Sick of feeling behind in your career? Do you ever feel like everyone manages to get ahead except yourself? It’s exhausting, and common in women.
Today’s guest is a confidence coach for ambitious women. She works with them on the inner work it takes to create the outer results you desire.
Tune into today’s episode to hear:
- The “aha” moment that made Zeina realize she had success backward
- How you can take actionable steps toward a more confident you TODAY
- Why looking for outer accomplishments may be exhausting you
Transcript of Episode
Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I’m your host Leah and today we have a truly amazing entrepreneur as someone that is very close to my heart. She is in my mastermind. Hi Zeina, how are you?
Zeina Marrush: I’m so good. How are you?
Leah Gervais: Good. I’m so, so excited for you to share everything about your business with us. So you guys, Zeina is a confidence coach for ambitious women. She works with women that are both career-driven and entrepreneurs, which both are career driven, but she really helps women that have big dreams and big ambitions develop their own confidence so that they are on par with the dreams that they want to have happen for themselves. It’s super important work. Her business is called Ignite That Light and she does really incredible things and we are going to hear more about her own journey in entrepreneurship as well as um, the work that she does. Because I think that one of the reasons I wanted to have her on is because I know she can help all of you listening.
So many of you are entrepreneurs. I know many of you are females, some of you aren’t. That’s cool too. I’m happy you’re here. Shout out to the guys. But for those of you that are listening to this, um, I really want you to take notes with what Zeina is going to talk about today because confidence is one of the things that you often don’t know you need help on. Especially as women, I feel like we blame other reasons or circumstances for why things aren’t happening and are really, really hard on ourselves when in fact with a boost of confidence you can really, you know, you can raise your prices, you can sell, the more you can invest in yourself better, you can do those things that might be holding you back right now. So let’s take the microphone away from me. How’s it gonna thank you so much again for being here.
Zeina Marrush: Leah it is my pleasure. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.
Leah Gervais: My pleasure. Okay. So why don’t you take us a little bit back in your own journey and I really like to start with your own confidence journey and, you know, when did you start realizing what a big piece of the puzzle this is?
Zeina Marrush: Yeah. You know, um, it’s just, it’s so funny to me that I’m doing confidence coaching because when I grew up, I had no confidence at all and it’s kinda like you have that, you know, how it ends up happening, but yeah. You know, I was a shy girl and, um, I just didn’t have confidence. I wanted so desperately to be liked, loved, appreciated and accepted by everyone. And I didn’t realize that the piece that was missing was I needed to like and accept myself, but no one ever taught me that. So I was going through life and, um, you know, I had a best friend, Josh, but, and I would say that he was always defending me. I didn’t even know how to defend myself. And so I thought that like, I’m so lucky for having such an amazing best friend that I never have to do anything because he just always speaks up for me.
So then we get into a fight and we didn’t talk for two years in our early twenties, and that’s when I really kind of went off on my own trying to figure out how do I stand up for myself because I really didn’t know how. Eventually we made up, um, later in our leader twenties, his grandmother passed away. And I remember when he was reading his eulogy for his grandmother, he was practicing on me and he made the, um, the remark that my grandmother taught me this, my grandmother taught me that. And my grandmother taught me to love myself. And when he said that, that’s when it clicked that everyone was telling me be confident. Everyone was telling me to speak up, but I didn’t know how. Um, and that was the piece that was missing. I didn’t know that I was supposed to love myself and if I loved myself, then I’d be able to speak up. Then I’d be able to be confident and no one gave me the the puzzle piece.
Leah Gervais: So what I about it, or maybe this is what made it take a while to click, but how did you, you know, rationalizing your mind that loving yourself is a choice. It’s accessible to all of us right now. I think a lot of people feel like they’re worthy of love when they look a certain way, when they are a certain amount of success, when they get a certain job, when they find a husband or a partner, whatever they’re looking for. And so how did you have the self awareness to realize that self love can come from within? It doesn’t need to come from any external validation and in fact it probably won’t until it comes from within first.
