Erin Reiland: “Ask for support or guidance when you need it”

Ask for support or guidance when you need it. Sometimes I think we can feel that we should know what we’re doing if we’re changing careers or starting a new business. But a lot of the times we don’t! And so, reaching out for help and support doesn’t mean you are clueless or that you […]

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Ask for support or guidance when you need it. Sometimes I think we can feel that we should know what we’re doing if we’re changing careers or starting a new business. But a lot of the times we don’t! And so, reaching out for help and support doesn’t mean you are clueless or that you may have made the wrong decision. It’s actually a very smart idea and very helpful to reach out for guidance.

Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Reiland.

Erin Reiland is a Certified Disordered Eating/Anxiety, Breathwork and NLP Trauma Coach. She helps women who struggle with these issues, as well as past trauma so that they no longer have to suffer and begin to live a purposeful life with lasting recovery.

After recovering from her own eating disorder of over 20 years, she left her job in academia and founded InBody_Love Coaching. She has been featured in major media outlets such as CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX. She has also been on multiple podcasts, interviews, and contributing authors regarding mental health and recovery.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Hello. I grew up in Northern California in a middle-class family. My great-grandfather started a residential glass company, which intern my grandfather took over and it became a complete family business. My mother ran all of the business aspects, and my stepdad was the foreman of the company. I actually worked there during the summers when I was in high school. So, I came from a background of seeing what hard work meant and the work ethic they instilled in me from an early age definitely has played a role in the way I run my own coaching business.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have so many quotes that I love. I started a journal years ago for quotes that really have resonated with me.

One I really like about truly loving what you do in life and your job is:

“To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment” ~Dr. Steve Maraboli.

When I decided that I really wanted to become a coach for women struggling with disordered eating, anxiety, past trauma and other mental health issues, I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that. For me it took a lot of courage and a leap of faith of sorts to leave my career that was so stable and amazing, but wasn’t really fulfilling or what I knew my purpose was. Some people warned me that doing this may be something that just was too much of an “unknown” factor and at my stage in my career was it the smartest thing to do for me and my sons future. But I had to go with what my instincts were, and I was committed to do doing just that.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

For me the top qualities that have propelled me to where I am today have been:

1-Commitment: This has been such an important quality for me to embrace fully. I know that choosing to become an entrepreneur and begin this journey may not always be a straight path. For me to have the commitment in all that I do every day, knowing that these small steps and actions will continue to lead me in the right direction for my business.

2-Resilience: I have learned in my life in general that resilience is something that helps you bounce back when things may not go as planned, or a different action needs to be taken in order to continue to grow. The more you practice this skill the more easily it becomes and you’re able to navigate towards what is truly important and in alignment with whatever it is you are working towards.

3-Passion: I feel if you don’t have that inner passion and heart towards what you are doing in your life it can become feeling as if work is a chore or something that is done only to provide for yourself and your family. When you have that inner passion to do what your heart is calling and what you feel is your purpose in life, it is such a game changer. My purpose I know is to help other women with mental health, eating disorders and past trauma. Without what I personally went through I’m not sure if I would be where I am today. With that I bring empathy as well as the tools and skills to support them in last recovery and a purposeful life.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

Before I started my coaching business, I worked in academia at Stanford University for over 12 years. I loved my job and the people I worked with. It was a very stable job, benefits, and everything you would “want” or be “happy” to have. I definitely could’ve stayed there the rest of my life, but it just wasn’t fulfilling for me personally. Towards the end I actually didn’t want to go into work each day. And that wasn’t fair for myself or for the department I worked for. When I spoke to the head of my department about what I was feeling and how I was thinking I wanted to resign, they were very supportive.

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

So, I resigned from my position at Stanford, and the next year and a half it was about healing myself fully, as well as connecting more with my son. I decided to enroll into a few certification programs that were each 10 months long and I dove right in. I became certified in helping women with disordered eating, anxiety, past trauma and then becoming an NLP practitioner as well as a breathwork practitioner. That’s when I started my business InBody_Love Coaching.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

About three months before I decided to resign from my position, I had been on a medical leave of absence from my job. I was in a residential eating disorder program for my eating disorder and past trauma. I was there for over four months, and it was at that treatment center that something clicked. I’m not sure exactly what it was, as I had been in multiple treatment centers over those past 20 years. Something inside of me just clicked. I was on a FaceTime call with my son, from halfway across the country and at that point I was so sick and trying to restore weight that I had a feeding tube. Staring at my son with a tube in my nose was probably one of the hardest things I have reflected back upon. I knew if I truly didn’t work on myself and the past pain that kept me in my disorder, I was going to die. So, after being discharged from the treatment center I went back to work, and it was three months later that I decided I was meant for something totally different than where I was at my career at that time.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

Once I fully recovered from my own eating disorder, I knew that from all of the treatment and experiences I had gone through, I was able to take that information and be in a place to fully feel that I could make a difference in other women’s lives. I felt almost as if I didn’t use my past and what I knew could help others also recover, I would feel as if I was doing a disservice to them as well as myself. That is why I decided taking that year or so in between and working to become certified in these disciplines, and use that as well as my own experiences to start my own business was what I was going to do.

How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.

