When you sign up as a coach, they tell you that no matter how frustrating or discouraging it gets, just keep going and commit to giving it at least a year before you give up. Now I understand why! It really does take a full year of consistent hard work to build a foundation for your business and also start to form a bigger picture vision. Like any small business, it takes 2-3 years to start to really launch off the ground, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish now that I’ve gained some momentum!
Today I wanted to share a more personal post to reflect on the journey so far because oh my gosh you guys, EVERYTHING has changed for me since last February. Plus I get the feeling that my friends and family have no idea what I’m doing with my life, haha. So here is a sneak peek into my story!
I’ve always been a high achiever, a rule follower, a teachers’ pet and always knew how to “work the system” to make other people happy. I basked in outside validation, in good grades and recognition, and I measured my sense of success and self worth by my achievements and external factors. I always assumed that I had to follow the traditional model of “success” and that I needed to find a career that fit into society’s definitions, because no one told me there was any other way. As a result, I’ve spent my lifetime struggling to find my “path,” my purpose in life, comparing myself to others, and being intimidated by people who seem to have it all figured out. I never even realized the magnitude of the self-imposed pressure, anxiety, and stress I've been placing on myself up until recently. I never realized how much I was holding myself back because I've been looking for a career path and something the world could offer me, instead of looking inward at who I truly am and what I have to offer the world.
I've never been able to feel fulfilled or satisfied at what I've accomplished, because it hasn't been a reflection of what I really want. Even though I was working really hard, I didn’t ever stop to think about what truly made me happy deep down because I’ve trained myself to believe that it’s selfish to put yourself first. I was the oldest child, the babysitter, the caretaker, the people pleaser, but it turns out that years of suppressing what I WANT, convincing myself that my dreams aren’t realistic or worth anything, resulted in a lot of pent up resentment, bitterness, anxiety, and mood swings that ended up negatively affecting my job performance and relationships. NOT COOL!
Last February I finally hit a wall. It was the Polar Vortex, I was not happy with my career path, I was feeling “gross” about my body because of all the wine and comfort food I was consuming to numb myself from aforementioned issues, and overall I was turning into this bitter and resentful version of myself that I didn’t even recognize. Basically, I was playing victim to my life and it was really scary. It’s terrifying to face the fact that life isn’t what you want it to be, and that you aren’t the person you know you can be, so I knew that something had to change.
Since late 2013 I'd been growing an active community on my health and fitness Instagram account and loved being part of the Tone It Up community there. I was projecting a positive outlook on life and I knew I had influence on other women who followed me, but I needed something more. I needed something for ME! My friend Deidre was a Beachbody coach and told me about this new fitness program she was excited about, the 21 Day Fix. She knew I’d love it and she saw a lot of potential in me so she encouraged me to take a chance at coaching! All I knew is that I wasn't happy and needed to make a change. All I wanted was to be able to inspire other women to take the first step towards believing they were worth more too. So after weeks of internal debate and obsessive Googling to make sure Beachbody wasn’t some sort of scam or pyramid scheme, I knew deep down that this was it. I’ve learned to trust the quiet voice of my intuition when it leads me toward a certain opportunity, so I took the plunge and signed up to coach as soon as I ordered the 21 Day Fix. From the minute I hit the “enroll” button I immediately felt a massive shift very deep down inside of me, which always signals that I made the right choice! Have you ever listened to or felt your intuition? It’s so freaking powerful.
p.s. The 21 Day Fix works ;)
I was on my way, but I had a lot of work to do!
Where I am now
One year of intensive personal development, goal setting, hard work, literally blood sweat and tears, reaching out of my comfort zone, digging deep to truly connect with other women and their stories by opening up and sharing mine, and many vulnerability hangovers later, I've helped almost 150 women gain confidence and strength through my Inspire Joy Bootcamps, and I've built a thriving team of 74 beautiful and passionate coaches who share my vision. I've made lifelong friendships with women who feel like sisters, pushed my body to my limits, healed my negative food obsessions, overcome fear and self doubt to quit my "safe" job and take a chance on my dreams of leaving a bigger impact on the world.
