In 2008 I was diagnosed with a mental illness. It was my first year of college. It was also the first year I attempted suicide. And the year I was raped. Yeah…a lot of big things happened for me that year. A lot of big and scary things.
But probably the most monumental moment in 2008 – the one that hurt the most – was the moment I decided that I was exactly what everyone else thought I was:
An unfixable damaged emotional mess.
And I thought life would always be that way.
Boy oh boy was I wrong.
I’m keeping today’s post on the blog short and sweet.. because honestly, the Podcast says it all. Today, live, is episode two: “Labeled Imperfect and mentally Ill.”
I urge you guys to all go check it out. It’s available on iTunes and Google Play.
Questions about it? Comments? Get at me in the community group!
What is Perfection is a lot of things: It’s a blog. It’s a community, it’s a self improvement tool, an online course database and life-coaching service. I can’t really use one word to define this company. It’s emotional, it is informational, inspiring and helpful.
WIP may be a lot of different things with a lot of different “labeled” but it all comes down to one very important word: Authenticity.
I didn’t start What is Perfection to pretend to be perfect and act like I always have my shit together. I started this company because I was so tired of pretending to be fake and hiding myself. I wanted to show others that living life true to you and being real and raw is the only way to live happily!
The fact that I have learned to authentic, strong and confident in the online platform took me a long time. Especially because I spent years of my life thinking that being “you” and “professional” couldn’t go together in the same sentence. Boy was I wrong.
The more authentic real and raw I am, the more I can help people… that’s been the real big “life lesson” this month.. and I am running with it.
If I am not being true to myself, I am failing myself. and failing my blog. And the girls I coach. Case end point. Lesson learned.
Coming out of my little shell and being able to express myself in this platform has been truly incredible for me and for the girls I coach. I can share every bit of my past with the purpose of teaching others. I have a mission, and I am determined to change lives. But I don’t need to be someone I am not in order to do that. I don’t need to “act a certain way” or “say the right thing for other people.” The more I am me, the more I am honest, the more I can actually make a difference in my communities and with the girls I coach.
I want to be able to share my own journey with you too.
Because the truth is I am still learning new things every single day. I am still building and perfecting my craft, striving to be the best I can be and yes.. sometimes I don’t always do it right. Sometimes I struggle too. Self Improvement doesn’t end guys – even when you are a coach helping other people.
I am not some fake perfect put together lady who does everything right. I have the coaching knowledge and the power to help others improve – but I am just like every WIP Girl and the What is Perfection reader (and every other human) out there: A Work In Progress.
And I want to prove that to you…. With this new tradition. Getting a little more real and honest about my life struggles and whats going on in my PRESENT life.
So here we go.
Let’s get real.
1 – I don’t feel all that great about my body right now. About a year ago when we packed up all of our things and moved out to Connecticut (see our story here) I lost the drive and mission to focus on living a healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t just because we moved. There were a few reasons actually. 1-I became super duper dedicated to What is Perfection and was overly driven to get the business launched and off the ground. 2-I had finally walked away from my career as a TV producer to do it (which took a lot of courage and emotional energy.) and 3-We moved in with Matt’s parents while we shopped for a house – and with mom’s great cooking and a new family environment, it was really easy to gain weight. About a week ago I made a commitment to start prioritizing myself again. I realized that I couldn’t be the best for my business if I wasn’t taking care of my own health and wellness. So I jumped back on the bandwagon for my healthy lifestyle. In that time, I have lost almost 5 pounds, but I have a long way to go before I am back to “feeling good.” It makes me feel super frustrated sometimes… like I failed myself. But I know that is not true. And I guess it’s kind of a blessing in disguise to have fallen off track, because now, I can document my journey on WIP!
