From Surviving to Thriving – My Story

If you’ve ever struggled with self-esteem or feel like you don’t fit in, I get it. I get it so much that it’s my mission to help others realize those feelings, know that it’s normal, and how to excel by having the proper tools. There is such a thing as emotional and social intelligence and it’s called Emotional IQ (EI).

When I was a kid, I didn’t know how to deal with what I was going through. And, while we may have different experiences – the path to manage and understand our emotions is one I’d like to share and help you feel confident.

While I didn’t play sports, it sure seemed like I had my share of injuries and disfigurement. When I was just 2 years old, I managed to grab a cup of hot coffee off the counter, and now have a beauty scar on my neck and shoulder. When I was 7, my nose was broken – not from soccer or gymnastics – but my brother closing the car door as I was still getting out of the car! I had to wear what felt like a cast on my face.

Then, in the 8th grade, our family moved from the east side to Carmel which meant going to a new school. Making friends was a challenge as I didn’t play sports and I was quiet and insecure. Then, one day in gym class, they did scoliosis checks. And out of everyone, guess who had it? Me! And, it was severe enough that I had to wear a back brace.

And, these braces were quite the contraptions with a metal bar all the way up my spine then wrapped under the chin. I had to wear this 23-hours a day taking it off only to shower and dress. As you can imagine, it didn’t attract friends. The brace wasn’t cool looking and I certainly couldn’t hide it even under my elastic-waisted pants. I just wanted to fit in and wear trendy Calvin Klein or Gloria Vanderbilt jeans like the other kids. If only yoga pants had been a thing back then!

My self-esteem took a huge hit. I struggled to identify what and how I was feeling so instead I became quiet and isolated when I just wanted to be normal and accepted by the other kids.

Fortunately, my community had a Christian youth group, which increased my faith and became my safe place for my middle and high school years. There I was allowed to pout about my physical “flaws.” The group helped me accept myself and move on as well as increase my faith. I couldn’t change my back, but I could control my outlook. My goal was to have the best attitude I could with all that I had to deal with. But I still didn’t know what to call what I was feeling.

And, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I was introduced to emotional intelligence. It was the answer I’d been searching for and now as a certified EI coach, I can help guide you and your family to a better state of mind, attitude, and outlook.

I know first-hand how it’s hard to look in the mirror and understand our feelings. And, now I share the tools to experience the difference from just surviving to thriving!