Updated: Nov 8, 2020
This a journey of multiple failures that pushed me to conquer my fears and get back to following my heart!
My hope is in sharing my story of failures, setbacks and betrayal; which pushed me to finally having enough, and lead me to take time for myself, to reprogram my mind, and again find that inner passion that lives deep in my heart; that I can inspire you too, in finding that passion that lives inside of you!
This is my journey towards happiness -
My story on how I am recalling the passion deep inside, facing my fears, shutting the
doubt and taking a leap towards something so scary, something I tucked away for too long, to live out what my heart has desired.
They say everyone has a passion or purpose for life.
As a little girl growing up in Michigan, I always knew what this was. I dreamt BIG; I wanted to be a star, I wanted to inspire people, I wanted to help the world.
But I was told my ideas were too big, they laughed my dreams; so I started to hide them.
As a kid, I felt my Mom loved "her baby" (my brother), while my Dad loved his "little girl","his first born", (my sister) and I was alone to find my own love.
I would have killed for attention but not the kind I got...
So I dreamed more.
I'd sit in my room (while bathroom actually), and talked to the mirror, to the reflection who'd listened and believed in my dreams. I pretended to be a star, to host of my own shows; always envisioning me helping other people escape their doubters and find their happiness.
I'd hear "oh Nikki, what is she doing, she's always got her heads in the clouds"
So I'd hide. I'd climb up the tree in the yard, hidden in the branches where no one could see, invisible, dreaming of what I could be. I'd say to myself one day they'll see and I would dream more.
Over the years as I conformed to fit in, to be accepted and the little girl with so much fire began to fade. I looked to others for approval, holding on to what they'd say, "she's not the brightest", "she's got her head in the clouds", "I worry about this one". Instead of hiding away and believing in myself, I started to believe their words.
Maybe they're right, maybe I did dream too big?
I found myself searching for acceptance and love. I noticed myself grasping to people even when I knew it was wrong. To fill my fire, I'd get carried away in their visions and plans, and forget my own. Afraid they were right, afraid I wouldn't be accepted. I was holding onto my past, projecting their thoughts failure instead of believing in what could be. So over time their thoughts took over and that little dreamer faded away.
Thankfully, my dreamer wasn't completely gone. There was still this tiny voice that would repeat to me, "You're not a failure, get out of here, Nikki. Move to California, they believe in dreams out there".
I listened to that voice and finally did it but I couldn't take all the credit. I had security to make this move easier, a boy. A great guy whom I am so thankful for, but my leap wasn't out of pure believe in myself, it was due a lot to his security, and therefore acceptance.
Even still my move to California was scary, it was probably the one of the biggest leaps in my life.
And in order to prove to myself I could do this alone, I eventually moved to my own place, I started my own life, and a year later I moved from San Diego to LA, alone! I leaped!
The Rise and Fall
Upon moving to LA my life was thriving, I had did it! I broke off on my own, in a new city (LA the city I had always dreamt of living in), I made new friends, I had a great job, everything was prefect! I was letting go of that doubter of my past and restoring the believe back into myself! My dreamer was emerging again!
And then the fall started. In an effort to fill that acceptance, I grew self-conscious of my looks. Prior to moving to San Diego, I had broken my nose, by a guy whom hit me after I told him I was moving. I developed complications from this and after multiple doctors visits, was told the break had caused blockages and would need surgery. Perfect I thought! Now, I can that a "new nose" and be prettier! WRONG!
The doctor made my nose worse. Yes, I could breath again, but now I had a bigger bump with complications that caused my nose to widen. After 2 more surgeries to fix my nose back, I ran out of money and away went my confidence.
Along with my looks, my career had taken a downward turn.
I was working at my dream job! I was one a first on the sales team working for my idols; Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, to launch the one of the most successful headphone businesses in history, Beats By Dre, in history.
This job fired that dreamer back in me. I was working with people I've admired, they were real and they knew who I was and I was great at my job! I was accepted, and I was finally praised as being smart!
Then along came a guy; he became my world, he became my everything, and he became to despise me.
At once my life was thriving! By work was rewarding, I was in love, I had forgotten my surgical mistakes, I didn't care, I was happy! Then came a new opportunity. A new company had approached me, they needed a sales sales leader to develop their brand. My boyfriend who was working with me at the time, pleaded with me, convincing me to quit and take the new job. He said, if this opportunity came to me, I would take it. So I listened.
I listened to everyone instead of myself
I can't blame him for this, it wasn't his fault. The fault was on me, for again craving his acceptance, and not trusting in myself first. Had I listened within, I wouldn't have shut out that voice that repeated, "this isn't right".
As suspected, I the job was awful, my boss was a creep and with no HR, there was nothing I could do. I was miserable! I would cry to my boyfriend who didn't want to hear it. He would tell me to stop, and then frustratingly tell me how annoying it was that people at my old job were still constantly asking him about me. I started to believe he would have preferred they'd forget about me. I think all my sadness plus his annoyance put a damper on the relationship and I felt him slip away.
As he pulled away, I started to search for my happiness through work. But with the continued failures at startups I'd work at, my confidence began to fad and he stopped communicating. I felt again alone.
I knew the relationship was over but I was afraid to let go, afraid to be alone. When I finally confronted him instead of explaining, he fled. And like that, the man who I loved, who asked my father for my hand in marriage, the man I lived with, just disappeared (literally). He moved out without an explanation, without a goodbye, just gone.
I was lost.
I put all of my worth on the acceptance from him and my work; and not on myself.
From that day, it felt like I went through one failure after another; betrayal of friends, miss-leading jobs, manipulative guys. My life literally went from losing a best friend, to having a friend rob me, to a job falsifying equity terms, to men manipulating and abusing me. I think it was a combination of my fear, the fear from my past that everyone would hurt me, and every job would fail combined with my desire for acceptance that I was attracting it.
I couldn't find my joy, I was replaying my past and searching for acceptance everywhere but within.
Yet, no one would know. I pretended I was fine and continued down the same paths. I was spiraling into the same situation after another.
After searching, looking to anyone or anything to fill that emptiness, I had no other choice but to do something new, and leap!
I started to take time for myself, to find me, find my little dreamer again.
This hasn't happened overnight, and took the help from a lot of my friends and family, whom I am SO THANKFUL for to help me believe and restore my faith.
But the thing is, as much as they push, it wasn't until I decided to listen; yes, listen to them but listening to what would say,
"believe in yourself, and listen within".
I am still working on this today and still have so more growing do but I can see a change. My dreamer is being restored, I am letting go of my past and putting my faith into these "dreams" again!
This is my story, and I am sharing my vulnerability to inspire you to do the same! I want to fill that little dreamer in the mirrors wish to help others find their happiness!
You have let go of the past, be brave and believe it to achieve it!
Our journey begins here, let's unleash the constraints that have built up over time. I've shared my story, to show you are not alone and you don't have to do it alone.
It is not always easy, there will be hiccups but you can achieve whatever you dream.
Together we can help one another, we can restore our faith and believe in ourselves to UNLEASH our fears!
Who wants to leap....
Thank you for reading my story. I will share more and talk with others whom have overcome their own struggles to help inspire you to LEAP!
For advance on books, podcasts, mediations or other things I have used to unplug, please visit my UNPLUG page.
Also, as a way to bring what I love together in one place, traveling and cultures, please visit my UNCOVER page to learn about new destinations and cultures around the world!