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My Backstory: What is a Catalyst?

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I’m Hannah Coles and you are listening to The Confidence Catalyst Podcast, My backstory: What is a catalyst anyway?

Hello my friends! Can I just tell you how excited I am for this podcast?! I had this idea spinning in my mind and as you know I hosted the LOVE AT HOME podcast for a while and really loved doing that but there were messages I wanted to share and felt like they didn’t quite fit and there was this audience I wasn’t reaching that I really wanted to speak to.

So, I made a hard decision and decided to take a leap of faith and delete that podcast entirely. Can you imagine, all that time I put into it, researched every topic, wrote, recorded, edited, published, promoted and then…gone? It wasn’t an easy choice at first. I really wanted to cling to all my work but this pull to come here spoke deeply to my heart and so I decided once and for all that this is where I’d spend my energy and resources and where I could make a greater impact on this, the Confidence Catalyst podcast.

I want tot take this pre-episode and share a little bit of my story, my background, and why the name? You know, I get a lot of questions about the name – what is a catalyst, how do you spell catalyst? And why did you choose that as your business name and podcast?

I am a professional certified LDS life coach. I trained under Brooke Castillo over at the Life Coach School and that was one of THE best decisions of my life. I help women overcome their insecurities, doubts, fear of lack and not being enough and help them learn how to create genuine, lasting, I can take over the world kind of confidence. I love what I do and the transformation I witness in each of my clients. It’s truly a remarkable journey.

I wasn’t always confident. In fact, I was one of THE most insecure people on the planet or at least that’s how I felt. I put up a good front though. I’m pretty extroverted so I was talkative. I mingled. I was involved in sports, music, things but I was scared all the time.

Scared I’d get found out. Scared that people would see the “real me”. Scared that people were really talking bad about me behind my back. Scared of what they thought of me. Scared that I wasn’t enough. Scared that if people looked close enough, they’d see that I was broken, lacking, less than, and not enough.

When it all boiled down to it my go to thought /question was: What is wrong with me? Why am I broken?

This led to all kinds of problems. It showed up in hindering me from getting out there and doing things I really wanted to be do. I was afraid that I’d fail trying, that I’d look stupid, I’d feel embarrassed, people might talk about me, etc. Can you relate?
In fact, I remember this one time back in high school there was this dance team I wanted so badly to be a part of. My junior year, I had a friend who was way committed to this and she had recorded the dance – back when you had to bring your giant camcorder to record it. We didn’t have our sleek phones that made recording easy. She practiced and practiced and memorized the audition dance and I really wanted to go for it too so many days I’d practice with her until I knew the dance pretty well too. Audition day came and my friend was so excited and I just had this surge of insecurities stop me in my tracks. What if I looked stupid? What if they laughed? What if?

So I hung back and told her to go ahead and that’d I’d catch up later. So mustering some courage I walked up to the and I froze. I couldn’t open the door. I stood there feeling every doubt, insecurity, fear rise up in me. So I exhaled this resigned breath as my shoulders sank low and I turned and walked away.

My friend made it of course and the next day at school no joke, her parents had delivered a ton of balloons and flowers to congratulate her and I felt so many feels. Jealous, sad, guilty, ashamed of myself, like a coward, a failure. I was so mad at myself for letting my insecurities win and because of that I wouldn’t know that year what would have. But that experience only gave my inner critic more ammunition to throw at me.

I also quit the swim team which I loved and was good at solely because I was afraid of how ugly I looked in a bathing suit. I wasn’t fat by any means but I thought and felt like I was. My inner voice told me over and over again how ugly my body was because it wasn’t perfectly thin like so and so. Another regret because I loved swimming.

My insecurities got in the way of being able to fully enjoy the moment too. It wasn’t all bad. Like I said, I smiled big. I hung out with friends. I was pretty extroverted and I’ve always been a doer. I was the lead in the high school play. I got the highest singers award my Senior year. I was deeply involved in music, choir, jazz band, piano and I loved being a part of all of it but I couldn’t fully enjoy any of it because I was constantly bombarded with that voice, that bully, that incessant critic inside my head reminding me of who I “really was”. For all intents and purposes I put on a really good front. I looked confident. I looked like someone who knew what they were doing and what they wanted but inside I felt like an imposter, pretty small and insignificant.

That voice stayed with me and was my constant companion for decades. That voice that told me how lacking I was. How I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, funny enough, talented enough, popular enough.