Zeina Marrush: Hmm. That’s a good question. Um, for me, the way that I grew up and what I saw around me is that you didn’t love, like people around me didn’t necessarily love themselves and it was dependent on other people. And another thing too is that I grew up in a culture that really emphasize that looks matter and that I constantly go out, got accused that I was too big and I wasn’t, I mean maybe I was, I was, I’ve always been a really, really tall girl and maybe I had a little extra meat on my bones, but I wasn’t a big, big girl. But because it was drilled into me that I needed to be thin, of course I started to put on extra weight as I was getting older. And then it’s a six cycle because now everyone’s telling me that I’m fat and I don’t know how to lose it.
But it’s because in my subconscious it’s already programmed there. And I’m at the place where I’m believing that in order to be worthy of love, I need to be beautiful and I didn’t feel beautiful, which ironically enough, my name is Zeina in Arabic means beautiful. So I didn’t feel anything like my name. And I’m constantly looking for other people to give me love, but I don’t feel worthy of love because I know that I’m not beautiful. I know that I’m not thin enough. I know that I’m not good enough. I know that I’m not pretty enough. All these stories that are being infiltrated into my head. And just as an example, I remember watching, um, I don’t know if it was miss USA, miss teen, whatever it was, and someone made the remark that you don’t look like those girls on TV. Those girls are thinner than you.
And I’m like eight years old at the time. So I grew up very, very young knowing, not even knowing, right, but just the, with this idea that you need to look a certain way. And when I was in my early twenties, I went back to where I’m from, Lebanon and I lived there for a little bit, and this is still before Josh’s grandmother passed and I had that realization. But once I was there, I realized it’s just part of the culture. It’s what everyone knows. It’s what everyone grew up with. It’s what their parents grew up with, it’s what their grandparents grew up with. And so this is like a generational ragging that you just inherit by being born into this culture. And when I heard Josh make that remark that my grandmother taught me how to love myself, I realized that I’ve been searching for all this validation outside of myself and really it can be given and it needs to begin with me.
Leah Gervais: Oh, that is so powerful. Thank you for opening up to us about that. It’s, I mean it’s very clear why you do this work now because you went through the ringer when you were younger and I’m sure that there’s so many different forms of self sabotage, self dislike, self, um, you know, at lonely, it’s kind of a strong word, but you’ve seen so many different versions of how admin can blame themselves for why they’re not worthy of love and you’ve killed them. So it’s amazing that you’re now helping others. So when you have this realization at Josh’s grandmothers service and it clicks in you that this has to come from within first, what are then the first steps that you took to employ, implement this in your own life and what kind of results did you see?
Zeina Marrush: Um, I’m very, um, I love energy healing work and I had a friend that was introducing that to me around that time. So I immediately looked up energy healing. I found someone in my area and I was able to go to her because for me it was like, Hmm, I’m, I was also coming off the hee ls of living overseas. I moved, um, to Lebanon in my early twenties and it was back and forth, back and forth. But when I was 25, I came back to the United States and my parents are in the United States by the way. I grew up in California and I came down to San Diego and the trip itself was because I wanted to find something and I didn’t know what it was that I was searching for, but I knew that when I found it, I would recognize it. So I spent all this time overseas and I was like some of the best times of my life and I couldn’t find it and I wasn’t finding it.
So finally I got super sick and I was kind of forced to come home and several years go by, I’m in San Diego and then the funeral happens. And Josh makes that remark. And I realized that that is what it was that I was looking for. So I was already putting it out into the universe, like I need to find it, I need to find it. And so when Josh said it, I knew that that was what it was. So it was no, um, I already knew that I’m not going to sit around wasting time thinking about what he said. I took immediate action because I asked for what I wanted and I received what I wanted. And now that I haven’t seen puzzle piece, I knew how to go about getting what it was that I wanted.
Leah Gervais: Amazing. Amazing. So then you start doing energy healing. That was kind of your first step into how you took action?
Zeina Marrush: It was, and you know, ironically enough, even though I knew that that was the missing piece, I also knew that there was a piece in me that wanted to be loved more than anything else in the world. So it’s no surprise to me now looking back because I didn’t love myself. I was attracting and all these partners who didn’t care about me. And so it’s just bad relationship after bad relationship. Men not choosing me and me just being so desperate to be loved and it wasn’t happening. So and I’m so sorry, what was the question? Where was I going?
