Discover the truest version of you.
I became a Mindset Coach to offer others what I had learned to do for myself through writing. First, I wrote down my difficult past start to finish. Once that whole childhood story was out of my body and on the page, I began sharing a story on this platform each week. Oddly, the theme was always personal growth. I didn’t choose that theme, it actually sort of chose me…that’s just what came through in my writing so I just allowed it to be what it was.
As a result of sharing a story each week in which I applied self-discovery techniques to something that troubled me, I discovered my true path. At the end of a year spent digging to the bottom of a problem using proven methods, I felt amazing. Better than twenty years of therapy, seriously.
Because of that experience, I searched for a way to bring the same insight, healing, and personal fulfillment to others. When you set a powerful intention like that, it’s only a matter of time before the answer shows up. In my case, it was the coaching certification program designed by Martha Beck, Oprah Winfrey’s Life Coach. Martha jokes that she had never heard that job title until someone applied it to her. “Life Coach” is an odd title, I grant you that.
Unless you are aware of the exact techniques any given coach uses, it’s hard to distinguish one personal development coach from another. Before I knew anything about this work, I pictured an incense-filled room where a woman draped in scarves gently whispers empty platitudes in your ear until a chime signals your time is up. Like pretend therapy or something. I had no idea.
That scenario may be out there, but Martha’s program is something else entirely. I have learned what I can only describe as the most effective “heal your life” tools on the market.
My practice is one on one with individual clients, who are those of you who have checked all the boxes you assumed would bring fulfillment. And yet…there is STILL something missing. You are at the point in your life where you’ve realized true satisfaction is not going to come from anything external. The time to work on yourself is upon you.
Some of you have over-sacrificed until you have nothing left to give. Or you are looking for meaningful relationships and need to let go of limiting beliefs. Others are emerging adults trying to live from a place of authenticity and need support to discover the direction best suited to you.
This is when partnering with a coach will help you find your way. It takes courage to walk straight into the garden of your life, spot the weeds, and yank them out at the root. When you do, you will have cleared fertile ground upon which to grow a rich, beautiful life. Discovering what you really want beneath what is expected of you, allows you to fully inhabit yourself and find connection with who you really are. By partnering with a coach, you can do that.
You might be wondering what the difference is between therapy and coaching. The best way I’ve heard it described is the following: therapy is focused on uncovering and recovering from trauma in our past. If you are carrying trauma, therapy is the place to process it. In contrast, coaching is about discovering who we are, what we really really want, and finding some ways to get there. As someone who sat on a therapist’s couch for decades, I can tell you that this work is actually FUN.
The need for this unique approach stems from the cultural conditioning to be a more acceptable version of ourselves. Often, the socially conditioned self isn’t the truest version.
That may sound odd. I’ll explain. We have an Essential Self and a Social Self. Our Essential Self is the person we were at birth. Our Social Self is the box checker, the people pleaser, the one who worries about what Everyone Else Thinks, whether it’s our parents, our friends, or our community. That part of us who pursued goals because we thought we had to, not because we wanted to. The trouble is, over the course of time, not living authentically quiets your intuition and has you taking a poll for what you should do rather than simply tapping in to your inner knowing. I can tell you from experience that it feels awful. Sometimes it can even make you physically sick. As adults, we can’t change the past but we can find our way back to our true selves. It begins with taking the first step.
This work will lift off the layers of societal expectation and reveal your true purpose, the very reason you landed here on earth. You may recognize that person from way back when, before the culture told you to try your hardest to be someone else. You will finally come home to yourself.
Like everyone else, the need to conform to my environment showed up early for me. Telling my story helped me understand how societal expectations impacted my own life. Perhaps by sharing some of my own experience with you, it will help you see your life more clearly too. So, here goes:
As a child growing up in small town Albuquerque, New Mexico, our family seemed like space aliens compared to everyone else. And to a little kid, different equaled bad. As the child of Jewish hippies from San Francisco, we didn’t do anything like our Catholic, mostly Mexican-American neighbors did. In the cafeteria, I longed to stand in the line for Frito pie like my classmates. Instead, I sat down on the long bench and choked down a peanut butter and honey sandwich on heavy brown bread, hidden from sight inside a brown paper bag.
My first order of business was to figure out who I had to be to fit in.
So I learned to hide in plain sight. A mask with a big smile and can-do attitude helped me pass as the perfect student and popular kid who teachers praised and peers respected. All I had to do was bury my wacky home life deep inside me and act like everyone else. But constantly worrying that I would be found out as a weirdo was exhausting. The constant worry of what others thought of me didn’t make me happy at all.
During solitary moments, I journaled, smoothing down the first page of a series of blank, flowered-fabric books, feverishly detailing the events of my life. I always ended with the same question: “what is the meaning of all this?” The answer didn’t come and my story stopped cold. It is only recently that I understand this: we are not looking for meaning. We are all looking to feel ALIVE. A life of “shoulds” never felt like that.
After half a lifetime of attempts to belong, having reached the apex of conformity as a highly compensated business litigation attorney, marrying a handsome, successful, sweet guy, building the perfect home, and all the rest, it suddenly dawned on me. External measures of success did not guarantee me a fulfilling life. That was entirely up to me, but it meant doing things my own way and abandoning the need to fit in.
What did that look like? I had my babies at home. That felt right. I made parenting decisions that didn’t line up with my peers. After making a family of my own, I didn’t go back to litigation.
And then I found writing. I allowed it to go where it wanted. Immediately, the themes turned to self-discovery. Each week I grappled with a particular problem I had experienced, researched techniques to solve it and shared it with a growing list of subscribers. After a year, I realized how much better I felt. I wondered how I could help my readers feel this way too. And just like that, I found Martha Beck’s program. Setting intentions is powerful stuff, folks.
I figured the training would allow me to develop a workshop, write another book or put together a package of tools for others to do the work themselves. Surprisingly, it was none of those things. Instead, it became one on one coaching and it is the most rewarding work I have ever done.
If you are interested in finding out what is holding you back from true fulfillment, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will sign you up for a free Discovery Session. Together, we will determine if this work is right for you.
And if you haven’t yet subscribed to my Stories, you are invited. Once a month, I share a new story on elizabethheise.com. You can read them at the drop down above. You can join me on the socials too @elizabethheise.coach on Instagram and @heiseelizabeth1 on Twitter. Happy reading!