[WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ ARE TRANSCRIPTS THAT WERE DIRECTLY TAKEN FROM THE VIDEO ON SPOKEN OUT STORY'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL. IT HASN'T BEEN EDITED TO KEEP THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE STORY]
My name is Jessica and I'm here to share my story on believing that nothing is impossible.
When I was young, I would have considered myself an introvert. I didn't know that I was an introvert at the time but I've since learned that that's what it was that I what I was struggling with when I was a child.
I was very shy I played a lot of sports but I always stayed just kind of on the outside of all of those team sports.
I never felt really connected to people, and so then when I met my husband I fell very quickly into that relationship because I felt that there was somebody there that sort of understood me and pulled me in. And we were really good together when we met, we were a really good team.
We set goals, we started our life very quickly, we were married within two years of knowing each other. We set out to buy a house, right away. We had our son by the time I was 26, which was very interesting for me because I actually had to set myself a goal of wanting to have a... be married, have a child, and own a house by the time I was 30.
And I actually had accomplished this by five days after the day I turned 26. That was the day that my son was born.
So the really interesting part of this story, or where the plot twist comes in is that about four years later, I was divorced. I was starting all over again. Everything that I had wanted or thought I wanted was basically ripped from me.
I was now divorced, my house was gone, and I was now a... sharing custody of my son with my ex-husband. So I had to start all over again.
And if anybody's ever done that, you know what that's like. It can be really difficult, it can be heart-wrenching and it... It forces you to completely reevaluate what you think your life is supposed to be about.
So for me, having a goal of wanting to have these things by 30, and then, by the time I'm 30 or 32, it's all gone and I'm starting all over again. It sort of forces
you to completely rethink who you are as a person. And now where do you go from here?
So with that, I started to move forward in my life. And I realized that I didn't really want those things anyways, but it took me a while to figure those things out.
When my husband and I split, we had the house, we had a trailer, we had the dog, we had the fairy tale. I thought that my life was going to move forward in the direction that I'd always expected it to, and always hoped and always...
You know, my parents had always hoped for me, but then once the divorce, and the separation, and having to start all over again, I was given a clean slate. I thought at first that I was given a clean slate in terms of finances. He assumed all the responsibility of the death that we had.
And so I thought "okay, well this is great! I can just start over and I can build the life that I really want!" And what I found was that it's a lot more difficult that it sounds when you are raising a child.
And my son and I... I tried really hard to keep up with the lifestyle that we created while I was married, so we had, like I said, the trailer, we did the camping trips, we... you know, my son was going to birthday parties with friends.
And what I found was that over the course of a few years that I actually ended up back in debt.
And so I ended up taking a bit of a hit, and I had made the difficult decision that I wanted to, again, wipe that slate clean. I just, I couldn't handle the pressure of trying to keep up with the lifestyle. So I decided to file a consumer proposal. And that was a really difficult moment for me.
And I really think that that really created an identity of myself of not being able to really ever get ahead. It was almost reinforced, the fact that I had... once my husband and I split and I'd lost that house, that how could I possibly ever afford to do that again on my own?
You know, raising a young child, and I had a job but it was an average job, I was making an average income at the time, and it just seemed like everything was going to be very difficult, and too difficult.
I would... the idea of ever being able to own a house again on my own just seemed impossible.
Even going on a simple vacation just seem completely out of reach, trying to come up with that money.
You know, not only that but now I'm actually going into debt. Not even just paying things off but going backwards.
So when I made that decision to do the consumer proposal, it just made sense. It just... I realized that I had to think differently about things, and I had to just, again, wipe that slate clean and move forward.
So I did that, I realized at the time that I wasn't really getting anywhere anyways,
So it just seemed like the best thing to do at the time. And from an identity level, it can really... it can really change how you feel about yourself.
So that was another part of it, the emotional side of it, that recognizing that you had again failed.
But, in looking back now, I realized that it was one of the best things that I did for myself, because it actually...
You know, they say you have to kind of take a step backwards sometimes to take two forward.