Leah Gervais: It’s the actionable things, it’s okay. So after you found this aha and everything clicked about the requests that you had been on while traveling and everything, what were, you started with? Energy healing and, and I guess I could ask you what actionable steps did you take toward self love? But I’d also love to hear if you think it would be useful, where do you, where do you start with your clients? You know, when they start realizing that they aren’t happy and they kind of can’t pinpoint it and maybe they’re looking for that something but they don’t know what it is. What are the first steps toward your journey of loving yourself?
Zeina Marrush: Okay. The first step is choosing yourself. When you decide that you want to choose yourself, that’s the most important thing because you can’t help anyone that doesn’t want to be helped. And I really believe that. Um, that’s why you… I mean I remember, you know, when I was in my teenage years, I had anorexia and I was put in the best of the best treatment centers and I thought everyone wanted to get me fat. You know, everyone wanted to help me and I didn’t think the same way. And so I do believe that that’s the same way when you’re talking about the self love journey. Because if you don’t want that help, you’re going to reject it no matter, no matter what. No matter how much everyone else wants it, no matter how much everyone else wants to see you thrive, you just have to want it for yourself. And so for me, I started to see a coach and it was so addicting. Going to someplace and just talking about yourself, who doesn’t love to talk about yourself and just getting it out because there were so many emotions within me that had been suppressed for so long and to have a safe place to talk about it. So even if you don’t know what’s going on, the most important thing is to choose yourself. Find someone that you can start working with and just get out what’s within and eventually it’ll come out. Okay.
Leah Gervais: So what type of changes did you see in your life when you started this mindset shift and when you started focusing on your own self love and what type of changes do you, you work with your clients to find as well?
Zeina Marrush: Yeah. You know…
Leah Gervais: Or like, yeah, different results in their life, I guess.
Zeina Marrush: Yes. The biggest difference is you come in without knowing how to set boundaries, without knowing how to maintain boundaries. Uh, wanting to liked by others, wanting to be chosen by others, wanted to be loved, accepted all of those verbs by others. And then in the end you realize that you love yourself so much that you just don’t even care whether or not people like or accept you. And you have the confidence to move forward without the fear of what they think. Um, and you know, when I walk into a room, I’m not going to say that I don’t care about whether or not people like me, cause I do want to be liked, but it’s not going to affect me if someone doesn’t. And I know that not everyone is my cup of tea, so I don’t expect to be everyone else’s cup of tea. And I just really don’t care whether or not you like me.
Leah Gervais: Right? I mean, that is the most what you said. Uh, you know, this outcome of just not being so concerned or not relying on the opinions of others to dictate your own actions. It can sound somewhat simple, but it is the most important work any of us can do. And I’m speaking as an entrepreneur who works with entrepreneurs. This you guys, this is like what it all boils down to and I just was writing an email about how this issue, um, or this tension when I didn’t have the competence that I do now held me back in every different type of way. So when you don’t, when you don’t prioritize what you think of yourself over what other people think of you, that’s when you start not investing in yourself because you’re worried about what your parents or your partner will think. That’s when you don’t post things on social media because you’re worried about what people from high school are going to think.
That’s when you’re too shy to share your own transformations because you don’t want to be boastful. And those three right there all happened to me. So I’m not just like making those up out of thin air. I dealt with all of those and I had to overcome all of them to get to where I am at my business right now. So this can be really masked. You know, you can really think that you are being considerate of other people or you don’t want to be boastful or anything like that. But when you realize that that’s actually forms of codependency and really the only person you need to prove yourself to is yourself. Amazing things start happening. They really do. And it’s been a really powerful journey. So I’m very, um, I just think what you’re doing is so, so important and I know that it can show up in different ways in the corporate world. How has this work helped you as an entrepreneur?
Zeina Marrush: I just feel like I’m at a place where I really don’t care what people think. So it’s very easy for me to, um, go on video specifically. Um, and it sounds to say, again, it’s not to say that the nervousness isn’t there. I’m not superhuman in that sense, but it’s just easy for me to be very comfortable with the uncomfortable. Like for an example, I remember being in a nine to five job and I had to have a difficult conversation with someone and basically they wanted us to pay for something when really it was their responsibility to pay for it. And I got so fired up because of like just the background of the situation. And so my supervisor asked me, are you comfortable having this conversation? Do you want me to speak with them? And I looked at her and I was like, Oh, I am so comfortable with how uncomfortable this conversation is going to be.
