Eliminating The Hustle Mentality And Understanding Our Worth With Rachel Josefina

GUEST CONVERSATIONS

May 7, 2021

PTR 70 | Hustle Mentality

 

In this hectic and competitive world that we live in, it can become so easy to get trapped into thinking that the hustle is the only way. Because of this, many find themselves feeling so disconnected and alone. Rachel Josefina greatly knows this to be true. A triple threat performer and mindset and manifestation mentor, she is on a mission to eliminate the hustle mentality by showing performers they are innately worthy and have the power to create a life they actually enjoy. In this episode, she joins Susanne Puerschel to share with us her career journey and what it taught her about the true meaning of success. She tackles the struggles we have with perfection, particularly from the ballet background, and not feeling enough. She then tells about the spiritual awakening she had and what it taught her about her worth, and the ways the universe is working for us to help us live a life filled with abundance.


 

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Eliminating The Hustle Mentality And Understanding Our Worth With Rachel Josefina

This episode’s special guest is Rachel Josefina. She is a triple threat performer, as well as a mindset and manifestation mentor on a mission to eliminate the hassle mentally by showing performers they are innately worthy and have the power to create a life they actually enjoy. Rachel has been performing professionally in LA, New York and on the high seas since she was nineteen and knows what it’s like to think the hustle is the only way. She knows what it’s like to feel so disconnected and alone, even though she was constantly getting booked and had a successful career. Through discovering her spirituality and releasing the perfection of the mindset, she has discovered that life can be fun, pleasurable, and filled with abundance. This is going to be a juicy conversation all around perfectionism and a lot of stories to share in this episode. Without further ado, here is Rachel Josefina.

Rachel, welcome to the Pointe To Rise podcast. I am so thrilled to have you here and have this juicy conversation with you.

Thank you, me too. I’m so excited to be here.

How I usually start off is to dig into your past and how you became a performer. What was it that sparked your interest that you had to start this career?

Both my parents are musicians and they play in pit orchestras for Broadway musicals. We lived in LA when I was born and then we moved up to San Francisco. There are three giant theaters that national tours come through all the time. Any touring company that was coming through San Francisco, my mom, or my dad was in the pit. I grew up watching musicals since I was three. Their friends always ask me, “Do you want to be down here? Are you going to be down here playing music too?” I was like, “Absolutely not. I’m going to be on a stage.” At that point, I had already started dancing. My mom didn’t know what to do with me. I couldn’t sit still. She was like, “We have to put her into dance class because this girl never stops moving.”

They put me into ballet and for the first five years throughout elementary school, I was pretty set on being a ballerina but then I discovered jazz, tap, and all these other styles. I was like, “I want to be a jazz dancer.” I saw my dad played Fosse and that was the turning point for me. I was like, “I have to do this. I have to be on stage. I have to be moving the way that these dancers are moving.” I got to middle school and I was in a musical. I got to sing and dance at the same time and that was a whole other thing. My life has been surrounded by the arts, by dancing and by performing. It’s pretty much something that I’ve known I wanted to do forever.

I went to high school for it and then went to college for it. I started as a musical theater major but the program that I was a part of is a cut program. It means that you are accepted into the program and you’re on track to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts where you specialize in musical theater but as the semesters go on, you audition to continue down that track. Three semesters in, I didn’t make it. I always that if I didn’t make it into musical theater, I always had dance. I would just major in dance but then still perform. It was never a question of, “If I don’t make it into this major, I’m not going to do musical theater. I’m not going to be a performer.”

That wasn’t an option for me. I majored in dance, which was amazing because I got a lot more modern training and I got to do ballet variations and I love ballet. It’s definitely not my main focus but I do love ballet so much. To be able to dive deep into ballet while also knowing that I could do other styles was pretty awesome. I’ve been surrounded by dance and music and musical theater for practically my entire life.

You just knew. I heard that about five times you saying that. What kind of a stick was thrown in your way? It’s like, “I’m going to upset over it and find a different way.” In all of these conversations that I’m having, most of us, that’s how we got to the stage of the knowing in here. There was no other option. You can tell me I’m not enough, but I don’t care. I’m going to do it anyway. There comes a point in our life where we lose that knowing. Let’s go there. After you’ve finished college what was your next path? Where did you see yourself and where did you go?

It's in those moments when we give up that they want to see you put in the extra work. Click To Tweet

In my senior year, I told everyone that I was going to stay in Fullerton, which is in California, in the city that my college was in, and I was going to work professionally. I had already started doing it in college when I was nineteen. I said, “I’m going to stay in Fullerton for one year. I’m going to save up money and then I’m going to move to New York.” I said that over and over again. I didn’t necessarily know who I was going to live with or how I was going to get there or whatever it was, but I was like, “I’m going to stay here for a year, and then I’m going to move to New York.” I ended up doing just that. I got a job working as a dance teacher and a choreographer at a summer camp in upstate New York.