But it still took work to recoup from that.
But as I move forward, and I started to... my son got older, and things got easier, and then life got to be where... I actually moved on to different jobs, and I started to make more money, to the point where one day, I'm sitting at home, it was actually December 31st, 2015.
So now we're quite a few years later, I think my son is like 19 at this point. My husband and I had split when he was 4, so I'd gone through all of that, And managed to get through all the teenage years, which were not a lot of fun, but we did it, we survived. And so now, I've decided that I want to move closer to work, so I've decided to move to a different area of the city.
He's decided he wants to now stay with his dad, so I move, it's now December 31st, 2015, and I'm sitting there, writing out my list of New Year's resolutions, like I do year after year, but then all of a sudden, it occurred to me that this was the same list that I had written the year before and the year before and the year before.
So even though I felt like I was moving forward in my life, I really wasn't, because I had all those things that I wanted to achieve but I wasn't achieving any of them, otherwise they wouldn't still have been on my list.
So that was the beginning of sort of an awakening for me, where I started to realize that, that I had been limiting myself because of this identity that I created for myself, by saying to myself, internally, that I wasn't ever going to be able to afford those things that I thought I wanted in my life. And what was really interesting is that, not only did I sort of recognize that, but I actually heard a voice in my head, at that moment, and it was this voice that said "I'm a struggling single mom."
And it just hit me, like I realized that I had probably heard this voice many times in the past, but I hadn't heard it, like I hadn't really listened to what it was saying, it was just sort of this excuse that I had allowed to run through my life for those years from 4 to 19.
I had just written off everything as possible for myself, and I built an excuse that would
allow me to not feel bad about it. But I didn't realized that's what I'd done.
So in that moment, the really interesting thing was that because I had been moving forward in my career, I wasn't struggling anymore, and like I said, my son had even moved out. So the excuse of being a struggling single mom didn't even hold up anymore, which was the really funny part, it was that "okay, now what do I do?"
Like now you've got this awakening, knowing that you want more and that you're capable of more, but now you don't even have the excuse that you were using.
Anyways, it's just kind of a snowball effect of what happens when you have those kind of awakenings. So it just woke me up to realize that I needed to do something different, and I needed to do it now, because, well, I didn't have my excuse anymore, so I had to do something, something different.
And so, of course, knowing that there is so much information out there on the internet, that's the first place I went. I went to Google, and I started looking for ways to, you know, "how do you actually check things off your intention list?", "How do you take action?", "How do you goal keep...", "goal setting", and "action plans", and all that kid of stuff.
And I was really lucky, I came across an amazing book, and I'm going to let all of you know what it is, in case you want to know, but it's Jack Canfield's The Success Principles. And the very first principle says take 100% responsibility for life. And that was what I realized in that moment that I had not been doing, that I'd been living my life, completely reactive, and blaming other people, including myself, but also, you know, when I recognized that I was calling myself a struggling single mom, that was putting blame on my ex-husband, that was putting blame on my son. I wasn't taking any of the responsibility for myself.
So that moment when I read that, and I accepted it, and I recognized that it was really my fault that I hadn't been living the way that I wanted to.
So with the built-in excuse that I'd given myself, I had basically completely just written off the possibilities of having a better life.
So between those two things, having that aha moment of hearing the voice in my head, and then reading that chapter, I realized in that moment that I could actually change my life, if I wanted to. And luckily, I wanted to. So that was where my journey began and I started taking action, and...
The first thing that I did actually was recognize that there's probably not as many people out there that I know that know this information.
So I started reaching out to friends and family, and I started creating my own little workshops, and my own little mastermind groups,
And I started teaching my friends because I thought "Oh this is so good, like we all have to know this stuff!"
And it was just... it's amazing how we don't. There's so many people out there that don't realize, first of all, how much information is available to us, but that we can step in and take control of our lives.
So once that began, it's just become a roller coaster or a snowball effect for me. And since then, I have taken all sorts of courses. I've actually spent money that I didn't realize that I was going to be able to find.
