In The Spotlight

Words Have Power

Do you like what you are doing? Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life? What are people going to think?

Woman with power written on her chest at a protest

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Daniella Laguna

Daniella Laguna

Entrepreneur Coach

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How familiar does any of these questions sound to you…

Do you like what you are doing? Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life? What are people going to think? What am I going to think about myself? What if it doesn’t work? Imagine if you are good at this job that you don’t even like, how great would you be at something you care about? What's the worst that can happen? What's the best that can happen? What am I thinking?

Besides those questions, what about affirmations….

It’s too hard, you could be great if you tried, you are wasting your life, you are not good enough, you are special, you won't do it, you always say you are going to but you end up doing nothing, you have proved yourself before you are capable. People will think you are crazy or stupid, but you will be proud of yourself, you can do it, you can’t do it.

Words have power, and we all have heard that the words we use with ourselves determine how we behave and ultimately who we finally are.

I’ve heard these -and not only these- questions and affirmations not once or twice, but countless times.

Almost 4 years ago, I decided to quit my job in Lima, I already had 8+ years of work experience and had great prospects for my professional future. At that time I had a good position in a prestigious company that was part of an industry very difficult to get in.

However, I got a feeling that that couldn’t be all, I realized the reason I was staying at that job was out of ego and not love, passion, or purpose. So even though I tried -and tried hard- those questions and affirmations would come back over and over again.

One day, I had to make a decision; an opportunity to choose if I would stay and keep the life I knew and the job I had, or travel to Switzerland and leave everything behind, appeared. With it, a lot of fear of losing everything I already had built came up, but also a feeling of faith in everything I could build in this new chapter.

So I chose to bet on myself, I bet on the possibility that I could create a life and a family with the person I love, I bet that I could start all over again and that this time, I was going to believe that I was capable of anything I wanted out of this life.

Today I am happily married to the love I chose to spend my life with, we have a lovely dog named Jazz and I feel at home in a completely different country than mine. I studied all over again, learned a new language, met new friends, studied a new career and I even found this amazing community of women called WLU (Women Like Us) that made me feel part of this new city, where we empowered each other, and shared our journey.

Today, I can proudly say I am a coach that helps entrepreneurs transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship and to get started in their own businesses.

Did I waste 8+ years of my life doing something completely different?, I don’t think so, I don’t see it like that, as thanks to that I have the background and the experience to help people more richly, without any of that, I wouldn’t be me, because of that, I can get to say my coaching is specific and can help lots of people.

When someone asks me if it was difficult or if it still is, I can’t avoid thinking of a rollercoaster. You climb up, just not realizing soon enough you are going to fall. But the roller coaster goes up again, up and down, up and down, with some twists in the middle, and as with anything in life, we can choose to look at it with excitement and hope or with fear and pessimism. The city certainly doesn’t look the same standing in a crowded, noisy street as from the top of a building. It’s the same city, you are just choosing a different point of view. Isn’t that why every tourist wants to get on the lookout, to get the best view of the place they visit?

Believe me, I know it’s easier to talk about it than to do it. But by getting out from how we see things daily, getting out of our heads and all the noise – I mean opinions and limiting beliefs–only then we will be able to truly listen and understand what is true to ourselves.

I want to share with you a tool that is part of some of my coaching sessions when people come to me saying “I know there's something else out there for me, but I’m not sure what I want”…

Let me tell you I’ve been there and thought – what the hell am I supposed to do now?!-

Well, 2 things helped me and may be useful for you too.

1. IKIGAI: a Japanese concept that means the reason for being.

IKI = life

GAI= worth

To do it, answer consciously and honestly the following questions:

  • What do you love?
  • What are you good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can I be paid for?

The synergy of those 4 questions, may be the answer you are looking for…

Now, what if there’s more than one answer and still, you have no idea which one to choose?

2. You’ve got no other way…. Choose.

But, “What if it's not what I wanted?”….

Well, then you only got “4 out of 5” left to try.

Where would I be today if I would have started 9 years ago?.... I would have probably found what I was looking for.

I started this article not directly presenting myself, but sharing questions and affirmations I used to tell myself. Because questions and affirmations determine how we behave and ultimately who we are and what we will be capable to achieve.

I used to ask myself those questions, I used to tell myself that others may be right about what was the right thing to do with my life. How would I leave my job and everything I worked so hard for to just pursue something I wanted?

I’m not saying we all should quit our jobs and follow our dreams, each person on this planet is unique, with a different situation, with different challenges and opportunities. What I’m saying is that we all can start, we all can take a small action to be closer to where we want to be, but that starts with the quality of questions and affirmations we tell ourselves; and although we may have some powerful, positive ones, we need to get rid of the ones that make us doubt and make us go 2 steps backward for every 1 step we take forward.

What I ask myself today (you can do it too):
If this is the problem, what's the solution? What can I do to be better? Why is this so important to me? What could be different if I wanted? What's a better way to see this situation? What do I need to learn to get better at this? What's one thing that would make me feel great and motivate me to continue? When, where, and what time will I do it? How will I set myself up for success and avoid sabotaging myself? What are my bad habits today and how can I replace them?

I would like to finish by saying a phrase that is helping me today continue in my own journey:

“Trying is hard. Failing is hard. Choose your hard."

So I choose to write and keep writing, to coach and keep coaching and to learn and keep learning forever, to help as many people as my life allows me, and that as hard as it may be, I will try and try till I exhaust all my options because that’s what I was made for, -to fulfill the highest, truest expression of myself as a human being- (thank you, Oprah).

Thank you to WLU for being an inspiration and motivation, I am so thankful to have this exceptional group of international, brave, like-minded, and courageous women willing to share their own experiences, and their knowledge and support each other all over the way.

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