Name: Tiffany Duncan
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation: Clarity Coach, Retreat Host, Yogi, + Speaker
In the beginning of your career you made several shifts from retail management to healthcare to HR. Then you found your groove and had a successful career in fitness. Tell us about what it was like to work in the industry and what happened when you began to feel disconnected to the work.
Early on, my relationship with fitness and having aesthetic goals was very strong. In 2017 I had an unsettling conversation with my mom during a bridal dress fitting. We were debating on whether to let out one inch in the hip area so that I wasn't so constricted for dancing. I remember saying to my mom that fitness allowed me to appreciate & love my body more because it was so strong & that it felt counter intuitive to manipulate my diet & exercise routine in order to not modify the dress. It occurred to me fully in that moment that most women would have applied the pressure in the opposite direction rather than make a simple adjustment to the fabric. This larger realization, that the women I was so passionate about helping where primarily in the gym because there was something they disliked about their body, hit me hard. The amazing endorphin rush and self-confidence boost was not only secondary to them, but unnecessary in terms of why they were showing up in the first place. It was the first time I felt truly frustrated over societal expectations for women's bodies being normalized.
What shifted inside of you to start to think beyond fitness?
After getting married I moved from Erie, PA to Seattle, WA. There I was challenged to quickly rebuild the fitness career and relationships I had left behind. Four months into relocating all of the boxes were checked professionally, yet this unsettling feeling of "now what?" began to rear its head. I tried to disregard it at first, but overall it was during my nearly two years there that day by day, I started losing interest in helping women manipulate their bodies. I wanted to reconnect them with the power of their mind and spirit so that they could see how beautiful they already were. My personal desires shifted from helping them achieve an outward, aesthetic only transformation to knowing that there was a significant relationship between body, mind, and spirit. During these two years I was able to begin preaching enjoying exercise because of how it makes you "feel" rather than how it can help you "look". My personal "knowing" was the first step of listening to my internal calling, then I was able to focus on the totality of wellness, rather than what only appears on the external surface.
You call yourself Your Clarity Dealer. How did finding clarity in your own life lead you to helping others find it?
I consider my prior self to be an overachieving perfectionist. I was able to relieve myself of this self earned title as soon as I traced what I was currently working to achieve back to the source. In other words, I examined the person I was aspiring to be, and took an honest approach at dissecting who that person was exactly. It was then that I realized much of what I was aspiring to be was for the sake of vanity or recognition outside of myself. Very little of what I was successfully accomplishing was for me alone, and what made it worse, was that my self earned titles were in fact receiving admiration from others and leading them to have a desire or a longing to be more like me.
I decided that if I was going to inspire others, I needed to inspire them at their core, and in order for that to happen, I had to live for the 100% authentic version of me first and foremost.
How do you help your clients find clarity?
I like to start with an overview on how they are currently spending their time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and compare that to how they'd like to be spending this time instead. If they are unsure how their time is currently being spent, I help them break that down first. Once we know where their time is going, we can identify the disconnect between what they actually desire, or "what matters to them the most". Similar to my own self process, I assess what is receiving their time in terms of the quality it is bringing to their life. Anything that is low quality and consuming their time has got to go! Depending on the client we then can either welcome something new and desired into that space or, we can leave it as is, free space to create more flow and ease in their life! That is a quick digestible summary, but to provide a breakdown of my signature 1:1 14 week Clarity Coaching Framework, clients can expect to work through four phases that exist together as the equation of: clarity + purpose + intention = vision. In short, those phases are respectively associated with the following: "what matters" + "why it matters" + "action towards what matters" = "new, desired reality for your life!"
Share with us what it means to you when you say "I only put pressure on myself in the areas that matter to me". How would you suggest other women accept this philosophy?
It's impossible in life to have everything be important, or "matter".
Gaining clarity is the first step in determining or accepting whatever it is that actually holds value for you, aka, "what matters". Once you accept that everything in your life presently does not hold the same level of value, you can actually begin to prioritize "what matters".
I am constantly evaluating this is my own life and I am quick to rotate out ANYTHING that is no longer serving, or holding value, despite its original intent. If you keep trying to put equal importance on what's occurring in your life you're never making space for things to rotate out or IN. Our energy is most efficient and best used when we are recycling what's in our headspace so to speak. Take inventory of your life, decide on a rating system for all that comes up, and only continue to give your attention to what scores at a high level value for you. When you decide what you're going to pay attention too, and you know why it truly matters, it takes care of the rest (or the stress) because if you're feeling pressure about anything else, you're better equipped and prepared to release it and let it go!
What advice would you give the woman who is reading this thinking that they need to shift their career?
To start asking themselves new questions! Personally, I feel it helps to start looking at the barriers to making a carrier switch first. Once those are identified, it makes the rest of the experience more enjoyable because you can focus on what's inspiring you to take a new leap. If you skip looking at what's preventing you from taking the leap, you may have progress towards the shift and then suddenly be halted when an un-encountered barrier makes its appearance. Ask yourself simple questions first. Think "What is preventing me from changing my career?", moving into "What is causing me to desire a change in my career?". Look at both lists of answers, add in another simple analysis, "What answers from both questions are pros, what are cons?". After this logic based evaluation it's safe to add your feelings into the mix and let yourself wonder things like "What decision will lead to regret?", "What decision, if any, do I have a personal calling too?" and the open ended dream inducer, "What if..........". I truly believe, from my own experience and my clients, that better questions, lead to better answers, and net better (aka more fulfilling) results! So get started by asking away, you have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain :)
Anything else you want to share with us?
I think it's really important to allow yourself to ponder the idea that much or some of what you picture yourself achieving in life, may be borrowed. Specifically I'm referring to the idea of a life timeline and conforming to societal roles. We are all familiar with the suggested foundational timeline of higher education, employment, marriage, home ownership, children, retirement, etc. Then there are the evolving primary societal roles specifically for women as they age and transition from daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, etc. For me, many of these associations aren't an authentic fit, like children and motherhood, for example. So, in case you've never heard this before, the only "correct" way to live life, is however YOU decide!
A question we ask everyone...what do you want to be known for?
Never living the same year twice! I am actively choosing change & growth for myself & will continue to be an advocate for others to stop settling & to chose consciousness in their lives. If you're comfortable, your unconscious, and therefore your existence is suffering. There is a Buddhist term, "Annica" which means, impermanence / change. The capability for human beings to embrace "Annica" within all facets of life leads to the eradication of unconscious suffering and opens the gateway to conscious happiness.
My favorite quote is...
"If you don't sacrifice for what you want, what you want will become the sacrifice." -unknown