Gratitude Letter #10

Thanks to the Disbelievers

I know this is trite, but there’s a reason the phrase “what doesn’t kill you make you stronger” is both a Kelly Clarkson lyric and a oft-repeated quote. It’s fucking true.

Dear Anyone and Everyone Who Has Been Less Than Supportive or Accepting of Me:

This is for you.

Yesterday, feeling rejuvenated and reinvigorated after a great workout and mentoring session with my pilates instructor, I mustered the courage to share with the world my newest endeavor: Last weekend I started the process of becoming a professional “coach” and embarked on a year-long certification program.

I know the idea of a professional “coach” is foreign to many. What exactly is a coach? What makes one (me) qualified to coach? And why would some pay to get advice from someone, who self-admittedly has struggled with alcohol, depression and heartbreak? The short answer is that a coach is a not an expert in life, business, wellness or whatever niche in which they choose to practice (phew!). Instead, they are someone who is professional trained in coaching skills — techniques designed to help the real experts in their clients — their clients! — identify, achieve and maintain their goals.

And actually, since I have struggled so much, but have also come out so much stronger and with such greater clarity on my life goals (and I’ve absolutely CRUSHED a lot of them), I think I’m just the sort of person who should be coaching others, especially those looking for some mind-body alignment.

But I digress.

So, yesterday, I mustered the courage to tell the Facebook world (much different than the real world) that I was starting this wonderful journey and offered myself up to new clients. As always, my amazing FB friends were warm and supporting. (Thank you!!) I even had a few shares, which I greatly appreciated.

However, what I didn’t appreciate — or anticipate — was a response left on one of those shares.


It was just one little word, but it stung.

And I was totally conjecturing about the tone and the meaning behind the comment — left by someone I’d never met, but had solicited advice from several months ago about the literary business and writing.

Maybe this FB user meant it as, “Really!? That’s cool!”
But, realistically, I thought, this person more likely meant it as, “Really? You’re going to be a fucking coach?” [sneer, disdain, skepticism.]

Now, again, I want to make it clear that this is my own interpretation and I have no clue how the comment was intended. It’s entirely possible the comment was harmless and my backpack full of negative, limiting beliefs were playing tricks on my mind.

So, I asked a few friends. Most agreed this was a rude comment; fuck that guy; etc. One said that if she read it, she’d assume the poster knew me and was surprised by my life choice to become a coach. And, as a result my friend said she would question my ability as a coach and would decide not to hire me. Since this was something that could negatively impact my business, I decided to ask my friend who’d shared the post to remove the comment. She was totally nice about it and deleted the entire post. I felt silly but life went on.

And now I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s bugging me, that this person, who doesn’t know me, may be judging me for my life decisions. That others may question my professional choices.

And this is the sort of fear that has held me back. Has stopped me from apply to jobs or voicing ideas. And that ends now.

I’ll still be hurt when someone makes a comment that I perceive as rude, but if everyone was always congratulating and complimenting me, I’d never grow. We all need a bit of resistance to build strength. It’s like at the gym. If we don’t push ourselves to do more reps, use more weight, we’ll plateau.

So, thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way. Your encouragement means the world to me.

But also, thanks to everyone who has doubted me, silently and publicly. Thanks to anyone who’s questioned me and forced me to explain myself — to you or to myself. I am appreciative to anyone who has underestimated me — proving you wrong has made me work harder, smarter and longer.

And the answer to your question, FB poster, is “Really.” If you’d like a complimentary session to work on any wellness or other life issues, you can contact me at shawcroftcoaching [at]