2 – I’m thinking a lot about sex lately. Not like …. wanting it. Sorry no pervy stuff here. But like… my perception of intimacy. I think one of my own serious skeletons in the closet is that growing up Catholic, in a very conservative family, Sex was “shamed” ….. It was that “not before marriage for babies only” kinda deal. I remember my mom covering my sister’s eyes when Kate was naked in that titanic scene… Like mom… we know what boobs are… why is this bad? Maybe I haven’t let go of that attitude? Who the heck knows. I would love to be one of those girls who can just talk openly about those things…. and can just be like – yeah.. sex is part of living…big deal! Any thoughts on this? Anyone else feel that sort of old school shame associated with those topics?
3 – Lately I am shifting my mindset and definition of success. I used to think success could be quantified by $$$$. Ya know… How much money in the bank, the size of your house, the type of car, etc. When I was a producer at CBS News I was so super hungry to get those raises and promotions each year. I felt like “If I could just make enough money, then I will feel successful.” Well… guess what – I never did. And I was making close to six figures! Surprised I walked away from it? Yeah… I think a lot of people were. But I think I realized that Success to me was never going to be about the money. Instead of asking myself “How much money do I have to make?” My question (since running my coaching business) has now shifted to “How many lives can I influence and change? How many people can I help?” It has been incredibly spiritual for me. I am actually learning to let go of that money making mindset that society has convinced us is “success” and, instead, I really focus on what makes me feel the most fulfilled – Helping others.
4 – I don’t know when I am getting married. And I don’t feel the pressure to tie the knot just yet. Matt and I got engaged this past year and we moved into our first home only a month ago. I am trying to cherish every single beautiful special moment as it comes – without feeling rushed to move onto the next big step. And as far as babies, right now, What is Perfection is the baby that holds almost all of my attention 24/7. That’s fulfilling enough for me right now 🙂
5 – I am actually more excited for the Brand New Me Course than I have ever been for any of my online courses. My first course launch, the Perfection Program was really a wonderful experience. It was a course I created focused on helping women overcome body image issues and that “obsession with Perfection.” Since then I have launched 4 different online courses – all of which have been amazing. Up until now I was so immersed and in love with the 30 Day program Broken to Beautiful – because it was a 30 Day course focused on overcoming unhealthy relationships and the loss and pain of a breakup. It really was so dear to my heart. I thought I couldn’t get anymore excited about a program after that… but then I created Brand New Me. I feel like Brand New Me is the most beautiful gorgeous life transforming course I have ever designed. And I am so proud of it. Years ago I was that girl who was struggling so much, trying to build her self confidence, trying to feel happy, trying to not fail goals that I set for like. the millionth time. I wanted to be a Brand New happy confident version of myself and had no idea how to do it…. until I found the secret tools. This program is just so exciting to me – to walk girls through the process of transforming their own lives and self confidence …. Ugh I cannot wait. This course is so different than the rest. There are live coaching calls, group sessions and so much more interaction… and I think that is why I am so excited about it. I get to help girls one on one in an engaged group face to face and oh em gee. It just totally fills me up to see people transform their lives.. I feel like christmas is around the corner with the course starting Sunday. EEK!!! So pumped!
6 -I am a state of giving back and focusing on service. And it has changed my life. When a girl enrolls in a program – I feel inclined to celebrate!When I get comments on Facebook videos where girls say things like “OMG light bulb moment,” or “how are you inside my head right now!?” I start tearing up. And when I get a heart felt letter from a WIP girl on Facebook who’s life has changed I grab the box of tissues and let it all out. I feel fully in tune blessed, grateful and all those feel good vibes. Focusing on you girls has changed my life just as much as I believe it has changed yours… and I am truly truly grateful.
Remember…. where you are is not where you have to be.
The Brand New Me online course starts in FOUR days…
And it has me thinking about my own journey to self-love..the moment I made a decision to change my life….
Trust me… it wasn’t a small project. I was financially bankrupt, finally out of an unhealthy relationship, lost on my own for the first time, about 60 pounds over weight and so super fed up with every area of my life.
I knew I deserved better and that life wasn’t supposed to be something you “just settled for.” So I decided I was going to do everything in my damn power to create the life I truly deserved. A life that made me HAPPY. A life that I could feel appreciative of and love, and take pride in.
That meant I needed to do a lot of changing inside myself.
