To get to where we are today has been a journey, actually a rather personal journey in which I followed my intuition and instincts and all roads have lead me here … The Arena.
The journey really started whilst working on a really tough project where timeframes were ridiculous tight and unachievable, included staff shortages, stress everwhere you turned which lead to people to act out and saw a dramatic increase in unacceptable behaviour throughout the entire workplace by everyone including, myself. I remember sitting at my desk at 10pm on night and thinking, I don’t like who I am becoming and I don’t like that there is no time for my family or doing the things that are important to me, I don’t like what I am doing anymore and I certainly don’t like the 9-5 grind; not that it was 9-5, more like 6am to 11pm, but you get my drift!
I kept with it for about another 6 months or so and in the meantime I continued doing some more soul searching in any moments that I could find. The last straw was finding out that my health was failing with the results from blood work showing somewhat suspicious cells. In finding out this news I needed some joy, a pick me up! and In my search for a moment of joy, I walked into my favourite interior design shop (my happy place) and I had a moment, you know the ah ha moment! I looked around me, I was surrounded by colour, textiles and lots of pretty things and I finally got it – there was more to life. Within days I resigned and left the corporate world. To this day it is seriously the best decision I have ever made for myself!
I decided to indulge in my creative passion for design and recommenced interior design studies that had almost been forgotten! During this time I decided it would be a good idea to undertake a coaching course to learn how to communicate more effectively with design clients as I had dreams of starting my own interior design firm. Somewhere throughout the coaching course my master trainer asked me to watch Dr Brené Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability – it may change how you see the world … and it did!
Whilst I would like to say the rest is history, hang in there because there is a little more to the story …
A few weeks later I was in conversation with a friend about the TED talk and other not so great things that were occurring in my life, including the sudden passing of my father. Life was, at that time, an emotional struggle and it was hard to show up for myself let alone anyone else. My friend asked me if I had read the Theodore Roosevelt speech that Dr Brené Brown refers to in her book, Daring Greatly. I professed that I had not and that I hadn’t even read any of her books, but really loved her TED talk. My friend suggested that reading Theodore’s speech may just support me to put a foot a forward. So googled it, as you do, and read away. I took a step forward and then another and then another. This speech by Theodore Roosevelt and the books by Dr Brené Brown changed my life in so many different ways – my life did an incredible 360. I decided that interior design wasn’t for me, whilst I love love love it, doing this type of work for other people wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. And throughout this decision making process, I found my purpose and I fell in love with wholehearted living, coaching and empowering others to show up and be seen. Combining them altogether, the Arena was created! Both the logo and our leadership methodology have been created and developed based on the speech by Theodore Roosevelt.
Now I can say … the rest is history! Today, The Arena, is a successful Personal Leadership business and I am a official facilitator of Dr Brené Brown’s methodology, The Daring Way™. My passion for design and creating continues although these days it is more personal and thoroughly enjoyable. I am immensely proud of all my achievements and very honoured to have amazing clients. Theodore Roosevelt speech hangs on the wall in my office as a reminder of who I am, what is actually important to me and where I am going – here it is for you, enjoy!
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
Written by Jennifer Anderson
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