And that’s just, I’m so comfortable with how uncomfortable things are and that’s what I want for my clients. Because when you’re comfortable with the uncomfortable, things start to change. Yeah, right. I remember a specific story that you spoke about to your audience and it was, you were going to be speaking at a panel, but you didn’t feel like you were going to be compensated enough for your time. So even though it was hard, you sent a letter back to them saying, yes, I want to do this, but I think that this is more reasonable for me. And when you were saying that story, I just remember being like, yes, yes, you know I’m getting fired up because it’s uncomfortable, but you have to do it anyways and you aren’t going to get what you don’t ask for. People are not mind readers and that’s where I’m getting like so passionate about this because people get so frustrated when things aren’t going their way and they’re not asking for it and they’re not saying things and you are responsible for your own destiny and you just have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. And I keep saying that because it’s so true.
Leah Gervais: Right, right. Do you have any other examples? I know we just gave a few, but I just think that I would want to give more if we have them because of how relevant this is. Can you think of any other specific examples or situations in which this can show up and really block women from getting what they want?
Zeina Marrush: Yeah, I remember being at a doctor’s office and this is a very prominent doctor’s office and I needed to have surgery. Um, the doctor’s going to be performing surgery and I was waiting for over an hour in my room, you know, the, the, the rooms that they take you to once they go in. And I was super frustrated cause I had a really busy day and I was already stressed. And at the hour Mark I went out and I was asking about the doctor and they said, it’s still going to be a little bit. And so I said, I don’t think you guys realize, but I’ve already been waiting over an hour. And they looked at their clock and I think it just really did slip by them how late it was. And so I just let them know that like, look, this is super unprofessional and you know, you can’t just hoard us in here like sardines where people, and we have lives and it would have appreciated a phone call if you guys were running late on time.
Um, and I read the paper that you had me sign when I first got here and it said that if I’m a no show that you’re going to charge me $50 or if I cancel last minute, you’re going to charge me $50 now I don’t expect to get $50 from you guys at all. But when the doctor showing up over an hour, I consider that a no show or canceling because I have to go now and if you’re going to hold me to a certain standard, I expect you to hold yourself to a certain standard as well. And they’re just like silent. And I’m wondering how many other people thought that, you know, how many other people in that room were frustrated for waiting that long and they did everything they could to make it up for me. And I still see that doctor.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, it’s not about like breaking ties or like being mean. It’s about standing, standing up for yourself.
Zeina Marrush: Exactly. And I was super nervous about saying what I was saying, but I was so passionate that my time isn’t that as valuable as the doctors, right? I expect to be treated with that same respect and that’s what I want my clients to feel. That they are deserving to be treated with the same respect that they’re getting. Everyone else.
Leah Gervais: Tell me a little bit about how you’ve seen this in your own life or in your clients. Like when it comes to dating, I know that this is something you’re very passionate about. How long do we have?
Zeina Marrush: I know, right? Oh my gosh. You know, it’s just, the women that I speak with, they’re so amazing. And the one thing that I always notice is that there’s just a lack of boundaries. You’re going into a relationship, wanting to be loved and you’re dating backwards because you go in with this feeling of chemistry and chemistry is very, very important, but it’s not a great indicator of a long term match. And that’s what people are going off of and people are telling you through their actions that they’re terrible matches. And women are saying that I want ABC and the guy isn’t doing A B C. The guy is showing up and showing them who they are. But because of that chemistry, because of that attraction, they’re not willing to look and see that this guy is not giving them A B C, he’s giving them X, Y, Z. And that’s not what they want.
Leah Gervais: Right. Right. I’m boundaries are, that’s a really great specific thing to bring up because it’s very, very true. Um, last question on this and then I want to switch over to your business a little bit, but what daily habits, practices, exercises, weekly exercises, like what practical things that people are listening to this can they start doing in their life right now that will help improve their self love and sense of self worth so that they do stand up for themselves.
Zeina Marrush: It all starts with baby steps. So if you feel like you’re shy and passive person, just acknowledging the fact that you are, right. Um, and so once you’ve acknowledged that you are, what is it that you want to be, what are the qualities that you want to have and look around and see other women around you who you feel have those qualities and what is it that they’re doing that allows them to have those qualities?