I wasn’t necessarily in the city yet, but at the year mark, I was in New York State. It was like the universe had this plan that I could never have come up with myself. I went to upstate New York, worked there for ten weeks, and then moved to the city. I started auditioning, and six months into auditioning, I booked a job on a cruise ship. I had never been on a cruise ship before. I honestly had never been hired as just a dancer and that was the track that I was hired in. I wasn’t going to say no. I didn’t feel like it was going to be a detriment to me even though musical theater and singing were what I want. I wanted to do all of it. I got hired as the dancer and I loved it. It was amazing.

It was not very technical, if that makes any sense. The shows that I was hired to do, one of them was a very commercial showgirl. It was a lot of stylized and walking. The other show was a ballroom show. I got to learn a bit of ballroom. It was completely different than anything I had pretty much ever done. By the end of that contract, I decided that I didn’t want to dance anymore. I wanted to be in a musical again and tell the story. Variety shows are great but when there’s no true story, it wasn’t as fulfilling. I got sick of performing the same showgirl show. I got sick of being exploited, honestly, as a woman. I remember one time backstage I was like, “I don’t want to be sexy anymore. I don’t want to do it,” because we were in these showgirl outfits.

I love it every once in a while. I love feeling empowered but doing it three times a week, it was like, “I don’t want to do this right now.” That was interesting. I went back to California, took a little break, went back on a ship, and was hired as a singer-dancer, which was awesome. I got super sick and I couldn’t sing when I was in rehearsals and my voice was very injured. That was one of the first moments where I was like, “I’m truly not good enough.”

I felt this imposter syndrome because I’d been a dancer first my whole entire life and I was always looked at as the dancer. Even though I could sing, I was just like the dancer who maybe also sang that maybe some people knew about. Being hired as a singer for the first time, that was great but I also had this incredible, like, “They’re going to figure out that I’m not that good.” In reality, I was sick and I couldn’t do as well as I was hired to do. I was my own worst enemy within that experience.

Our bodies do very crazy things when we have these beliefs like, “My mom is a singer. I’ve never been hired as a singer. What if they find out?” Even if that is just a subconscious thought, our body will do whatever it takes to prove you right. I’m sure you have explored that option with becoming sick during that time. Could it be something that could have happened because it happened to me so I was wondering, do you think that was what happened or a combination? Through those negative thoughts, your immune system began to get weaker and you were more receptive to it.

I absolutely think so. I lost my voice within a matter of hours the weekend before I started rehearsals on my way to go say goodbye to all of my friends. Not only was my body sabotaging itself and putting itself into the position that I had already believed I was in, it then didn’t get better because of all the negative thoughts. Once I got to rehearsal, I was staying in. I wasn’t socializing with people. I was staying silent when I wasn’t rehearsing. I was doing all the right things but I was so tormented inside by myself. You hit the nail on the head, I was making it come true that even if I were to be temporarily sick, I never fully got better. It manifested itself into something that ultimately, after I got off the contract, had to have surgery for it.

It was a lot. I had vocal nodules, which are blisters on the vocal cords and I had to have them removed. I don’t believe in luck, but I am okay and my voice is fine. I can perform, I can sing. I do have a fear that it’s going to come back. I noticed that when I started to audition again, I would feel myself start to get sick. I was like, “We’re not going to do this time.” I’m not going to tell myself that I’m not a singer because what happened last time was it came true. I was aware of it, but I don’t think I was aware of it as I could have been. Thank you for bringing that up because it puts so much into perspective, but I absolutely think I was sabotaging myself. One of my mentors says, “Your belief doesn’t align with your life, your life aligns with your beliefs.”

It’s the truth. We can always live in our beliefs. What we believe is what we see reflected back to us. Let’s talk about perfectionism and coming from a background of ballet, if I would have ever experienced or put my foot or even my thoughts into something else during the time I was training, I would have been labeled as even more or less than. For me, it was, “Modern is not that important or you don’t need to take tap.” What I want to know is, is that field or industry just as wrapped around being perfect and always on and always being there 1,000% as it is in ballet?

PTR 70 | Hustle Mentality

Hustle Mentality: “Your belief doesn’t align with your life; your life aligns with your beliefs.”

I want to say yes but I don’t think so. I think ballet tends to have more perfectionism in it because there’s a specific technique with whoever, depending on the style of ballet, because there are different styles of ballet, but ultimately, it’s one style. In musical theater, there is the sense of perfectionism, but rather than having it be in like, “Did you have a perfect arabesque?” It’s, “Are you nailing this style? Are you nailing each bit of choreography?”

I think that the perfectionism, especially when it comes to auditioning because unlike in ballet, it’s not like you’re a part of a company and then that’s it, you’re in the company. You’re going from show to show and these shows could be 2 weeks or 4 weeks. These shows could run on Broadway for years, but you don’t know how long it’s going to be. You’re constantly going to auditions three times a day and you’re expected to be perfect in these audition rooms. I don’t think that they expect you to be perfect. We expect ourselves to be perfect and that’s the way for us to get hired.

