FROM BREAKDOWN TO BREAKTHROUGH: HOW TO OWN YOUR SUCCESS

I was born in Moscow to an average, low income family. My parents divorced when I was seven years old, my brother just one. I grew up early because I felt responsible for my mother and younger brother. I always considered myself an ordinary girl without any evident talents.

 

At the age of thirteen, we had to move to a very small flat in an unfavourable area. I had to change my home, school and friends. It was here that I learned the hard way how it feels to be bullied, lonely and desperate – and even to be threatened with rape and death.

To survive, I had to fit in. I had to become a chameleon; blend in to fit my surroundings, and grow a very thick skin. I mastered acting so that I could convince people that I was “alright”. At that time, I didn’t realise just how much pain, anger and fear I had inside of me.

When I think back to my last year at school, I realise that I had no clue what to do with my life and what I wanted to become. When I had to decide which university to choose, my inner voice – after a long sleep – came out and whispered: “What if you deserve a better life?”

Even though this voice wasn’t strong enough at that point, some new thoughts began to stir within me. “What if I can become…someone?! Someone significant, not just average any more!”


I picked a very good university, but the fees were unbearable for my family. I remember trying really hard to persuade them that I was going to start working and that I’d manage to cover the majority of the fees. To my surprise, they agreed!

My first year at the university was just amazing. I was the first one in my circle to work that early. It was hard to manage both a full-time job and full-time study at university, but I did it. My fear of being seen as an ordinary, even stupid girl had been my driving force that time.

By the age of twenty-two, thanks to more hard work and dedication, my salary exceeded my very high expectations and I earned more than my entire family all together! Looking back, it was almost unbelievable how much had changed, how far I had come. From the outside, it looked just fabulous. Nonetheless, I had a hunger for more – more recognition, more growth and even more challenges!

During the next few years I was constantly chasing new opportunities, gaining more and more work experience, and focusing on the next challenge. Though despite the fact that I was getting amazing results, I didn’t feel much better about myself. I was only satisfied when I got good results, but after each failure my inflamed self-worth ached.


Flash forward, I’m 24 and getting married to a wonderful guy who is incredibly supportive and accepting of me as I am. After his graduation from Cambridge, we moved to London and I got a global role with huge responsibilities in a leading multinational company. I was incredibly proud of myself – along with being scared sh*tless because I’D NEVER CLIMBED THAT HIGH BEFORE!

Three months later, I found myself absolutely devastated by the words of my manager: “I’m sorry but you don’t meet the requirements for this position. Your English is not good enough, you ask too many questions… I have to extend your probation period to understand if you are a good fit for this role.”

I felt so miserable and exhausted! I had worked thirteen/fourteen hour days, yet it was still not enough. It was incredibly painful, but I didn’t want to give up. I decided that I’d prove her wrong at any cost. I was like a zombie for the next few weeks due to the micromanagement from my boss, long hours at work, a lack of sleep and nasty feelings in my body.

And then something very important happened… Something that pushed me to make one of the biggest decisions in my life! IT WAS THE MOST INSIGHTFUL MOMENT IN MY LIFE.

My body decided to stop supporting me and my continuous physical exhaustion had triggered a severe allergic reaction, so my health crashed. My body was a reflection of my inner pain and the damage that I had brought on myself.

Now I’m so grateful for this – because I realised: “Omg, what am I doing to myself?! My health is a top priority for me! No money or fancy job title will ever make me happy! I am absolutely miserable at work! I have to find a solution and do whatever it takes to make myself truly happy!”

And so I left that well-paid, global role with amazing perspectives and I jumped into the pure uncertainty, all-embracing, without even a shred of a sane plan in mind!

But for the first time in my life I started to think seriously about my identity, my interests, my values, my passion and what I really wanted to become. For the first time, I stopped serving my fears and started to think about my true emotions, interests and authentic self.

Despite all the doubts and worries about my future, I gave myself permission to relax and completely reboot myself and I bought tickets to Italy for a month! Weeks of pizza, pasta, gelato, amici — and of course – self-discovery, reflection and therapy proved invaluable to me.

I managed to reconnect with my true feelings, interests, passions and dreams. Once I faced my deep fears, emotions, my suppressed pain and limiting beliefs, great things started to happen! It looked like THE UNIVERSE FINALLY PUT ALL THE PIECES TOGETHER FOR ME!