It's amazing how when you shift the way that you see things, especially your own abilities, that the opportunities and possibilities become way more apparent.
So, once all of this go rolling, I realized that I was going to need to document the changes that were coming for me. So one of the things I did was I used Facebook, and I created a Facebook page called "2016 Best Year of my Life"
And I started to record all of the ways that I was changing, all of the new things that I was doing in my life. And it's just... and I've carried it on now, I have it... it just rolls over year after year, because one of the things that I really realized is that it's very difficult to remember who you used to be once you start making changes. So having that as a document has been really helpful for me. So the biggest changes that I've seen since having this realization and this decision. Making that decision that I wanted to make changes, and I was no longer going to let, you know, these excuses just hold me back, that really I was the only one that was holding myself back. So now, knowing that, I started taking trainings, and I've, since then, done my coaching certification.
I've been sponsoring other women's programs. I've been able to really impact other people's lives by being able to just share what I've learned and what I've been able to do in my life.
And so learning not to be afraid, that, you know... one of my favorite... my favorite things to
say is that failure is only feedback. And one of the things that I never used to do in my life was take risks.
I like certainty. I want to know that, you know... if I'm going to do something, or if I'm going to spend money on something, or if I'm going to invest myself, my time, my money, my emotions
in anything that I want to get something from it.
But what I've learned most recently is that you actually benefit the most when you do something you don’t even know what’s coming at you.
And it has been so much fun to just start moving forward taking risks. I go on vacations, I 've been on many, even if they're just little ones here and there, off to the island for the weekend or for a conference down in Phoenix last year.
You know, just saying "yes" to things. And it's... I get the chills just thinking about it because people don't even realize that all you have to do is say "yes" to something, and it's like all these little doors just start opening up behind the "yes" that you couldn't have even possibly seen coming.
And that's what I've started to really notice in my life is that the more I'm open to opportunity, and the more that I have say "yes" to things, the more that I'm not afraid to take risks, and I haven't set those limits for myself. It's crazy just how much fun you can have, and the people that have started coming into my life, and the like minds, and the tribe, and the community, and I just... it's so hard to even put into words, it's just amazing the...
It's like the Universe just starts to say "Here you go!", and it just gives you whatever you want.
But it has everything to do with being open, and willing, and not being afraid to try things that you've never tried before, and that all starts with just recognizing that we're just limiting ourselves. And the minute you stop doing that, the World opens up to you, it's amazing, it's absolutely amazing. [laughs] Having so much fun!
So what I found was the best thing for me when I started to make these changes for myself in my life was really connecting with the kind of people who also see the World the same way that you do.
One of the things that I've learned through my experience is that people have... They look at the World as either it's good or it's bad. And once you've made the decision that there's...
the World contains opportunities for you rather than, you know, the negatives or, you know, take yourself out of that mindset of feeling like the World is against you.
When you can start to flip and see that the World is actually conspiring for you, then that is how everything starts to change. But for you to be able to maintain being able to see the World that way, it has a lot to do with who you spend the most time with.
They say you are the sum or you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And I believe that to my core. So I also believe that it's the books you read, it's the TV shows that you watch, it's the Youtube channels that you choose to subscribe to, as well as the people that you spend time with.
If you can get away from the people in your life that drag you down... and I recognize sometimes that's your family, and it's not easy to do, but you can still limit your exposure, at least a little bit to those people.
But honestly, I think the best weapon or technique for being able to move forward in life is to get around the people that are also wanting to move forward in life. That, it was a game changer for me. And one of the ways that I was able to do that was an amazing local event that, through my coaching that I do now, I was a sponsor for a local women's makeover challenge.
And I got to meet the most incredible women. I've been involved for the last two years now, and all of these women, they come prepared to make a change in their life. They all hit that resent button in their life, and they came, and they were open, and they were willing to change. And I was very lucky that I got to be a part of that with them.
From a coaching point of view, I got to work with some of them. Some of them one-on-one, I got to speak, I got to connect with them.
