Everything You Need to Know to Change the World
By Jana Beeman
I wanted to share a really personal story with you – one that has a direct impact on my business today. If you’ve known me for long, you’ll be aware that while I share stories of things I’ve been through, I hate to be ‘all about me’. There is always a point to my stories, and the same holds true with this one.
When I was 12, I left my home in the middle of the night without any clue where or how I was going to live. I walked several miles in the sketchy streets of the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of LA. I went to the home of my closest friend and sat on the front porch to wait for the sun to come up.
When I could hear activity inside, I knocked and begged them to let me stay a few days until I figured out what I was going to do, and they said yes.
I spent the next several nights camped on the pull out couch in the living room.
My friend’s father was a contractor and it was normal for him to leave around 4am, and his wife would get up and make him breakfast and keep him company until he left. One morning, the topic of conversation was butter.
My friend’s mom was complaining about butter being scraped on the edge of the dish, and as I lay there pretending to sleep, I knew I was the one who’d been doing that. I’d grown up poor, and I was exceptionally thrifty, never wasting anything. So if I accidentally took more butter than I needed, I’d carefully put it back in the dish. I never put any food – toast crumbs, etc. – with it. Just the butter. Apparently, this was now a pet peeve with the lady of the house.
And then she said “I already have three kids. I don’t want another.”
In that moment, I went from just finding a place to crash to understanding fully that I was in the way.
I hadn’t been able to figure out another option yet, but I devoted myself from that moment on to being truly invisible. I had always been quiet and shy. Now I was stealthy too. I was always in another room from everyone else. I got up at 2am to shower and left before 4am to a paper route then do homework at a 24-hour diner. While everyone was gone at work, I’d go back and clean the house, take care of their animals, walk the dog. If I ate food, I replaced it immediately. If I heard anyone say they needed something, I’d find a way to help out.
Finally I found some live-in babysitting jobs and moved out completely. And I did the same things there, being so helpful they couldn’t imagine living without me, yet so quiet, they barely knew I was around.
I lived most of my life this way.
It worked for me until 2008 when I started in nutrition school and started my coaching business. It’s hard to be a business owner when you’re invisible.
No one remembers you.
No one refers you.
No one respects or trusts you – they don’t KNOW you.
Something had to change.
It didn’t help that with injured ankles, I couldn’t leave the house and was completely isolated. So when school started (online, of course), I decided to start an online study group. My initial idea was to talk through the modules, but pretty early on, it became about the other members picking my brain about business, and as time went on, that was pretty much what we worked on twice a week. I’d been in business all my life – from the time I was 12 and on my own – so instead of sitting back to have a conversation about the new things we’d learned about food, I discovered that 1) no one else was willing to take the lead and 2) everyone just wanted to know about business.
So I took the lead and shared business tips and techniques. And the study group grew to 107 members by word-of-mouth alone.
Invisible Girl wasn’t at all happy with this, but the business coach in me said yes. I got up on stage and shared a very personal piece of my journey – about my still-crippled ankles that barely let me hobble and my brush with a breast cancer scare, my isolation and other things that happened along the way.
I’ll admit I was shaking and completely outside my body, frantically using my yoga breath to keep from passing out. But friends told me I seemed completely cool and focused and from all reports, I did really well. Inside, I was terrified, but it hadn’t killed me, right?
Over the next few years, I constantly challenged myself to step up, to speak when I could find a place to do so, to lead when an opportunity was offered, to inspire and guide others with my stories. I used all the tools I’d mastered along the way to help me – hypnosis, EFT, NLP, Silva Life (and way too many other techniques!).
None of it was easy. Nothing good ever is, is it?
Then, as an outside consultant and business trainer for a coaching academy, I learned some new techniques that finally helped me put Invisible Girl firmly in my past.
All my life since I was 12, every time I thought about that moment of hearing how I wasn’t wanted, I’ve been devastated and could feel again the sense of abandonment, feeling dismissed, and feeling like a burden. NOT good feelings. But a 15 minute technique took me from that place to a place without the emotion around the memory, a place where I could look at it objectively and see their side, and a place where I could recognize that painful moment as a turning point for me, where I went from being a victim to being in charge of myself, of being proactive and creative with solutions, even if it was in a quiet and invisible way. No more emotion with that memory, no more blame or disappointment. Just understanding.
