This was when I told my parents I was depressed.
As someone who runs a business focused on self-discovery and positivity, you’d be surprised to learn that I wasn’t always a glass-half-full kind of person.
In fact, I struggled with deep anxiety after I graduated from college. I was completely lost and insecure about what my purpose should be moving forward.
On paper, everything was going exactly as it should. I graduated Cum Laude in the marketing program, landed an internship in my field right after finishing school, and worked my way up at my part-time job at Disneyland. I had some incredible friends, was in my first long-term relationship, and had a roof over my head.
This is the American dream, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, I lost who I was.
All throughout my life, I was the girl who always succeeded. I’m not saying this as a brag, because I was a perfectionist. I held myself (and honestly still do) to a high standard. The problem was, these standards were usually to please other people. Do what you’re “supposed to do” after high school and college.
Granted, it’s not like I was the type of person who wanted to quit school to join the Peace Corps before settling down for college. Yet, I was terrified of failing both myself and the expectations of those around me.
I worked my way up to a Lead position in Disney because it was what you were supposed to do. It was the next step up from being a Trainer and people expected me to do it, but I actually preferred being a trainer. After becoming a Lead, I hit a wall in my growth and felt stuck.
As I mentioned earlier, I managed to land an internship right after finishing school as a social media intern for an online boutique. Unfortunately, I quickly learned it was not the right company for me. My first day included walking into the middle of a huge PR scandal. The company’s CEO fat-shamed one of the store managers over an email. The employee posted a screenshot of the email online and it went viral to the point where even Refinery29 and MTV were posting about it on their blogs and Snapchat stories. Needless to say, it wasn’t quite the right fit for what I was looking for in a company for a future career.
Finishing this internship is what lead me to feel even more lost than when I first graduated. Did I want to pursue marketing and social media anymore? Were my four and a half years in college studying business a waste? Did I want to continue working at Disney?
What was I supposed to do?
A few months later after a lot of job hunting and soul searching, I landed my first full-time corporate marketing position. It was time to move on from my part-time job at Disney. It was an incredible part of my life for over three years, but my career had hit a wall, so it was time for that chapter to close.
Unfortunately, my corporate job wasn’t what I expected it to be. I interviewed for a social media coordinator position, and when they offered the job they’d asked if I was interested in managing social media while learning more areas of marketing. Of course, I said yes. It was the perfect opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in my field to help further my career.
After a few months, my position had shifted into something completely different. I wasn’t managing social media anymore, and I learned that the areas of marketing I was becoming involved with weren’t what I wanted for my career. The energy at the office was negative, I had to commute an hour both ways every day to and from work, and honestly, nearly all of my coworkers were as unhappy as me.
Throughout all this, my anxiety was getting so bad that I was scared to go to sleep every night in fear of waking up to a panic attack first thing in the morning.
Because it happened…almost every day.
After a few months of feeling helpless, confused, overwhelmed, and exhausted, I finally hit a point where enough was enough.
I needed help.
The good news? Despite all this, my life completely changed for the better in a single year.
Therapy helped me create a foundation of self-care so I could create momentum to find myself and turn my life around.
My dad was actually the first person to introduce me to the power of positive thinking and affirmations. This led me to start researching positivity podcasts and personal growth.
My best friend gave me the book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I read through hungrily, fascinated with all the information Gilbert shares about showing up in the face of fear and personal development with a creative soul.
After that, I was hooked.
I had discovered personal growth, which quickly grew into one of my biggest passions.
With this newfound love and knowledge, I went from depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed to truly thriving and living my best life.
This is how it happened:
Evaluated My Current Situation
I invested time in carefully evaluating my entire life and where I was at that moment. I would journal about how I was feeling, what was happening, and what I wanted to change.
Combining these activities, therapy, and all the newfound self-discovery information I was researching online, I audited my life, mental health, heart, and everything between. This helped me truly understand my current situation before moving forward with creating change.
Researched New Opportunities
One thing was adamantly clear: I needed a different job.
I spent a few months applying to other jobs closer to where I lived – the commute was absolutely killing me. In the meantime, I had actually taken on my first freelance client. A family friend connected me with someone to help with her content writing, social media, and email marketing.
The more I applied to jobs with zero responses, worked full-time and tried to balance freelancing, I realized it was time to take a leap and focus on my blog and freelance business.
So I quit my job!
To be completely honest, this isn’t one of those stories where I tell you I quit my job and everything skyrocketed after in my career. I landed some more clients and a slightly regular content writing gig, but I realized freelancing wasn’t the right fit either. Plus, I had to take up a part-time job at Barnes and Noble to keep up with my rent during this change period.
Did More Inner Work
This made me dig deep AGAIN. Did I truly want to go back to the life of the nine to five? Was marketing what I wanted to do? Did I even have the luxury of being picky if I needed the money?
Thankfully therapy was still a regular part of this process. Along with this, I spent hours upon hours reflecting and digging deep about who I was and what I wanted. I took numerous personality tests, journaled, enrolled in online courses, listened to podcasts…you name it!
This was also when I started to record my findings and experiences on this blog, often taking my readers along my journey through mental health and sharing my favorite findings in the best books I read. (Shoutout to Your Are a Badass by Jen Sincero!)
Changed My Mindset
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I was a “glass half empty” kind of girl. I’d take situations and immediately think of what could go wrong, ignoring opportunities or new doors. This changed when I started learning about personal growth and was introduced to the Law of Attraction.
While my views on the Law of Attraction have evolved since then, it was what introduced me to how positivity can truly change every aspect of your life. I went from feeling like a victim in my situation to trusting that everything in my life was going in the right direction, no matter how challenging my experiences become.
Created a Community of Positive People
An extremely important I took was ensured I was surrounding myself with positive people. I made an effort to spend time with friends that pushed me to be the best version of myself. In addition, I ended my year and a half long relationship. In the end, we were two different people who wanted different things, and it was a necessary step as I discovered my values and priorities for the future.
I Did the Work
Reading and researching are important, but it means nothing unless you take action.
This was a game-changer.
I put in the work to actually make these changes within myself and my life. My mindset shifted towards positivity, peace, and letting go of needing to be in control of myself at all times. I learned so much about myself, what I needed, and the goals I wanted to achieve and the type of people I needed to have in my life.
Flash Forward to Today
After all this hard work, I’m so thrilled to share that I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.
I have my podcast, this blog and business, two books published, I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in, have a full-time job in marketing that I grow to love more and more every day, meet and connect with great people online and in real life, struggle to think negatively anymore, know how to take care of myself mentally, haven’t had a panic attack in months, and feel truly aligned with my path, purpose, and where my life is headed.
My mission is to help you get to this place. This is why my podcast, blog and business exist, and why I created the Kick-Start Your Life Academy.
Resources Mentioned in Podcast Episode:
- My Life With Anxiety – One Year Later With Therapy (Video)
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
- Why You Should Surround Yourself With Positive People (Blog Post)
- How to Make Friends After College as an Adult(Blog/Podcast)
- Sara Earns Her Ears (My first book)
- I’m Awesome…Here’s Why (My Second Book)
- Follow me on Instagram
- Submit a Question to be Featured on the Podcast!