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Tara Ursulescu (Writer & Certified Coach Practitioner)

Photo by: Louie Pisterzi

1. What’s Your Greatest Failure, And How Did You Overcome It?

Great question! I really wish I would have finished my Master’s Degree in Counselling. It would have skyrocketed my career. Instead, I accepted a job that I thought was my dream career in that it combined my love of writing/journalism, and psychology/qualitative interviewing, AND travel. As I worked in the film industry interviewing people around Canada and the USA who have survived natural disasters for a TV documentary. Great experience but hard to make a living as the work is so sporadic. I always thought I’d go back to grad school but I still haven’t. I know it’s never too late but I’m not sure it’s in the cards for me. I have had some very good work experiences including with social services and in my current role - empowering women, so I suppose that’s how I overcame that failure.

Another great failure was SETTLING with the wrong type of partner for me – repeatedly LOL – so I did not end up with the white picket fence and 2.2 kids or fairy tale – so far! Though I don’t plan on having kids now at my age. It was the pain of failed relationships after spending years and years in them that I wish I would have done differently. I have chosen to work on myself for the past two years, on my own self-healing and self-worth so that I do not make those mistakes yet again.

I am learning not to settle and it’s something I work on almost every day.

2. What’s Your Greatest Achievement, And How Has It Shaped You?

I am pretty proud of myself for putting myself through 5 years of university with very little emotional or financial support other than student loans. Even when I was living with my partner, I felt more criticized for studying too much, etc. and really had to push myself to finish. I graduated as the Most Distinguished Student in the Faculty of Arts, not just out of the students who were majoring in Psychology like I was, but out of ALL of the Arts students attending university. That was pretty amazing. Plus, my research on Highly Sensitive People got an honourable mention from the Canadian Psychological Association on research that even the university professors were not that fond of at the time. NOW the topic is very popular, over 15 years later.

Also, I have contributed to 2 books so far that have been published, and I am a published editor of one of those books, so I’m pretty excited about that! There is talks of a 3rd book in the works as well. Another thing I am very proud of is that I did not live at home as a teenager. I got kicked out at age 15 and lived with friends even until high school graduation in Grade 12. I am very independent and had many firsts due to my own effort, such as I got my first job, bought my first car and my graduation dress and ring on my own. After high school, I got my first new apartment and ‘adult’ job on my own in a city two provinces away.

Today, I have a very good relationship with most of my family but it was a bit of a challenging upbringing. However, it has made me the empathic person and strong woman I am today. I am both grateful, and at times, compassionate for that girl and young woman (me) as well as for my family.

3. In What Ways Do You Hold Yourself Back?

I hold myself back because of a lack of confidence in my abilities. It’s a bit ironic and maybe a bit unintentionally hypocritical that I work as a program manager and manage a training program to coach and empower women! I am constantly encouraging them, building them up, advocating for them….yet I don’t always do that for myself. The hardest part for me is BELIEVING I have the skills, ability, and all of those great things, even if others say I do.

It’s extremely important that we believe in ourselves and have self-confidence. That lack of confidence has always held me back. It feels like a disability.

4. What obstacles are you currently dealing with right now? How do you plan to overcome them?

Some of the obstacles I am currently dealing with are perfectionism, not enforcing my boundaries, not saying ‘No’ when I need to take care of myself. Lack of self-care, rest, exercise, better eating habits. Mostly, it’s my lack of dealing with stress in a healthier way.

I overwork, don’t sleep enough, don’t work out like I should. I’ve been told by my management team that I give too much to my clients, which is true. I feel like I can do more, yet I’m at risk of burning out, to be honest. I am really working on handling the stress piece more seriously.

I have a naturopathic doctor, many healers in my world, as well as someone I talk to who help reframe some of my beliefs that do not serve my Higher Good.

Some of those beliefs are quite deep-rooted and I’ve been working on

them for much of my life.

5. If You Could Live Forever, How Would You Spend Eternity?

I would be an Angel . If I could grant wishes to help others just to see them smile and have renewed Faith in miracles and in Something bigger than ourselves, I would choose to do that. I’d want to give people "hope" again.

If that wasn’t an option, my dream is to be a writer living in a cabin by the water, in nature, writing inspirational material that would deeply touch people, and help move them forward on their path towards their goals and dreams. It would be a simpler, calmer, more peaceful and healthier, authentic Life.