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My story is not too different from yours…

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I started college with a huge chip on my shoulder.  I was a young Black woman coming from a single-parent home and one of the lowest performing high schools in my county, to a college campus that didn’t quite fit with society’s narrative for my life.

Fast-forward 3 degrees and 2 bar exams later, and I found myself having done all of the things I set out to accomplish.   That may sound kind of crazy, but I remember getting the “now what” feeling once the excitement of graduation wore off.  On one hand, I was beyond grateful for being able to say I achieved the things I set out to achieve.  Lots of prayer, support, and late nights got me to that point.  On the other, I looked around and was not sure I wanted to be on the career path I set up for myself. I was “successful,” but realized that I didn’t feel the way I thought I should feel.

That’s because my definition of success needed work.

I realized I had been living my life in compartments.  All through school, I lived like different parts of my life and identity could fit into neat, separate boxes.  My academic life and professional goals were always front and center.  My personal struggles, growth, fear, strengths, and purpose took a back seat.

For years, I thought this was how I was supposed to live.

Meanwhile, I was avoiding addressing decades of pain that undermined my perception of what made me valuable. If I wasn’t working towards goals and achievements that could be measured in degrees and career titles, then I was not good enough.  I told myself people wouldn’t love me quite as much.  They would be less proud of me.

I owned that narrative and lived a life that got me pomp and circumstance, but stopped short of reflecting a whole and self-loving version of myself.  When I got to the last goal on my checklist, I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted.  Sure, I was proud to be an attorney.  I loved the relationships I made along the way.  But I did not love me.  By keeping my head down and pushing toward the law firm finish line, I never looked up to heal and figure out who I was as a whole person.

I realized that I had been rejecting parts of my story.  By embracing the strength of my story, and leveraging the lessons I learned from my painful and positive experiences, I became free to be more of my whole self – not just Tiffany the student, or Tiffany the attorney – but Tiffany, the woman who was ready to walk in the direction I wanted for myself.

By understanding my story, defining my edge, and leveraging my experiences, I was able to redefine success – on my own terms. I took concrete steps towards achieving this newly defined success.

What about Four Corners Coaching?

Four Corners Coaching started as a blog where I shared stories and reflections on my personal journey of breaking down the walls and compartments in my life.  It has evolved into a company dedicated to helping people like you own the strength in your story, redefine success for yourself, and develop strategies to leverage those strengths across all areas of your life.

I have worked with clients pursuing graduate school, career transitions, and new employment opportunities. Let’s set up time to talk about your story and strengths.

In case you want to know some more of the formal stuff…

I am a proud graduate of Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania (School of Social Policy and Practice and Law School).  I practiced corporate law (pharmaceutical defense) before going into admissions and diversity and inclusion work at a law school.  I love good food and Haribo gummy bears, and was probably a DJ in a past life.

 

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