Fortunately, a few weeks after my recreational break, I came across life coaching. Having spent a day at the Animas Introduction to Transformational Coaching day I made a fundamental decision – to become a full-time Life Coach!

IT FELT SO RIGHT that I decided to go for it immediately and my husband supported me fully. Soon after, I was enrolled and waited impatiently to kick-start my dream!

I was so excited that I had my very first (paid!!!) session with the client before I’d even started the Foundations module!

After this very first session my client said: “Maria, you gave me hope!!” – Wow! I was completely blown away. I thought that if I could give hope to someone without even starting my education then I SHOULD NEVER EVER STOP DOING THIS!

I’m now a Confidence Coach and I AM ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH WHAT I DO. I help others to overcome their insecurities, limiting beliefs and to breakthrough to see how amazing they are!

When I signed up for the Diploma I thought coaching is going to be fun! Clients smiling at me and saying “thank you”, abundance of referrals, 100% conversation after first meeting and so much more! But it doesn’t always go quite like that, does it?!

At the time, my deep desire to help people and being great at what I do was still not enough! We have to work our butt off consistently and systematically to grow a good coaching business! We have to be seen, be open, which at times makes us vulnerable!

Don’t get me wrong, I have never been in the shadows! By the end of the Animas course I had three workshops, sixty hours of 1-2-1 coaching, and had thousands of followers on social media where I regularly posted a lot of valuable content! Moreover, I charged more than the average in my group!

My biggest learnings from this journey are that all my life I tried to fit in and be “significant”, but I’ve always been in a bad mental place and doubted my self-worth constantly. After my personal and professional breakdown, I was able to break through. As the saying goes, “To be reborn, you have to die first” – I love it because it’s so true!

After many long years of trying to fit in, I was finally able to happily stand out! I am now a qualified life coach, I did a U-turn in my life towards my authentic self and towards happiness.

Unfortunately, more often than not, it is pain that serves as the main trigger for changes in people’s lives, BUT I sincerely believe that we don’t have to wait until it is that bad! If we stop hiding from ourselves, pretending that we love our “comfort zone” – we have everything to achieve lots of breakthroughs in everything that we do NOW!

Last, but not least, start to try try try things out as soon as possible and, though it may sound strange,  hopefully you will fail (Yes, FAIL!) multiple and multiple times before you finally find Your thing! It isn’t a bad thing. Lots of successful people failed multiple times before they succeeded, and it is a great way to really find that thing that feels so right!

Yes, being a coach is great fun and very rewarding in many ways but not easy because of a very important thing: we have to develop an entrepreneurial mindset along with a coaching one. I was lucky enough to learn this lesson very early in my journey that’s why my biggest priority was (and it still is!) building my authority and awareness on social media!

During my hard days I remind myself about exponential growth and that all the energy that we put in, we receive back! I also often remind myself that I’m not working – I am serving, I’m not employer – I am freelance, I’m not surviving – I am living, and I’m living my dream.

So I know that my best time is yet to come, and that’s why I allow myself to post imperfect stuff, to have imperfect coaching sessions, to make imperfect speech because it’s the only way to beat perfectionism! The only way to get things done and progress! I feel so empowered writing this as it is so true. Yes, I strive for perfection but I surrender myself to the imperfection!

If you are a high achiever as I am and also want to make a huge positive impact in this world, but for some reason you feel stuck, confused, low in confidence, exhausted or close to burnout – then you can find out more about a free discovery session and download my free ebook on my website.

Or you can follow me on FacebookInstagram or LinkedIn – I’m continuously delivering value and creating content to help everyone who wants to change! I’d be happy to help you find your right path, boost your confidence, reach your goals and have a lot of fun in between!

Shine bright and keep rocking!

If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying

Do you know that staying for too long in your comfort zone will bring you frustration, boredom and ultimately a loss of meaning to your life and lots of regret?

And I guess you don’t want to have a life full of regret, right?

What makes us stay in a comfort zone?

It’s the need for certainty!

Certainty means safety and predictability…

BUT!

Here’s the thing.

At some point in our life, we will have experienced a strong emotional event, such as:

– failure
– loss
– rejection
– a health issue
– accident, etc

And what do you think this does to us?

Our need for “certainty” becomes an addiction.

Why?

Because uncertainty means danger.

