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TODAY IS A BIG DAY!

Updated: Feb 16

Today is a turning point for me as I embark on a new journey. Will you join me?
 
Most of my life I have felt like the success I crave is just out of my grasp. It feels like I can see it and almost touch it, but I never quite get there. It’s so frustrating and sometimes feels so defeating that I want to give up. Other times it appears as though I do something to sabotage it. Either way, the success I crave has remained just out of my reach.
 
Feeling as though I am not living up to my potential is eating away at me. I feel like I am trapped in a hard shell, and I cannot break free. I keep beating at the inside of the shell and can see cracks that light creep through, however, I cannot get out. I’m also claustrophobic, which adds to my anxiety. This trapped feeling has made me feel depressed, burned out, and frustrated. It’s as if no one taught me the secret to breaking the shell or that I must not have been born with the tools needed to break it. It doesn’t feel fair. These feelings have come flying out in ways that haven’t served me well. I have blamed the people around me – my husband, my family upbringing, politicians, you name it… I have also blamed circumstances, such as growing up poor in a small Alabama town, religion, being surrounded by coworkers that aren’t supportive, or a lack of like-minded individuals in the area where I live. Trust me, I have looked everywhere for a reason to explain why I have been impeded from reaching my potential. If I could find a place to lay the blame other than on myself, I did it. After all, I have worked hard, sacrificed, served others, and done my best, so if I haven’t reached my potential, it HAS to be someone else’s fault! Right? Wrong.
 
The fact that I feel like I am not living up to my potential is going to be a surprise for a lot of people. On the surface, it looks like I have succeeded in so many areas of my life. I have had a fun and wonderful career, various entrepreneurial successes, and am an award-winning college educator. I have been married for over 25 years and have 2 beautiful daughters. I’m still best friends with 2 of my kindergarten classmates even though we live in different cities. At 51, I’m still very healthy and feel super young. On paper and in social media, it looks like I have got it going on! However, something inside of me has been telling me there’s more. I feel like I’m not close to being successful. My inner voice is screaming at me, telling me that if I don’t break free of the shell and do what I am meant to do, I might go crazy before I actually die with the regret of not living up to my potential.  I’d prefer that neither of those things occur!
 
The undoing of me which is leading to the doing of me has been happening my entire life, but I can see a clear journey that began in 2006. That year I experienced of a lot of trauma and loss with the death of my father, 2 failed pregnancies, knee surgery and the discovery of a tumor in my femur. Simultaneously, I was experiencing some successes as we had a very lucrative business, I launched another successful business, and was working towards my PhD. I didn’t know it at the time but can easily say as I look back, that these events began an internal journey that taught me that everything I thought I knew about success was wrong. It was all a big lie. Now, 18 years and many lessons later, I know what success is, the path to attain it, and how to break my shell.
 
Take Note! Today. February 16, 2024. This is my declaration that I will live up to my potential. I will break free from my shell, and I am going to be successful in my life. Today is a turning point for me. I am scared and excited for my new path. I would love to invite you to come along with me. You can come as an observer or better yet, you can join me so that you too live up to your potential. Either way, I would love for you to come along.
 
What does this really mean? I’m starting a new journey.
 
Deep inside I’ve known that I have more to do and to give to the world. I have been very fortunate to have experienced inspirational people, launch successful businesses, and to coach/train/educate both executives and college students. These experiences combined with my dedication to being a lifelong learner have reached a tipping point. I have to break out of my shell. It is time for me to share what I have learned with all of you. I’m not making drastic changes such as moving or leaving my current positions. This journey is more internal than external. I’m committing to applying my life’s purpose to every experience I have in a way that I have not in the past. I am going to launch a few new things too, a podcast and a book.
 
To help you better understand how I plan to live up to my potential and be successful, I want to give you the definitions of those two terms as I now know the truth.  
 
What is my potential? How do I define success?
 
