Hi. My name’s Diane and I’m a (former) stress addict.
Tell me what a day in your life was like when you were a stress addict. How did you spend your time?
My former day-job working for *the man* would leave me fatigued with persistent migraines, stomach aches & body convulsions. I was in such a high-stress environment working for a law firm that I would constantly worry about job security. I was also a typical *people pleaser* at the time, which didn’t help. I was pleasing everyone…except myself. Like Gabrielle Bernstein details in her popular books, my stress symptoms would manifest themselves physically.
What were the biggest causes of stress in your life during that time?
Doing something I didn’t love. Feeling as if I wasn’t living a full life. Not knowing what my path was. Contemplating my second educational path: law school or grad school? Wanting to do something creative but worrying about money. I was basically going through an intense quarter-life crisis.
Was there a specific turning point for you when you realized things needed to change? Was there a moment where you felt like you hit rock-bottom?
Absolutely! I can recall it now: Thanksgiving 2012. Grad applications were almost due and I still hadn’t written my entrance essays saying why I wanted to pursue public policy. I was a good writer and yet I couldn’t do this simple task. So a close friend (and mentor of mine) let me spend Thanksgiving with her and her family in a small-town in Massachusetts. I mean so small, my phone wouldn’t work. So my connection to the outside world was lost & I had to do a lot of soul-searching.
During that holiday, my friend read some of my personal poetry and told me I should take the creative route — to do something more with my writing. That weekend changed me. I didn’t apply to grad school and everyone thought I was crazy. And then I told myself I would figure out a way to make money and do something I loved.
What’s a day in your life like now that you’re a (former) stress addict?
So much better! After doing IMMENSE inner-work, quitting my corp-job & doing work on a daily basis that lights my soul on fire, I’m SO much happier. I’m more confident with who I am and what I want. The worrying is literally gone — because I’ve fully embraced ALL of who I am authentically. And I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to feel good about yourself & to see how it attracts amazing opportunities to your life. I’m so blessed now and totally grateful.
What’s the one thing you changed that had the greatest impact?
My outlook on myself. More specifically redirecting my *people pleasing* from others TO myself. When I finally was able to realize that I was consistently making other peoples’ dreams come true while mine (& my life!) were on the back-burner, I wasn’t happy at all. The moment I started saying ‘NO’ and doing things for me, things in my life started to change.
At first it was hard (and I had to build up some tough skin!) because people thought I was being selfish because I was no longer tending to their needs before mine. But eventually this helped to show me who really was in my life for me, not for what I did for them. And taking the *time out* to get to know me and what I liked has helped me in life and with my coaching because I can honestly help others more because I’m filled first.
Diane Pauley, the PostGrad Coach, works with aspiring online entrepreneurs helping them get connection, credibility and clients by standing out in a crowded online market; going from online newbie to online business renegade. Diane can be found at www.postgradolescence.com and on Facebook and Twitter.