That’s where there’s a disconnect within casting and within being a dancer. The casting director does not want to see that you’re perfect because they know that no one’s perfect. They want to see how you handle stress if you mess up, how you handle all these things, and what type of a dancer you are, but they don’t expect you to be perfect. Whereas we think that the only way we are going to get hired is to be perfect. When we’re not perfect, we’re like, “We don’t get the job,” and then we don’t handle the situation with any type of grace because we’ve already given up. It’s in those moments when we give up that they want to see you put in the extra work. That’s a huge disconnect when it comes to being perfect in an audition and even being perfect in a show. The same as in ballet, it’s live. Things aren’t always going to go perfectly, but there is a little bit more leniency in musical theater than in ballet when it comes to being perfect in performance.

Let’s get back to your journey. You are locked in New York, you recovered from the New York operation, and then what happened?

I auditioned for a show. I was like, “Let me see if there are any auditions around. I feel good. Let’s see what happens.” I auditioned for The Music Man. I got a callback and then I got in the show and I was like, “I had surgery a month ago but I’m going to be in a show.” I was in a musical again and that was the first time I’d been in a musical for probably 2 or 3 years because being on the ships, it was variety work. It wasn’t that through story and that’s what I was missing and craving. I was in a show and then I decided that I was going to move to New York, but while I was recovering from my voice, I was also recovering from my shoulder.

I was very injured during that contract, overall, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. That was probably the lowest point that I was ever at, was in that recovery session. I pretty much knew I was going to take that whole year recovering. I didn’t realize how much I was going to have to do that because while I wasn’t singing, I also wasn’t dancing. I wasn’t performing at all. I wasn’t even going to class. I wasn’t even taking lessons. It was like, “Am I even a performer anymore,” Because I’m not doing anything. In that time where I was recovering from my voice and recovering physically, I also had this awakening with the idea of spirituality. I had never even touched that before and that honestly changed my life and made coming back to New York so much easier. I came back to New York, January of 2020, right before the pandemic started.

That was also very interesting because I came back with a different mindset of, “I had started a business of mentoring other dancers to not put their worth into this industry, of not putting their worth into each audition.” I was coming from a place of, “I’m going through it with you and I’m a couple of steps ahead of you,” rather than, “I’ve gone through my whole performance journey and now I’m ready to mentor you.” It was like, “Come with me along for the ride as I’m learning and as I’m growing, but I have a few steps ahead of you so come with me.” I took everyone through my audition season, which was pretty tough. Saying that you shouldn’t put your worth into auditions is a lot easier said than done. I was learning that every time I went to an audition and they said, “We’re not seeing any non-union,” because I’m non-union.

At an open call, they’re not guaranteed to see you. When you go in there and then they say, “Sorry, we’re not seeing any non-union.” You’re like, “It’s fine. There’s something better coming.” It’s that reminder of, “If it wasn’t meant for me then it’s not meant for me and it’s okay.” It doesn’t have any reflection on me that I’m not good enough or that I’m not talented enough or that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time because I don’t think that’s possible. It was a constant reminder for me. Flash forward to like two weeks before the pandemic started and everything shut down in New York. I decided, “I want to focus on my financial future. I want to make sure that I can stay in New York and make this a home and not be struggling and not have to leave.”

I decided that I was going to stop auditioning and I was going to focus on my financial future and my financial foundation. Two weeks later, auditions were over and I was like, “I guess I don’t have to feel like I missed out on anything.” I already decided that I wanted to stop. It was a crazy, beautiful, validation from the universe that I was on the right path and I had made the right decision at that moment to take a break from auditioning and figure out what else I wanted to do at the moment.

It's easy to feel so alone when you feel like you're the only one that's not feeling inspired to take a class. Click To Tweet

The pandemic was really hard. I honestly haven’t taken very many classes and I struggled with feeling like a dancer like, “If I’m not taking classes, am I a dancer?” I’ve talked to a lot of other performers that have felt like that. It’s hard because you’re not seeing so many people talk about that they’re not taking class. The people that you’re seeing on social media are the people who are showing that they’re taking class and that’s amazing. That’s not anything to diss them it’s just, that’s all that you’re seeing. It’s easy to feel so alone when you feel like you’re the only one that’s not feeling inspired to take class.

I have to throw in that, what you experienced with your two weeks making that decision and then the pandemic happening, it happened to me too. I was literally asking for a reason too. I was running a very successful business and I hated it. I hated the death out of it. I was like, “I can’t let this go. I don’t know. There is no security. What am I going to do? I cannot jump off and let it all go, and the people.” Three months later, the pandemic happened and it was the permission slip in the mail that I received to be like, “You know what? You can let this go and be where you want to go.” I can relate to this universal push that perhaps for some of us, it was what we needed.

I would be so bold to say that for all of us, it was what we needed and so many people that I’ve talked to know that it was what they needed. If you’re reading this and you’re in a place where you don’t think that you needed it, what would happen if you surrendered to actually believing that? What else could come from that? I believe it is what all dancers and performers needed.

You said you had the spiritual awakening. Can you describe what that means? I would love to know where that came from. Where from insight and how did you know that?