I’ve spent the last 7 years in deep personal development trying to determine why I feel so unsettled in life. On paper, my life looks perfectly successful. It’s the American dream. I grew up poor in a small town in Alabama, worked my way though college, founded several businesses, and now am the “expert” teaching college students how to reach entrepreneurial success. I have been considered the female underdog success story and have been asked to speak to many on how I’ve done it. As I would give keynotes in the role of an empowered woman, it never felt authentic to me. On my personal development journey, the question I sought to answer was, “Why?” If that wasn’t authentic for me, then what is?
 
My personal development journey has been filled with tons of reading and research. I became a certified professional coach. I wanted to learn what I felt like everyone else must know but somehow I missed. I wanted to know the real formula for achieving the type of success that makes people feel accomplished, proud, and most importantly – happy.  I’ve read countless books and academic articles. I’ve listened to what feels like millions of podcasts. I’ve taken up yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. I have learned to balance my chakras. I’ve dedicated myself to eating mostly whole foods and select meat. I’ve learned and done a lot. All to help me find the answer to what my body has been screaming at me – you are meant to do more.
 
In his book, Unlocked, George Mumford gave me the answer I had been seeking. The overarching theme is that those who are truly successful focus on finding their gift, constantly honing it, and bringing it to the world in an authentic manner. This was not a new idea to me. I have developed a model of success that I use in my professional life for several years now that is basically the same concept. However, George took it a step further for me when he wrote, “In order to keep what I have learned, I have to give it away. To keep learning, growing, and expanding, I have to teach.” (George Mumford, Unlocked) As I read these words, it was an eye-opening experience for me. I know what I have to do to reach my potential.  I have to write, teach and speak… not what people want to hear or what others say should it be…  I have to find the courage to write,teach, and speak what I have developed using the gifts I know I have. I have to put myself out there in a way that I have not done. Putting myself out there authentically while honing and sharing my gifts with the world, is the only way I will live up to my potential and achieve the success I crave.
 
Each of us is born with a unique purpose in life. Accordingly, we each have unique gifts and talents that help us achieve that purpose. Success is constantly developing and using your gifts and talents authentically in pursuit of living your life’s purpose. Trying to achieve success in this manner, not attempting to feed our ego, is the only way to reach our potential.
 
My purpose in life is to teach others how to be self-empowered so that they can live their authentic purpose and be truly successful. (How ironic that my purpose is exactly what I had to find for myself!) My gifts are writing, teaching, and speaking in such a way that I can inspire and educate others. I am most fulfilled when the people I am working with are individuals considered UnderDogs. UnderDogs are the people that come from seemingly difficult backgrounds, lack adequate resources to thrive, and have been largely ignored or written off as individuals that cannot succeed. Today, I commit to my success in the form of helping others, especially UnderDogs, to reach their success.
 
Early this summer, I will launch a new podcast called, The Top UnderDog Podcast, to tell the stories of individuals that were UnderDogs but are now Top UnderDogs. I will interview individuals that overcame UnderDog circumstances and became successful, so that we can be sponges and learn from them. How did they do it? What advice do they have for other UnderDogs? I want to celebrate those that are not normally celebrated and reach out to those that others overlook. I am taking recommendations now for individuals to interview on the podcast. If you are or know someone that is a Top UnderDog, please complete this Nomination Form.
 
I am also going to finish the book I have been writing for years now. I’ve been a closet writer for most of my life. It has been my therapy as well as my way of organizing what I learn. My gut has told me repeatedly that I need to share what I have learned with the world, but I feared what I have to share isn’t important enough. I commit to sharing this with you so that we can continue to grow together. Stay tuned as I tell you all the Big Lie About Success!
 
Today is a big day! I’m excited for where this will lead. Most of all I am excited about celebrating Top UnderDogs and helping others to become one.

-Gina Simpson is a certified professional coach and founder of Soluna Strategies. If you are interested in working with Gina to reach your full potential, email her at gina@solunastrategies.com. Her passion is your success!

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