I had to overcome a lot of limiting beliefs…. stop feeling like a failure, insecure, and worthless and start taking massive action. I needed to let go of letting other people control my destiny – what they thought of me and what they labeled me as in my life. I had to discover the tools for changing my emotional state in an instant, start growing my confidence and stop constantly failing my goals over and over and over again.
Basically I had A LOT to learn. And yes, in the beginning all of the things I wanted felt impossible.
Confidence. Happiness. Full self-love. Healthy relationships. True Love. A stable non chaotic life. A body I was proud of. A healthy lifestyle I enjoyed.
Guess what. I got all of it. It happened. For REAL.
If you are the WIP Girl out there who is still struggling to change her life… the girl who can’t feel good about herself.. the girl who knows she deserves better but can’t figure out HOW to make that change happen…
Get off the hamster wheel gorgeous girl. Make a decision that you deserve better for yourself. Stop setting and start striving. Set your goals and get clear about EXACTLY what you want. And then put on your super girl costume and freaking fight for it girl!
1.Decide you deserve better then the way you have been living.
2. Start believing that you *and only you* have the power to change this.
3. Take massive massive action to create your dream life.
The Brand New Me six week online course is starting in four days.. our girls are prepping and preparing for their amazing journeys – setting goals and visualizing what they want to change about their lives….
And there is still time left to enroll.
Everything about this course is focused on showing you how to drastically transform your life, find self confidence and be the version of you that you have been longing to be.
If you read my story about where I was prior to being a life coach and the leader of What is Perfection and the WIP Girl community, you know that my life was a rock bottom rollercoaster disaster. Drugs, Abuse, Eating disorders, Financial disasters, suicide attempts. ALL of it is in my “before WIP resume.”
But guess what? That is NOT me any more. I stopped failing myself years ago. And four years later I have put everything I know into this six week program to help catapult you into that amazing beautiful life you deserve.
There are still 4 Days left to enroll in the Brand New Me Six week online course.
And if you are that girl out there struggling to finally be that version of yourself that you know is in there… go fight for her.
Because remember: Where you are, is NOT where you have to be.
Oh man oh man have things been crazy. If you follow my Facebook page, you know that the last few days have been INSANE. Exciting, but INSANE.
WIP changed locations – and all our stuff was in boxes (and I had zero internet the last few days.) The move was a little but more chaotic than we anticipated. But that’s the short answer for why you haven’t seen me hanging around on WIP until now.
Now that we are all settled in and the stress is gone, WIP is back in business!! So I decided to jump back into blog posts with a little exciting “here’s what happened” recap.
Yay!!!! It was not an easy move though. Not in the least.
WHY THE MOVE WAS CRAY CRAY
1: Moves are ALWAYS hard right!!!?? Especially when you are moving a business, a home, and a big storage unit. Yes. LOTS of stuff. Lots of running around – lots of back aches.
2: It snowed on our moving day. YES. SNOWED. and not like… a beautiful magical flurry…. here – it was a disastrous 8 inches. Lots of snow… and ICE.
3: We live on a hill. A Very large hill. Not like a little Jack and Jill climbed up the hill sweet little hill – I’m talking like a big mount everest full fledge mountain ledge hill. Yeah. So that with the snow was fun.
We definitely made some serious memories in the process of moving.
OTHER EXCITING HIGHLIGHTS
-Our moving truck almost hit Matt’s car.
-Our movers got stuck on a hill going to our house and almost fell down the road.
-Our moving truck actually got stuck in our drive way and then fell into a ditch.
-A tow truck came. Didn’t help.
-Then the town came and put down salt.
-Then we got charged all this extra money for the crazy luxury of the experience.
(don’t worry, we got it back)
But yes. It was CRAZY!
Here’s what I learned…..
I absolutely LOVE my WIP Girls and I missed them so much.
Not having internet drove me crazy! So happy to be back!
Sometimes you need to shut down other areas of your life to focus on big important projects.
So I did! And Now it’s over!
This little original WIP Girl got her shyt together
AND IS BACK!