When I came back and I was working on my voice, I was contacted by my mentor now, who I had been in a show with before. She said that she was transitioning her singing teaching into more of a business for singers. She had a survey that she wanted me to fill out and it was all about singers not feeling good enough and I was just there. I was in the place of not feeling good enough. I went full force of answering her questions. I was in tears answering the questions because I was her ideal client. She contacted me and said, “Thank you for answering all my questions. I’m giving everyone free twenty-minute voice lessons, but if you can make it to my studio in person, I’ll give you an hour.”

She was only 45 minutes away from me, so I was like, “I will take it. A free hour voice lesson? Absolutely.” It turned into a two-hour thing. There was such energy between us and it was like a soulmate connection. That was the moment where she took me under her wing and she has been doing self-development and has explored her spirituality for decades. She was talking to me about books that I could potentially read to help with the mental part of singing and performing in general. The first book that rang out to me was Loving What Is by Byron Katie because I knew I didn’t love what was. I knew at that moment and I was like, “I need to read that book because I hate what is right now.”

Reading that was incredible because it’s about accepting reality or just accepting what is in front of you 100%. That in itself can take away the suffering because the suffering is when you are fighting what is actually happening. You can’t even begin to try and evolve or change what is happening when you can’t even accept what’s right in front of you. That was the moment. Also hearing recordings of Gabrielle Bernstein. Gabby is incredible. The two of them, Gabby Bernstein and Byron Katie, were truly what sparked the idea of, “There’s another way. I don’t have to hustle and work four jobs and barely be able to make my rent.”

Even when I feel like I’m doing it all right, I’m still not feeling I’m good enough. I’m like, “I don’t have to prove to the world that this is going on.” I was exhausted from trying so hard to make my life happen the way I wanted. I’m a planner, not as much anymore, because I understand why it doesn’t work out but I used to plan everything, every detail. I would plan it and then a month later something would derail it. Instead of going with the flow, I’d be like, “I got to make a new plan.” I would always be making these new plans over and over again. It was exhausting.

The spiritual awakening for me was there is something else in this world that is helping me co-create my life. It’s not just up to me. It was so freeing and liberating that it was like, “I’m not alone. I don’t have to do this by myself.” There’s energy all around me that is helping me. The universe wants what’s best for me. It’s not like the world is out to get me. The universe truly is this loving feeling, if anything is what it started off with.

PTR 70 | Hustle Mentality

Hustle Mentality: The casting director does not want to see that you’re perfect because they know that no one’s perfect. They want to see how you handle stress if you mess up and what type of a dancer you are, but they don’t expect you to be perfect.

I started doing yoga more and adding in that spiritual practice of connecting to the universe. I started meditating and I started listening to self-help podcasts and reading books. That was what my spiritual awakening was. It was this, “I’m not alone.” I didn’t call it God. I’m still in the transition of trying to figure out whether I call it the universe or God, I go between the two. That’s been an interesting journey for me, but when I first started my spiritual awakening, which was around 2019, it was like, “There’s energy and I don’t have to do it alone.”

There’s another way. You’re not depending on other people. That was the most freeing for me. It is all up to me. Whatever I think and believe is up to me and nobody else. That’s so beautiful. You said something interesting when you said, “When I got out of the hustle mentality and I started to get into more connection with the universe,” which by the way, for me, it’s the universe, my angels, they always have my back. Isn’t that also a lack mentality? Isn’t that fear-based because we, I’m saying we because I was in that place too, always think there is not enough. We are not enough. We’re not doing enough. We need to do more. Where, if we’re looking at all of the spiritual teachings, it’s whatever is fun, whatever creates a flow, all you have to do is come from a place of love.

It’s all about being in joy and fun. When I look back at my career, it was everything else, but fun. It was terrifying to say the most. I would stay positive around it at times but everything else was a struggle. I believe that this struggling energy is what we’re seeing on stages nowadays. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t enjoy watching Holley at the moment or have not for the past years because that energy doesn’t align anymore. I didn’t want to have that come towards me. I don’t need to spend money on something that I’m against at, even if I wasn’t even able to say that. I wonder if we, as a collective, are also feeling that. Let me get back to the question that has a mentality equaling a lack mindset. Would you agree?

One hundred percent because the reason that you hustle is because you feel like your worth is dependent on how much you can do. When that’s where you put your worth, you can never do enough. There’s no way. Absolutely anything in the hustle mentality is based on the fear of missing out. Fear of missing out on your opportunity and so you always have to be there because otherwise you’re going to miss out on it, or you’re not going to have worked hard enough to be able to get it or there are not enough jobs. You have to be the hardest working person in the room so that you could get that job. It’s all about how hard you can work and that there aren’t enough jobs and there isn’t enough money and that there isn’t enough anything.

