Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Stuart.
Melissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The first years of her life were plagued by chronic illness and subsequent surgery, the abandonment of her father, date rape by a family friend, and years of being made fun of for being a small, late bloomer and sucking her thumb until she was going into ninth grade. When she entered her senior year of high school, she started dating a guy that was a few years older than her and felt like a cool kid for the first time in her life! After a 6-month, long-distance relationship, he moved to her hometown. About a month later, she found out she was pregnant.
The news was life-altering and she had major decisions to make. She was married the day after high school graduation in 1999, a mother six months later, and again in 2002. For the five years that followed her life-altering news, there were more downs than ups.
She left her abusive marriage in 2003 and divorced in 2004. After back-dooring a horrible marriage with three equally bad or worse relationships, she finally got a break in 2006 when she met her future husband and they were married in 2007. Flash forward ten years, two additional children, two failed businesses, and several different careers later, she still felt like something was missing. She searched high and low for the answer to her burning question – what am I meant to do with my life?
Through those twenty years of hardships, she kept picking herself up with hope for a better future, but no real plan. She finally decided she’d had enough of ignoring her intuition to do life on her own terms and decided she would move forward, embracing authenticity and learning to fall back in love with herself. In 2019, after several years of intense personal growth, she had the guts to launch her own podcast, Live with Audacity, a life and business coaching practice, and a growing Facebook community. In her group, she teaches others to find the courage to be their true selves, draw out their unique characteristics, and utilize them to craft their best life, too, using the skills and lessons she’s learned along the journey.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has absolutely not been an easy road. I spent nearly twenty years searching for who I was and what my purpose on this earth might be. I know I would have had an easier road and likely figured a lot of it out sooner if I had listened to my intuition when it was guiding me away from things I was trying to force. Since I know everything happens for a reason, though, I know those things have come into my life to help me prepare to be the person I am today and made me ready to handle the obstacles I will face going forward. Hopefully, I will handle them with more humility, grace, and confidence now that I have learned to embrace and love my true self.
With each new level that I’m striving for, I uncover another layer of limiting beliefs I have. Sometimes I’m surprised that something I thought I already worked through is coming back up. It’s amazing how the experiences of my past can add up and hold me back if I let it. One major key for me getting over those hurdles is having a coach in my corner to hear where I’m holding myself back, call me on it, and then help me work through the limiting belief.
My advice is two-fold: Trust yourself and know that you will always find the way – doesn’t mean it will always be the easiest way, but you will find it. And have the audacity to be YOURSELF. No one will advocate for you like you can and no one knows what you want out of this life better than you. Be your true self because your people, your tribe, the people meant to be in your circle are the ones who will find you!
Please tell us about Live with Audacity Podcast.
I am an audacity and purpose coach! My mission in the world is to help women realize they were made for a unique purpose to serve others with their gifts and talents. I help my clients embrace their true self to align with their purpose and manifest their wildest dreams. I help them overcome their fear of the unknown to experience joy, fulfillment, and abundance by living with audacity.
What sets me apart from others are my core values. My core values are the pillars that I base everything else I do around.
1.) Live with Audacity – be authentic, be you, speak up for yourself, advocate for yourself
2.) Love others – all the people, regardless of where they came from, their financial status, their race, religion, background, whatever. My job is to love people because that’s what I was called to do.
3.) Connection – genuinely connecting to support others.
4.) Growth – if you don’t learn, grow, adapt, you die – that’s true in everything you do, whether it’s business, your heart and ability to love, or your physical or mental health. You must keep growing and learning always.
Who have you been inspired by?
Wow! This is a hard question to answer because there truly are so many. Oprah, for one, because she taught me how to see things from a different perspective. She taught me to question things rather than just accept them for what they were. And mostly she taught me there was purpose inside of me and I needed to figure out what I was truly passionate about to find it. Rachel Hollis is another one because when I read her book, Girl, Wash Your Face. She said everything I ever wanted to say to other women! And I thought this woman is living her dream life being herself. I can do that, too! She reminded me that I was keeping myself small and I needed to break out of that. Also, my friend and coach, Yolanda Boyarin, helped me learn how to start digging into what was holding me back, see them from a different perspective, and change those stories. I don’t think I’d have kept up my entrepreneurial journey if I didn’t have her helping me breakthrough those and now that’s what I help others do as well.
- Prosper with Purpose Intensive sessions – 2 hours $125
- 1:1 12-week coaching package – $1500
- Website: livewithaudacitynow.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/livewaudacity/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissamstuart
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivewithAudacity/
Candice Cantu – Candid Cantu Photography