And by staying in our comfort zone, we protect ourselves from experiencing this pain again.

But if we stay there too long, our fears start to grow…

We then feel guilty and ashamed about the opportunities we miss…

And a vicious cycle begins. We plan our whole life around our fears and serve them.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But what would happen if you remained in uncertainty long enough?

Yup, you guessed it, it will become certainty!

Remember, we are much more than our fears.

Don’t put your amazing self in the boring box!

Ask yourself: “Am I growing or am I dying?”

Oh, and one last thing…
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

Because it’s true.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!

Top 5 Crippling Mistakes “Confident” Men Do

Did you know that 50% of men who think that they are Confident, have lots of insecurities and Confidence issues without realizing it?
It is happening because there is a different understanding of what Confidence is and we can hold false beliefs about it and stay oblivious of how this can be improved.

MISTAKE #1 – Failing to Work With Emotions
Shutting down all the emotions or being too emotional – can be a sign that you lack self-confidence and there are deeper issues that are creeping inside you.
Inability to express emotions especially strong ones as love, anger, resentment is a clear sign that there is an internal conflict that has be explored and resolved.
We can just selectively numb feelings: if we numb anger, we also numb joy and happiness!
Working with your emotions and becoming more self-aware will bring you back the control of your life and boost your confidence to the next level!

MISTAKE #2 – Failing to Keep Work/Life Balance
Do you work your butt off and sacrifice your personal needs to ensure your family has everything they need?
Does your work occupy 80% of your time and there is no space for your own interests (or you don’t know your interests!)?
Being a hard worker is one of the common sign of confidence issues and this can lead to further health and mental illness.
If this is a case, it is time to seek for help and start taking care of your own needs. I am 100% sure there is a way to keep you and your family happy other than self-sacrificing.

MISTAKE #3 – Failing to Enjoy Achievements
It is great to be ambitious, but if you never feel enough and keep jumping to another and another goal, this could lead to a burnout, loss of motivation and unhappiness.
When you are too focused on your goals and put aside your health, family, hobbies or things that bring you pure pleasure, could be a sign that your drivers and motivation come from your FEARS and “I’m not good enough” beliefs, but not from the place of LOVE.
If this is a case, it is worth to explore your drivers and the aspects of self-love and self-acceptance that are fundamental for irresistible Confidence and sustainable results!

MISTAKE #4 – Failing to Challenge Yourself Enough
It is easy to confuse “feeling confidence” with “feeling comfortable/safe”, that’s why lots of men feel “Confident” just because they know their work, family and other aspects of life inside out.
But this “Confidence” is limited by what you achieved, and it is bounded by the routine that you created. If are not learning something new, we aren’t growing and if we aren’t growing – we are dying.
Staying too long in your comfort zone could be damaging for your self-esteem and confidence. By doing so, you will have more and more fears of leaving it and worries about the future.
If this is a case, it is worth to get more clarity what is it you are avoiding doing and which aspirations do you have. Remember, Confidence go side by side with Action!

MISTAKE #5 – Failing to Be Self-Sufficient
If you find yourself not being able to feel comfortable at your own skin or in your company and you feel the need “To have something/somebody to feel something” – this can be a sign that there is a need inside you that hasn’t been properly fulfilled.
It most cases it is a need for Connection or Significance.
For instance: “Subconsciously, I attach my self-worth to things / people that I have (expensive luxury car, job title, beautiful women, etc) to feel significant or loved.”
If this is a case, there are ways to work on this needs and making sure you don’t need anything to feel irresistibly confident!
If you feel resonated with any of them, let’s connect and I help you to get your Confidence to extremely new level!

Your Physiology Tells The Truth About Your Confidence

Your emotional state (or physiology) is a particular chemical reaction in your body that gives you certain emotions.

Your emotional state can make you feel incredibly powerful or weak, happy or miserable.

Why it is important for your confidence levels?

It’s because your emotional state impacts on your thoughts, actions and ultimately results.

Emotions are not just something that happens to us – we have the power to control them!

How do we achieve this?

Think about what makes you feel great and what makes you start creating something.

It is the right flow of energy that becomes a fuel for your creativity and confidence.

Do you know any entrepreneurs who work long hours but never seem to get tired and always have fantastic energy flow?

Why don’t they burn out? Because having the right energy is everything! Your own physiology is an unlimited source of energy.