When you’re in that, you’re working and working to try and get it because you think that there’s not enough rather than just knowing that your opportunity will never pass you by. What’s meant for you will never pass you by. There’s no way that you can mess up what’s meant for you because it is truly what’s meant for you. When you know that, then you get to rest. You get to take a deep breath, have joy, and find pleasure in life because you’re not working yourself into the ground feeling like you can never do enough to be worthy of what’s meant for you when you’re already inherently worthy from the moment you were born.

I came to the conclusion that this whole hustle mentality, we’re looking at the Rock, Will Smith, or male energy. When I listen to them, it is much about, “Nobody can outwork me.” Gary Vee, for example. They are the hustlers. They’re the people that put out all of this male energy of more and more. That turned me off quite a bit in the beginning until I realized that it is actually bringing them joy. They’re not working against the universal laws, per se, but this is what they need for themselves to bring them joy. With that, they are then aligned again. I don’t know if you see it the same, but I had to ponder. It’s like, “This doesn’t fit together.” We’re different. Male and female energy is different for sure. As women, particularly, if we were to do the same thing as men as we were thought to do for many centuries, it never worked for us because we’re not that same energy and it doesn’t work.

There’s absolutely a balance between the masculine and feminine energy. In males, yeah, that masculine energy is higher, and so it would make more sense how they could be aligned with that energy more. If you were to look at their lives, there is feminine energy there because what they’re hustling after, they are receiving it because that’s where the joy would come from. If they were 100% in the masculine energy, they would never sit back to receive it. As long as that balance is there, that’s where the alignment comes in, but it’s when one of them is completely lacking that there’s no joy.

I learned something. Thank you. Let’s talk financial, and this is beautiful. When I look at performers, regardless of which genre they’re in, it is a one-income mentality. If not COVID has lifted the curtain, then I don’t know what. One stream of income is not enough anymore. It is a fake stability that we have been passed on by our parents and grandparents. It is trading that time for money that is so hard. It also can take the joy out because you’re trading your time, which is the most precious thing that we actually possess for something that we made up to be one of the most important things in the whole white world. By the way, I love money. Money is energy, it depends on how we see it is how it comes or goes from them to us. Talk to me about that a-ha moment.

Honestly, that a-ha moment is still going. It’s still happening for me. Within the realm of spirituality, and because money is spiritual, it is energy, everything is energy, I’ve had the most resistance with money. It is still evolving for me. When I moved to New York, I nanny as my side job. My thrive job, as I like to say. I knew that’s not all I wanted to do because otherwise if I needed to do that, I was going to have to work so hard nannying, then I wouldn’t have time to audition. It was the one thing, if you’re only having one source of income, then it doesn’t make your whole life possible.

The reason that you hustle is that you feel like your worth is dependent on how much you can do. Click To Tweet

I knew that I wanted to start a business. At the moment, I was solely doing it to have another stream of income. It was in the evolving of it that I discovered that I love mentoring. My a-ha moment of knowing that I needed more streams of income, I feel like I always knew that deep down because when I graduated from college, I was working at a restaurant. I was teaching dance. I was teaching dance at another studio and I was performing. It was a time for money thing, but I was doing it at four different places.

I had the realization that I needed more than one place to get my income, but the a-ha moment of my time is important, and my energy is sacred happened, I would say, summer of 2020, where I was committing myself to having one day off a week. One day off meaning not on social media, not nannying. One full day off and truly seeing that like, “This is important to me. If I’m continuing to trade my time for money, I will not be able to have this day off. I have to do it differently.” I’m now continuously evolving how to do that.

Let’s talk about your coaching business and the podcast that you launched. Let’s talk about the podcast first. For me, it is interesting. I’m talking about my journey here as well as speaking about learnings. Taking readers on a journey, share other people’s voices and their stories and how long it’s taken me to find the courage to do so. I wonder if that was something for you that you always had in the back of your mind, and it was a matter of putting the big girl panties on and getting over your fear. It was, for me. I see so many similarities, this is why I’m asking the question. How was that for you?

Starting the podcast was something that I feel like kind of happened. I do feel there were a few months where I was toying with the idea. One of my best friends also has a business and was saying, “I want to start a podcast.” That then inspired me. I was like, “We should do the podcast together.” We were trying to figure out a way to do that. I was then talking to my business coach about the podcast and she asked me, “Why don’t you start your own podcast?” I was like, “I could do that. Could I do that?” I went back and forth, and I asked my audience on Instagram if they would listen to me if I talked for a long time.

I did find that recording stories on Instagram, I always went over the time limit. I would record stories that were so long and I was like, “Clearly, I have a lot to talk about.” Within the first minute, that’s when I would get into the mojo. That’s where I would connect to what I was trying to say. I finally decided, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to start the podcast.” It was immediately this moment of joy and this outlet that I had been craving for that I didn’t even know I needed.

When did you launch?

The end of 2020.

Is your podcast called Mindset in the Making?

Yes.

PTR 70 | Hustle Mentality

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

Do you only record solo episodes or are you bringing guests on as well?

I do both. I do solo and guests. The first five episodes or so were solo episodes and then I’m doing every other week. One week, we’ll be with a guest, and then the next week will be a solo episode. I recorded an unedited bonus episode because I felt called to share what I was learning in the moment. I stood out of nowhere because I felt inspired.

