I distinctly remember walking into the room on that Friday evening at the beginning of a Personal Power weekend, back in January 2014. Weary, broken shall we say, and even a little nervous on what was to come. I sat at the back of the room because I didn’t want to be seen; I thought if I was as far back as possible nobody would hear all the judgments going through my mind. I could sit there wallowing in my own thoughts as to why I had even turned up to the place; even physically planning a an exit as quickly as I could. As Joe Pane started introducing himself and talking about his journey and touch on a couple of elements of human behavior, I softened a little and sat up to pay attention.
January 2014 was the beginning of a new world, a new life and a new way to think, I was easing out of a cocktail of depression and anxiety and constant questioning as to where and why the hell my life at got to this point – no career, no relationship, no goals, nothing. I was numb with direction after suffering a burnout from my previous position in Advertising. Four months prior I had suffered a severe anxiety attack while driving my car after a dinner out with a girlfriend. I had only been in this position for 6 weeks and was still in the ‘proving I’m fantastic’ stage of the role. Wanting to ‘prove’ how fantastic I was and how I can achieve or even exceed such high results in such a short period of time. At the time, I thought it was the dream job, I was an Advertising Account Manager for a very hip publication which I will keep un-named. The role consisted of contacting Bars, Galleries, Restaurants and Fashion stores around Melbourne and the Inner cities to be advertising in the printed publication/map guide and on the digital platform. Although I was terribly afraid of sales for a very long time, I took the job on anyway as I absolutely loved the product and what better way to spend your days then chatting with local business owners at the hippest bars and restaurants in town.
So with the mindset of ‘living the dream’ in this new fan-dangly job, this was when my true perfectionist came out to the show its magical colours. I completely worked myself down to the bone, getting up early (and I wasn’t much of a morning person), getting on the road at the crack of dawn, whizzing around town in my little car, chatting to as many store owners as I could to get the word out there, making phone call after phone call and racing around like a headless chook. My appointments were all over the shop and I was a complete wreck each and every day, but I continued to push on through and worked into the wee hours of the night each night to top it off. It got to the point where I didn’t even know what day it was anymore, what time it was or what I was even saying to people I was coming across. It felt like one big blur – ergh!!
Then that one fatal night, I met up with a girlfriend of mine for dinner and all I could talk about was how tired I was and how much work I had on my plate, I had a budget to reach the very next day and was about $10,000 down. I didn’t want to go to sleep that night because I didn’t want to face the next day of pressures to even try to find that cash and meet budget – just to prove to my new boss that I could do it, that I could be the superstar recruit and exceed the budget within the first 6 weeks of being in the new job. I couldn’t let it defeat me. How the hell was I going to do this? $10,000 worth of sales in one day when I wasn’t entirely the best sales gal in the world. I didn’t know what to do!
As I left the restaurant, the thoughts became worse, over and over, the stress of meeting that deadline, of having to face my boss and tell her I didn’t meet budget, the shame, the guilt, the embarrassment!!! As I got in my car and the thoughts continued, my heart started racing and I became short of breath. Little to my knowledge it was the start of a panic attack. I honestly didn’t know what was happening and the symptoms were increasing quite rapidly. I continued to drive along and as I did, I started becoming quite clamy and sweaty, even becoming quite dizzy. I couldn’t pull over at this point and was stuck in traffic, my eyes were flittering up and down and I started to hallucinate. Trying ever so hard to breath it out until I could safely pull over, I wound down the window. I could now feel myself losing consciousness and thought I was about to pass out. I started talking to myself and saying, ‘it will be ok, it will be ok, as I was also trying to keep control of my car which was in motion. At one point I had to slap myself in the face to wake up. That helped and the breathing in and out started to take effect. By this point I was able to weave out of the traffic, pull into a side street and get out of my car. It felt like the world was suffocating me and blocking all tubes to allow me to breathe. I managed to get back to my senses, call my sister and passed out in her car on the way home. Luckily enough she had a valium at home, go figure, so I popped one of those and went straight to sleep. Waking up the next day in a complete haze of the happenings of the previous evening.
This was the beginning of many very dark months for me shutting myself from the work, ended up leaving that job and burrowing myself in my own pity party day in and out, telling myself how worthless I was to not achieve that impossible expectation I had placed upon myself. I knew I had to do something about it, this was no way to live a life and how to gain ‘success’ or what I thought success was back then. My personal development journey began.
Coming back to that Friday evening at Personal Power and still carrying with me the thoughts of judgment and self-sabotage, sitting at the back of that room and hearing the words come out of Joe’s mouth, I felt like I had finally found home.
I listened to every single word like it was the best love song in the world, like he was speaking directly at me and knew what was going on inside my head. The weekend went by in a flash and I had learnt so much about myself, connected with some amazing people whom I have remained friends with to this day and signed up for the entry-level Credentialed Practitioner of Coaching on that Sunday afternoon. With a tear in my eye and a hug from Joe, I knew right there and then and for the first time in a long time I was in the right place. This is where I was meant to be, this is what I was meant to do.
It was a while until I was able to attend my weekend intake, as I was on government payments at the time and worked my butt off to meet the deposit. How amazing life is when you make a decision in life and nothing will stop you until you get there. That’s called passion! The weekend itself, as I described to a friend of mine at the time was my mind blew up into teeny tiny pieces, fell to the ground, then I picked up all the pieces, put them back together and it blew up all over again. It was incredible and has been ever since. The community vibe, the learnings, the immense support throughout the past 12 months have been literally life-changing.
Since that day back in January as I signed the dotted line, I have established my own coaching consultancy called Haart Creative. A sassy coaching consultancy specialising in uncovering passionate women's unique inner core. To live a life of fulfilment, certainty & love through un-apologetic rawness & connection of self. Developed my core product coaching program called RAWNESS which is an acronym of REAL, ACCEPTANCE, WHOLE-HEART, NEW START, EMPATHY, SURRENDER & SASSY.
To guide young woman through a journey to uncover their true feminine spirit again and live through each of these qualities to filter through their careers, relationships and everyday life.
I have numerous one-on-one clients and each time I receive a testimonial back, I am surprised all over again at the life-changing results we encounter together. It’s incredibly heart-warming and real to see where they are from the beginning to where there lives are now, all credit to their persistence in achieving this goal and I feel incredibly grateful to be able to experience this as my work and my life.
I have recently conducted my first RAWNESS workshop and received some amazing feedback on what was great and where it could be tweaked. What I loved mainly about it is that I am finally doing what I love and there is no judgments attached to that. Pure heart, pure passion and pure love. I am looking at launching the RAWNESS Coaching program in May this year with workshops happening on a regular basis prior to that.
I believe that all woman have a voice and it must be heard in the most authentic way possible. Having the courage and the boldness to stand up for your self and really let your true self shine is why I do what I do. Recently I’ve come across a fantastic charity that assists girls in developing countries have access to education, which I believe is the single most important thing for all girls in the world to have. It builds confidence, it builds strength and it builds a world of equal opportunity. I am looking at affiliated my business with the charity in the near future to broaden my message on an international scale.
Thank-you for taking the time to read my story, I would love to connect with you on whatever part of your coaching journey that you may be on. My website is haartcreative.com.au and always love visitors popping by to say hello.
Much Love, Anna x