Emotion can be created by emotion. A fake laugh can lead to a genuine laugh.

When you force yourself to smile, laugh, use open body language or even dance, your chemical balance starts changing and you feel great!

Just sitting in a chair, overthinking and over-analysing things won’t give you this wonderful emotional state.

Everything you focus on, you feed it with your energy.

Direct your energy to gratitude, love, connection, opportunities, empowering beliefs and change your emotional state!

Yes, you need to fake it until you make it. Confidence will come afterwards.

The Most Important Relationship In Your Life

The quality of your relationship with yourself is the foundation of your relationships with others.

Studies show that we unable to be emotionally available for others if we are not able to be emotionally connected with ourselves.

For example: If we ignore our feelings, strive for perfection, criticise ourselves, reject parts of our personality, and not give ourselves the space to take care of our mind, body and spirit then these are signs of unhealthy self-relationships.

In this instance we are unlikely to build caring, kind and loving relationships with others.

A healthy self-relationship is based on strong senses of self-worth, self-respect, unconditional self-love and self-acceptance.

Here are some tips on how to start building a healthy relationship with yourself right now:

– care for your physical needs (e.g. get enough sleep and rest, eat healthy food, exercise daily, breathe fresh air, and be around nature)

– notice your emotions, thoughts, physical feelings, behaviour, mood

– compliment yourself and keep yourself in high, positive regard

– do what you love and what inspires you

Check in with yourself daily and ask: What’s happening with me right now?

An exceptionally good self-relationship should be your number one priority! Treat yourself with love, care and respect.

How To Attract Only The Right People To Your Life

Have you ever acted against your own will to maintain relationships with people you considered valuable to you? Did it work?

The ability to create and protect our own boundaries is a vital part of building powerful relationships.

You might ask why some people succeed in keeping their boundaries, but others fail.

It is because people with low self-esteem tend to keep soft boundaries or not have them at all, because they value relationships with others more than their self-worth.

They allow others to take advantage of their personal boundaries too easily because they are afraid of being rejected or abandoned.

But if you want to become irresistibly confident and build powerful, fulfilling relationships then you have to create boundaries that will serve you to bring only the right people into your life!

For instance, you must state to yourself: “I don’t want anyone to shout at me, so if somebody does start shouting, I will leave the conversation.”

Or: “I will not tolerate someone betraying me. I will finish that relationship.”

It is a pure, adult behaviour to say clearly what is right or wrong for you, so we don’t have to feel guilty afterwards.

Think about it this way: If you don’t respect your boundaries, why would anyone else respect them?

Ask yourself:
‒ What is it that I cannot accept?
‒ How am I going to protect my boundaries?
‒ How am I going to communicate them?
‒ How committed am I?

Once you are clear about your personal boundaries and start behaving accordingly, it will make an amazing difference.

You will be able to build powerful relationships based on trust, support and equality.

Do Men Have More Insecurities Than Women?

Parents treat boys and girls differently from the beginning.

Girls are allowed to cry, be weak, helpless and capricious…

BUT – boys are not!

One family member will always remind them: “You are boy, you have to be strong!”

At a very young age, boys learn to numb their feelings; not showing them to anyone and pretending to be powerful.

Starting from puberty, boys begin to appreciate “men must-have” attributes such as:

– leadership
– dominance
– law-breaking
– muscle development
– actually, everything that’s associated with power!

But what if a boy has less-developed muscles or doesn’t want to be involved in any illegal activity?

In most cases, he doesn’t feel like he fits in and might be bullied by more “mature” friends.

And what impact does all of this have?

This leads to anger, fear, suppressed resentment, and other psychological reservations.

What happens next?

As an adult, men encounter other challenges, such as their parents’ expectations:

– “You have to become someone!”
– “You have to be financially independent!”
– “You have to find a ‘real’ job!”
– “You have to be a breadwinner”, etc…

Such a heavy bag of societal preconceptions of what a “real man” must be or do, isn’t it?

I believe that regardless of gender, we all have a right to experience and express a whole variety of feelings and to be vulnerable.

Let’s stop hiding our insecurities behind masks. Let’s face them and resolve them.

We are free from labels, stereotypes and the expectations of others unless WE want to take them on!

You are what you believe you are.

P.S. Do what you love, even if this goes against the common picture of a “real man”.