You mentioned you have coaches. Let’s go there. I want to because of what I’ve seen, not only in the ballet world but overall performing arts world, that we see our coaches as only necessary as the people that are standing in front of us telling us what not to do. That was, at least, my take on having a coach, or I didn’t even know what else was out there until I started my self-development journey. I was like, “There’s so many that I could choose from. For every little problem that I have, I could have a coach.” I have to say that had opened up the world to me and has opened up me and my journey to healing so much that I would never go without a coach anymore.

Regardless of where I’m at, there will always be somebody that will be a step or two ahead of me and can teach me something, or can look at me and say, “I know you can’t see this, but if you would be doing it this way, perhaps you would find a different outcome.” I want to know who are your coaches and how did you actually get to that point of, “I need a coach? I am not less than, I’m going to be even more if I invest in myself.” I have to say it like that on the first payment that I had to make, which was more than I ever made in my professional career as a dancer in two months. I couldn’t do it. My husband had to do it. Talk to me about that experience because it is still so much so I see in our world that is still something that we don’t think is necessary or everybody’s a little bit like, “I don’t need anybody.”

My business coach that I first had started off as my singing teacher, who was my mentor, who helped me with my spiritual awakening. It was this beautiful, natural evolution of I was going to her for singing lessons. When I decided that I wanted to transition and start a business because I wanted to, I was feeling like I wasn’t connecting with her on the level of singing but I still wanted to be in her energy. There was still something about her that I still wanted her in my life. She said, “I have this program that I’m starting and I would love to take you through it.” I was one of her beta clients and it was amazing. It was business coaching.

It was how to create a business so that I could make money. It did have to do with dancing, but it was such a different relationship than I had ever had with a dance teacher or a dance mentor. The investment was definitely difficult because paying that much money was tough. I had already invested in myself so much that year with my physical recovery and my singing recovery that I was like, “Things take money, and that’s okay.” I had that mentality, but then, as it kept going on and as I kept getting coached, at some point, I made her opinion the end all, be all. She knows everything, I have to have her tell me so that I can do it. I needed permission from her.

That was an interesting relationship to talk to her about because there was resistance within the coaching relationship at the beginning, and it’s not like that anymore. I coached with her for an entire year, from January 2020 to January 2021. In January 2021, I decided that I wanted to take a step back and figure out how to move forward with everything that she’s taught me. That coach was Fiona Flyte. She’s incredible. She has as the Profitable Performer and Revolution that she starting. She’s already had two rounds of it. She teaches performers how to be profitable and how to know that they can’t sit around and wait for people to notice them. They can’t sit around and wait to get noticed. They need to create opportunities for themselves.

She was such an amazing person to be in my life. I’m happy that she’s still in my life and I have the opportunity to have intensive check-ins with her because I was her client for so long, I know that she’s always going to be there in my corner. I know that she wants what’s best for me. I know that if I didn’t do something of the homework for that week that she gave me, she wasn’t going to be disappointed. It took me a long time to realize that and to truly believe that because I felt for so long that my life was broken and that I was broken and I needed to be fixed.

My intention of getting a coach was so that they could fix me. That’s not the reason to get a coach because no one can fix you. You can only fix yourself, but it was through Fiona’s coaching and love, ultimately, that I realized and had to be told many times that I’m not broken. I don’t need fixing and that coaches and teachers are never going to fix me. If I continuously feel that, that’s not the reason to invest. A reason to invest is to truly want to gain access to someone’s energy if you’re inspired by them and you want to feel the way they feel.

It's okay to want more than just performing. It doesn't make you any less of a performer. Click To Tweet

Let me grab a tear. It’s beautiful that you’re saying that and thank you for that transparency, which sparked a thought in me. My first coach, I hired her because I was like, “She’s going to do it for me.” She’s going to tell me what to do and I’m going to start to do it because that’s what I was used to in a studio. There was a person sitting there and telling me what to do, and if I didn’t do it, I was in big trouble. I only worked on fear breathing down my neck. When I realized that, “She’s not going to tell me what to do. She’s just picking up.” I hired a business coach as well. I was like, “This is not what I need. I have many other things to work on.”

All my unworthiness issues are coming up so strong in trying to build up a new business that’s not even focused on the business. That’s focused on me first. It took me two years to feel worthy of sharing my story, seeing the possibilities that I am not undeserving and that I’m loved. I could not trust anybody saying, “You are beautiful. You are special. You have a great vision.” I was like, “You’re just saying that.” I could never take it in, any kind of compliment coming towards me. I was like, “I don’t believe you.” That was my first interaction with a coach, it didn’t work out at all because she wasn’t the right fit for me. I wanted her to do the things that I was the only one I could do.

