Rebekah Chamberlain is a resilience expert and coach, keynote speaker, mom, coach, realtor, fiancé, and runner. Beka’s true passion is sharing tools she’s developed through her own life journey to help you harness your inner resilience and overcome life’s obstacles with confidence and courage.
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Conversation with Rebekah Chamberlain.
Who is Rebekah?
Rebekah Chamberlain is a mom, coach, realtor, and fiancé. Her true passion is sharing tools she developed through her own life’s journey to help you harness your inner resilience and overcome life’s obstacles with confidence and courage.
When I was about six years old, my parents joined a religious cult. Our lives went from being normal; we had lived in California and then moved to the Midwest and had a two-acre, newly built house with everything a kid could dream of. My dad worked as a manufacturing engineer. It shifted into a completely different life. We joined the cult and suddenly everything that was normal to us was gone. Our lives got small. We dove deeper and deeper into the organization as I grew older. When I was 10, we moved onto one of the compounds, and we were there in the community until I was 16 years old. And what life looked like for us, for me, I should say, was always trying to fit myself into a tiny little box.
I think all of us have this feeling as little children that we were meant for more, that there was a dream we’ve had that never goes away, even though maybe we mask it and forget about it and turn it into something different, that knowledge is always there. Fitting inside of the box of this cult was extremely difficult. I had always dreamed of living a big life and making a difference and doing it on my terms. Instead of believing that I was truly doing what was honoring to God, I put all those dreams aside and turned them into fears so that I could handle the sadness of not living them out and followed the direction that I thought was right or honoring or somehow the best thing. It was all about self-sacrifice and serving the men in the culture.
I didn’t have any freedom. It was being a helpmate to my dad until he found somebody for me to marry. It was about never being under anybody’s authority, but his or my future husband’s. So, it was all about cleaning, cooking, someday raising babies, and doing things around the home. It was nothing about living outside of that. Traveling or doing anything alone was absolutely forbidden as a woman.
When I was 19, my dad found somebody that I could marry, and we were later married when I turned 20 years old and we lived out the same principles. I was to be his helpmate and to tend to every desire he had. I remember walking down the aisle on my wedding day, feeling like passing out and throwing up and using every ounce of energy I had to not run outside of the church that day because I just knew it wasn’t right but the belief system that was outside of me told me it was.
So, I sacrificed to honor that, and our lives were the most miserable experience I’ve ever had aside from three beautiful children. There’s not a whole lot of positive notes to touch on through that season of marriage. But nine years into that relationship, I found the courage to walk away from it. I had three kids, $3,000, three bags of clothes and I left once and never went back and have found a way to build a life that I’m proud of now and am obsessed with sharing my story and sharing what I learned the hard way to help other people inside of difficult situations grow and get out of them.
Self-awareness is the first step to coming out of a box
I would start with self-awareness and diving deep into what’s theirs to own and what’s outside that they’re not in control of and seeing what progress we can make on what they can control before we remove them from a situation that’s outside of their control.
We need self-awareness in order to build our self-confidence to live out our purpose in order to even have any sort of resilience to get through a difficult situation. We need self-awareness to really be true to ourselves. I think I find for myself and a lot of other people when we’re in difficult situations, (which it sounds like a lot of performing artists are) it’s so easy to shut down that self-awareness because it’s equated to pain and unhappiness and we are truly not being true to the inner compass inside of ourselves so we just shut it down. We mute it out as much as we can. We find other things to focus on. We try to numb with whatever agent we use to numb, whether it’s Instagram or a glass of wine or whatever it is because we don’t know how to face, what feels like something that’s too big for us to face and that’s really diving into our own values and what’s important to us.
So I think a really good place to start if you find yourself in that situation and you lack self-awareness is asking somebody what they see as your strengths and your values. Getting an outside perspective is going to help you start getting a connected inside perspective. A couple of other things that I like to encourage people to do is take a personality test; anything that helps you get to know or understand why you’re reacting to something or feeling the way that you’re feeling. It’s about knowing yourself. Also, spend some time writing down your values and your priorities and in what order they’re in. These are all things that just help you start feeling inside of your body and inside of your beliefs and getting it out so that you can start acting on what is true for you.
Getting an outside perspective is going to help you start getting a connected inside perspective.
