Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration Vision Boards

4 Easy Steps to Get Out of a Funk.

Three months ago I was struggling.  I’d come off my most “successful” year ever, had manifested an entire vision board and a whole new tax bracket, yet felt so stuck and uninspired. Crazy I know, but true. I began to think negatively and even started questioning my dreams, vision and purpose. It seemed like the spark had left and I wasn’t sure how to bring it back, or even if I could. Half of me knew exactly what to do, and wanted to punch the other half of me in the face for being such a lame-ass. But when you get in a negative place you start feeding off of it, and that self-pity starts to feel comforting, and even if you know how to extinguish it, you think… I will; tomorrow.

When January 1st rolled around I knew it was time to kick that dark cloud to the curb, even if it was going to take renewed energy and way more effort then if I’d never strayed in the first place. So here’s exactly what I did to try and get myself out of my funk and back to my happy place.

1. I made a concrete decision that I was going to change my attitude, turn things around, get back to my dream.

2. To accomplish that I recognized I needed help. Motivation and inspiration aren’t something we are born with and naturally have every day, sometimes we gotta create and cultivate it. I also knew I needed support.

  • For inspiration: I began listening to Joel Osteen’s sermons on YouTube (and I’m not even religious). But his “I Am” speech shook me when I heard it on Oprah’s LifeClass, and I instantly recognized how far I’d fallen off my path. I made a commitment to listen to a different one every day for ten days, and focus that day on whatever his topic was. I felt like a new woman after day two!
  • For support: I challenged my life long bestie to take this next step in our journey with me, and do the 10 day Joel meditation marathon. By day three and four we were on fire! So inspired and excited and shocked at how we’d ever gotten so off track in the first place. We compared notes and aha moments and encouraged each others progress. All of this is so much more fun when you have a support system! (That’s why I started my coaching calls, for those of you who don’t have a bestie like mine!)
  • For motivation: I decided it was time to redo my Future Boards. I have two main boards that I’ve used over the past few years and they needed a make-over! I spent days focusing on the new version of my dream, one I could get fired up for again, one that scared me again, and then I looked for the perfect pictures to represent that life for my new boards. It’s crazy how much joy that exercise brings and how much I love looking at those pretty boards. I was feeling strong, empowered and focused again, in a way I hadn’t in a long time.   

3.  I got my hustle back: For the first time in forever, I chose every day to focus on my mantras and do something that would get me closer to my dream. I started blogging again, started interacting with readers again and quickly found the inspiration that I know is my true calling. When you don’t see anything happening, instead of quitting, start working harder and make them happen.  That’s exactly what I did. I made the video “Future Board Magic” one afternoon after being snowed in for days, and as soon as I was done, I played it for the kids, and all four of us got teary-eyed. And I knew right then this was something I needed people to see. So, yeah if you follow me on social media I’m sure you wanted to block me, but hey… that’s the hustle my friend. It’s getting out there putting in the work, every day; grinin’.

4. I faced the tough issues that blocked my happiness: Lastly I decided it was really time to address my love life, or lack there of. I knew that over the past five years since the end of my marriage I’d not ever had the type of committed relationship that I desire. But I was also afraid to dig deep and address the reasons why I was blocking that one last major manifestation. I opened my mind, to try and open my heart to at least the possibility, and I read an amazing book “Soulmate Secret“. I did every exersize it recommended and had breakthrough after breakthrough.  And then I made my first ever soul mate vision board… and released that true desire into the universe. I asked for help in fixing my issues with dating and men, and for help getting me ready when he does find me.

And then the flood gates began to open! It’s amazing to me how quickly the Hustle.Believe.Receive. works now… I’ve gotten closer to my dream in the last three weeks then the last three years combined. But looking back, I wasn’t ready for my dream to manifest until now. I’ve put in the work for years, fought past giving up more times then I can count, and now it’s happening. It’s amazing and crazy and I’m trying to take it all in…but it’s happening! I’m having that moment when you’re standing in the middle of your dream, only this time it’s reality.

If there’s one thing these last few months has taught me. it is this: NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER GIVE UP!! If you just keep pushing through the crapy parts, and the times you want to sink back into negative habits, and keep moving forward… YOU WILL LIVE YOUR DREAM. It will happen. Results will come, period. Period.