Lots of awesomeness in-store!
And…. of course – more pictures!
My thoughts are super scatter brained right now, so bear with me. There is seriously SOOO much happening right now in my life. So much is going on. Tons of craziness. Moving, Business stuff, Engagement, Wedding planning, Online course planning, Crazy crazy crazy.
And yes it is super exciting to have lots of big adult things happening in my life, it also feels like there is so little time to catch a breath and just relax. It stresses me out sometimes. Because I’m a normal human after all. And there’s a lot to juggle here.
So as exciting as my life feels right now, it also makes me feel like I am in desperate need of some sleep. And maybe a Xanax. And a personal assistant. And a massage therapist. Oh… and a cookie. I really want a cookie.
This past year has been crazy.
It’s been a CRAZY year with a crazy amount of change. And full disclosure: Not all of it was roses and butterflies. Actually.. majority of it wasn’t.
So many WIP Girls can relate to that feeling… like a bunch of crazy things happening at once and a lot of it feels like chaos that is totally out of your control? Yeah…it can feel terrible when so many crazy things are happening all at once. Especially if they are bad things. WIP Girls – We stay strong though. (Oh if you aren’t a WIP Girl yet you should come be one because it’s super cool and super free.)
Anyway, given the crazy year it’s been, I figured it was time I do a little recap. You know, kind of like a “blog recap.” …. except instead of fashion outfits and DIY projects, I am going to give you a recap of all the messy craziness that happened this past year in my life and on the website.
Crazy Beginning Life Changing Scary Things.
WIP started as just a dream… and it actually only happened because I was in a crazy crazy miserable career that I just wanted to break away from. You can read all about my life story here if you’re interested. But 12 months ago was the actual START of this adventure – but I needed to do something big and scary first.
-I quit my job at CBS News and started my WIP venture. I had a dream to pursue What is Perfection and help girls gain confidence and create happy lives – take control of their future and start kicking ass. So I guess the first big step in doing all of that was actually taking control of my own life – quitting my miserable job and heading out into the big scary world of being an entrepreneur. That was a crazy big step for me.. and you can read about why I left my job at that particular time here in this post. But yeah.. I needed to really F-ck up my life plan in order to make this happen. Bye bye health insurance, bye bye vacation days. Bye bye stability.
-Then I almost got sued by CBS. Yes… I didn’t exactly leave the company on good terms. I legit walked away out of no where with NOTHING lined up. It’s not exactly something people do in that industry. I was mistreated for a while at my job, and I left to take a stand for what I deserved in life and it wasn’t that. But given the circumstances of my resignation, the company was kind of nervous. So they tried to pressure me into signing a disclosure agreement to keep the details of my experience hush hush. (Freedom of speech seems silly don’t you think?) Yea… so that was a bit of a bump in the road there. But I stood my ground and said no signing my speech away. Yay freedom!
-Then I went broke. Yup. Totally broke. This wasn’t exactly a surprise. After all, you can’t live in New York City, start your own business and still afford to eat, am I right? Matt and I decided that it was time to move to Connecticut (that’s where he’s from.) So we packed up our belongings, said goodbye to NYC and said hello to his mom and dad… and their house.. and his old childhood bedroom.. where we have been camping out for the past year. Check out how that happened here.) I put almost all of my things in storage withdrew all of my 401k savings to invest in my big bad ass dream of What is Perfection. (that was a big financial “woah nelly” for me.) But see the pattern here? Things were falling apart all over the place! It was chaos!
-Then I went emotionally broke. Had a serious couple of breakdowns, went off medication, went on medication – finally came to terms with being on medication. I cried a lot. Drank often. and doubted myself for making this big decision of running my own business (not all the time.. but sometimes.) I lost a lot of sleep (there’s so much to do when you start your own company) Stopped shaving my legs (because seriously – who has the time.) and I stopped working out – because I had zero time to brush my teeth let alone brush up on my weight training skills. I was off balance for sure. And it only got worse.