I find it so interesting that we have this perception of coaches that they’re here to fix, but no. First of all, we’re not broken. Nobody’s broken. Not even a little bit. It is that we have been taught so many different beliefs and stories about ourselves, and we made them our own and it’s not the truth. Nobody is ugly or bad. Nobody is incapable and unworthy. We all are capable and worthy and loved so much. We bought into this belief. Believe me, it is so much easier to think that we’re not than it is actually to put faith in ourselves because all of sudden, it’s our doing. We cannot remove that failure we have off of our own shoulders anymore. It’s ours to deal with. Nobody else to blame out there but us. That was a hard realization for me too, to say, “I did that.” It’s on me.

If I invest $5,000 into a coach, I better make it about me. I better understand why I do things. I better raise my awareness. I better know where my energy is coming from, and all of these things. This is what I find in performing arts exactly. We’re standing in the wings and we’re waiting until somebody else gives us permission to move, to be good, or to be seen. That isn’t a truth. It’s a belief that has been passed on from generation to generation. It’s absolute and swearing in progress. My rant is over. You need to save me. I have nothing else to say.

We’re done waiting. I love that you were saying that you hired a business coach, but there was so much of the unworthiness that you had to uncover and deal with first. That’s why I loved it, and that’s why the coaching worked out with Fiona is because she does it both or all. She does mindset and she monetizes. It depends on that week what I was feeling and what I was going through. I remember, there was one session where I was like, “We’ve been doing so much mindset work. I want to get down to the strategy. This week, can we please ignore all this stuff? Let’s work on strategy.” She was like, “Okay, if that’s what you want to do.”

The moment I started talking, I was crying and it was all this mindset stuff. I was like, “I guess this is what we’re doing this session again.” When you create a business, all this unworthiness comes up. It just happens, all the fears about you and all the fears about your being good enough come up because all of a sudden, it’s your business and it’s about you. I feel like, in the dance world, it’s not about us because it’s all about the choreographer, the director, and the company, and how we can mold ourselves to be what we want rather than actually figuring out who we are. Fiona would always say that the mindset is the business.

To get to the strategy, you have to do the mindset work because it doesn’t matter how much strategy you have. It doesn’t matter how much action you’re taking. If it’s all coming from a fear mindset, if it’s all coming from a lack mindset, that’s what you’re going to be attracting. You’re going to continuously attract these situations where you’re feeling lack. Until you conquer those mindset boulders, these giant boulders, until you go through them or come over them, you’re not going to be able to move to that next level that you so desperately want to get to.

To all of this, yes. Let’s get back to it is not about us. I have a different theory. I do agree with what you say. We’re not making it, as performers, about us. When I look at it from the perspective that you shared, I fully agree, but at the end of the day, it is all about us. “I have to be this way to be seen.” “I am not skinny enough.” “My legs are not high enough.” “My voice isn’t good enough.” It’s all about us not being enough. That was my biggest a-ha moment. I was in a mastermind. I don’t know if you know Lori and Chris Harder?

I don’t.

PTR 70 | Hustle Mentality

Hustle Mentality: A reason to invest in coaching is to truly want to gain access to someone’s energy if they inspire you and you want to feel the way they feel.

They’re my mentors at the moment. He called me out and he’s like, “All I hear from you, Susie, is your fear. You’re afraid to, what if they do this to you? What if they speak badly about you? What if you’re not enough to overcome all of these steps? It is all about you and what you’re doing has nothing else to do but with you. That it’s not a solid ground of finding a business, particularly not for what you want to do now.” You have to make it all about everybody else, but your own self-ego, fears, and whatever else is showing up on a daily basis. I’m like, “I know this, but I didn’t see it in myself.” This is why every coach has a coach. When you hire a coach, look at who they’re coaching with because this is where you’re going to go.

That was such a big a-ha moment. I’m like, “Everything until now was about me. Overcoming my fears, my unworthiness.” As soon as I removed that tiny little particle, it was like you removed Mount Everest off of my shoulders. All of a sudden, sending scary emails, writing reviews, or anything that I truly could throw up every time I have to do and procrastinate over it, was a no-brainer anymore. “I can do this. It’s not for me.” It has nothing to do with my ego anymore. It only has something to do with the bigger picture and the higher version of myself. Talk to us about your one-on-one coaching that you’re facilitating.

The Choice is Yours is the name of the one-to-one program because I think that the biggest mistake that we make as performers is that we don’t have a choice when it comes to our career. That we don’t have a choice when it comes to creating our life. Even bigger, our life isn’t just our career. Our life is not just about your technique and the job that you’re going to get. Your life involves your friends, what brings you joy outside of dancing, and your partner if you choose to have one. The love that surrounds you on a day-to-day basis.

You have a choice about all of those things. What I do is I take my clients through self-awareness of even realizing what do they want? What are they doing now? Seeing what’s right in front of them, seeing the reality, and then truly seeing how many choices they have and transitioning from overwhelm to abundance. Overwhelm is the perspective that you have so many choices, but there’s too much that you can’t pick anyone. It’s too much that’s overwhelm rather than, “Look how many choices I have on a daily basis. Every single minute, I have a choice of how I want to feel, and I have a choice of what I want to create.” Through this eight-week program, you truly start to be able to choose. You are able to empower yourself to see that not only do you have a choice of what kind of life you get to create, but you have a choice of how you want to feel, and you have a choice if you want to be happy.

