The Coaches Corner: "Who Am I Now, After I've Lost Everything?"
A few months ago I was sitting at my granny’s kitchen table reading one of my favorite mags, The Oprah Magazine ("O"), and there it was in black and white: "Who Am I Now, After I've Lost Everything?” Those words smacked me in the face like an open hand. The subject of the story I was reading was forced to ask himself this question after having endured major life catastrophes, one after another. It was there, in that moment, after reading those words that my mind was taken back to 2008.
The Dow Jones was falling at warp speed, Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in America, was imploding and I had to call my financial advisor and cash out all I had left to my name. It was during this time that I lost everything. I went through a range of emotions as I watched Wall Street, the country’s financial Rodeo Drive, crumble. I was forced to short sell the 1st home I’d ever purchased, a cute little condo on ritzy Lenox Road in Atlanta, which was decorated exactly as I'd dreamed-- barstools from Ballard Designs, home office painted Tiffany Blue with West Elm furniture to match. I lost and short sold rental properties in my portfolio and the hardest of all was telling my mother that the home she lived in and loved would also be short sold due to my losing money I’d invested in real estate from the home’s equity. This was a nightmare I couldn't wake up from. However, I realized giving up just was not an option.
I came to learn that losing everything was never about my “things;” it was about learning to trust God with my money, my businesses and most importantly my life purpose. It was about building my faith and not in my bank account, smarts or connections. Looking back, it was the best yet hardest lesson I’ve ever learned. Since 2008, my life has done a complete 180. At the time, between my personal life and businesses, I was completely leveraged in debt. Today, my husband and I do not even use credit cards. After the financial crash, I stumbled across a guy on the radio named Dave Ramsey who would go on to be (in my head) my personal “Get Out of Debt” Coach. I signed up for Dave’s Financial Peace University course and never looked back. My new normal had begun.
Fast forward to today, almost a decade later. The market is bouncing back and so am I. In 2008, it was all about me, how I was going to have an amazing home, career and growing investment portfolio…so I thought. Although I still desire these things and have even been blessed to gain some of them back, they are no longer my driving force. After an “Aha” moment on one of many “girl I need to talk” phone calls with a dear friend now client, I posed the question, “If I became a Life Coach, would you be a client?” Her response: “you’ve been coaching me since we were 15… of course!” So began the quest for my true purpose. Had it not been for the “crash” and losing so much, I don’t know that I would have been inspired to truly discover my purpose as a Life Coach. Just a month following that call, I was pursuing my certification at one of the largest accredited coach training schools in the world.
Today, as a certified professional coach, my purpose is no longer completely self-serving. I now work with women who desire to be their personal best. Best mother, best executive, best business owner - I motivate, encourage and challenge them to reach their goals, pursue their dreams and live their purpose. My journey has given me a level of compassion and understanding with my client’s that I can’t say I would have gained without my own experiences. Along the way, I often had to coach myself and rely on techniques and mental shifts to survive and continue growing. I now make it a point to be present and engaged with friends, family and clients. I try to reserve multitasking (which by the way isn’t very productive), texting and phone calls to work hours or just scheduled times. I work to practice mindfulness by being conscious and aware of my surroundings, taking time to enjoy nature-- even the beautiful vegetable garden my husband and I recently planted. Prayer has always been a constant in my life, however coupled with meditation it is even more powerful. Lastly, simply taking time to breathe deep, belly breaths, in through my nose allowing my belly to push out and breathe out through my mouth. This simple exercise helps with reducing stress and relaxing. Interestingly, I came to learn through my coaching program, these were actual techniques taught by coaches around the world.
I’ve come to learn that each of us has a story; one that when told can help another. This is my story. Filled with devastating loss and a renewed sense of strength and purpose. I keep this and other life stories close to my heart as I work with my clients, hear about their journey and encourage them to live authentically and keep growing. I must say, I’m truly grateful that I never gave up for there is such a peaceful sense of joy that comes with loving who I am now, after I’ve lost everything.
Nynese is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index ™ Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). For more information visit www.Nynese.com.