This is Joel’s “I am” sermon. It’s a MUST listen. This is the perfect step one to learning and applying the law of attraction. Change your “I am” all day long for a week straight and see what a massive difference it makes.

 

 

 

*Click HERE to pre-order my book #HustleBelieveReceive which gives my 8 steps to success to changing your life and living your dream. Not all “law of attraction” teaching works, in fact most don’t.  But over the last 5 years I’ve learned what does and how to quickly and easily apply it to get fast, life changing results. Learn more about my #HBRMethod for success.  

Dating Divorce My Stories Parenting Single Mom Life

I’m a Single Mom, Not a Stereotype.

It took me a long time to accept, and figure out what the label single mom, meant for me after my husband left. I knew what it meant to be a “wife” and a “mother”, but I had no idea how to be a “single mom.”  And to my shock, I realized quickly that the perception of a single mom is totally different than that of a married mom.

Suddenly it was like I was no longer part of the “mom” club, somehow overnight I’d become less of a parent and a less qualified mother.  But my married mom friends would say things like “Oh I totally understand, my husband travels all the time and never helps around the house, I’m basically a single mom too.” And I’d think; I pray you are never in my shoes, because you’d not last a day. The two are in no way comparable.   Slowly they’d stop calling because they couldn’t relate to me anymore, we were no longer the same. I was on my own, in more ways than one.

And when I’d meet friends and mom’s who never knew me when I was married, I was still not “one of them,” because even though I’d been married eight years, it was somehow no longer relevant. I  felt like the girl on the outside who “just doesn’t get what it’s like to be married with kids.” Being a single mom is more isolating than anyone can imagine. The isolation is deep and intense, and no one gets it, or understands, and so you just move forward… alone.  And that’s not self-pity talking, that is cold reality, and one that takes a lot of time to adjust to.

In the beginning I figured out pretty quickly how negatively society views the term single mom, it comes with so much judgment and stereotypes, something I never would have expected.  I noticed people treated me differently when I was out and about with three very small kids and no longer wearing a wedding ring. Suddenly there was shame and embarrassment as if I needed to explain to strangers why I had three babies and no wedding ring.  I even went so far as to buy a fake ring because I couldn’t deal with the humiliating way I felt people perceived me.  And when I would tell people my husband left, I’d get that pity look, like “oh no wonder.”  I hated that even more because it separated me from everyone else in a negative way.

Society, and the media have continued to portray single moms as; “baby mama’s” who will sleep with anyone, and have kids with different fathers.  In fact I was, and still am so shocked when I meet a man for the first time, and tell him I have three children, how often he asks “do your kids have different dad’s?”  It’s like, what??  It’s crazy. People also assume we are
“a hotmess”, not dependable, always making excuses, and are never home with our kids because we are always working or parting. And those are the more positive terms, others that come to mind based on the image society gives single moms, is: unstable, unfit, stressed-out, bitter, dependent, whore, needy, desperate, flaky, unmotivated, always feeling sorry for
themselves… and the list goes on. 

It took a few years for me to come to terms with this title, this label that I live with every day. But the only way I’ve been able to do that is to try and redefine it for not only myself, but my children. I refused to fall into the stereotypes that said I was “less than,”so I worked harder than everyone else I knew.  I was more dependable, more motivated.  To this day have never introduced my kids to a guy I’ve dated, in fact they have never even been around any men outside of my friends husbands, family and a few pro-athletes I’ve coached, at games.  I’ve gone above and beyond to break through these negative associations people have already in their mind about me, based on this title. I’m fiercely independent (to the point I have even paid for dates, and taken care of who I was dating instead of allowing them to do that for me). I’ve fraught hard to break the mold. And I’ve taught my children to do the same, to never think that they are “less than” because they are growing up with one parent.  Or to think that their life is not complete or their future inhibited in any way.

