From the moment we're born, we're faced with the never-ending challenge of figuring out what we want to do with our lives. When we're children, our parents try to mold us into the next star athlete. When we enter college, we're already expected to know which industry and what career we want to pursue for the rest of our lives. Then, when we're already well into our careers, we often think it's too late to follow our true passion so we end up working dead-end jobs day in and day out just to avoid change and challenge. Finally, my Lean In epiphany came (way beyond my college days), and I realized I couldn't continue my lean back antics. So, what happened?
I was finding great success running my own marriage and family therapy practice. Many Latin American referrals were coming my way, and I was very stable, comfortable and happy. Without knowing it, my career began shifting as colleagues and clients turned to me for health advice and physician recommendations. I realized my real passion and interest was health — alternative and holistic medicine — and helping others find help. I couldn't let it go. It had always bothered me to witness the trials and errors of traditional medicine. Traditional doctors always have a pill and a quick fix to your symptoms, but never to solve your real underlying bodily health issues.
Then one day, I got a dreaded phone call. My very close relative was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. All the doctors he saw gave him a death sentence of two years. Was it really time for him to start crossing off his bucket list? After hours and hours of research and fainting hope, we were able to find him an alternative to the traditional U.S. doctors. He entered treatment in another country and was able to spend his final years living a happy, healthy life instead of in a hospital bed. But enough was enough. I had to take a stance and make a change in the health industry.
"There's nothing you can do to cure these illnesses." "This is just a fact of life—deal with it." "If the doctor can't fix it, nobody can." That's all I heard from my family and friends. I knew better. And I knew it was time for me to change the medical field.
Going against all my family's advice, I sought out my own health solution by creating my own site and social network where people can exchange ideas, recommendations and health options. Not backed by some greedy corporation or looking for my own monetization opportunities, I just honestly want people helping people. People finding support, like the Lean In site, guidance and health practitioners who have an intuitive solution to cure the underlying cause of our health issues. People doubted me; they still do. I still feel myself seeking support around me. And I've had huge obstacles to overcome — learning two new industries — technology and health, but I would do it all over again because I'm making my dream my reality and the reality of others.
For those of you in your "lean back" stages, I urge you to never give up or give in to other people. Follow your heart, your passion, and your dreams. Believe in your fight. You can make it happen.