So even from being on the coaching side of it, those women, they inspire me as much as I inspire them.
So getting around people that are ready to see the World the same way that you are, they can teach you as much as you can teach them. We just climb that ladder together.
So if I was to leave anybody with advice, the best advice I would give is to find your people. They are the ones that are going to help you when life gets hard, when you don't want to keep going, when tragedy strikes, and unfortunately tragedy is going to strike all of us.
The best things that we can do is we can bond together, and we can find those people that can help pull us together.
And I've been so lucky that in the last few years that I've been on my personal self-development journey that I've been able to not only find those people but we also start attracting those people to us when we're putting out that energy of having a positive outlook and wanting to move forward.
So it's all about what you're putting out into the World, and it'll multiply what comes back to you.
So with that being said, yes, I've been involved with this amazing women's challenge that has brought all these women into my life. I also have my own coaching practice where I get to work with clients one-on-one, and they... like I said, we inspire each other, it goes both ways.
Just recently this year, I made the decision that I wanted to impact women on a bigger scale. And so I decided to launch a women's conference, and it's being held this October  and it is something that will be ongoing moving forward. And this all stemmed from an idea that I had when I first started my blog that I started years ago, and it's a series that I began called "Women Who Inspire".
And it started out really small where I just... there were people in my life that I had seen taking those risks that I hadn't been willing to take in my life yet, so they really inspired me.
And so I went out and I started interviewing them, there was a woman that had, you know, quit her job and decided to open up a dance studio because the woman who owned the dance studio was shutting it down, so she said "I need to just keep this going", so she took that leap.
And she ran with it, and it's amazing now.
So when I see somebody like that doing something I ha... I need to know what's going on behind that, I need to know what inspires a person like that. So this was about three years ago.
And I just started seeing people in my life that were doing amazing things, and I started to interview them, and like I said, I created a blog. So then this year, when I decided that I wanted to take my message and make it bigger, it made so much sense to me to call it the same thing, so it's "Women Who Inspire Conference"
And it's the same idea is I took so many of the women that were... that I'd been collecting through the last few years through, you know, the same mindset, and just creating that tribe and community for myself that I'm fairly well connected now to some amazing women who have been through some horrible horrible things in their lives, way more than anything I've ever been through.
But the beautiful thing is that they've all come out the other side, and they're just rocking life now. They are powerful strong women. And I am so inspired by their stories that I wanted to showcase them and put them on a bigger stage. So this is just another thing that's coming out of my own personal journey that now I want to take those people that inspire me and I want to just keep putting them out into the World, and all together... we just... we're stronger together. And we can share our stories, and if it even just helps one single person, in that room, that can relate to one story then everything it's just... it's a beautiful thing. I just... it just feels so good to get the feedback from people, and to hear that something that you started out doing for yourself has snowballed into being able to touch other people, it's amazing.
It makes life worth living.
Jessica is an NLP Practitioner as well as Certified Life Coach, Certified in Goal Setting and the founder and co-host of the Women Who Inspire Conference and the hostess of the Ignited Entrepreneur Podcast.
As an RMT (Tony Robbins) trained Strategic Interventionist, I work with people using the study of Human Needs Psychology to gain an understanding of people’s driving needs.
About Spoken Out Stories
Spoken Out Stories is a video series about helping people who went and/or are going through what a lot of people consider as a hard experience, and don’t see a way out to move on with their life. It is about sharing inspiring and moving stories of different people who come from different parts of the World, and tell us how they move forward with determination and optimism despite what they went through. It is about giving another perspective, another point of view on issues that can't be solvable with a bandage. It is telling people through these inspiring stories that you are enough, that you are worthy, that you are NOT alone and that it is okay to feel the way you feel. It is about putting a spotlight on people who speak out about their vulnerabilities in order to empower and support others in their pain.
You can connect with Spoken Out Stories through these social media pages:
Instagram — @spokenoutstories
Twitter — @spoknoutstories
Facebook — @spokenoutstories
YouTube — bit.ly/SpokenOutStories