I’ve grown, and though you may think you know what I’m going to say, allow me to (re)introduce myself.
First, the basics:
I’m a life coach, digital nomad, bestselling author, professional speaker, made-up word lover, amateur salsa dancer, and blanket hog who often wonders out loud if I should call myself a Self-Actualization Coach because my true north and the driving force behind all my work is the belief that dream acceleration is REALLY about self-actualization.
Here’s a bit of my story and why I’ve been musing on such things:
On a good day, I felt restless. On a bad day, I felt like a caged animal.
Exasperated, I came home from work to my dark, musty, basement apartment – a glaring reminder that I was not just figuratively, but literally, underground. Drowning in student loan debt, I rarely answered my phone because collection agencies were calling me daily. Trying to find my way in the world wasn’t easy. All the emotional and practical baggage of difficult family dynamics and estrangement seemed to all be hitting me at once. Much of it not my fault, I felt like a victim of circumstances who was dealt an unfortunate hand. I felt profoundly alone in my struggles.
The job I begrudgingly got at an Ivy League university to establish some stability, looked good on paper, but my soul was dying, a little more every day. If I had to sit through one more hour-long meeting that could have been communicated by an email, I was going to lose it! Things were done in inefficient ways for no reason other than it’s the way they’d always done it. This felt archaic to me, but rethinking conventions wasn’t welcomed or encouraged. Waiting for that clock on the wall to say 5:00 felt like an insult to my personal integrity and pride, not to mention that I had finished my work hours earlier. The starched button down shirt I wore, because I thought I should, felt like a straight-jacket, a costume that belonged to someone else – but not me.
I knew I couldn’t stay.
While going through the motions on all the things I thought I was supposed to do, I was losing myself. On autopilot, I’d drive to work, or the grocery store, or the gym (when I could get myself to go) feeling more and more disconnected from who I was. I wasn’t challenged. I wasn’t inspired. I felt contained, micro-managed, and caught in status quo games that I didn’t want to play. I felt like I was drowning, and I knew no one was coming to save me.
Underneath my restlessness and frustration, was a growing sense that I was meant for MORE, that this couldn’t possibly be all I was meant to do, be, or have.
I knew I needed to take the reins and reshape my life, to reshape my reality, to figure out how to not live in a basement forever, to create a life that was my own, that reflected the truth of who I was.
It was from that dark musty basement apartment, that I gazed out that teeny-tiny window with a view of the sidewalk and the tires of cars passing by … and I’d dream.
I dreamed of having the freedom to travel when and where I please. I dreamed of having my own location-independent company so that I could work from anywhere. I dreamed of a home with lots of natural light. I dreamed of becoming a bestselling author. I dreamed of wealth on my own terms. I dreamed of finding love. I dreamed of having time and energy for creativity and play. I dreamed of making a positive impact, serving others in meaningful ways that made their life better. I dreamed of being myself without boundaries.
The voice of my soul and seeds of my own self-actualization were surfacing.
Naming my dreams felt so powerful. I acknowledged the dreams in my heart and imagined what my life could be – despite having absolutely no idea how to make ANY of it happen at the time.
People said my dreams were impossible, that I should “settle down,” stay at my job, just be more grateful. They were wrong.
Not only have I achieved my “impossible” dreams and the freedom I so craved, I’ve built a business around helping YOU chart your own course, live your dreams, and create the life you think you cannot have. I have coached thousands to go beyond striving, wishing, and “someday-ing,” to experience the true freedom life has to offer. Rethinking conventions and challenging status quo “have tos,” while helping people rediscover themselves and realize what’s possible, has made for a profoundly fulfilling, decades-long career. Looking to the horizon, I am expanding my impact daily, determined to reach millions of people with my writing, coaching, and speaking.
Your dreams, like mine, are fuel on your path to self-actualization.
Regardless of the specifics of what your dreams are, I stand for them as by-products and bonus results of your becoming. Who you become in the process is the real win, and how you grow and stretch into being the person who would have them is the real work. (It’s also where the biggest rewards are found.)
I help you create the life you think you cannot have while becoming the person you are meant to be.
What is the life YOU think you cannot have ? Who do you need to become in order to create it?
PS – If you are ready for self-actualization with a side of dream realization, I am opening up 5 spots for my FREE Top Shelf Session with Tara Assessment, a 1:1 conversation where you will gain clarity on your dreams and how they reflect and empower the person you are becoming, insight into what’s been holding you back, and a renewed sense of hope about how to courageously break free of obstacles to achieve what you want with a customized strategic plan for your desired future.
Just before starting my business, I had what I would describe as a stuffy research job. An ivy league university employee, it looked good on paper. But good god! It was all wrong for me.
In theory I could have hunkered down like those around me were doing, and embraced the cushy life of a retirement-track university employee, though I never seriously considered it. My soul would have needed to die to endure that haul. I was adamantly unwilling to be another retired zombie who played it safe.
My mantra was, “For now, not forever.”