Shake things up
Sometimes shaking things up in the tiniest way instead of mindlessly going through your day; brush your teeth with your left hand if you usually brush them with your right, put the opposite soccer shoe on first then you normally would, drive to work or walk to school using a different route, change it up to train yourself, to be aware and to notice what’s going on around you and inside of you. It doesn’t have to be this great act of removing yourself from some situation. It’s really the tiny little things that you choose to do every day that build up that muscle, that lead to the big decisions that you need to make.
How courage shows up
Courage showed up when the pain of staying stuck was greater than the fear of what was to come. That goes back to what you focus on. I started to see that there was so much more out there and I started to focus on my belief that I could be part of something bigger. That shifted in me the fear of letting people down, the fear of sinning, the fear of not having anybody, the fear of I’d never had a job, I didn’t know how to live in a normal society. The fear of my own inexperience. When I started focusing on the dream and the goal, suddenly the pain of not chasing that became so strong that the fear couldn’t stop me anymore.
Courage showed up when the pain of staying stuck was greater than the fear of what was to come.
The reason I’m so passionate about what I do know is that I see the possibility in everybody. We all hold the key to our own destiny and we can all go as far as we choose to go. It’s all in our mindset and our thoughts and what we choose every single day. I just see what a beautiful world we can create as we all step into our purpose and set aside the excuses and the blame and the lack and the mentality of just coasting through life and not asking the questions, just fitting into the box that we think we’re supposed to. What can we all do together if we throw aside societal norms and ask the questions and step into our truest selves every single day?
We all hold the key to our own destiny, and we can all go as far as we choose to go.
The fear of failure
There’s a level of ownership that I think we are all afraid of when we step outside that box because the perceived safety is that somebody else is in charge. We’re not responsible for the day to day and we’re not responsible for the ending because we can always have an escape. Oh, well that didn’t turn out the way we wanted it was so and so’s a fault because they were in charge. When we take ownership of our lives for the first time, it can feel overwhelming and scary because now, when I fail, it’s on me; I’m 100% in the driver’s seat. My experience with that though is that word ‘freedom’. As you dive deep and do the work and the healing and take ownership and stay in the driver’s seat, the freedom that you get to experience is worth every risk that you could ever get to experience.
The fear of failure is a self-worth issue; the amount of value we put on ourselves. When you don’t have the confidence to take the driver’s seat, you also don’t have the level of self-worth that you need to develop to invest in those things. It really does take making the leap and taking a chance on yourself to develop those most inside of your mind and your body. There’s no way around it but there’s no way to fail. When you do jump in, you can’t lose investing in yourself in any way. There is no way to lose, and you simply can’t let yourself down when you set that energy in motion.
It’s hard to believe when you’re sitting on the sidelines, and nobody can convince you of it while you’re on the sidelines. You have to jump into the arena to know these things on the level that anybody else in the arena knows them.
The power of the brain
What excites me the most is how powerful our brains are and what we can create for ourselves and what we can create that impacts others. Knowing that there are a ton of women out there ready to take that leap and make a difference in their own lives. The thought of getting to be a part of that, whether it’s someone listening to this podcast or a client or somewhere down the road and a speaking engagement, feeling like I get to help people shift their destiny, makes my heart want to explode. It makes me so happy.
My experience around community was not having it a lot. Going through tough things is hard but going through it alone is even harder. The environment I grew up in and the way my marriage was structured was similar to what you described. I was going at it completely alone and I was afraid to open up to anybody. I wasn’t my real authentic self. I just kept it all inside and dealt with it myself. Community is so important to me now because there’s so much power in being seen and being heard. There’s so much power in processing what’s going on verbally. So many of us are verbal processors yet we don’t ever speak our truth. There’s so much to be learned in speaking our truth in a safe environment so that we can go out into the world and live it out.
There’s so much to be said in feeling the love and support that you’re still learning to give yourselves from other humans on the planet that really do see and know and understand you and feeling that empathy. It’s my passion to not let somebody else be in that space of going at it alone but to provide community so that we can all grow and get further in the time that we have on the earth and make a bigger difference together. There’s no reason to have to go at it alone.
There’s so much to be learned in speaking our truth in a safe environment so that we can go out into the world and live it out.
It’s such a natural thing that when we’re going through difficult times to isolate ourselves on purpose. I love telling my story because I love opening the flood gates that we all go through hard times, and we all have baggage that we have to deal with. The last thing you need to do is isolate yourself in that situation. Get yourself around the good energy that elevates you to be able to get through the situation instead of making it harder for yourself.
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