I’m not remotely perfect in any way, in fact I’m beautifully scared and flawed, but I won’t let anyone put labels on me that don’t belong. I won’t own and carry the mistakes of others.  Instead I hope to help clear a new path, one that shows single mom’s in a positive light. That I can help be a role-model for other newly single moms to realize they can be anything they want to be, regardless of the negative baggage that comes with this label.  You can have a successful career (and not feel ashamed of that), and just because you do, doesn’t mean you are a shitty mom or raising “latch-key-kids”.  You can still be there for your kids, take them to school, and activities, and do homework with them at night, and cook a real meal at dinner, and sing their song at bedtime.  You can keep a clean house, and take care of yourself, look good and do the 300 other things we do, alone.  Outside the view of the people who would judge us. They don’t know until they walk in our shoes, and at some point along the way I stopped caring what they thought of me. I had to instead put my energy on making my life the best it could be and redefining what that was. So now the term single mom means this to me… anything is possible.

PS. I would REALLY like to see a show on TV (reality or otherwise) that featured a successful, independent single mom with multiple kids, doing it all. Raising good, well rounded happy kids, having a successful career, pursuing her passion and finding a way to have a social life. That would make some good TV. Instead of “teen mom’s” and all that negative messy drama, show me a single mom who’s a boss! Who’s holding it down, making it happen but is still a devoted loving mom… Who’s with me on that?

 

 

Divorce Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration My Stories Single Mom Life Vision Boards

#HBRMethod Success Story.

A text message changed my life. On the evening of September 7, 2008, I opened my husband’s cell phone while he was in the shower, to read: I can’t wait ’till you’re finally free and all mine. No more sharing. Those few words tore my world apart in an instant. 

I’d been with this man half my life, since we were sixteen years old. We had an eight-year marriage and shared three beautiful children, including twin girls just over a year old. We’d been through it all: buying our first home, then losing it in foreclosure; being overjoyed when I got pregnant with our second child, then devastated when I lost it six months into my pregnancy. I thought we’d seen everything, but this I never saw coming. 

I never saw it because everyone knew he loved me just a little bit more. They say in every relationship one person does that, loves the other more. The kids and I had always been his entire world. No part of me ever questioned that he’d jump in front of a train to save us if he had to. 

I was all he ever wanted. Until I wasn’t. 

I set his phone on the bathroom counter and without a second thought, threw open the shower curtain, turned off the water, and said; “Get the fuck out.” I watched him pull on his shorts in the hallway, still dripping wet, one leg and then the other as I pointed to the front door. He kissed our son goodbye, tossed his ring in my general direction, and walked out slamming the door behind him. 

He never came back. 

Things had not been perfect between us prior to that day, I can’t lie. We’d been struggling financially to the point of desperation for what felt like forever. We’d lost our home the year before and were forced into bankruptcy after our twins were born. Our life was in a noticeable negative tailspin. Losing everything we’d worked so hard to acquire had destroyed our pride and left us both feeling useless, helpless and miserable. I’d done everything I could think of to cut our budget and make it so we could pay the bills and still eat, but every month we fell further behind. 

On the day he left, I didn’t have five dollars to my name. Our electric, water and gas bills were all past due, with shutoff notices pending, and the rent was late. I hadn’t worked in over two years, and the economy was in the middle of a deep recession. The car title was in his name, as was our bank account. Overnight, I went from desperate to stranded and destitute, with no way to provide for my three small children. 

That night, I laid on the cold hardwood floor in our living room, my hair matted to the side of my head with tears that had finally run dry from my own dehydration. The only thought that floated in my semi-conscious brain was, “How the hell can I do this?” I’d tried so hard to think of a plan, anything, but nothing came, except that question over and over again. It seemed completely impossible. Yet somehow in that moment survival mode also kicked in, and with it came even more questions. Of course we’d have to move right away, but where? I didn’t have family who could take us in. And we’d need to sell everything we owned, but how? And I’d need a job, but doing what? And how could I afford to work when daycare would take up most of my salary?

All night these questions swirled in my head without answers. 

The sense of utter helplessness was all-consuming. I was no stranger to hard times. I’d grown up in extremely difficult circumstances and had struggled all my life. I already knew what it felt like to go hungry, to not have a roof over my head, or a bed to sleep in at night. But this was different. Being resilient and scrappy is fine when it’s just you. But when you have children to feed, it’s a new kind of panic that washes over you in overwhelming waves. In the past I had always relied on #TheHustle to get me through anything; it was comforting knowing that no matter what came at me, I would always “find a way.” But this time, I knew Hustle alone would not save me, and I had no bright ideas.  

