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How to be a Trailblazer

We were hiking through the Arctic tundra. Snowblind from the intense reflection of sunlight off the snow. The snowfall so deep in parts that when we lost sight of the trail and fell off it, the snowdrifts came up to our hips, stopped only by the stride-jump position we assumed so as not to fall deeper. Yet we found our way back. Plowing ahead, we ignored the frigid wind that pinkened our cheeks and made us see our breath. We arrived at the trail head and raised a hallelujah before making our way home for hot chocolate.

All the above is true, except for the Arctic tundra. I just added that for dramatic effect. In fact, this took place in the Loree Forest in The Blue Mountains last winter when my eldest daughter and I went for a hike one cold January afternoon.

Falling off the trail and landing in the forest. Losing sight of the way forward. Haven’t you been there?

Falling off the Trail

You’ve heard “change is a constant.” In other words, you are always evolving in some way, even without your conscious awareness. Eventually, you reach a point where you see your old self and know it doesn’t really represent you anymore. While you may not know what your new self looks like, you know you can’t go back to the way you were. In that moment, you have fallen off the trail.

When you fall off the trail, you land in the forest. There’s no clear path here. You see trees, squirrels, birds. You hear the quiet sounds of the forest like the creaking sound a fallen tree makes when propped up against another tree, swaying in the wind.

Getting Back Up

Most of you get back up. Resiliency in action.

What’s next is the challenge.

Where do you go?

You can turn around and take the same route back to the trail but, wait. You’ve already decided you can’t go back to the way you were.

Another option: explore the forest. Find new terrain. Expand your point of view.

A third alternative: return to the trail via a different route after resting in the forest.

Finding the Way Back

You have choices. Always. When you’re lost, it’s easy to develop tunnel vision and lose sight of the big picture. Remind yourself in those off-trail moments that you have agency. You get decide any of the options presented or even a fourth one, like turning back because you’ve chosen to examine your personal history.

Use your emotions to guide you back. Logic is great and the project manager in me loves creating structures and processes and paths forward. But first-off, identify how you feel. If you want to get back to the trail, you need to pick a path. Logic got you to a certain point before you fell off.  Now you need intrinsic motivation to find your way home, back to yourself. Logic can’t motivate you intrinsically; emotion does.

New Growth

Getting lost in the forest is often necessary to encourage new growth. You need to feel the emotional discomfort of being lost before you can be found again.

Maybe you feel scared being lost in the forest or frustrated because you’re walking in circles. You may feel sad because you don’t see a way out. As you get flooded emotionally, you will instinctively seek a way to return to homeostasis, your natural state of being. Your emotions act as the catalyst for change.

Path photo with woman by Daniel Hering on Unsplash, Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

Choose your trail. Embrace trailblazing.

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.