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10 Lessons From 2021

Written by: Michelle Gauthier, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


This year wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but there were some amazing things that did come from it. With the great things, there were also not great things that I get to take as lessons forward too.

1. Being messy is okay! - This doesn't necessarily mean physically messy, although I did learn to wear what I find comfortable and makes me feel good. In the end, that's what matters to me. I did learn the idea of being messy everywhere else in my life too. I am embracing that I don't have to be 'perfect', and that it's okay to be raw and real. I get to feel and express my emotions, I get to fuck up, I get to be vulnerable. The world will not collapse if I am not perfect.

2. I am worthy - This was a huge eye-opener for me. Acknowledging my worth and finding it within me, instead of needing it to be validated from the world. Although I am still working on this, as I haven't mastered believing this every moment, I do know very well that I have a gift for share with the world. That gift is me. I do not owe anyone anything, I do not have to earn my worthiness, I am worthy just because I am here. When I see someone with something I want (business success, vacations, living their best lives), I don't think "I'll never have that because I don't deserve it", instead I get to say "Why not me?".

3. Opportunities present themselves when you are truly open - When I finally gave myself permission to write my story in a book, a book writing opportunity opened itself. When I finally accepted my worth and my skills as a coach, clients presented themselves to me. When I allowed myself to be vulnerable, I welcomed connection and inspiration. I had multiple money making opportunities presented to me. There were times I wanted and believed things, but subconsciously I wasn't ready, so they haven't presented themselves. In those moments, I get to remind myself that "now is not the right time"

4. The power of investing in myself - Up until this year I wasn't comfortable investing money on myself if I didn't have anything physical to show for it. Last year I invested in my coaching certification, which gave me the credentials I wanted for my business. This year I invested in coaching. Multiple rounds of coaching. Paid, free, all for me to better myself and get out of my own way. When I invest in myself, I am telling myself I am worth it. That I am important enough for me, and that I matter. When I say yes to me, the world opens itself.

5. Living in possibility - This is one of my biggest lessons this year. In the past when things wouldn't work, or I didn't know how to do something, I'd stop. My motivation, my belief in myself would just stop. This year though, I've discovered that when things come to a stop, it doesn't mean they need to stay there. I've discovered that when I live in possibility, I also get to let go of my expectations of how things should look. I get to be creative, think outside of the box, and get results in other ways. I now see obstacles as opportunities for creativity and a test of how much I truly want an outcome. When one way/one conversation/one thought doesn't work, shift and use a different way/different way of communicating/different thought process.

6. I always have a choice - Every new moment is another chance to choose who I want to be and how I want to live. I get to choose if I want to live the patterns I've been using. I get to choose if I want good or great. Every moment I get to choose if what I'm doing is working or not. If it's not working, I get to choose to change it. When my negative voices come up, I get to choose whether to listen to them and believe them. When all my cognitive evidence says one thing, I get to choose to look for different evidence if I want to. I have learned that I always get to choose, even if it seems impossible or difficult at the time. I get to choose whether to be all in (in my business, my relationship, my joy), or to just get by. Whatever I do choose, I also choose the consequences from those. If I choose to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, I am choosing that people won't truly know me, or that I don't get asked my opinion, or that there is frustration and tension. In the end, I always have a choice.

7. Both/and - This goes along with creating possibility. What can I create so that I can focus on my business, and create healthy boundaries for myself. How do I get to create both setting boundaries and being there to support others? I can feel both overwhelmed and motivated. There have been so many times that I thought I could only do one or the other. Or I believed that two feelings couldn't co-exist. This year has been one big question of how do I get to have it all? How do I create two things at the same time? It's about being creative and trusting myself.

8. Vulnerability is my superpower - When I am vulnerable, I am free. Being open and true to myself not only releases the emotional cage I've built for myself, but it lets others see that I am human. My vulnerability is what connects me to others and shows that I am not perfect. My vulnerability includes saying "I need support". When I am vulnerable, I get to discover who I am. I've learned that it is exhausting censoring myself and being who others want me to be. When I get to speak from the heart, I get to let go of that exhaustion and breathe easier. While it may be difficult for me most of the time, I know that it is worth it. Others get to see that I have my own struggles and feelings as well. Being vulnerable lets me and others see we are not alone.

9. "I don't know" is a cop-out - For me, I've been using 'I don't know' as an avoidance technique. I use it to avoid feeling, to avoid judgement of getting something 'wrong', of not wanting to get intimate with myself or others. It has become my trauma response to protect myself. Almost always when I have used "I don't know" I really do know if I take the time to sit and be with myself for a moment. I never realized that's what I had been doing until this year. I never realized how unwilling I was to be real, vulnerable, and intimate with myself. Now I catch myself saying it. Sometimes I don't actually know because I haven't taken the time to find out, which again is avoidance. For me, I challenge "I don't know". What If I did know? Is it my head answering or my heart? What was my first instinct and did I push it down pretending I don't know? "I don't know" is a great place to get curious.

10. I am a courageous, connected, powerful woman - This year has really taught me how resilient I can be. I discovered my own power because I experienced it. I stepped up into roles and experiences I never dreamed I could do, and did it beautifully. When I got out of my way and allowed myself to trust my intuition, I made huge strides. I stepped into my courage to have conversations, to challenge myself to grow, to step into my dreams and actually accomplish them. This year I got to increase my rates AND hit my highest income month. I spent money on myself I never would have. I met some amazing and inspirational people that I call my friends. I pushed my limits and stepped into ways of being I don't default to. I got to leap without knowing where or how I will land.

I can't wait to see what lessons I get to learn in 2022. I am choosing to continue to grow, push my limits, and aim for greatness. Here's to another year of being courageous, connected and powerful! Cheers.

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Michelle Gauthier, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Michelle Gauthier, an honors graduate of Psychology and an international life and confidence coach. She writes about fitness, self-love, and boosting confidence. She has overcome a toxic workplace that left her with anxiety, depression, and low self-worth. Michelle is now the thriving founder of Phoenix Coaching, following her passion for supporting women to regain control of their lives, build their inner power, and live in possibility of their dreams.



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