So in 15 minutes, I was able to dissolve the attached emotion but still keep the growth and understanding that came from that small moment in my life.
So what is the point of sharing this with you? Simple.
We all have things that have happened to us at some point in our lives that have shaped us and made us who we are. Some of those things have created habits, thoughts and beliefs that hold us back in life. Some of them may make us feel small or inconsequential. Maybe we feel unimportant or incapable of making a difference. Maybe we feel a total lack of confidence or maybe it’s something else that’s keeping us stuck, safe and small.
If there weren’t something there, we’d be more massively successful, wouldn’t we?
So the point of my story is this: there is always a solution.
What is stopping you?
Once you define what’s in your way, you can create ways to move past it, or get some help with it.
I’m not telling you this story to get you to hire me to help you – that’s not the point. I’m not attached to being part of your solution. What I AM attached to is you FINDING a solution, whether it’s with me or someone else.
I know first-hand how hard it can be when someone or something has made you feel small, but you have a burning desire to make a difference.
Had I stayed the person I was, I could have helped a few people, and I did wonders with animals. I made a difference. BUT now I can do more than that. I can make a MASSIVE impact. I can change THOUSANDS of lives. I can be seen and heard in ways I never could have done before.
What would happen if every coach out there had that same transformation? How would that change the world?
THAT is why I’m so passionate about this topic, and why it’s important for me to share this story with you. That one conversation haunted me for 40 years, keeping me invisible. Now, it helps to propel me forward because I know how something like that can impact someone. All the hundreds of little things we hear in our lives that make us withdraw, feel powerless or inconsequential, or feel less than we are.
If you’re still reading, I’ll bet you have some of those moments as well.
If you know what to do to move past them, great. If you have resources you trust, that’s fabulous. If you don’t, let me know. I’m happy to share resources with you. If you want me to help you, let me know. If you don’t, it’s all good.
“Any deep desire or passion CANNOT exist within you without the means for bringing that desire or passion into fruition in the world ALSO existing within you right now.”
Read that again.
It’s true. Sometimes our negative programming gets in our way of finding it easily, but I promise, it’s there.
I never suddenly became perfect. I still have the worst foot-in-mouth issues ever seen. I get carried away, I say the absolutely wrong things, and now when I blunder, a lot more people get to see it. But you know what? I don’t care.
Finally, my passion is so much bigger than my fear that the fear simply dissolves away. Sure I still feel fear when I walk to the front of a room, but I use that fear as fuel instead of letting it best me.
You are needed.
You are important.
In fact, you are essential.
We can’t change the world without you. Step forward. The time is now.
With Joy & Empowerment,
|© 2015, all rights reserved. Permission to share this article is granted as long as all bio and contact information below is included.
As a Coaching Skills & Business Coach for several international coaching schools and organizations, as well as working with private clients, Jana brings her 35+ years of business experience in both local and online marketing to the trainings she does. Her expertise in creating clarity, connection, community and clients is paired with a background inMarketing, Social Media, Enrollment Conversations and other aspects, both relational and technical, of business which allow her to coach business owners to succeed with integrity. She is Vancouver Holistic Chamber of Commerce President and past NAPW Vancouver President. She is a leader and trainer within the Evolutionary Business Council, an invitation-only international mastermind of thought leaders and visionaries.
Jana is available for international and local speaking opportunities and business trainings and is a published author. She is also a Board Certified Health and Nutrition Practitioner, Certified in Hypnosis, Yoga/Restorative Yoga, and is an EFT, Meditation & Stress Relief Trainer. Her personal mission is to help clients get out of struggle and start really thriving so they can bring their true gifts to the world. A portion of all income from this business is donated to various animal and wildlife preservation charities. Always has been, always will be.
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Jana E. Beeman Create Your Dream Practice www.createyourdreampractice.com