Heartspoken’s guest Cynthia Trevino tells how she took steps to create the mental and emotional space she needed to shift her priorities and break some unhealthy patterns in her life. What she learned can be a blueprint for finding clarity and focus in pursuit of your own most #HeartspokenLife. Learn more about Cynthia below. ~ Elizabeth
It wasn’t always like this
Today I have much to be grateful for: a long-term marriage to my best friend, excellent health and a successful marketing mentorship business. I work with brave, bold entrepreneurs who are changing the world. They’re creating innovative teaching videos for special needs kids, coaching the next generation of leaders, and guiding technology startups. They inspire me every day.
The wake-up call
But it wasn’t always like this. Once I was a single, career-obsessed, corporate cubicle-dweller. Lean in? I leaned in so far in I fell flat on my face!
I traveled constantly as an AT&T staffer based in New Jersey. For one key project, I spent weeks on end in Nashville. I didn’t realize how much time until one day at breakfast, the kind server came to my table and said my mom was on the phone. (Cell phones didn’t exist yet.)
This was a wakeup call; my mom could only reach me via the hotel staff! Perhaps there was another way to live?
Next, I was gobsmacked in a big way. Headquarters canceled the project—along with my interim promotion. I was devastated. I’d been inching up the corporate ladder. I felt like a failure.
The director gave me time to locate my next internal assignment. As I took a deep breath and thought about who to call first, it struck me that I was at a crossroads. I (finally) had a moment of clarity. Instead of searching immediately for another position, I thought deeply.
Where was my life going?
What did I truly want?
And for the first time, how do I want to feel?
Career success wasn’t everything. My first passion was no longer about achieving corporate milestones or snagging bigger projects.
I discovered that I wanted to feel loved. To share my life with a man who cared about me, about how my day was. Someone who’d go shopping with me. Someone who’d enjoy sitting by the fire on snowy weekends, who’d suffer through occasional chick-flicks and who’d always have my back. I silently admitted that what I really wanted was a long-term relationship.
My moment of clarity resulted in an all-out search for a soul mate. Like any good project manager, I created a spreadsheet of local singles’ events. This was before the Internet. Before Match.com! The New York Times personal ads were my go-to resource.
Looking in the wrong places
Enduring the circus of bozos that frequented the 1990 singles scene wasn’t exactly a picnic. When that became insane without tangible results, I course-corrected. I joined a singles’ bicycling club. Met nicer men, got great exercise, and even lost weight!
The search for my soul mate was consuming, exhausting and, at times, discouraging.
My friends called me delusional. “You think you’re going to find a husband at your age? Really?” they sneered. I kept my commitment to attend two singles events each week. It was a juggling act with long work hours. It often felt like a second job!
But I persevered.
My best friend was mystified by my determination. “I don’t know if you’re the smartest woman I know or the stupidest,” she remarked.
Love found…lessons learned
Two years into my search, I realized that a coworker was the soul mate I was looking for. I discovered he was funny, smart and we shared interests: bicycling, wine, foreign films, favorite NYC galleries. We married the next year.
That was over 20 wonderful years ago.
Reflecting back to that time, after finding the man of my dreams, I felt like Wonder Woman. My priorities shifted. I stopped waking up each day fixated on career success. It was freeing. I saw the world through a fresh lens.
For the first time, I put myself first.
I still did great work. I stepped up—just not as often. I secured projects requiring less travel.
I felt whole. Balanced (mostly). I felt empathy for coworkers with family demands. Clearly, everyone had a personal life.
I’m forever grateful for that long-ago moment of clarity. For recognizing I was at a crossroads. For pausing a beat, before diving into a job search. For the insight to get clarity about how I wanted to feel.
Three steps to a breakthrough
Remember my story when you find yourself at a crossroads, when your world shifts, when life dumps a truckload of lemons at your feet. Take three steps: 1) Get clear. 2) Get prepared. 3) Get going.
Step 1. Get clear
Clarify in your heart and mind—not what to do next—but on how you want to FEEL. Don’t immediately choose your next move. Yours might be finding a soul mate, landing a massively well-paying job, exploring the world, starting a nonprofit, or building a business.
Before deciding on your next act, get crystal clear about how you want to feel. Do you want to feel: Fearless? Accomplished? Inspired? Fulfilled? Energized? Unstoppable? Settled? Maybe you want to feel all of these.
Choose three to five feelings that feel right and give you hope. Use them to guide your decisions. Ask: Will choice a, b, or c help me feel ___________ (fill in the blank)?
Step 2. Get prepared
Don’t pen a business or life plan yet. Make lists. Lists are easy and fun. Inventory things to answer, learn, solve, or discover before beginning your new chapter.
Are you going to relocate? Change industries? Go back to school? You’re on a fact-finding mission! My lists were: books about finding a husband, clothes for singles’ events, and tips about great first date conversations.
Step 3. Get going
Get out of your comfort zone! As they say, what got you here isn’t going to get you there! Decide what you intend to do differently to achieve your dreams, change careers, or find the love of your life.
My husband has made it possible for me to navigate the orchards of lemons dumped at my feet since 1992. I couldn’t have done it without him.
I wish you clarity when choosing your next chapter.
Women entrepreneurs who urgently want to bring in ideal clients work with Cynthia Trevino to learn how they can have more impact and earn more money. As ‘The Client Clarity Mentor,’ she teaches women how to speak their clients’ language so they can attract profitable clients, feel comfy not salesy when marketing, and happily create content by dumping writer’s block forever. Cynthia is the author of Amazon #1 bestseller: She Markets, A Guide for Women Entrepreneurs. She lives in sunny San Diego with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Bentley.
Connect with Cynthia:
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/cynthiatrevino