Confessions Of A Coach.

I’m going to bring you on a journey. It’s possible that you’ve been on this journey too. And if you have – I hear you, see you and know exactly how you feel.

Six years ago I suffered my first mental breakdown.

I was standing in the middle of a store staring blankly at a half-finished wall of clothing. At the time, I had a high-stress corporate fashion job while balancing entrepreneurship. Things had been a mess for a while, but I ignored all the signs and put my head down to power through. I felt like I was being buried alive in the sheer overwhelmingness of it all. Sound familiar?

The crushing weight of single-handedly doing a job meant for three people was too much.

The corporate office was on my ass, and if I didn’t deliver, the chances of being fired were high. I had just moved back to Canada (from being in Germany for two years) and I wasn’t about to lose a job I was recruited for. In retrospect, it’s funny how I was able to distract myself from my real truth when pressure was mounting up.

So here I am, staring at this wall.

Repeating the same sentence over and over in my head. I was like a robot on autopilot – “I need to get out of here NOW”. You can call it a panic-attack, a nervous or mental breakdown. Call it what you want, but to this day, I can still feel that moment in my body and mind so vividly. I grabbed the nearest sales associate I could find, and blurted out that I needed to leave – like now. I have no idea what I really said in that moment, because the next thing I knew, I was driving down the highway in tears, all the way to my doctors office.

I had the sense to know something was terribly wrong.

Breaking down in tears and nonsensical words in front of my doctor wasn’t my idea of a fantastic Monday morning. But as I calmed down, I began putting all the pieces together. Up until this point, I had done a pretty good job of having a strong sense of intuition and knowledge of how my body operates. And I knew that I’d let myself down. I had done this to myself by not listening to my heart and knowingly ignoring all the signs. Had I known what I know now, things would have been much easier to manage. Not to say that this mental breakdown wouldn’t have happened, because I believe it was a long time coming. I needed a jolt in my world to wake me up; to send me down a path of discovery.

Here’s what I concluded from my mental breakdown.

And I will tell you this – I’ve used this same list to make decisions from that day forward. It has helped me navigate the unknowns of my life, and I hope it helps anyone who feels the same way:
  • You’re number one in any scenario – so don’t let people manipulate you into thinking otherwise.
  • Don’t EVER do something your heart, body and soul doesn’t want to do.
  • Sometimes you have to break character to save yourself. Don’t feel bad about it; just figure out how to do it better next time.
  • If your body is showing you negative signs, that means you’ve already ignored your mind. You need to backtrack and collect your thoughts.
  • Audit your mental health and physical wellbeing on the regular. You must know where you’re at in these two categories for optimal balance.
  • Do at least one thing a day that makes you super jazzed. Without this, you’re just a number, a robot, a person who has no spice.
  • Don’t sacrifice your mental health for money. You will never win, and you will always end up in a place of self-hate.
  • Lead with your heart. It’s so cliche, but it’s also very necessary. Most people lead with their minds. Try doing the opposite once in a while.
  • Let it out. Cry, scream, smash things, go for a super fast run – do anything that makes you FEEL. You need to feel it to make it real
  • Talk to someone about it. We must all get better at speaking our truths. Because I bet you in a room full of ten people, at least one of them knows exactly how you feel.
Looking to gain more emotional awareness and improve your life? Sign up for our FREE 20 minute intro session to find out if coaching is right for you! 
Jessica Elliott

Jessica Elliott

Founder of LIFETOX. Certified Executive + Life Coach for urban professionals. Dog lover and adventure seeker living in Vancouver, Canada.

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