You always have a choice. This is so beautiful. Thank you for doing that. Thank you for stepping into that space because it is so important to understand. I can fully relate. As performers, we don’t, and I am taking myself out of the equation, believe that there are no choices and therefore they don’t also have to decide what to do and when to do. They’re not the driver of the bus. They’re not the CEO of their life. It was a comfortable space for me to be in, even though I was complaining about it so many times. However, it is so powerful and so empowering even to have that awareness, that everything that we want is our choice. Everything that we want to see in our life has nothing to do with everybody and anybody else. It has everything to do with us.

Didn’t you get the job? What can you do differently? Ask different questions. I see this with my kids. It’s a black and white mentality, but everything that’s in the gray is where to grow with this. My son came downstairs one time at 6:00 in the morning crying. “I have no pants.” I’m like, “What about asking a different question?” “I can’t.” “Let me move you through this. What if you were asking, ‘Mom, I can’t find pants. Could you come and help me please,’ or ‘Where else could I look for a different kind of pair of pants?’” He was too tired to see this at this moment, but after he went through all the emotional state, he’s like, “I see. I understand now that if we’re asking a different question, a different perspective will open up. Therefore, we will see different results.”

That’s why having a coach, 1,000%, is so imperative. I see it particularly in the ballet world massively. This fixed mindset, this one-lane driving, it has to be only this way. We’re not going to ask questions. We’re going to leave everything the same way it has been. If we’re not evolving, we’re dying. Go do yourself a favor and get a coach that helps you through where you are potentially stuck even if you may not know yet that you are stuck. Having a conversation normally opens up so many other perspectives. Getting in a room with other people, it’s like, “I’ve never looked at it from this side,” or, “I’ve never thought about it this way.” Thank you for doing that. We can find you on Instagram and Facebook. I have one last question for you. With everything that you know now, what would you tell your sixteen-year-old self?

I would tell her that it’s more than performing. I think that’s such a controversial statement because as dancers, as performers, we claim so much to the identity of I’m a dancer, I’m a ballerina. I do ballet, or I am ballet, but we do ballet. We dance, we perform, but we aren’t just performers. We aren’t just dancers. It’s so much more than that. It’s about relationships. I love nature. I love walking in gardens. Without that discovery, without that in my life, I could be performing every day and I wouldn’t be happy. It’s so much more than that, and that’s okay. It’s okay to want more than just performing. It doesn’t make you any less of a performer. It doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough, that you’re not dedicated enough, or that you’re working hard enough. It means that you’re human and your soul thrives when you have a balance of life, and your life is more than just performing.

We’re going to leave that right here because it is such a beautiful way to end our conversation. Rachel, thank you for being on the show. Thank you for starting your journey. It is not easy. Self-development is everything else but pretty. We both can attest to that. I’ve experienced more rock bottoms consciously than I actually allow myself to go there. Before anything new ever will grow, the old has to collapse, and that sometimes hurts. Letting go hurts because we feel unsafe. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Thanks to you guys for tuning in. We will see you and talk to you next week.

Thank you so much for having me on the show. It was amazing. Thank you for holding this space because without this space, so many of these stories and these journeys that we’ve been so courageous to go through because yes, it is painful and yes, it’s hard, we would have nowhere to say it. This space is important and I’m grateful that you have this space.

Thank you.

Resources for Rachel:

About Rachel Josefina

PTR 70 | Hustle MentalityRachel Josefina is a triple threat performer as well as a Mindset and Manifestation Mentor on a mission to eliminate the hustle mentality by showing performers they are innately worthy and have the power to create a life they actually enjoy!

Rachel has been performing professionally in LA, NY, and on the high seas since she was 19 and knows what it’s like to think the hustle is the only way. She knows what it’s like to feel so disconnected and alone even though she was constantly getting booked and had a “successful” career.

Through discovering her own spirituality and releasing the perfectionism mindset she has discovered that life can be fun, pleasurable, and filled with abundance.

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  — Susanne shares a quick thought that came to her after hearing a quote. Who told you that you are not deserving of what you want? She remembers how this feeling showed up in her life and how other people’s limiting thoughts would so easily be accepted as hers. Watch the episode here: Listen to the podcast here:   Who told you that you are not deserving of what you want? And I’m back. […]

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Past Episodes 

There is a better way to pursue ballet at the professional level. Instead of dancers pushing beyond their body’s limits, there is a healthier way to train your body, your mind and your spirit to soar. To become the best at your craft, you must be healthy. The mentality of surviving to make a performance perfect is an old paradigm that needs to change. As athletes, dancers must thrive in order to shine and connect with their audience. This new approach, leads to fulfillment, strength and longevity. It allows you to give more of your heart and soul on stage, creating an unforgettable experience that moves your audience. And that’s the whole pointe. 

THE POINTE TO RISE MANIFESTO