Leah Gervais: what, like what type of things would they be doing or should we look for the way that they’re actually getting the way that they’re treating themselves?
Zeina Marrush: Yeah, it’s specifically, I guess I would say how you are treating yourself.
Leah Gervais: Okay. So you have done all this amazing work on yourself. You help other people do it. You put an incredible content videos out there. I love that you’d mentioned your videos and everyone will speak to you, go check out her lives. Um, let’s shift a little to the star of your business. When do you decide that you want to start actually working with other women to heal themselves in the way you have healed yourself?
Zeina Marrush: Yeah. You know, I had been going to see a coach for probably about seven or eight years by the time that coaching was introduced to me. Cause even though I was seeing a coach, I didn’t know that it was something that I could do myself. And so when I got introduced to that concept, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. I have so much experience and already I’m doing this without even realizing it because I’ve grown so much in what I’ve been seeing my own coaches for that people are recognizing it. You know, people are making comments that, you know, you’ve, you’ve changed so much and of course you know, it’s for the better. So now I can create a business around it. Oh my goodness, I’m in, how do I do this? It’s that you threw a course there and then, um, eventually I met you and I, yeah, I was in a mastermind with you and I immediately noticed, I was like, Oh my gosh, you guys, this is when Leah was, I don’t want to say just beginning, but this was still like your days. Yes. And your goal is to get, I think it was like X amount of one-on-one clients and I remember watching your webinar that you posted in the group for feedback and I’m like, I need to work with her. I absolutely need to work with her cause she’s going to blow up and I need to work with her now.
So I started to work with you and my initial business was beloved, attract love because I thought that I had to do relationship coaching because that’s what I was really good at I guess. But the part that I was really good at was boundaries, right? I realize that it’s not the, I want you to find the person that you want to be with, but that’s not where my heart is. My heart is in making sure that you’re standing up for yourself and that you’re speaking up for yourself and that you’re setting boundaries and it goes a lot more than just relationships with guys. It’s relationships with people. People are just as good as you allow them to treat you. And if you don’t say anything, then people are going to get the green light to continue treating you the exact same way. And I wanted to work with women to make sure that they’re standing up for themselves.
Leah Gervais: Was it nerve wracking to pivot? Was that something that was scary to do?
Zeina Marrush: Oh, it was like the worst in the moment.
Leah Gervais: So, and now it’s like, it was the best thing ever.
Zeina Marrush: Exactly. You know, there’s just so much stress because you’ve built so much of the foundation. And then my thought process was, what am I going to do with all of this stuff? I have so much work now I have to build a new audience. So there’s a lot of fear there. But, um, you just have to do it. You just, you just have to move forward with the uncomfortableness. Recognize what it is.
Leah Gervais: Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Zeina Marrush: Exactly. You know? Um, I’m not gonna serve the people. I’m not gonna serve the amount of people that I want to serve by remaining in be love, attract love. And it needed to, to transition to ignite that light. And the best thing is, is I constantly have to remind myself to like, am I igniting that light or do you stand for what you stand for?
Leah Gervais: Right, are you practicing what you preach?
Zeina Marrush: Exactly. And that’s the most important thing is like I want people to look at me and know that I, I’m, I’m, I’m putting in place what I’m asking you to do. I would never ask you to do anything that I am not doing myself or I have not done myself.
Leah Gervais: Right, right. What has been your most challenging part of entrepreneurship for you?
Zeina Marrush: I would say figuring out the formula, but even that, that’s kind of like in air quotes when I say that because there’s no real formula. It’s going to be different for every single person. And so you just have to keep trying over and over until you get some, until you figure out what works for your audience and what works for your brand. So if it takes two times or if it takes 10 times, the trick is to keep going until you get it. And then once you get it, then you can just replicate it. And it’s super easy, but um, you just, you can’t give up and you can’t stop because you didn’t get it on the first time.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, absolutely. I was just thinking this morning how all entrepreneurship really is at the end of the day is a ton of testing different things. Um, you know, there is strategy and you should learn from, from those who know better and you shouldn’t try to do it on your own. Definitely not. But I think that people that don’t make it are the ones that assume that there is some sort of math that they need to follow. And if they followed it and it didn’t go right or the way they wanted it to, then therefore they’re not meant to do it. When in reality there is no one map for every single person and you have to make your own. And that includes so much testing. And I just feel like that’s the same with, with everything. Like with Facebook ads, you know, I feel like I used to always think like what’s the best type of copy and what’s the best type of emojis and what’s the best type of picture and what’s the best type of formula.