Often, while sitting at my desk, just feet from where my supervisor sat, I’d be chomping at the bit waiting for the clock to hit 5:00 so I could leave. More often than not, I’d finished my work hours earlier, but I was clock-bound nonetheless – something I always found stupid, belittling, and maddening.
I strongly dislike being micro-managed, and the rigidity around how, when, and where I did my work felt utterly confining. Maybe you relate?
While others did a good job at looking busy, I was planning my escape, fueled by a disgruntled disdain for the need to pretend.
I distinctly recall staring at a crack in the wall and fantasizing about being a spider that could sneak through the crack and escape.
This inspired my Halloween costume that year, Tara the spider.
(2003) This silly photo was taken by my friend Carianne, at a Halloween party, in her kitchen. She was a disco ball. I slithered, she spun. Good times. Looking at it now, I see a woman caught in her own web, which sort of underwrites the desire for freedom that inspired the costume. But nonetheless, my low-budget costume was an outlet for expression, trusting I’d find a way out.
In an attempt to make it fun and keep my spirits up, I told myself, “Tara, you love Halloween and theater, so put on your research assistant costume (which generally involved a plain button-down shirt) and go play the part of a 9-5 university employee.”
This privately held inside joke – with myself – helped me to reel in my bad attitude.
“For now, not forever,” I reminded myself. “Pretend that this is all just a character study aided by a boring costume and unnecessary meetings.”
This helped. But as much as I love Halloween (a lot), I didn’t like wearing the same costume five days a week!
Have YOU ever felt like you were wearing a costume or playing a role meant for someone else??
Truth is, I’d had quite a bit of practice. It wasn’t the first time I felt this way.
As far back as I can recall, I’ve felt like I was being asked to fit into a mold that simply didn’t fit. From very young, I’d always questioned parents, teachers, bosses, even friends, about status quo expectations and norms that seemed foolish to march in step with when there were such obvious alternatives – to me, at least.
I soon learned they weren’t obvious to everyone, which had me feeling that much more like a rare bird in a cage.
In a very real sense, when, in 2004, I decided to start a location-independent business and chart my own course, it was the beginning of the rest of my life.
I dreamed of having the freedom to travel when and where I pleased. From day one in my business, I worked with clients remotely — even if they lived in the same city! Back then, smartphones weren’t in every pocket, the internet was not accessible everywhere, internet marketing wasn’t mainstream, and the term “digital nomad” had not even been coined.
I’ve helped thousands of people, spanning five continents, to go beyond striving and wishing and “someday-ing,” to create a life they truly can’t wait to get up and out of bed for in the morning – a life and business they don’t need a vacation from. And yet even all these years later, it’s work I still love.
I assure you, I know how it feels to be cast in a role that, in your heart of hearts, you know will always feel confining or contrived, and will only lead to restlessness, frustration, and dissatisfaction.
Determined not to live this way, I broke free.
I learned how to manifest horizons and implement energy management tools that changed my life forever. I cracked the code on travel and mobility, making the world my office and busting the myth that home is a zip code. I learned how to build a business from the ground up and create wealth on my own terms.
Today I help clients master and create these very things.
And I no longer wear unwanted costumes.
The closing months of the year are the perfect time to map out your goals, dreams, and plans for the coming year.
Goal setting, by itself, doesn’t work. Your goals and intentions MUST be paired with an ongoing, consistent, aligned, action plan – a way to stay in momentum with the intentions you’re setting out to accomplish and create.
I am currently offering a limited number of 3-hour Intensive Planning Sessions to get YOU on course for this year to truly be your best, most joy-filled, most delightful and successful year ever.
Together we will roll up our sleeves with a reflective, insightful Year-in-Review assessment of the past 12 months (what went well, what didn’t go so well, what didn’t actualize that you truly still want, what didn’t actualize because you simply never really wanted it … ), AND we will create a personalized action plan, customized to fit exactly your needs and priorities, so you have a custom-designed road map to stay consistent, and on course, one week at a time. This is how you create the kind of traction and momentum that really makes ALL the difference.
I’ve been doing this as a personal practice for more than a decade and I have been coaching others to do this for more than a decade. For 3 solid hours you will have my undivided focus and attention for the sole purpose of supporting YOU in fulfilling your life-by-design definition of success.
And I’ll record it for you and send it to you so you have it as a reference throughout the year!
Ready to set yourself up in a way that creates real results?
Let’s do this thing.
I am making only a few spots available for a special 3-hour *recorded* (so you can go back and listen later – invaluable!) NEW YEAR PLANNING SESSION. You will be amazed what can happen over the course of 3-hours together.
It would be my true pleasure to serve YOU in this way. Email me right away [Subject: NEW YEAR PLANNING SESSION] for more information and to schedule this offer at Tara@tarasagecoaching.com.
Priced at just $597, these will go fast! Don’t wait for the busyness of the holidays to come and go to start planning for the new year! Go into the new year with grace and confidence. Make this YOUR best year ever.
Get in touch today and give yourself this gift … Contact me directly [Subject: NEW YEAR PLANNING SESSION]
I truly look forward to serving YOU!
To your success,
May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,
Helping people live their dreams since 2004.