Changing course and doing something different is never failure, it’s just change. So with that mindset I don’t worry about failing anymore. Natalie Cañizares is a 27 year old Women’s Lifestyle Curator. After growing up in Chicago in her Cuban-American household, Natalie spent the past 3 years living in New York City. She attended The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated with a degree in Dance. From there she decided to move to NYC to dance and choreograph. After landing many gigs that she thought would make her feel “successful,” she found herself really unsatisfied with her life. Natalie ended up hiring a Life Coach and it totally changed everything, and inspired her to become a certified Coach and create her own business.
What made you decide to become a life coach? How would you describe your job?
As I briefly mentioned, working with my own Coach inspired me to become a Coach myself. I realized how much power we all have to create our own realities and how much we often don’t even know that we have the power to do so. I’m deeply passionate about making this world a better place and the best way I can do that is by helping people truly love themselves and make choices that feel aligned for them.
I would describe my job as being somewhat of a guide and teacher for people who are ready for change and just aren’t certain how to get themselves to where they want to be.
Describe what a typical day looks like for you?
The thing I love most about my days is that no two look exactly the same. That being said there are certainly some things I do a lot, and I have routines and rituals in place that support me to show up as the best version of myself… but I don’t follow any of them religiously. I’m a firm believer in utilizing routine and ritual to support you but not using it as a crutch. Most days I wake up drink water, make a delicious cup of coffee with my Chemex, and I sit for about 30 minutes in quiet, just allowing myself to wake up. Then I pretty much always either go for a run or go to Yoga and spend at least 5 minutes meditating. The order of those things varies but M-F they are really important. The vast majority of my day is spent writing, creating content (making videos and posts), and working with clients. I’m working on a book right now so I’ve been spending quite a bit of time writing. I usually do most of my work from a local coffee shop. There’s usually a juice or smoothie at some point in the day and I almost always cook my own dinner. Some evenings I go to Yoga if I haven’t already gone… it’s a great way to wind down.
Your business has been growing rapidly via social media. Was there a time you were worried about failure or met a difficult obstacle? How did you overcome it?
Yes, yes, yes, 100% yes. Anybody who tells you that starting a business is easy, is lying. I don’t care what tips or tricks there are, or how confident you are, it’s just challenging. When I first started out and I had one follower on Instagram, I looked at people with 1K followers and felt like I was so far away from that, and that it would be impossible for me to ever get there. When I got to 1K followers I looked at people with 2K followers and thought that, and so on and so forth. There is always someone who is doing “better” than you and it’s easy to let that discourage you. But what I’ve learned is that I can use the people who are doing really great as inspiration. Seeing people living their dreams means it’s possible which makes it that much more possible for me and you. Another note on failure… I don’t really believe in it. What is failure anyway? As long as I’m committed to following my heart and doing my best 100% of the time, failure is not a possibility. Changing course and doing something different is never failure, it’s just change. So with that mindset I don’t worry about failing anymore.
What advice would you give some who is contemplating on working with a life coach but is unsure of what the results will be?
I would tell them to stop contemplating about working with a life coach and start asking themselves what it is they want. Hiring a Life Coach because you want a Coach isn’t really productive in my opinion. However if you have a specific result that you want to achieve, then it makes it easy to know who to hire and to know that you will achieve that result, because the results are ultimately up to you. A lot of times when people are on the fence about hiring a Coach it’s because they are having a hard time believing in themselves and whether or not they are capable of actually making change. As far as finding the Coach that can help you produce the specific results you want, always work with a Coach that is really attractive to you, like their energy is contagious and you want to be around it. And trust yourself enough to know that no matter who you hire you will make the changes happen for yourself. A Coach is there as a guide and a space holder, but they can’t actually do the changes for you, it’s ultimately up to you.
What is your favorite part of being a life coach?
I love creating, and empowering amazing people create the realities they love for themselves. And while we’re on the topic of being a “Life Coach” I’ve recently changed my title to Lifestyle Curator, which I love. Your life is your work of art, your masterpiece, and I help you paint it to be the most beautiful, whole version it can possibly be. Through the work I get to see women make huge changes and honestly surprise themselves with what they’re capable of, and I love getting a text or message from a client telling me that they’ve just blown their own mind.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re having an off day?
I turn to my tools when I’m feeling off. Some of those tools include meditating, making sure I’m fueling my body properly, different journaling exercises, exercising, and those are often very helpful. But and that’s a big fat BUT, some days you just feel off, and you need to accept that. On those days, trying to force yourself to feel “normal” only causes you to feel more off, so it’s also important to just go with the flow. For me that could look like a multitude of things, but essentially it’s just me chilling out, having a good meal, and allowing it to be okay for me not to be productive.
When have “failed” what have you learned?
What I’ve learned is that there is always something to be learned from hard situations. It’s so important to find the lesson and allow yourself to grow from “failure” or hard times, instead of letting it push you down.
What is your favorite piece of advice to give? Alternatively, what is the best advice you’ve been given?
You always know what’s best for you.
You’ve got to trust yourself! Which is what my first Life Coach taught me.
You’re from a Latina background. Does your culture and heritage influence your line of work and business?
I am. I grew up in a Cuban household and even though I am very American, I’m Cuban through and through. I’m sure there are a lot of ways that my culture and heritage influence my work that are subtle, but I couldn’t really point any out. I feel like what I’m doing is very “American” if you will, so some of my Cuban family can’t really relate with it, or it just seems strange to them.
How do you think we can change the next generation of women in living a healthy and positive life and not having such negative thoughts about growing up and having to be a perfectionist?
By changing ourselves. I’m a firm believer in helping yourself before you try to help others. A broken down adult trying to teach confidence and positivity to youth that doesn’t actually practice those things themselves is not going to do much good. I’m really passionate about this topic and I believe it starts with us.
You were a trained dancer. Does your dancing background help you in your line of work and day to day life?
Absolutely. I will always be a dancer even if I am not always taking classes. Dance ingrained a lot of great qualities in me like a strong work ethic, focus, and attention to detail. What I do now isn’t so different from when I was choreographing dances, in fact I find them to be quite similar, except now I am working with peoples lives instead of bodies on a stage. My artistic eye allows me to help people turn their lives into their own works of art, which I love 🙂
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
It’s hard to say, because I feel like any advice I would give might stop me from making some of the choices I made that lead me to where I am today and I really wouldn’t want that. So I guess I would just tell myself to “Just keep going.” All experiences no matter how hard or how amazing shape who we are and without them we would be completely different.
What is your favorite part of Chicago?
I love that it’s a grounded city. It’s in the middle, not too big, not too small, and it’s also geographically in the middle. There’s just something about Chicago that feels like home to me.