Once upon a time there was a little girl with red hair and freckles. She lived in a loving home, and was the youngest of four children. She loved the outdoors, and animals, and was a tomboy. She was positive, confident and happy. She wanted to make the world one great, happy place.
I lost touch with that cute, little chubby kid, and it’s taken me a long time to find her again.
How did we loose touch?
In my first career I excelled to become National Sales Manager in a male-dominated industry. I learned to drink scotch and show no emotion. I was tough, driven, and built up a safe, high wall. I had arrived; I was a successful business woman in my mid-twenties.
The caring, nurturing part of me rose back to the surface after marriage and children, but soon got lost in everyone else’s needs. I managed health challenges with my children, parents, and in-laws. I worked various flexible, part-time jobs to be the stay-at-home mom my partner and I agreed to. And in becoming a full-time wife and mother, I had disappeared.
My journey back to her:
I left that marriage after twenty years thinking I was protecting my children. It was, however, the first step in finding my voice.
I started my own business with a health and wellness company a few years ago that I didn’t realize would challenge and help me grow in many ways. I remember feeling so lost in the first few months. During that time, I was asked to do some personal development. They asked me to read for 30 minutes every day to become a ‘better version’ of me.
This didn’t sit so well with my bruised ego right after a divorce. What did they think was wrong with me? Offended, and stubborn, I decided I could do without those self-help books.
At around the same time, I was asked to set goals for my business. I was asked point blank: What are your dreams for your life five years from now? 10 years from now? Dream big!
I started writing immediately. There were so many that I easily filled several lines. When I was asked to share, it was pointed out to me that all of my goals were for my children. I had zero goals for myself.
Determined to succeed, I persevered:
I worked away but didn’t get far. I eventually forced myself into some of that ‘reading’, including The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. Something shifted as I read that my success could be defined differently than how I thought it ‘should’ be. This resonated with the part of me that wants to help others. I realized that it was okay that my relationships meant more to me than how much money I made.
I also began seeking more information related to the products I sold; thrilled with the connection to my childhood love of animals and the outdoors. I could see that I had a platform to educate and inspire people to change. I was representing a company that aligned with who I was.
Reconnecting with that little girl:
My own goals began to settle in when I began to look like who I had always wanted to be. I stopped acting out other people’s versions of me. My dreams for my kids are still huge, but I am the best parent when I am the best me. I know that working on me, and being true to that freckle-faced kid, is the best thing I can do for all of us. And my dreams have reached far beyond my own children to include a better planet for your children, too.