It’s 5:43am on a beautiful Saturday in September and I cannot sleep. I recently had coffee with my Kick Ass Lady Club co-founder, Amanda, and my mind is racing.
Don’t give up.
You got this.
Suck it up.
We’ve all heard these phrases from our closest family, friends, mentors and supporters. We may even use these phrases in our self-talk and repeat them throughout the day. However, what happens when we don’t listen to our deepest voice? When our soul is sounding the alarm and we block out the noise because we don’t want to quit or don’t believe we can call it quits because we’ll be ashamed, scared, disappointed, defeated, upset.
To this I reply – absolutely. We might experience these things and more…joy, relief, exhaustion, focus, rejuvenation, calm, inspiration.
Last summer, I was fortunate to reconnect with a former classmate, Toni Bubb. She said something to me that I will never forget, “I was burnt out and fortunate enough to recognize it. I quit and took back my life.” Toni’s story is phenomenal. She is now inspiring women, business owners and driven individuals in a variety of industries in her business and through her presence as a Professional Lover of Life!
In the winter, I was introduced to Annie VanderWerff – the Executive Director of Community Health Initiative, Haiti. She made a big professional leap in 2015 and we had a very open, honest conversation on the phone. She inspired me through her goal of authorship, intentional approach to life, and message, “I only have so much time on this earth, and I’m here for a reason.”
During January, a friend introduced me to Holly Adams. She stepped away from her career in corporate this April to launch her own business – Holly Adams Consulting. She walked me through a values exercise and rejuvenated my spirit. I eagerly await her Wednesday Wisdom each week and I’m a fan of her “Why not?” approach.
In the spring, I had a wonderful day with my dear friend, Shelly Berkoski. She reaffirmed my move and shared her exciting endeavor of entrepreneurship in her business Shell Yeah! Shelly is in the constant state of ‘telling it like it is’ and I love her for each of the truth bombs she tosses my way. Her story relates to many women and I’m grateful for her friendship. Through her work, she spreads the message of let your awesomeness shine, “People might describe me as too tall, too loud, too cheesy, too weird and too awkward. But after years of doubting myself, I have finally figured out that I’m not “too” anything. I’m just me—and that’s awesome.”
In April one of our very own Kick Ass ladies, Lindsay Leahy, made an exciting move and left her existing gig to take on independent contract work. I had no doubt she would succeed! She has since teamed up with a local company and is inspiring me through her must-read Blog: Grit, Gratitude and Grace.
My mentor, Molly Altorfer, was a much-needed reality check on setting up my own personal branding business, Signature Z. I admire her self-paved career path at The Common Sense Collective. Molly also challenged me to, “Develop a new way of measuring success and make a conscious choice to not do it all.”
My most recent example, a colleague and friend Stacie Osako encouraged me, “It’s OK to be brave and vulnerable. Find a path that is purpose-driven.” I’m extremely proud of her for putting her health and happiness as top priorities and starting a new chapter this summer.
All these women chose some form of ‘quit’ in their lives, careers, personal well-beings. Big, bold moves that have propelled them to new places. My version of ‘quit’ took months for me to fully embrace, understand and appreciate. The experience was challenging, frustrating, uplifting, maddening, gripping, surreal and happy all at the same time.
Hail to the quitters. You turned a four-letter word into a pivotal moment that taught me to fail (and keep failing), listen to myself, construct new paths, offer grace and stretch the mind.
Keep it up quitters.
Smiles from my living room,
You can learn more about Sarah on LinkedIn.