A Proud Introvert on Wanderlust and Defining Success - Stratejoy
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A Proud Introvert on Wanderlust and Defining Success

REAL-LIFE-INTERVIEW_VICKY_COOKWho are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. Hi! I’m Vicky…a proud introvert that loves hopping on a plane to go explore other corners of our world, a strong cup of coffee, a good book, and laughing with my closest friends (my true soulmates) until my sides hurt.

I currently live in the beautiful state of Connecticut. Even though I’ve lived here for 18 years, I still consider myself a southern girl because I was born and raised outside of Atlanta (you know what they say…you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South outta the girl!).

By day, I’m a Senior Product Manager at a financial software company where I manage a global team of product developers responsible for the design and development of financial research tools for investment professionals.

But, my true love and my side hustle is being an empowerment coach for women. I’m currently wrapping up my training at iPEC (coaching school) and will be certified as a life coach this summer! Over the next couple of years, I’ll be working hard to turn this into my full time gig. My goal is to help women discover their deepest dreams for their life, know they’re worthy of chasing those dreams, and in the process of doing so, unleash the real woman inside that’s dying to come out and play.

And my superpower? I think I’d have to go with my calmness. I wasn’t really aware of this until earlier this year, but as I’ve gotten into coaching and through other circles (like Elevate!), numerous people have told me how calm I am in all situations and how it actually calms them. For me, it helps me to fully assess situations and see all of the options. For others, it allows me to bring them a sense of peace when they’re frazzled, nervous, or anxious. It makes them feel that everything is going to be okay.

Let’s do some one word answers. Ready, set, go!

Morning Drink? Coffee
Indulgence? Curling up and losing myself in a good book and a strong cup of coffee on a rainy Saturday afternoon (or a nap- that works too!)
Lusting after?  The freedom to explore whenever and wherever I want
Spirit Animal?  Snowy Owl
Head Space?  Noisy (as an introvert, I tend to have at least 5 conversations going on in my head at any given time!)
Heart Space? Open & Giving
Bloom of Choice? Tulips
Turn-on?  Free Time (it’s a rare commodity these days!)
Go-to Gemstone? Diamonds (it is my birthstone, after all!)
Celebrity Icon? Jennifer Lawrence
Favorite compliment? “You have amazing energy.” I’ve had Reiki done twice, by two different practioners, and both told me this after our session. I strongly believe in the energy we have within us guides us and attracts like energy into our lives, so hearing this really lit me up. Not only because having good energy is fueling, but I think that also reflects all of the amazing people I’m lucky to have in my life.

What does practicing joy mean to you? To me, practicing joy is a beautiful choice that you make every single day. It means choosing to embrace life right now, in all of its glory and mess without waiting for it to be ‘perfect’ (it’s perfect because it’s messy!). It’s letting go of all the things you “should” do and expanding on all the things you “want” to do. It’s being present in the moment and letting go of what’s already done and not worrying about what’s yet to come. It means loving who you are, exactly as you are. It’s seeing the stars when the days are dark and embracing the messy when things appear to be falling apart. It’s trusting the light within will always be there to guide you and finding the joy in each step along the way.

Biggest life lesson you’ve learned lately? I’ve always really struggled with my body image and I’ve let that hold me back on a lot of things in life. Earlier this year, I was on a group call with the wise Rachel Cole and she said we may not love everything about our bodies, but we can always respect our bodies. I’ve been working on changing my mindset to improve my body image for awhile and this statement completely shifted things for me and was a major life lesson. Our ability to love ourselves starts with respect. We respect ourselves when we listen to our bodies and give it what it needs and when we stop beating ourselves up for our imperfections. When we respect our body exactly where it is, we appreciate it for all the beautiful things it does for us, and the love for our body and ourselves starts to blossom (no crazy diet or workout plan necessary!).

What’s your definition of success? From a high level, my definition of success is living a life that honors my core values and fills me with a deep sense of personal fulfillment. Having a career that allows me to be location independent and is successful enough to allow me to travel whenever and wherever I want would allow me to explore and enjoy a sense of freedom in my life. Through my work, I would feel successful knowing I am inspiring women to transform their lives by knowing they’re worth chasing their dreams to make them realities. I want to connect with people, so if I can establish more ways to do that, I will feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfilling success.

Name 3 things from your Life List that light you up.

Living abroad – I’ve traveled across Europe quite a bit and my heart is longing to live there, for at least a little while. I’m not sure when this will happen, but of all the things on my life list, this is the one that lights me up the most!

Owning a dog – I grew up with dogs and love dogs, but with my schedule these days and traveling, I can’t quite take on the responsibility, but the idea of having my own sweet furry friend someday completely fills me with joy!

Finding the right man – Not that I need a man to complete me, make me happy, or feel I have a successful life, but the idea of finding the right man lights me up. If I don’t find him, I’m still going to live an amazing, exciting, joy filled life, but I’m leaving a little room open for just the right one to come along and woo me.

What do you do when life gets messy? I turn inward when things get messy. I tend to be really self-reflective, so when things get crazy or off kilter, I reach for my journal first and try to write it out. I didn’t really start journaling until about 2 years ago and I’m addicted now. I’m always amazed at what comes out when I put pen to paper.

REAL-LIFE-INTERVIEW_VICKY_COOK_QUOTE

3 songs, 3 Books, 3 Instagram Accounts

SONGS

“Live it Up” by Colbie Caillat

“All I Want is Love” by A Great Big World

“Tomorrow Never Comes” by Zac Brown Band

BOOKS

The Accidental Empress” by Allison Pataki (this book inspired me to book a trip and visit Vienna & Budapest last year!)

Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown

All of the Harry Potter books!

INSTAGRAM

@madebygirl

@worldwanderlust

@hotdudesreading (if you haven’t discovered this one yet…you’re welcome!)

What do you love about yourself? I love my independence and my positive outlook on life. My independence is paramount to me…I have this deep need to be able to take care of myself. I even have my own set of power tools and I know how to use them! I know that no matter what life throws at me I can handle it and I love that about myself.

I also happen to love my positive outlook on life because it is what keeps me going during the challenging times and allows me to appreciate the good times even more!

What has been your favorite journey? My favorite journey has definitely been the one I’ve been on the past few years…my self-discovery, personal growth, get-to-know-me, whatever you want to call it! For so many years, I didn’t really know the real me and the past few years of peeling back the layers has been so rewarding and fulfilling. I’ve discovered I really like myself! I won’t lie and say it’s been roses at every turn, but even in the hard discoveries, I grew stronger and more confident in myself. There’s something really powerful about really learning who you are, what you like and don’t like, and ultimately what makes you tick. It’s given me the power to go for what I want and what I need in my life.

REAL-LIFE-INTERVIEW_VICKY_COOK_FAVES

Word of the Year: Brave

Book that Make a Difference: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women. I’m reading this book now and it’s fascinating! It’s hard to believe the world our mothers and grandmothers lived in and makes me SO grateful to be woman in today’s society.

Currently Obsessed With: This tote bag in the pale peach leather. I LOVE a good tote bag, but I’ve been on a hiatus from buying any new bags this year. But, I was lusting on this one so much, I might have this one on pre-order right now (maybe I should’ve listed this as my indulgence earlier!).

Can’t Live Without: I can’t live without my journal! It’s the pathway to my deepest thoughts and feelings that only come out when I put pen to paper.


Continue to connect with Vicky online via her website, or on social media through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

 

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