In moments like these, I think we are faced with two options. We can give up, fall apart and disappear. Or we can fight. I knew I could never just give up, but I didn’t believe I had what it would take to fight. Not this time. 

That was about the time my girlfriend Charise walked in the door with her arms full of Costco boxes. She’d thought of everything: diapers and formula for the girls, dinner for the next week, and even enough cash to keep the electricity and water on. That is the moment that has defined my #RelentlessPursuit. That is the moment I Hustle and grind for. 

Something inside me snapped in that moment. A light went on, deep in my core, followed by a burning desire to never put myself or my children in this kind of position again. I made a promise to myself right then that I would not rely on anyone to provide for my family. I wouldn’t borrow money from family members; I wouldn’t beg for help. I would somehow pay my girlfriend back, and figure out how to handle my business on my own. Before I’d always just thought I was unlucky and entitled to what little help I’d ever received.  All my life I’d told myself this story, and believed it. Nothing good ever happens to me.  I work twice as hard as everyone else for half as much. That was my core belief. And as a result, that was my life.  No one ever told me that my life was the result of my thoughts, my beliefs and my actions. I believed that the only thing I could control was how hard I worked (#TheHustle), but that on its own left me feeling like I was drowning in quicksand, no matter how hard I worked, the results never showed. It took the catastrophe of that night, when my world collapsed in an instant, to spark within me a desire to drastically change my life. 

That week I sold everything we owned on Craigslist and filed for divorce. I took the money I made from our belongings to pay for first and last month’s rent on a really tiny, super-shitty two-bedroom apartment. I had just enough left over for one more month of rent and a few groceries. That was all the money I had in the world: I didn’t even have a bank account. My sister convinced me to get on food stamps, just until I got on my feet, and though I cried when the case worker took my story, I knew I had no choice. I applied for every job I could find, but interviews were few and far between. When the second month came and my rent money was gone, I sold my wedding rings on Craigslist for a fraction of their value; enough for one more month’s rent. When the women came to pick up my rings, she looked around our little apartment at my twins running around in their diapers and said, “I don’t want to know. Please don’t tell me the story.” She didn’t want my “bad luck” giving her new wedding rings negative juju. 

Things were certainly bleak, to put it mildly. It was terrifying, yet at the same time there was a new spark of hope deep inside me that wouldn’t go away. Now I was in control of my future, and that was a whole new way of thinking about what was possible for my life. I remembered an Oprah show I’d watched where she’d talked about changing your thoughts because they have the power to predict your future. I mentally traced my life back five, ten years, and realized that everything I worried about, feared and stressed about, had become my reality. That was a huge revelation for me. I saw it plain as day: I’d created all those “misfortunes.” I’d created that life. That was all the proof I needed of the tremendous power of my thoughts, even if it had only worked in a negative way up to that point. I knew I had nothing to lose, and the possibility of possibility brought hope in a way I’d never known before.

My book Hustle Believe Receive  is how I went from a newly single mom with nothing, relying on state aid to survive, to an executive of a software company in just eighteen months. It’s the story of how I manifested four vision boards in six years, and completely changed not only my life but my children’s. It’s how I went from living in a “poor me” world, to being a take-charge-of-my-future badass. It’s the tale of how I learned to dream HUGE and what it felt like to live out those dreams quicker, and bigger than I’d ever imagined, often without spending a dime of my own money! It’s how I learned to work smarter and not harder.  It’s how I Changed my Crew. And it’s the story of how, for the first time in my life I learned to truly be grateful, live a “pinch-me moment” kinda life, and how I found my joy. 

 
 
“Anything is possible child, anything can
be.”
–Shel Silverstein


 

CLICK HERE TO READ SUCCESS STORIES FROM REAL PEOPLE
 
*You can read all my posts about these events and all the others as I went through them in  real-time. Look on the left side of my blog and click the “archive” to read what I wrote as I faced these  challenges and celebrated these victories in 2009-and beyond
 
 

 

Want to work with me? Learn more about my coaching and schedule a free 15 min consultation to learn how you can live your dreams!

 

 

 

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Vision Boards

Fear: The Enemy of Success.

