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On my 40th birthday, I jumped out of plane and skydived for the first time —
it was the last thing on my childhood list of things I wanted to do/experience (the list had other things like: get a tattoo, a motorcycle, compete in bodybuilding, start a business, write a book, etc.) It was exhilarating and everything I wanted it to be, especially the moments in the small, hot, loud plane as we made our way up to the right altitude and I felt the fear begin to grow. My heart rate increased and I could feel my pulse quickening and beating hard in my neck (I love feeling fear), my hands got sweaty, and my saliva tasted sweet. I embraced the fear, I was there to savor it, a feeling I rarely got to experience anymore, a feeling I knew would disappear as soon as we left the plane. It would be replaced with the high of excitement and adrenaline.
The experience lived up to what I’d expected; however, checking off the last thing on my list left me feeling empty and I hadn’t prepared myself for that. As I drove back to the AirBnB where I was staying, my only thought was: “Now what?” (It’s been over 1.5 years of asking that question—I’ve learned a lot about patience in my life)
What do you do when you’ve just turned 40 and you’ve experienced more than you’d ever imagined and tried your hand at everything that ever crossed your mind? I’ve never held myself back and I’ve always done what I wanted—and that is the ONE thing that makes me, me—and frankly, different from so many others. I feel like I’ve already lived multiple lifetimes.
The path of my journey started when I was 9 years old, I was locked in a bathroom with my worse fear—a spider. The only way my stepmom was going to let me out was if I killed it. I panicked at first, banged on the door, and begged her to let me out—then God spoke to me and taught me the lesson that would define my life: “You can be trapped by your fears, or freed by facing them.” It took almost an entire roll of toilet paper, but I killed the spider, faced by fear, and was set free.
These days, I have to go to extremes to manufacture/raise the sense of fear in myself because I’ve been spending my life chasing after it, in order to get over it. In the process, I’ve developed impeccable confidence that allows me to do whatever I want. Let me make clarity a quick point here, I’m talking about the fabricated fears we levy upon ourselves and from the unknown—not the healthy fears designed to keep us alive.
Fear—in the form of experiencing something intense for the first time and being at the edge of the unknown provides me with such an amazing sense of self-awareness that it slows time down and amplifies everything around me. The focus and clarity of being alive I experience when fear is present—is addictive.
When you’re not afraid to do anything, it’s easy to do everything. When you bore easily, learn quickly, and there’s no fear holding you back—you stack up A LOT of experiences. Then the question becomes, what gives experiences meaning?
While I’ve done a lot, I haven’t been successful at all of it. I kick ass at living life. I’m also a top notch Marine Corps Officer/leader of Marines because what makes me the absolute best version of me is being there for the Marines and leading them to become the absolute best versions of themselves. A passion I’ve always wanted to cross over into a business—something I’ve tried a few times and failed to do more than once.
I’m almost 42 and have done everything I wanted to do—I have no regrets but there is something haunting me—the one thing that’s kept eluding you.
You probably won’t see the irony and humor in this, the way that I do, but when I first left active duty to start my entrepreneurial journey—I wanted to make it in business to have the freedom to live my life a certain way—to travel and have adventures. But after years of busting my ass and losing everything, I quit the entrepreneurial game and in a weird twist (handed my life over to God)—my life turned into the most amazing adventure and it had nothing to do with being successful as an entrepreneur or having tons of money.
I started living a life full of firsts, accomplishments, and new discoveries. My life was enriched with incredible experiences and people as I experienced, traveled, and explored. I blossomed in unexpected and unpredictable ways—life was showing me its wonders and teaching me so much.
The entrepreneurial drive and obsession went away during that time (about 10 years) and I sometimes wondered if it would return. It clearly and absolutely has—the ghost of past failures and unfinished business is upon me.
I don’t have a 100 million dollars empire or rags to riches story to pitch you and I’m not famous; however, I do have me and endless stories of things I’ve done based on never holding myself back, believing I could do anything, and becoming fearless.
I’m searching for those of you seeking to learn how to expand your potential beyond anything you thoughts possible!
Ann is focused on topics related to elevating and maximizing the human potential. She strongly believes the constant exposure to new experiences and lifelong learning are keys being healthy, happy, and relevant in the future.
To book her, please contact her.
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