Trusting My Gut: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Breast Cancer and Pregnancy, Part 3
By Deana Jean
The Three Mantras
“Who does this?” I thought to myself as I anxiously sat across from my COO refusing to break his gaze. I’d just given my two-week notice, and could literally hear my heart beating inside of my chest, as I made him an offer I’d tried to convince myself he couldn't refuse. To calm my nerves I allowed my mind to wander back two years to ringing that victorious bell after my last radiation treatment. I repeated the familiar refrain of my 3 mantras until he broke our silent gaze: 1. Trust your gut. 2. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. 3. You're stronger than the hardest thing you've ever been through.
As nervous as I was, I knew that I had gone too far to retreat. I not only was quitting my job, but I was asking them to be my very first client as I shifted into my new consulting gig. And if I hadn't just beat cancer 2 years prior, I never would have had the courage to even make the offer.
In the end, he said yes, and 4 years later these three mantras have continued to carry me through life’s greatest uncertainties and challenges, including navigating the global pandemic as a first-generation entrepreneur.
These mantras have equipped me with the courage and the audacity to serve hundreds of entrepreneurs, community-based organizations, and Fortune companies as a workshop facilitator, keynote speaker, trusted advisor, and sought-after consultant.
And it's my highest honor to share them with you in the hopes that they can transform your life in the same way that they have impacted mine
- Trust your gut - Each of us is born with a gift of discernment, but it's not always something that we honor, because we let fear get in the way. If I wouldn't have trusted my gut to seek alternative cancer treatment options or to launch my consultancy with no business leadership experience, you wouldn't be reading these words right now. Everything that you need to succeed already lives within you. Trust yourself enough to take the chances that others are too fearful to pursue, and you’ll always stay ahead of the curve.
- You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - I’ve got to give Wayne Gretzky credit for this one! Way too often in life, we allow fear to prevent us from even attempting to do what others have deemed improbable. The treatment path that we chose during my pregnancy was definitely the road less traveled. Giving up the stability of my mid-six-figure salary to launch a business with no entrepreneurial experience was a risk, to say the least. But in both cases, I knew that if I never took those shots I'd be plagued with what-ifs for a very long time. There truly are no misses in life because as long as you've learned something, you're further ahead than those who refuse to leave the comfort of the bench.
- You're tougher than the hardest thing you've ever been through - Fear and anxiety can easily paralyze you into submission; especially when it’s time to do hard things. Every once in a while, one of my kids has a bad dream, injures themselves in a game, or is hurt by the actions or the words of others. It's in those moments that I remind them that as scary as those experiences are, those moments are now memories, and they've lived to tell the story, and most importantly to learn from the journey.