Just in case you wanted to learn a little more about Sara, here are some answers to questions she gets asked frequently:
Q: What are your favorite quotes/words of encouragement:
A: 1. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us...There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine...And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson
Love this. The first time I read this it floored me. Still does.
2. “There’s as much risk in doing nothing as in doing something.” – Trammel Crow
Life by design or default. It’s going to happen no matter what. Sometimes things are not our choice, or out of our control, but we can always do something. Or not.
3. "Any advice that doesn’t feel liberating is wrong. Ignore it.” – Martha Beck
This changed my life. This allowed me to stop listening to a lot of very intelligent, very well-meaning people who were speaking about their own experiences, justifying their own choices, and most of it had very little to do with me. Reading this freed me. I could listen to them, thank them for their intentions, use what applied, and leave the rest.
4. “You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.” – Colette
Just do the best you can and do it with all your heart. We are all going to do dumb things and make embarrassing mistakes. It's fine - don’t take anything too seriously. These things just make for better stories. Don't dwell on any one thing for too long. Just keep it moving.
5. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” - Pema Chödrön
Pema is a goddess. She knows things and can explain them in ways that are simple, but not simplistic. Fear (not the “held at gunpoint” kind, but the “what if they say no” kind) is how we know we have stumbled on a potential place of growth. Are you scared to call that person? Hmmmm...might be something in there for you. Doesn’t mean you have to. We still have free will, but something cool might happen if you do.)
Q: Why do I coach?
A: Somewhere along the line, I learned I could see things other people couldn’t. Maybe it’s just the natural human blindspots we have about ourselves, but I realized I could ‘see’ people. Not as who they thought they were, or who they would tell me they were, but who they actually are. So when we would talk about the parts of their lives that weren't working so well I could, almost literally, see where they were getting tripped up or stuck. It was usually because they had lost their sense of agency or internalized something that was true for someone else, but not necessarily for them.
A lot of times this can happen when we try and anticipate pain or want guaranteed security or approval. Trying to protect ourselves from pain can cause just as much (or more) pain. As a coach, I guide people to go where they are afraid to go. Once they do this, they can see they are strong enough to handle anything.
The good news is that it’s usually never as bad as you think it will be. Actually, it’s usually beautiful. For me, the thrill of watching someone regain, or reassert, their power and watch them do the exact thing they never thought they could do - it’s a great way to spend your days.
Q: What was a low point in my career?
A: Ha! So many fun ones (said with a great deal of sarcasm). I was at job that, after one week, I knew wouldn’t work. But, I was told to “give it a chance” and that I had to “give it a year so it doesn’t look bad on your resume”. So I listened. I stayed. I cried on Sunday nights. I was angry all the time.
The lowest point was probably sitting in a meeting, listening to my boss stumble through a list of all these things I had supposedly done wrong. He was mad at me for sending him an email, criticizing how he handled something. So naturally was trying to criticize me back (mature!). The problem I’d sent the email about 30 minutes before our meeting, so he didn’t have too much time to compile a list of my faults. As a result, he was awkwardly sputtering and stammering through a ridiculous list he was mostly improvising on the spot. It was such a strange and terrible moment.
Then he asked me to sign something acknowledging I had heard and agreed with his list. I had one of those moments where time slows down, and all I heard was “GET OUT NOW”. So I did. I quit that second. It was liberating and awful, but in that moment I knew that if I didn’t put myself first - really and truly first - a part of me would be changed forever because I hadn’t protected myself when I knew I had to.
I floundered a lot after that. I had, like, zero money for a while. But that’s life. Eventually things came in and filled the void. The great and terrible thing is that everything is always changing.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for me?
A: 1. Ask for the amount of money it will take for you to give it your all, all day, every day, and not feel resentful.
2. You have to take care of yourself. No one else will do it for you. Only you know what’s best for you.
3. No one is self-made. We’ve all received help. Lots and lots of help.
4. Just say yes, and figure it out along the way. That's what we're all doing anyway.
5. Most people are not thinking about you. They are too busy thinking about themselves.
6. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Even if someone doesn’t like it, they will trust you.
7. The situation is always neutral . It’s your thoughts about the situation that cause you to act a certain way. (Learned via Eckhart Tolle)
8. It never looks the way you think it will look.
9. Make a good enough decision, and then make another good enough decision. Chances are everything will be fine and if for some reason it's not, the vast majority of things are fixable.
10. There is no such thing as a “safe” choice. Sometimes the “safest” choices wind up being the most dangerous.