Today’s Change Maker is the lovely Sarah Jensen.
Sarah and I first met at the Beautiful You Awards Dinner in March 2016, however had been supporting one another online for awhile. Since then I have had the pleasure of being Sarah’s coach, featuring on her popular Rock Your Goals podcast series and watching her grow + shine in both her life + business.
This interview is jam packed with insights + nuggets of gold from Sarah’s journey and I am so excited to be able to share it with you. Sit back, relax + enjoy this inspired ride. Please welcome miss Sarah Jensen…
What does living an inspired lifestyle mean to you?
It means creating the space and time to tune in and connect with what you really need; to follow your heart, your passion, and those beautiful ideas that start out as quiet whispers and become big, magnificent, life changing action.
It means living from a place of “being” rather than “doing”.
It means love, kindness, compassion and connecting with what inspires YOU; creating your own path, rather than following the path everyone else is taking.
To me, an inspired life includes stillness, divine conversations with soul sisters, and taking time out and away from the “to do” list to release the busy-ness and just be.
How do you create change in your life and/or business?
I’m a mix of rapid fire change and resistive of change all at the same time.
I’ve always been a “dive in head first” without testing the waters kinda gal, and I remember as a kid being reminded over and over to “look before you leap Sarah” (and sometimes to “think before you speak Sarah” – I think the term “subtle as a sledgehammer” was used a few times too!).
I get caught up in the excitement, the fire, the passion of an idea, and I run with it as hard and fast as I can.
Having said that, I can also be a BIG fan of the comfort and familiarity of routine. That means if I take too long to stop and think, it can create the opposite effect and I get so far into overthinking territory that I become stuck in a quagmire of “what ifs”. That’s probably why often I don’t think, because I know if I can just dive in, take action (and often declare it publicly to keep me accountable) I’ll follow through and make the crazy, exciting, big ideas happen.
Ultimately though, for me change is driven by my deep desire for, and core personal values of, happiness, fun, adventure, freedom, choice, kindness, connection, honesty and generosity. Any change I make is usually an idea or action that’s moving me towards one or all of those feelings.
And so, for me, change becomes about designing and lovingly directing life, rather than just floating along with the tide. Don’t get me wrong, floating along without a care every now and again is pure magic, but at heart I’m a ‘doer’, so generally I like to keep shuffling along, little by little, in the direction of my dreams.
What challenges have you faced along the way? How have you, or are you overcoming them?
Oh my Buddha, there have been waaaay too many challenges to bore you with, but what they’ve all come down to (after the tears, anger, frustration or pain have passed) is that the core challenges I’ve faced, and still face (I’m a work in progress, that’s for sure) are fear, self-doubt and not feeling loveable, deserving or “good enough”.
Those are the thoughts that became my soundtrack to life; the thoughts I ran over and over until they became my deep, ingrained, immovable beliefs about myself and my worth. I found evidence everywhere I looked to prove that “Sarah, you suck. You’re not enough. You can’t do it. And don’t ever doubt that if you start making progress it won’t last. You’ll always fail because you don’t deserve goodness or love or success”.
It was exhausting. I lived every day in a cycle of crash and burn, push and strive, and then fall down, red faced and beaten. Every time I took three steps forward, I’d find a way to send myself right back to the beginning where I thought I belonged. It’s amazing how we create what we expect.
I always used to think that was a load of baloney, but the more I do the ‘work’ (the scary, difficult, challenging, juicy, amazing, life changing work), the more I believe that when you can change how you see yourself, and what you believe about yourself, your life and what’s possible, the more you can embrace and allow things like happiness, abundance, success (whatever that means to you), joy, comfort, love and peace into your life, and the more content you’ll be.
It’s not an overnight process and it’s not a ‘do it once and then it’s done forever’ thing. It takes consistent work to kick the nasty thoughts and the negative habits. Remember too that most of those thoughts weren’t consciously selected by you, or me, or anyone. You learned them as a little tacker through observation, and no one taught you how to really, truly, love yourself, so it’s not your fault. But the most magic thing in the world is that you CAN choose to let go of the stuff that doesn’t serve you and start, slowly and gently, replacing the junk with shiny jewels of your choosing that support the wonderful, happy, inspired self and life that you’d really like.
When did you first know you were meant for something more and how did you take the leap?
Ooooh, juicy question. As a kid I always wanted to be special. I’m not sure if that was an inkling that I was meant for “more” but I definitely never fit in. I was always pushing the envelope, pushing back, asking why, and often doing the opposite of what I was told. I was a loving and fun kid, but a bit of a difficult kid too because I wanted to explore, learn, and understand, and I didn’t want to be told “no”. As I got older, I learned to quiet my inner curiosity; the cheeky rebel inside who had hundreds of dreams.