-My relationships started falling on the back burner (and some of them ended up in the toilet.) Yes.. Matt and I started having some problems. It was pretty much expected. I totally gave up my financial independence (by choice of course) and I was feeling insecure about it. As a result of all that stress, our communication skills were failing us a bit. We started fighting about the future – “When are we getting married? When are we moving out of here” and “When are we going to start growing again?” ….. If you don’t know by now, I am always, always in a rush. So yeah.. I was pressuring him a bit too much. You can read about it here and how I was so stressed out about “being the one for him.” (I was nervous maybe I wasn’t.)
Then Things Changed
This is kind of how things always work for me. Like my whole life it’s either a bunch of crazy bad things happening at once, or a bunch of crazy good things. When it’s the bad stuff – it sucks. Disaster comes – like the end of the world disaster – ALL at once. And it isn’t just like… one little thing. It’s EVERYTHING happening ALL AT ONCE. So I crash and burn, get totally freaked out, and then BOOM. I hit a rock (at the bottom maybe?)
And I decide to take action.
I say F-this shit and start kicking ass.. doing anything and everything I can to change my path. (It’s something I teach in my online courses because it is total rockstar status living) .
So I put on my big girl panties and decided it was time to kick ass.
-I got sober and started taking care of my mental health. I realized that drinking was a way of coping for me, and I was not going to do it anymore (it was doing way more damage than good. Read all about my how to quit a bad habit in my post here. I started incorporating are balance into my life and spent less time stressing and more time relaxing.
-I started appreciating my relationship. Matt and I repaired together, and became so super strong and awesome. We learned the languages of love and used them to our advantage to care more for one another (check out the love language deets here if you need help in your own love life.) Also, I stopped pressuring him about the future. I embraced the fact that moving at a slower than expected pace was actually a good thing. It allowed us to embrace each small celebration individually – like our two year anniversary, and our first apartment together. Rather than rushing to move fast and furious into the future, I took a step back and actually enjoyed the moments were sharing together. And that’s actually when we started growing the most!
-We got engaged! Yes. Matt and I actually got engaged. It’s funny when you stop placing so much stress on your relationship progress – it actually starts progressing! You can read about the engagement here on the blog, it was probably one of the more treasured moments of my life.
-And we actually bought a house. Okay.. so we are still sort of in this process as of now, but we have a closing date and a beautiful home that we are truly in love with. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. and I cannot wait to share it with you. (and get all of my stuff out of storage of course.)
-And WIP actually blossomed into a beautiful amazing wonderful thing. Yes. I am so super excited about all the online courses coming this new year, and the programs that have totally inspired women to transform their lives and their confidence. I cannot believe how amazing this journey has been. Now I run an awesome self improvement community for WIP Girls and I can’t believe this only happened in a year!
-I started actually believing in myself. This was the big changing point for me. When you think you can’t do something, it makes it really hard to feel confident and proud of your decisions to dedicate so much time to it. That was especially true with my WIP venture. The minute I actually started believing in what I was doing, my credibility, my experience, and my programs – that was when everything changed for me and WIP. Learning to really believe in my worth had a lot to do with letting go of my limiting beliefs. I needed to push out all those voices that told me it was a bad idea – like my aunts who said “well what will you do about savings?” or my college journalism professor who told me, “you aren’t really a good writer.” Yes.. I needed to push out all of the negativity and just focus on what my heart was telling me to do. And that was the moment when everything started to change.
So here’s the loaded winded lesson of this post:
You can change anything and everything for your life. Rock bottom is only temporary. Sometimes things have to totally suck before they can become totally amazing. Nothing is permanent. Everyone has the power to drastically change their life. And everyone deserves to. Had I not taken that big scary leap of leaving my job, I would not be here. And that feels really sad to think about… like.. what if I just stayed there, stuck miserable and unhappy? NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!
So whatever it is you hate and whatever you are trying to get out of in your life – if your gut is telling you to do it – GO F-cking do it. Because you’ll look back a few months later with such a crazy sense of gratitude for making that big scary decision.
I know I do. For sure.