Fear is the enemy of success. You can know that in theory, but in practice, silencing our fear is easier said than done.  Every time I’ve been faced with a chance, or the opportunity to follow my passion I have tried to always step-up and take that leap of faith. I don’t know how my dream is going to come true, but I know in my very bones that it will one day, so I act on faith and continue in the direction of that dream.

But fear is a tricky little bastard. It has the ability to create self-doubt which can quickly spiral into questioning your decision and even questioning your dream. It tries to convince you that you’re not ready, you’re not good enough, that no one will support your path, and that you’re being ridiculous.  Fear has the power (if you enable it) to talk you out of success.

Don’t let fear get you thinkin’

There has always been a point for me as I’ve been on this rebuilding my life journey the past few years, where fear has caused me to pause. And as I’ve taken steps to peruse my passion, it’s been more and more aggressive. I can honestly tell you, that every single time I’ve posted something where I pushed my own boundaries way beyond what was comfortable, I took a moment to pause, to let fear; get a word in edge wise.  Whether it was something deeply personal, or sharing my story the first time it went public, each of those things might seem easy, but they made me physically sick to my stomach.  Many times it feels like I’m standing naked in the middle of Times Square. Maybe bearing your insides the way I’ve done is even worse than showing your ass, I’m not sure…but I can assure you it feels equally terrifying and drafty!

But whenever I get that feeling, the one that says; “You are out of your mind! Your boss could read this! Your future husband could read this! Your kids will someday read this!” …I push “publish”.  Because that intense terror, I’ve come to recognize as my swift-kick-in-the-ass. And every time, without fail that decision has been one which has broken down the wall between me and success. It’s opened doors, connected to people in a deep and meaningful way, and made me more willing to trust my instincts. Breaking through that fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear that you’re not good enough, brings new opportunities which expedite your manifestations. It’s responding to you acting on faith. Believing that even though it’s uncomfortable because it’s scarey, that your end result is waiting for you, so you have no choice but to break down those road blocks and get to your dream.

Here’s the perfect example of what I’m talking about….

Last week while snowed in and suffering from severe cabin fever with the kids, I started playing with an new app on my phone and in a few minutes made the “Vision Board Magic” video.  That alone wasn’t really too scary as I’ve published my story a lot by now, but this time I decided to do something I’ve never really done before. I asked everyone on my Facebook to watch and share it with their network, even creating an “Event” which I’ve always stayed away from doing. It’s one thing to write about your story and know that your friends may or may not read it, (since I don’t talk about it with my friends I honestly never know). But when you’ve sent it directly to them it takes away that comfort zone. But I feel passionately that it’s a story many people need to hear and be inspired by so I did it anyway.  Then last night I sent out my first, ever news letter, again to every person I know (it’s more like standing naked in a room with every person you know), and I immediately wanted to throw-up.

But these are all steps I have to learn to be comfortable with taking. These are necessary to get me to the next level. I have to claim my story, and then get it out there… I gotta put in the “The Hustle”. And as is always the case, the Universe responded. With emails and messages from people around the world. With an Oprah programing director from OWN tweeting my story.  Joe Vitale following me on Twitter after seeing the video, along with multiple radio interviews and other opportunities in the works.

I’d say that’s pretty clear proof that having a dream, defining it on a Future Board, believing in it completely, and hustling towards it… is a pretty definitive way to get the Hustle.Believe.Receive.to quickly respond putting the pieces of your dream together one manifestation at a time.

So face your fear, don’t give it the power to talk you out of success. If you believe in something and are passionate about it then don’t ever give up.

The universe will reward you.

Sorry these quotes were just too good..I couldn’t stop!

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration Vision Boards Your Life Coach

Vision Board Coaching: Get Ready!

For the past three years I’ve had people from around the world ask me when I’d be teaching an online class, sharing my keys to success manifesting a new life using my board. I’ve hesitated mainly because of the logistics and time investment it takes to put a web seminar together, but the response form my Vision Board Magic video last week was so overwhelming I could no longer ignore it.  I’ve had this dream to share my story with the world, teaching my tools and unique view of the Hustle.Believe.Receive. and how to make a vision board successful for several years now, and believing as I do that everything happens for a reason, I know this was the push I needed.