I learned that that’s not what you’re supposed to say, do, think, be, achieve, or look like.
I learned to shape shift to fit the people I was with, to fit in at work, to ‘do the right thing’ so people would accept me.
On the inside I was screaming “let me out”, “this sucks”, “this isn’t what I want”, “this isn’t who I am”. But I thought that’s what it meant to be a “good girl” who people would accept and love.
As I get older, and the more I embrace the noisy, silly, fun, sassy, sometimes messy woman that I am, I’m letting my inner child out more, I’m caring less what others think, I’m liberating myself, my dreams, and my inner adventurer and it feels amazing.
As for the how, it’s been a long journey of small steps with lots of love, support, and encouragement along the way from some amazing people, healers, therapists, counsellors and other wonderful souls who crossed my path at just the right time.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
This marketing BS that sells us THEIR vision for OUR lives.
I say no way, Jose, to that.
Instead, let’s design our own lives, embrace our own dreams, be our true selves and be so over the moon OK with that, that the world becomes a great big ball of love and acceptance and joy.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone who is ready for more, but holding back through fear of the unknown, what would it be?
You’re capable of so much more than you know. Let go of the noise and pressure. Let go of other people’s expectations. Let all that stuff slide away. And then tune in to YOU.
What lights you up?
What makes you smile?
What makes the time fly in the most wonderful way?
And if you’re stuck, or feeling like you don’t know, and nothing’s coming to you, then think back and ask yourself:
“Who was I, who did I want to be, and what did I love to do before the world told me what they wanted me to be?”
What did 5 year old you, 10 year old you, or 20 year old you dream of doing, having, giving, being, or creating?
Let go of the need to be an “adult” and tune back into your own innocence and heart, and see what message it has to share with you.
Is there a person or experience that inspired change in your life, if so who and/or what?
So many people and experiences. Mum and Dad splitting up when I was little, living with Depression, getting married young, getting divorced not long after, moving interstate and across the world, running away, realising you can’t run away from yourself and having to step up and deal with my shit.
Meeting a great guy and having to learn how to accept love and happiness.
Having three really crappy bosses in a row that lead me to take the leap in my business so much sooner than I’d planned.
Having to find the courage and strength I’d sought from others and find it in myself instead.
Learning to step up. To put myself out there. To be wholly and totally me and be ok with the fact that not everyone’s going to like me, let alone love me.
Learning to let go, surrender, release, and forgive.
Specifically, I want to acknowledge and say thanks to my Mum, for encouraging me to find what “more” meant to me and for not judging my constant stream of hobbies, pursuits and big ideas but encouraging me to keep trying.
My wonderful, kind, wise and patient boyfriend Bren for showing me what unconditional love in a non-parental relationship is, and can be if I just allow it and welcome it.
And to 6 year old me who loved to explore, adventure, climb trees, jump the creek, play in the mud, sing out loud without fear and who believed that anything and everything is possible – thanks for coming back to play.
What are your top 3 ways to stay inspired?
- Quiet time alone to reflect, relax and recharge.
- Incredible conversations with passionate, kind, generous, wonderful people who are following their own beautiful bliss.
- Travel. Everything about it inspires me. The people, places, sights, sounds, food, experiences. All of it. This world is such a big and magnificent place, and nothing is more inspiring than adventure.
What is one thing people don’t know about you (it can be something fun, a fear, or something close to your heart – whatever you would like to share)?
Here are a few things I don’t think I’ve shared online before:
I have an irrational fear of snakes.
I studied English Literature briefly at Uni.
I dropped out of University after the first six months because I was bored and wanted to be part of the world.
And I’ve travelled to 27 countries… So far.
I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaways or inspirations were from Sarah’s interview? Please share away in the comments below.
Sarah Jensen is a sought after coach, internationally published writer, host of the iTunes New and Noteworthy “Rock Your Goals” podcast, and creator of the award winning Rock Your Goals workshops.
Sarah helps women build a business and life they love (that loves them right back) without going broke or burning out in the process. She believes in owning your awesome, writing your own rules, and chocolate.
Connect with Sarah at www.sarahjensen.com.au.
CHANGE MAKER SERIES
Featuring the Big Dreamers, Believers, Creatives and Entrepreneurs.
The Life Lovers, Spirit Seekers and Thought Leaders.
The Everyday Inspiring women who are creating change in the world in a small or BIG way through their vision, lifestyle, and business.