It has been a whirlwind these last couple of years from going where I was five years ago to where I am now today. There’s no way I would have even believed that this is what I would be doing. The more I have put myself out there to others and being well received, the more engagement I have gotten. I’ve been asked to speak on the news, interviewed, guest spots on various podcasts and print articles. I am now an executive contributor and have an ongoing column I write for about mental health and using breathwork as a modality to heal and realign with our most authentic self. Every day I am inspired by my clients who I coach. Then there are others that reach out to me who are interested in understanding eating disorders and then allowing me to speak on their platforms to bring more awareness. I feel it is so important to continue to let people know and understand about eating disorders, trauma and mental health in general. I believe there are still a lot of stigmas around these topics, so having it be part of conversations lessens that silence that so many suffer in.

Most recently becoming a breathwork practitioner has added even more depth and healing for people. Our bodies hold onto so much of our past experiences and stagnant energy that we aren’t even aware of. And by releasing these emotions and situations from our bodies we allow ourselves to be more open to receiving all the great things that life has to offer.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The first person that came to mind is my mother. She is probably the strongest person I know. Not only did she stick by me in the 20 years that I was in and out of treatment with my eating disorder and all that it encompassed, but she also never gave up on me. Now as a mother myself, I can’t imagine how hard it was for her to see me suffer all of those years. She herself went through so much personally and never gave up and kept going with such resilience. That has made such an impact on me to show me that no matter what life may throw at you, you can make it through. We lost my stepdad 25 years ago suddenly to a brain tumor; within three months of him being diagnosed he passed away. That along with her having breast cancer and having a mastectomy, she never gave up. I remember her telling me that life is what it is and to keep doing the best we can every day. That made an imprint in me as a young person to remember that no matter what to keep going, keep trying and there’s always a way to live life to its fullest.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

This is more of a funny story, but my son who is now almost 13 years-old had to help me with understanding a lot of the technology aspects when I first began my business! It is unbelievable just how much he knows and how he helped me to get my business up and running.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

I definitely have struggled with believing in myself especially earlier on in life. As I recovered from my eating disorder, believing in myself became a huge part in that recovery piece. And then with moving into the coaching realm and believing that this is what I was meant to do. Believing that I was someone who could help others who struggled with what I had. And reminding myself that this work that I am doing is so important.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

I had an amazing support system and still do, when I decided to change careers. Even with my bosses at Stanford, they encouraged me to follow my dream. I was actually hesitant and scared to let them know I felt I needed to resign and go into coaching. They were nothing but supportive. I also had my family who knew how far I’d come and after I recovered, they were so supportive and proud of me. They believed in me and that this was the right thing for me to do, even if it wasn’t a sure thing or “known” what would happen with the choice I was making.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

I was definitely out of my comfort zone when changing my career path! I had spent so many years in academia and with more of that skill set and mindset where I knew I was good at my job. To then completely change into something where I wasn’t totally sure of how to navigate this change, it felt foreign to me. It was a lot of believing in myself and knowing that my own experiences and becoming certified in coaching and NLP psychology etc. gave me the tools to be able to help and support women in the best way possible.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1-That there is no straight path or blueprint for starting a business or changing your career. And that is OK! There is no right or wrong way to go about doing it.

2-Ask for support or guidance when you need it. Sometimes I think we can feel that we should know what we’re doing if we’re changing careers or starting a new business. But a lot of the times we don’t! And so, reaching out for help and support doesn’t mean you are clueless or that you may have made the wrong decision. It’s actually a very smart idea and very helpful to reach out for guidance.

3-If things don’t go as planned or something doesn’t launch the way you may have wanted it to, don’t give up on that idea. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t right. You just may need to tweak it or refine it.

4-Remember to always stay true to yourself, your values and your vision. I have seen people who have started businesses or changed their career, but then be told to be successful they need to change this or that. But they ended up not being happy or doing what they wanted to do in the first place. So remind yourself to not change your values to fit the mold.

5-That sometimes it takes more time than you would’ve thought or felt it should have. At first, I thought I will be doing coaching and speaking and so on and it will all be coming together within the first year. It was not being realistic, but as I have grown in my business professionally and personally over the last year and a half, I know it has been in part to patience. And patience can be hard, but it is very important in starting a new business.

All of the things that I have mentioned I have personally gone through. And although sometimes it was hard and I questioned what I was doing, by keeping my eye on what was truly important helped immensely.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I believe that mental health is so important for our overall well-being. And to me this begins early on in life, and I feel that it’s not talked about much. I would love to see more schools begin to talk about mental health and the importance of being able to speak up if they are depressed or have anxiety or any type of issues that they are struggling with. I feel if we can start talking about these things openly earlier on, the more we will be able to help people who are struggling. So that they don’t have to go through their life feeling bad about themselves or depressed or with addictions. It all starts with acknowledging and accepting and being OK with it.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to have a talk with a woman named Julia Haart. She is the CEO and co-founder of Elite World Group. They are a talent management company representing stars like Iman and Kendall Jenner. She began her fashion career in her early 40s, with barely any experience and it took a huge leap in her life to do this. She had spent most of her life in an ultra-orthodox Jewish community. She has said that was not the way that she wanted to live her life. She was 43 years- old and left that community and started her own shoe brand. Which then was picked up by major fashion industry companies. She definitely inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing knowing that I will make a difference in many people’s lives, and to follow my dreams and never give up on them.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Thank you!

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