I used to be convinced that no one liked me.

Believed that I was inherently unlikable and that I needed to figure out how to be someone else in order to be accepted. It didn’t matter how accepting or inclusive people were, there was always the thought in the back of my head that they were just pretending. That I was the charity case and that people only felt bad for me. I changed friends frequently because I was trying so hard to find a place where I felt accepted and safe. It didn't work.

I didn’t understand that the reason I felt so unaccepted was that I had no concept of how to accept myself. I didn’t know that the safety I craved was something I could only create internally.

Twice, when someone I was dating worked up the nerve to tell me that they loved me, I broke off the relationship. (My now husband was one of them. Bless his persistent heart.) Both times I told them that they were confused. Explained that they couldn’t possibly love me if they actually knew me. Apologized for leading them to believe I was someone that I was not. Someone that was worthy of their love.

I didn’t know that the person who was truly incapable of loving me was myself.

I was in my 30s before I really started to do the work of learning to love and accept myself.

I still notice that old script creeping up in my brain. The one that says people might not like me. But it doesn’t debilitate me into pretending and hiding anymore. At least not the majority of the time.

I’m doing the ongoing work of getting to know myself.

I’ve learned how to cultivate internal safety and acceptance.

I know that not everyone will like me, and that doesn’t scare me anymore.

I am comfortable letting myself be seen and I trust that the people who choose to stay are the exact ones that were always meant to play a part in my story.

This is the same work that I do with my clients.

I help them come home to themselves. We separate the external from the internal and focus on what they can control: how to know, accept, love, and honor themselves.

If you’re tired of trying to live into the version of you that everyone else will fully accept… maybe it’s time to start learning what it looks like to fill that need internally instead?

If you don’t know where to start, I’m here to help. I’m ready to hold safe and nonjudgmental space for your journey back home to yourself. You don’t have to face that inner critic on your own.

Your first session is always on me.

You would be shocked by how quickly the healing can begin when you have the support of a coach. I would be honored to hold that healing space for you.

One of the most impactful pieces of my emotional healing and transformation has been the practice of writing letters to my younger self.

This is a very basic tool that I learned in the early days of incorporating self-compassion skills into my own mental health journey. It is a practice that I come back to over and over again, for one reason.... because it works!

It is something that I also suggest often to my clients when we inevitably uncover their own untended emotional wounds.

I recently wrote the following letter to my 3-year-old self after uncovering an early emotional wound during a powerful session of meditation.

Dearest little one,

I see your fear and confusion. You are safe now. You do not yet know how to lovingly hold space for your own emotions, and that's ok. You will learn.

You should never have been asked to make your needs smaller, quieter, or less burdensome to accommodate the comfort of your caregivers. Some of the adults around you could not give you what you needed simply because they never learned how to do that even for themselves.

You are allowed to feel the fear, the hurt, the anger, and the need for reassurance and comfort. I will hold that for you now so that you can finally rest.

For a time, you will respond to this emotional abandonment by learning to abandon yourself. This is a survival instinct. But the abandonment will not last forever. You will learn to allow and then heal these wounds as you lovingly reparent your childhood self. Your resilience and capacity to keep going until you finally discover the needed tools for your own healing is nothing short of miraculous.

You are worthy and deserving of the loving safety that you seek. Though it does not come in the ways, or in the time frame that you deserve, it will come. You will learn to be your own source of unconditional love and safety.

The journey will eventually prove to be worth it. You will learn to channel your own pain and healing into creating space to lovingly hold the pain of others, thereby facilitating even more healing in the world.

You no longer need to be afraid of what you feel. Though it doesn't seem so now, your ability to feel so deeply will one day serve as your greatest source of connection to others.

You are loved. You are safe. You are worthy.

You do not deserve this pain, but you will eventually channel it into something truly beautiful. Thank you for enduring. I am here to help you hold this pain and I will never walk away from you again.


Future You

  • Naomi

<< I overheard this while watching the Olympics with my kids yesterday and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m pretty sure it was part of a Nike commercial, so congrats to their effective marketing team I guess.

I definitely regret that I spent so much of my one beautiful life on avoiding the things I wanted to try, simply because I was worried that I wouldn’t be good at them. The irony of choosing not to try at all is that I guaranteed the very thing that I was trying to avoid. By not allowing myself to be a beginner at things, I insured that I would never achieve greatness in those things either.

I didn't even give myself the chance to try and see what could have been possible.

I see my own kids doing this now and it breaks my heart because I’ve had the privilege of seeing what they are capable of when they choose to put their mind to something.

When my son asks me, "Mom, do you think I could make it to the Olympics someday?" my response is a resounding yes. Followed by an explanation of what it means to work REALLY hard for something that you want. I want him to believe in the impossible, because I know that is the only way he will push the boundaries of what is possible for him.

My son hates to be a beginner at things. He wants to be instantly good at anything he tries, and he often wants to give up even when he is showing improvement. I hope that my constant urgings to let himself be a beginner are seeping in and settling.

Can you imagine a world in which Simone Biles never attempted her first back handspring?

What if Adam Peaty hadn’t taken his first plunge into the pool?

How sad would it be if Noah Lyles and Andre De Grasse took a look at Usain Bolt’s record breaking career and decided that it wasn’t even worth attempting to beat him?

I don’t want to live in that world.

I’m so inspired by watching people push their own boundaries and I’m so grateful to these current Olympians who are willing to do it all in front of a global audience!

It all has me wondering where I’m still holding myself back. What am I not even trying because I’m not yet certain that I’ll succeed?

That’s the discomfort that I am currently choosing to sit in because I genuinely want to know the answers. But I wouldn’t be a very good coach if I didn’t invite you to do it with me.

Is there something that you are interested in but haven’t started yet because you’re not certain that you’ll succeed?

Is it possible that someone is waiting for you to be their example of what is possible (even if that someone is you)?

What if you were willing to be a beginner?