Up to this point I’ve shared my knowledge, examples, and advise, for free on this blog because I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to have access to this life changing information. I set out to prove this works, and over the years you’ve watched me do just that. I’ve always resisted any offers (I get approached all the time) to turn this blog into the stereotypical “buy my online CD. I can teach you how to make millions in 30 days” type crap that is all over the internet. I just wanted to show that a real girl, with real life problems could apply simple tools to change her circumstances and her life. I feel like I’ve been able to do that successfully and hopefully in a non-self serving way.

But as with all things it’s time to evolve. To take the plunge and to prove yet again that anything is possible, as I take my dream to the next level. I want to reach the masses, I want to connect with people and help them really master this, give them an opportunity to delve deep and require them to be held accountable for their commitment. And there is only one way to do that. If I’m going to give my time and energy as I’ve done these last four years to helping you change your life, then I’m going to need you to do the same in return. I’m going to need you to be 100% committed to redesigning your life, and following through no matter what.  I’m going to ask for your time, and your commitment and together we are going to do some freakin’ awesome stuff!

Get ready to watch your life change just like you’ve watched mine. In 2013 alone I manifested an entire board, but more importantly I transformed my families life, and my own. That board didn’t just manifest “things” it brought with it a new economic bracket, one I’d never known before. In 2013 I tippled my income, got the car of my dreams, took my family on dream vacations, took vacations just for me, refurnished my entire home, and even got the luxuries I’d thought were “too big to dream”.

Why did my board work but so many peoples don’t? What makes my story different than millions who have heard of the Law of Attraction, put up a vision board but never gotten results?

In the past few weeks I’ve really explored those questions deeply in writing my book on how to create your dream life.  And I’ve discovered the answer.  And that is what you will learn through my coaching sessions and or workshops, how to get your life to do a 360 like mine has done in four short years.

I am excited to announce that I’m now taking clients for one-on-one coaching sessions on how to create a #LifePlan and a #FutureBoard (my version of a “vision board”).  Click here to learn more about my individual and group coaching options.

 

 

Click HERE to pre-order my book #HustleBelieveReceive which gives my 8 steps to success to changing your life and living your dream. Not all “law of attraction” teaching works, most don’t in fact. But over the last 5 years I’ve learned what does and how to quickly and easily apply it to get fast, life changing results. LEARN MORE. 

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration Single Mom Life Vision Boards

Vision Board Magic.

Please share this video with your social networks… together we can inspire and motivate the world! Anything really is possible for anyone.

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

My Stories Sports Your Life Coach

Fear of Falling.

I have an intense fear of heights, as manifest by my complete breakdown and total panic attack last week attempting to take a flying trapeze class with my girlfriends.  I knew the minute I got the group text from my bestie, excitedly sharing the details of our excursion to celibate her birthday, that it was gonna be all bad for me. But I didn’t wanna be the only scaredy-cat loser in the group, so reluctantly I agreed to give it a try.

I could feel my heart racing when we walked into the airplane-hanger-sized tent that held the trapeze contraption over an enormous safety net.  My anxiety grew as my instructor hooked on my safety harness, then pulled it so tight it nearly knocked the wind out of me.  All the while I’m thinking;  just because I’m here doesn’t mean I’m actually doing this! The thought was so strong I almost wanted to ask him where he got the right to assume I was. But I bit my tongue, and tried to gulp down my rising panic. I watched as he demonstrated our first jump; back-flips, and knee-hangs, as if he was weightless and it was the most natural, graceful thing on earth.

I wasn’t convinced.

Our instructor giving the demo

I stood at the end of the line, as one by one each of the ladies took their turn climbing up the two-story, rickety ladder to the thin, swaying platform perched in mid-air above the net. Each followed instruction, faced their own butterflies, grabbed the trapeze bar and jumped off the platform.  They swung and flipping like seasoned pros, their faces flush with exhilaration as they climbed down off the net.

Suddenly it was my turn.

