“Do you know that there's still a chance for you, cause there's a spark in you. You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine.” ~Katy Perry, Firework
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by one of my coaching clients, Stephanie Wetzel, who has bravely agreed to share her story of living her passion and changing her life. I coached her, but Stephanie did all of the work. In just a few months, she is soaring, and I am awed by her courage and tenacity.
I thought I had missed my chance. I thought I was too far gone to start again—too many responsibilities, too many unknowns, just too grown up to take a risk.
But I wasn’t really any of those things, I was just stuck. And the more I struggled against the quicksand that was pulling me down, the faster I was sinking. Instead of letting someone help me, I was going to do it on my own because I am strong and brave. Right?
I mean, isn’t that what we are all taught? Never show fear or weakness? You may feel it in your bones, but hide it away and put on that brave front. Don’t let them see you sweat.
The girl in the quicksand would beg to differ. She’s the one struggling to breathe; struggling to find her way out of the muck. She just wants some help.
Understanding the Difference
There’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity.
- Brave is standing up in front of thousands of people, and opening up about your weaknesses to empower them to do something about their own. Stupid is telling yourself they’ll reject you for being weak in the first place.
- Brave is believing in an idea so much you have no choice but to pursue it with all of your being. Stupid is telling yourself it might not work so you better move on.
- Brave is knowing you are capable of far greater in your one precious life and doing something about it. Stupid is doing today exactly what you did yesterday.
Show Them You’re Weak
In my 32 years on this earth, the scariest thing I have ever done is send an email. It was to a woman who wrote a blog I adored, and she also happened to be a life coach. As I was reading through her coaching information, there was one line in particular that jumped out at me . . .
“. . . it takes great courage to ask for help when you need it.”
I immediately wrote and sent that scary email. Every other line is either asking for or telling her why I need help. I waited and waited for a reply that never came.
You see, I happened to pick the exact moment she was transitioning her business email account to send my note. I had to wait for the server to tell me that my message could not be delivered. The old me would have stopped there and told myself to get over it; that I didn’t really need help.
But a spark had been ignited. And I got back on that blog to investigate the delivery issue. That’s when I uncovered the transition she had made. A little copy and paste later, my message was on its way again.
Unleashing the Potential
Working with a coach hasn’t just changed my life, it’s changed me. All the dreams and potential that bubbled just below the surface for far too long are starting to emerge. And so have the pains that I kept locked away in a secret place deep within, protecting them from the light of day.
There’s a reason people call it baggage. It weighs you down, keeping you from getting where you’re going. My baggage was an obese childhood that carried into an obese adulthood. It was something that I had spent the majority of my life ignoring, running and hiding from. It was my demon. But it also happens to be the key that has opened up my life.
I can honestly say that without the help of a coach I wouldn’t have come face to face with this issue. As it turns out, to compensate for my excess weight, I had made some massive sacrifices. I wasn’t living anything close to the life I wanted to have. I was drowning in that quicksand without even realizing it in order to keep my “brave” face on.
The thing about confronting what’s holding you back is that you start to see just how much it has consumed you. Everything I thought or said or did was directly affected by my weight.
The amazing thing about coming face to face with what’s holding you back is that you start to realize how much more joyful your life can be when you are free to be who you truly are.
Unlocking the Passion
If there is one thing you could do or have in this world, what would it be?
For me, the answer was always my own business. I am a creative girl, and I love the freedom of working for myself. For the fourteen years I was building my marketing career, I was also running a business. I had no concept of down time.
I tried so many things out pursing that dream. First, I did freelance design. Then I looked into starting a bakery. Then I combined my love of books and design into a publishing company.
All of these things utilized my talents, had the potential to succeed and fulfilled my desire to work for myself, but something just didn’t feel right. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I wasn’t really passionate about any of them.
I love creating, but graphic design gets a bit mundane when it is all I am doing. Although I love baking, getting to work at 3am every day is not an appealing existence. And even though I love writing and books, publishing just wasn’t clicking for me.
I was searching for my passion, trying out lots of different things, and wondering if I would ever find it—the thing that made my heart race with excitement, that made me jump from the bed each morning ready to get started. The reality is, while I was searching high and low, I think it might have found me.
When Everything Comes Together
I used to hide from the world, from the reality of my weight. Until I started working with a coach, I wouldn’t even acknowledge its existence. You didn’t get close to me; you didn’t get to know how much pain it was causing inside of me.
And you sure as heck didn’t get to know my number. Never ask a woman her weight, right?
What was the biggest burden of my life has now become the focus of it, the very thing that makes me leap from the bed each morning. I have launched a business around what I used to hide in fear of. And it just feels so right. My demon has become my friend.
I am letting people get very close to me. I am opening up about how much pain it caused me. And you get to know my number because it’s just a number, it’s not me. I am willing to do all of these things because I don’t want anyone else to wait as long as I did. Because I am passionate about helping other obese women discover the life that is waiting for them.
I searched high and low for my passion, only to be met with frustration and disappointment. Why wasn’t it working out when I was working so hard? Maybe it was because I hadn’t found it yet.
“Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know” ~Katy Perry, Firework
Stephanie Wetzel is a writer and entrepreneur on a mission to help women overcome their weight and make bold moves towards the life they want to live. She has lost over 100 pounds by changing her habits, mindsets, and lifestyle. She believes in the power of commitment over diets, and blogs about it on Trading Pounds.