And like it’s just not, not there. Like you can have best practices and I have done a lot of testing over the years and I do feel like I have a pretty good, um, framework for what I need to put into an ad. But I test every single ad I put out there and I really want people to hear that because it’s not that, you know, you get to a place where this is all on autopilot and it shouldn’t be because that’s not, the point of entrepreneurship is about figuring out new things and doing things differently. If you want to do things in a cookie cutter way can go back to your nine five job. That was a little harsher than I’ve had to, to be better. I’m just really glad that you brought that up. And so on the flip side, the most challenging part has been the, you know, figuring that out and all the testing and, and being patient with all that. What has been your favorite part?
Zeina Marrush: Being able to speak with the women that I speak to. Yeah. Yeah. I remember being on a call with a woman once and she was telling me, um, you know, she was at a really low place in her life and she was crying and I started to cry with her because it’s just so touching and it’s so humbling the way that women open up their hearts to me and the stories that they share with me. And you know, I, I had her say I’m worth standing up for myself. And when she said that she cried and I started to cry too because she doesn’t believe that in her core that it’s so emotional for her to say. And I just started to cry because it just feels like, has anyone ever told you that? And I know what it’s like when you hear something for the first time. I mean, the way that I heard my best friend Josh say, my grandmother taught me how to love myself to hear something for the first time that no one’s ever said to you, and if I can help women, just discover that you are worth standing up for yourself. Like it’s just the most beautiful thing to, to witness.
Leah Gervais: Hmm. Amazing. Well, thank you so much for sharing your insight, your, your journey, your business insights, and of course the amazing shifts that you help people make. I think that this was hugely valuable and if any of you want any more depth to this, we can all use it. Please go to ignitethatlight.com. You can also find her on Facebook where she does regular lives that are hugely value packed. I had a few last minute lightning round questions for you. Are you ready? I’m so excited for these.
Zeina Marrush: Yes.
Leah Gervais: Okay. What is your go to when you’re having a bad day?
Zeina Marrush: Oh, Spanish [unable to transcribe] music.
Leah Gervais: Wow, that’s a good answer. I didn’t know that about you.
Zeina Marrush: Oh My goodness. I love to dance so much and I love Spanish [unable to transcribe]. And so like if I’m by myself, I will go into my bathroom and I will dance in front of my mirror and um, it’s so fun.
Leah Gervais: That’s like one of my top favorite answers I’ve ever gotten to that question. What are you most proud of in your business journey so far?
Zeina Marrush: Being here, just like here in the general, you know what I mean? Like I’m still here, I haven’t given up. Knowing that you’re meant for something and just continuing to push forward. There’s so many things that I’m proud of so I feel like it would be hard to name one specific, but just, just gratitude all around for everything.
Leah Gervais: Beautiful. Beautiful. Do you have a go to podcasts or books that has helped you?
Zeina Marrush: I love your podcast. Yeah. I look forward to especially the lives on Monday morning that you do. I love that one. Yeah. And then David Nagel, the successful mind and Emily Williams. Um, I heart my life podcast and I’m super excited cause she’s starting it up again in 2020 so when she announced I was like, yes.
Leah Gervais: Awesome. Yeah, great. And where can people find out more about you?
Zeina Marrush: Yeah, you can go to www.ignitethatlight.com I do have a five day confidence video series for you. And it’s just getting into small action steps for you to start igniting that light within you and becoming the most confident woman within your industry.
Leah Gervais: Love it. Well thank you again saying that that was fabulous. Everyone, please go check out her video series, get your confidence on, see shifts in your own life. Do not settle for anything less than the thing you want most in the world. I am fired up. All right, thanks so much Zeina. We’ll talk to you soon. And here’s to you visionaries. Have a great one. We’ll talk to you guys later.
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