Things changed as I got older. Circumstances changed and I went through college, jobs, Marriage, kids. I had a really good life. I did many great things but through it all my insecurities stayed with me always reminding me of who I was and what I certainly wasn’t. Then one day my daughter and I picked up the classic novel, “The mysterious case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” for a school project.

It’s not that it’s the most fascinating book (in my personal opinion) and certainly not like Hollywood likes to portray but it indeed had a profound effect on me.

The novel shares Dr. Jekyll’s perspective and his struggle with the duality of man. He said that he, himself, was for the most part, a good solid, respectable citizen. But there was this part of him that was “evil” – or I’m going to venture to say the “natural man” – lower brain talking – ego – etc.

On the outside he was a highly functioning, contributing to society, good standing guy but when he fed that darker part of him -the challenge arose and welcome, welcome Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde grew stronger and took over more control the more he’d entertain the negative thoughts and personality of Mr. Hyde and I won’t spoil it for you…go read it…but as you all can guess…Havoc ensued.

I found myself relating my story to his. I was a good, upstanding, contributing member of society. I was mostly inherently good and desired to be good. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to teach my kids, to raise amazing souls, to be something special.

But that voice. That part of me that was insecure, scared, jealous, lacking was always present.

So tried to drown it out. To prove to myself that I was something special, worthy. So I learned to hustle. I started groups, clubs, activities. Whatever I did I worked hard to make it special and it was. Part of that is just the doer in me and who I like to be, but part of me, that Mr. Hyde part of me did it to work for my worth and it was never enough.

I had this war going on inside of me. The moment I’d start to feel good about myself my inner voice was right there to knock me back down again. When someone would give me a compliment and I’d start to smile and feel warm fuzzies, that voice was there again telling me that it wasn’t really true. If that person knew the “real” you they wouldn’t have said that.

I all weighed on me. I had this belief that I SHOULD be happy – all the time – but when I wasn’t that just proved once again that I’m less than and lacking. I’m not grateful enough, faithful enough, good enough. It was exhausting and lonely because I wasn’t about to share these thoughts with anyone. They’d be repulsed, run, and tell the world how crazy I was, right?

So like Elsa, I concealed. I hid. I continued putting on a good show of smiling, doing, trying all while the struggle inside raged on.

Ezra Taft Benson once said, “Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the chambers of our own souls.”

It was a battle of epic proportions and there were times I’d feel like I was gaining and winning and times that I felt just plain lost between tithe who I thought I SHOULD be – the who I really wanted to be and the real human I was.

It wasn’t until I found life coaching that my entire world started shifting. It was really the first time I had genuine tools, applicable tools to use, practice daily that started calming the Mr. Hyde inside. For so long I lived with the belief that something was just wrong with me and what a huge relief and weight lifted to be able to let that belief go.

The best news of all of it was that nothing external had to change for me to feel better. I didn’t have to go get more schooling. I didn’t have to become a billionaire. I didn’t have to starve myself to death so I could weigh 100 pounds. I could be free, joyful, and confident just by learning to change my internal world. That was mind-blowing to me. For the first time ever it gave me all the power and control.

There’s a quote that really resonated with me during this transformation period. It reads:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated.”

It was then that I realized and whole heartedly believed that it was me all the time. That I was the catalyst for the change I so longed for. The answers weren’t outside of me. The solutions weren’t in what I did or what I looked like or how hard I hustled. It was me. I am the catalyst.
I create the world around me. I create the lens that I look and see my circumstances. If I wanted to be confident and break free of the shackles of insecurities, I could.

WE ARE the decisive element for our lives- we are the only ones who can create a major shift/change in our lives. We decide the weather. If you don’t want to be weighed down by your doubts, fears, insecurities anymore – you don’t have to. Isn’t that amazing news?

Nothing outside of you has to change. You are the decisive element. You are the catalyst for the change you seek in your life.

You are the confidence catalyst.

Are you ready to embark on an amazing journey to developing a talent in confidence? One where you are strong and immovable no matter what the circumstances are around you?

Are you ready to drop the doubt and make peace with the inner bully inside?

I’m so excited to share these tools I’ve learned, applied, perfected, and refined with you. Be warned, this isn’t a quick fix or just think happy thoughts journey. This is real, this is vulnerable, genuine and best of all transformative. You will not be the same person after applying these tools. Are you ready to see how amazing and magnificent you really are?

I promise you, nothing is wrong with you. You are not broken and I can’t wait to prove it to you.

So, let’s do this! Hop on to episode one and start your journey to becoming the confidence catalyst in your life.

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