How to transform yourself to transform your future with Sarah Centrella
By Yuresh Shayzer
December 08, 2023
In today’s episode, our guest is Sarah Centrella. We dive into her life journey, discussing challenges and how she navigated them. If you're looking for inspiration on overcoming roadblocks and reaching the next phase in your life, this conversation is a must-listen. Tune in to discover how Sarah's journey can offer insights for facing challenges. Without further ado, let's hop into the episode.
[2:05] Why should I listen to you?
I believe the most compelling aspect about me is the seemingly unusual skill I possess, which I didn't recognize as a skill for a long time – the ability to effortlessly get strangers to open up to me. Whether we're in a grocery store line or on a park bench, within five minutes, I usually learn about your kids, their interests, and where they play. It's not that I'm excessively talkative; there's just something about me that makes people feel comfortable sharing. This ability has proven valuable in my role as a coach, shaping the coach I am today. I think you can relate, given the nature of your work.
[4:30] Have you ever thought about learning from the unique experiences of people around you to become a better human without living through their challenges?
I find it truly fascinating. In fact, my first book consisted mainly of stories, with a significant portion dedicated to short stories about people who inspired me. Most of these connections began in the exact way you described—starting conversations with strangers. One memorable example is a woman I met during my corporate sales days. We had lunch, and halfway through, she expressed a genuine desire to know my story. Now, six or seven years later, we're great friends. The ability to genuinely hear people, be interested in their stories, and understand what drives them is rare in today's world. Encountering that sincerity is refreshing, and I can relate to the feeling of wanting to know more. People are often hesitant to approach others, especially those they admire. I always say that genuine curiosity and a desire to learn about someone can break down those barriers because it's a rarity.
[8:10] Jay Z recently noted he wouldn't pay $500 for dinner with himself, emphasizing that his success lies in traits, not just tips. To understand success, focus on how individuals function, think, and surround themselves, rather than just what they say. What's your take on this perspective?
In 2008, my life felt like it exploded—lost my home, no income, and no job opportunities. It was a perfect storm of challenges. Rock bottom hit hard, and I remember laying on the floor, overwhelmed. Without social media, I felt alone in my struggle. In that dark moment, a spark of intuition whispered, "What if you can?" It led me to ask, "If I could, what would I do?" This opened the door to rebuilding my life. I envisioned a dream life as a way to escape the darkness. Surprisingly, my focus on these dreams led to tangible changes about a year and a half later. So, when it comes to significant shifts, that moment was my starting point.
[12:40] Reflecting on your circles, are the people in your life helping or hindering your progress towards your goals?
It's indeed a crucial aspect of success. Reflecting on my journey, I realized the fragility of my energy in challenging states, leading me to seek positive and supportive individuals who could align with the changes I was making. Initially, I found a lack of such people in my life, including family. So, I made a deliberate effort to bring in friends, mentors, and individuals I admired. In the early stages, my clients were the primary people I interacted with, given my corporate sales background. I strategically connected with high-powered individuals in tech, aiming to learn from their experiences. Many of the success principles I teach today emerged from these intentional relationships with individuals whose achievements and qualities I admired. I've always been selective about who I let into my circle, recognizing the impact of influence on both myself and my children. Control over that influence remains a priority.
[16:10] How do you navigate unexpected challenges and find silver linings?
Our living space flooded, sprinklers ruining everything, right after I was laid off from a traumatic corporate job loss. The Red Cross and the fire department intervened, providing shelter for two weeks. During this time, I questioned everything, wondering why this was happening. Despite the hardships, I held onto the belief that somehow, it was for my best good. Six months later, the National Red Cross invited my family to be part of a national ad campaign, opening doors to opportunities that brought me closer to my goals.
[20:05] What practices, rituals, or habits do you turn to during challenging or funky moments to navigate through them?
A really good question because it's something I've had to learn about myself and also learn what works and what doesn't. One thing I know for sure is that our energy is super powerful. So if we're caught in a bad mood or a bad place, we all know that it bleeds and can affect tomorrow, a week, or even a month, disrupting things in our lives and manifesting what we don't want. Once I understood that, I realized I could do things to keep my energy positive. I initiate those rituals as fast as I can. One of them is guiding the conversation in my head. When negative thoughts come in, I play mental tennis, reversing the sentence to focus on something good happening. This stops the negative spiral and brings my focus back to what I want. Meditation is huge, especially guided meditation. I'm not great at it, but I use free ones on YouTube for different topics. It aligns me better on a subconscious level. Also, I have a 24-hour rule for obstacles or adversity. I allow myself to react for the first 24 hours, and then the next day, I get back to what I know works, even if I don't feel like it. It's crucial not to let it bleed into multiple days.
[25:58] What excites you as you move forward and build toward the next level of impact and the influence you aim to have?
One thing I've been working towards for a long time is having a show where I can impact people on a larger scale. That's always been a goal. Recently, I've shifted a lot of my coaching business into the corporate sector, and it's been incredibly rewarding. It's the first time I've made an impact on an audience who, for the most part, doesn't know much about personal development. When their company offers it, they're learning tools for the first time, and experiencing growth, and that has been a surprising joy I love. The books will always be a part of it—I'm working on one right now.
[27:20] Who is the ideal audience or situation for these creative ideas, books, and projects you're passionate about?
My writing is always geared towards individuals who are not avid followers of personal development. Ideally, I want my books to be the first they read, sparking the realization that they have agency in their lives. My goal is to guide them in reducing stress, defining their success, and learning these tools for the first time. While everyone can find value, this specific audience has been my focus. Additionally, I'm passionate about teaching these tools to a younger generation. I've been sharing these insights with my own kids, believing that if I had known these things in my 20s, my life would be in a completely different place.
[34:38] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
Making an impact, following my calling—I truly feel that what I'm doing now is what I was put on this planet to do. It's my passion, and it gives me those highs. Listening to that calling and following through, despite the challenges, is crucial. It's not always easy, but leaning in, embracing it, and persistently doing what you're here for is the key.
[17:44-17:47] If you don’t control it, it will work its way into control
[19:20-19:25] Getting better at navigating the journey helps you avoid some bumps, but the bumps themselves can make the journey worthwhile.
How to connect with Sarah Centrella