It has been clear to me that although I am an outgoing person, love to get to know other people, I walk with fear.  I walk with fear of “being in the spotlight” and the risk of being known, specifically being known for my past life experiences.  I believe this was a part of the resistance to leaving my full time job, it was cozy, people only knew what I wanted them to know, it was safe, and it was comfortable doing the same thing each day.  However, I knew I wanted more, I knew I wanted to get out there and explore what I was capable of. So, instead of talking around what I am talking about, I’ll just be honest. I did not want to be a business owner, put myself out in the public eye of social media for the fear of what people from my past would say, possible use against me, judge me.  I was afraid that they would say “What, Simone is a coach now? When the hell did that happen? Is she even qualified? Imagine if people knew about her past?” You can say there was a lot of things going on in my head, that would have me resist getting in the spotlight. I was afraid people would start talking about my battle with depression, how I was reckless as a teenager, doing drugs, drinking alcohol and at such a young age. Oh wait, I was even charged as a young offender in high school for stealing in grade 9.   So, this definitely was a part of the reason it took me so long to switch careers and why I still resist today. It took me many years to forgive myself for the choices I made growing up. It took time to accept myself for who I am and who I am not. It took time for me to address all the things that were unfinished, and for which I was making myself and other people wrong. It took time for me to have compassion, patience, love and care for myself.

I love this quote by Brene Brown “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”    I can honestly say that I am owning my story and I am clear that my past choices do not define who I am. Everything I went through was necessary and looking back I do not regret a single thing that happened because if I did, then I would not have the opportunity to meet the person I am today.  My experiences developed my sense of self, my view of the world, being open to where others are in their life, being compassionate, empathetic and loving. Now, I am not perfect, and everyday is a journey with myself which I honestly enjoy, a lot. It takes time, patience, practice and the willingness to look at your life, go deep inside to unveil your truth.  It will take “re-living” the past that you have decided to hide for years and deny. It will take courage, compassion, and forgiveness. It will take a willingness to unleash yourself and be vulnerable. I chose to take on doing the introspective personal development work, and take the risk of stepping out into the spotlight because I wanted to expand in my career, I wanted to make something of myself, I wanted to prove to myself that I am capable of following my dream and be successful.      

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”  Another great quote by Brene Brown and it’s a reminder to me that as I continue on this journey of life, my job is to just show up.  Show up in business, show up in my relationships, just show up.

If I can offer anything, it would be to embrace who you are, share your truth, take the time to heal and confront your life in a way that will allow you to expand.  When you expand, your whole life expands and that includes your business. As my friend Mawuli Chai says: “Be willing to stand in the truth of who you are.” Take the risk of being seen.  Your story and your strength will inspire those around you. I was willing to step into the spotlight because my message, passion, and mission in life is much bigger than the fear of being judged for my past.     

I acknowledge all humans for the lives they live.  I acknowledge you for the ups and downs, the struggles, the wins, the doubts, the fears, the pain, sadness, happiness and everything else you go through.  You are all amazing humans and I ask you to continue to “Show up. Be Seen. Live Brave.” Brene Brown


Written by: Simone Vitellaro