So much of our fear stems from or is perpetuated by the stories we hear and the stories we tell ourselves. Breakup stories are some of the worst and most damaging. Seldom do we hear of a breakup that makes us think, “Wow. If only heartbreak had motivated me in that direction, then, I would have let go sooner and feared less for myself.” The reality is, these stories are out there. You just have to ask for them.
For this Q&A series, that is exactly what I did. Over the following weeks, various creatives will get honest with themselves and the Mogul community about how their breakups landed them on top.
You’ll be hearing from women who attribute their professional success to heartbreak and credit their breakup for being the catalyst for personal transformation and professional reinvention.
My hope is that these stories will encourage new thinking and even comfort you, that they will help you fear less and love greater. And perhaps most importantly, my hope is that they will help you breakupward and focus on what is possible.
2x Best-Selling Author, FORBES Coaches Council Member, Business Lifestyle Coach & Consultant, Editor, Publicist & International Speaker, Maleeka T. Hollaway, 27, of Huntsville, AL opens up to us next.
1. Do you think your success is a product of something you already had inside of yourself but relationship priorities either delayed or distracted you from going after or do you think solitude and loss themselves drove you to want more for yourself?
I signed my divorce papers on December 29, 2014 and I’d like to think that doing that one thing catapulted me into success. Married in 2010, at the age of 20, I didn’t fully realize that I had signed up to to be abused mentally and physically. Soon after the divorce, I co-authored a book and shared my story. Life has been on the come up ever since.
From that “breakup,” I’ve started a growing business, have been invited all over the nation speaking to crowds and even went out of the country sharing my story. My work has been and is still being published on international platforms, three of which are the Huffington Post, ESSENCE, and Thrive Global.
2. How did you adjust your mindset after your breakup so, instead of focusing on what was lost, you focused on what you could gain?
Being in a relationship where I was literally stripped of my will to live ultimately made me WANT to live! I would say to myself, “If you lived through THAT, imagine what life will be like now!” And thus far, I am living! In that bad relationship, I learned just how strong I really am. I also learned that I could do and be whatever I wanted to be.
3. If every person that comes into our lives is truly an opportunity for us to learn and grow, what do you believe your ex was there to teach you?
Every hurdle life throws is an opportunity to either jump or stop. We make that decision. I made the decision to make my story work for me to encourage others. As a life success coach, among other things, I get to serve as a breathing reminder that success is what you make of it.
4. How did you grow up and grow into yourself because of the relationship?
Due to the failed marriage, I grew up because I knew I had more to do and more to live for. And because I had a child out of the union, I knew that she deserved more. She needed to see me thriving, being happy, healthy and whole. So I used her as my soul leverage to push myself to move past the pain and to continue living life.
5. One of the most popular sayings is, time heals all wounds. What did you discover over time that helped you heal your wounds most?
Time heals only what you allow it to heal. I believe that my healing came from being okay with not knowing all the “whys.” I grew okay with knowing that it didn’t work out and I don’t have to have all the reasons why. My wounds healed from me sharing my story with others and them drawing strength from it. Learning that by sharing my experiences and allowing others to see me grow, it gave them an extra boost of confidence and motivation, and this helped me heal. Just like “hurt people hurt people,” “healed people heal people” too.
6. Coming out of your breakup, is there anything you could have done that would have gotten you to where you are now, only more quickly? If so, what would that have been?
Ha! I believe I had to go through my healing process exactly how I went through it. Slow and steady. Nothing could have sped my process up.
7. What would you tell someone who was in need of finding the silver lining in their breakup?
Take everything as a learning lesson. In every encounter with someone, you learn more about them and more about yourself. Ask yourself, what do you know now about yourself that you didn’t know before that person came into your life? You have to find ways to boost yourself up no matter how low you feel.
8. If you could say or ask one last thing to your ex, what would you rather do? And what would the statement or question be?
I would tell him “thank you!” Him not loving me the right way made room for the right man to find me to love me the right way.
9. In your opinion, what does it mean to breakupward? What would that look like to you?
I’ve broken “upward”!!!!! My story is what that looks like. I was depressed and distressed in the relationship. Now, I have joy and I’m reaching a new success daily. I lost myself in the relationship and found myself when I left it. I’m a better person because of that bad relationship.
An Advice Columnist and Breakup Coach trained and certified in Solution-Focused Life Coaching, Chelsea Leigh Trescott helps her clients turn their sob stories into silver lining breakups. For a chance to be featured in her HuffPo advice column or Mogul Q&A series write [email protected]
Visit Breakupward.com for coaching services.
A Breakup Coach trained and certified in Solution-Focused Life Coaching, Chelsea Leigh Trescott is the host of the podcast Thank You Heartbreak and the founder of Breakupward—a movement encouraging men and women to use heartbreak and setbacks as an opportunity to launch themselves to a greater [...]