The instructor was motioning me toward the ladder and it was too late to back out now.  The rest of this experience was an out-of-body one. One where I watched myself, as if in a dream from above.  One where I was no longer in control of my fear, or emotion, or even my physical reactions. I could feel my hands grasp rung after rung on the ladder, looking only at them directly in front of my face. Not down, not up, just dead straight ahead. I knew that to get through it, I literately had to take one second at a time.  One ladder rung at a time. Not think about what it would be like to crawl up on that platform, or then try to stand. Or the moment when I looked down two-stories and swung out over a net, holding onto a metal bar, praying my arms could hold the weight of my body. I couldn’t think about any of that, not even for an instant. Letting my mind go even one step ahead of my body would cause total panic and I knew it.

But I couldn’t breathe.

I was reaching the top of the ladder and beginning to hyperventilate.  My floating-above-self, told my actual self to use my all time favorite mantra, and from then on it’s the only thought I remember cohesively having; “I can do it, I am strong.” I said it over and over, willing myself to hoist my body onto the swinging platform, and then slowly pulling myself to standing. I was shaking uncontrollably and beginning to cry without control, tears blurring my vision, full panic attack in high gear.  My rational floating-above-self, kept trying to tell me to “get it together”, that “I could do it”, but it was past the time for rationalization. The room, which had been buzzing with happy chatter, went dead silent.

I attempted to follow my instructors directions, as he tried to quickly walk me through the steps, again assuming I’d actually go through with it. But I felt frozen, unable to move or talk or react as I looked down for the first time with my toes on the edge of the platform. Bless his heart he was so patient, encouraging my minuscule progress, but I was taking forever, still not convinced I had any intention of jumping off that ledge, and wondering how I’d gotten this far.

And then he said, “You don’t have to do this if you really can’t.  You can climb down that thin, rickety ladder and take a seat.”  And suddenly I knew, there was only one way off that shaking platform. Going backward was not an option.  “I can’t” was not an option. And for the first time since I’d heard of this crazy idea, I knew I was going to find a way to make this happen.  I just had to trust my instructor, lean my whole body over the edge and fall.  And that’s when I realized my fear of heights was nothing compared to my fear of falling.

By this time I could see the second instructor making her way up the ladder from the corner of my eye, she knew the first, was in over his head trying to get me going alone.  She stood next to me releasing my death-grip on the stationary bar, looked into my eyes and said; “You can do this. I would not have let you get this far if I didn’t 100% believe you are capable. We both know it’s the only way off this platform.”

It was go time. I had no choice but to trust them, believe my arms would hold my body and just fall. I leaned over the edge, reached for the bar, let out a loud scream and let my feet slip off the edge.  And suddenly I was flying.  I held on for dear life, past the time I was supposed to drop to the net, swinging in mid-air.  I’d done it. Faced a fear so big it had physically overtaken me.  Done something I’d never imagined I’d do. I was still shaking and wiping tears away when I collapsed onto the mat, greeted by hugs from my girls.  No part of me was remotely interested in trying it again, as I watched the ladies go turn after turn trying all kinds of beautiful, graceful tricks fit for the circus.

I was content. I’d had one goal, to fall.  That was it.  Done.

I’m top left (no crazy flips for me thank you!)

Looking back on that experience I realized what a metaphor it was for my entire life. What was going on inside me was so much bigger than that physical moment. Bigger than trying something new and facing a paralyzing fear. It was the outward reaction to what my internal process goes through when I face emotional fear or life challenges.  I physically reacted the way my brain does whenever I face something difficult and terrifying. I rely on mantras and positive affirmations to get me moving forward. I keep my focus directly in front of me, taking one baby step at a time, leaving the “how can I possibly do this” of the big picture to a later time.  I at some point in the process make a concrete resolution to be victorious in the end and work toward that goal, inch by inch.

But the hardest of all, is learning to trust another human so completely that you take a risk and just go for it, leaving fear on the platform.  You just lean your whole self forward in the direction you want to go, and fall.

… And without the fall, we’d never know what it feels like to fly.

 

The trapeze artists! With my girls, The Wizards Wives

 

*Right to left: My bff Courtney Webster (Martell Webster’s wife), Lauren Hilario (wife of Nene Hilario), Bree Ariza (Trevor Ariza‘s fience), Michelle Harrington (wife of Al Harrington), Me! and April Booker (wife of Trevor Booker)

*Much love to the instructors at the Trapeze School New York in Washington DC for patiently getting me off that damn platform!

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

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