Unbecoming



When I first began brainstorming some of the programs I wanted to offer in 2020, the word 'Unbecoming' kept popping into my mind. At first the word seemed awkward. Everyone loves to use the word 'Becoming.' In fact, it's the title of a gorgeous book by the inspiring Michelle Obama, former First Lady and amazing role model to me and so many women. But when I think about the process I've undergone this year, from stripping away the people-pleasing behaviors to overcoming thirty-something years of perfectionist tendencies, it wasn't pretty.


Robin Sharma says, "Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end."


I guess the 'beginning' would best be described as the moment I first began my entrepreneur journey in October 2015. For the next few years, it was a bumpy road of trying to become someone who was liked, respected, admired, desired and known. To some people, it may appear I was successful in that task. I built a business coaching and teaching women technology and business-building techniques, as well as being known as a "Janet of All Trades" who did everything from website design, graphics, social media, virtual assistance, photography, branding, ghostwriting, editing, event planning, newsletters (geez, are you tired of this list yet? 'Cause I sure am)... and even more. When a potential client asked "Can you do _______?" I was so scared to say no or turn down an opportunity that I said YES to everyone and everything.


I hate to admit it, but I was even giving away so much of my services for free or heavily discounted rates. I knew I was setting myself up for burnout and failure, but I didn't pay attention until it was too late...


I felt it in my bones, the feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion. It was the perfect storm, when I cut ties with a client and former business partner. I had my reasons, both personal and professional, and I knew I had to walk away for my sanity and my mission. And if you met me during this time, it was messy. I was figuring out my boundaries, finding my voice (ironically the title of the retreat I led last year) and discovering what I truly wanted for my life and my business. I spoke out against gossip and judgment at our women's retreat, only to 'lose' a few friends who felt convicted by my truth. But when 2019 rolled in, I was a new person. My core values were clear in both of my businesses, and I was finishing my sixth book, "The New Rules of the Sisterhood."


I was focused and excited for the future. Then tragedy struck. I lost two dear friends to suicide, within the span of 30 days. Devastation, overwhelm, despair. There truly aren't enough words to describe what I went through during such a dark time. I went back to my mission and core values and re-evaluated everything again. I could no longer show up as a watered down version of myself to keep the peace. It was time to rock the boat. I knew I needed to speak out against the stigma of depression and anxiety, and I was willing to risk the consequences.


I didn't think I would lose friends, but I did.


I didn't anticipate losing clients, but I did.


But during this time, I gained so much more than I knew possible. I didn't become the Janet I was supposed to be. I had to un-become the Janet I had already been. The real Janet was underneath it all, the entire time.


I found her.


And she's gorgeous.



If you could relate to my story of 'Unbecoming,' I'd love to welcome you to my new program, "Unbecoming." I'm opening it up for a beta-launch - which means you get to try it at a lower cost than what it will normally cost when it officially launches, in exchange for a testimonial. All the details are coming soon! Be sure to subscribe on the home page to get updates.


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© 2019 by Janet C. Bernstein