I'm finally learning to live my life based on my values and priorities, instead of chasing goals and external achievements, and I workout and eat healthy to reward my body because I respect it, not because I want to change or punish it. I’m learning to say YES to my deepest and craziest dreams and desires, and learning that if I respect the deep internal pull that makes my soul ache, it doesn’t seem crazy at all. Once you start opening up and declaring your dreams and intentions to the world, the fear melts away and opportunities start to appear out of seemingly nowhere.
What I really want is to use my creativity, skills, and talents to make a bigger impact in the lives of women.
I'm realizing that it all started in grade school when I opened "Anna's Studio," my creative fake mail order company, and started writing a novel in 4th grade. When did I lose sight of the things that used to bring me so much joy and inspiration? When did I let the world start convincing me that I needed to change and be “better” in order to fit in and succeed? I want to reconnect with the little girl who was excited to share her gifts with the world, who never worried or second-guessed that what she had to offer was worthy. For two decades I've been suppressing my creativity and need for self expression because I haven’t had the courage to believe in myself, and I never thought I’d be able to make a living by simply being myself and sharing my gifts. Well, I’ve finally realized and embraced that my external circumstances are never going to change the way I fundamentally feel, and I’ve gotten to a place where I am so freaking happy to be ME! Imperfections and all.
It all started with making a CHOICE. I decided that I was worth more, and I started believing that I was already good enough. I’ve stopped striving for external validation, stopped being so hard on myself, and surrendered to who I already am with compassion and love.
Is it easy? No. Is it all sunshine and rainbows? Hahahahhaha. It's freaking hard and overwhelming to shift your sense of identity. I struggle with my doubts and fears every single day, but every single day I'm slowly digging deeper to my core purpose and as a result, the doubts and fears have less and less of an influence.
I want to help other women believe in themselves too. I want to help them overcome their inner blocks and realize that nothing is out of reach if you start seeking joy in the present moment, and let your heart and intuition lead you from within. It all starts with self confidence and self respect, and the easiest way to redefine your relationship with yourself is to start treating your body right with healthy food and consistent workouts. Once you prioritize your wellbeing, you start to feel strong, powerful, and in control, and the whole world begins to open up before you.
The best part is that it's not just an empty belief or a dream--I am literally watching women have these breakthroughs. I'm facilitating these life changing internal and external transformations every single day before my eyes. Knowing that I have the power to actually MAKE A DIFFERENCE is so mindblowing and keeps me motivated when I get discouraged.
I believe that everyone deserves to be able to make a living by sharing their unique gifts and talents with the world, and I believe we all have the capacity to change lives and make a bigger difference if we stop holding ourselves back and settling for safety and security. I used to be afraid of being idealistic and naive, but now I’m seeing it happen before my eyes so I can honestly say that it’s possible. I’m changing lives, I’m supporting myself, and instead of searching the internet for a job description that meshes with what I have to offer and then feeling pressured to prove I’m “good enough” and mold to fit other peoples’ expectations, I’m creating a custom-tailored job description that perfectly reflects my unique knowledge, skills, and abilities and is designed BY ME to give me the greatest joy and impact. Don’t ignore your dreams, and don’t ever convince yourself that you’ll “never” be able to do XYZ because if I can do it, anyone can. It’s hard, it’s messy, it takes courage and so much hard work and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if there’s a tiny little voice deep down inside, you better start listening to it.
I don’t know exactly where I’m going simply because the future is NEVER in our control, but that’s ok and my big picture is getting more and more clear as I allow myself to dream bigger and bigger. I’m letting my heart and my inner sense of purpose lead me, and I’m trusting that the details will work themselves out because God has a master plan. I used to let fear of the unknown paralyze me and weigh me down, but now I see the freedom and joy in the infinite possibility of the future. Never settle, never give up, and be willing to do the work, because it’s worth it. Beachbody coaching has given me the framework to make all this happen, and I will always be grateful for that freezing dark night in February 2014 when I hit a tipping point and made a choice to believe in myself.
It's been an extremely personal journey, but I wouldn't have made it this far without my family, friends, random strangers on the internet, and my Inspire Joy team. Thank you SO MUCH for supporting me and believing in me too.