A story of Jenessa’s transformation, from shy and awkward to giving social skills advice to friends!
“Camille has made it possible for me to understand and realize that I’m worthy of the kind of man that I want to attract. … I used to be that person who would just cower in the corner and not engage and now I’m comfortable enough to engage with anyone.“
– Jenessa, 26, IT
Despite having a Masters degree and working in IT, Jenessa never felt like she got men and relationships. At 26, with a thriving career and active social life, she felt like dating was something she should have a handle on, instead of being clueless.
Jenessa’s Story at Glance
- Trouble initiating authentic conversations with other people (flirting made her feel like a 5 year old)
- Not able to relax and enjoy conversations (too much in her head)
- Not clear on what she wanted, which led to settling for men who aren’t a great fit for her or who want a casual fling
- Dug deep to establish clarity around what she wanted in life
- Developed the confidence to own and pursue those goals
- Improved conversation skills so that connecting with others was natural and easy
- Became comfortable enough to talk to anyone
- Had her roommate, a model, as her “how did you do that?” when Jenessa talked to a man who approached her
- Is now preparing to move cities in pursuit of the life and career she wants
Despite having a successful career and a master’s degree, relationships were not easy for Jenessa. She was mystified by them and couldn’t seem to find the same sort of ease with dating that her friends had.
“I’ve always thought that there was this lesson in men and dating and flirting that I’d missed.Like in the 3rd grade we had Dating 101 and I missed it because it felt like all my friends understood dating but I didn’t.“
It didn’t help that Jenessa was not naturally super outgoing or the life of the party.
“I’ve always felt like there’s something wrong with me, that I’m not even an enjoyable person to be around, that I’m awkward and quiet.“
Feeling like she was supposed to have this stuff handled, plus not fitting her mental image of who she had to be to attract a man, was really discouraging for her. It made a relationship feel like it was out of reach:
“I had kind of given up on having a relationship, in a sense. This was something I wanted but I gave up on it because I didn’t know how to get there.”
With the new year starting, Jenessa was setting goals and realized that she really wanted to focus on her relationships, so she enrolled in my Confidence, Connection, Charisma coaching program.
“I just wanted to get a better handle on everything. I really had no idea of what I exactly wanted, and from there I had no idea how to go get it.“
Because Jenessa didn’t know what she wanted, we started with getting her some clarity around what she was looking for, since what she had been doing clearly wasn’t working for her…
“At the very best I’d go on one OkCupid date and I’d find myself not having a good time. I’d be dreading going on those encounters just trying to think up different ways to get out of it. … I had very few dates as a result, and in my head I think I thought I was okay with that? But then I was getting disappointed when it didn’t progress further.”
This disappointment and online burn out wasn’t helping Jenessa feel like she was good at dating. But her biggest barrier to meeting men in real life was that she didn’t feel comfortable enough to just jump into a conversation as herself.
She had this belief that she wasn’t worthy of having interesting conversations, which blocked her from truly being herself and relaxing enough around other people to let them in.
“I realized that, even in small conversations with people, I had a script in my head that I don’t feel like I’m worthy of a conversation with you or even acknowledgement from you.”
We started by tackling that belief that Jenessa wasn’t worthy of having interesting conversations. Since it’s pretty much impossible to attract new friends or a relationship without having that initial, first conversation, Jenessa and I really focused on her conversation skills.
I gave her tools and strategies to use during conversations to stay present and grounded with people. We worked on opening up with friends and people she knew, so that she could deepen her existing relationships and tackle some of that fear.
“Just the first month there were two people I spoke to, both of whom I thought I wasn’t good enough to talk to, and I was able to have really deep, meaningful conversations with them.“
These quick, small wins were crucial for building Jenessa’s confidence. They helped her start to see conversation opportunities everywhere, and to realize that she was worthy of starting a conversation with anyone.
“I started to see all of the stuff that I thought wasn’t possible or not for me, and it just clicked. It was like I was being gently guided towards this strong, confident persona I’d always wanted, but that persona became who I am.“
And that resulted in some pretty amazing encounters, like this one she had while out with her roommate, who also happens to be a fitness and sportswear model:
“Just last week actually, one of my girlfriends and I went out for a drink to enjoy the sunshine. We were sitting down and a gentleman approached and started talking to us.
I just felt really comfortable engaging him in conversation, and we had this nice conversation and this back and forth. And I noticed several times that he tried to engage my friend, but she just was not interested in that at all. She just sat there on her phone, texting and not engaging.
When he left and she looked at me and said “How did you do that? How do you just feel comfortable enough to talk back to people?”
And I told her ‘That’s why I worked with Camille!‘“
This newfound confidence has been incredible for Jenessa — and was the most unexpected part of her transformation. There is a difference between saying you’ll become more confident, and actually feeling that way. And it has completely changed Jenessa’s life:
“I realized I was starting to outgrow the city I’m in, and that it’s time for me to start setting up my life and friend groups beyond this city. Because I’m not going to get to the next level here, and I’m not physically around the kind of men I’d be interested in having a serious relationship with.“
With her future plans set and already getting into motion, Jenessa knows that she has the skills to connect with anyone, anywhere. She no longer feels like she missed “Dating 101” all the way back when.
Because it’s not about being someone you aren’t, it’s about being all of you and letting that person shine through:
“Through this process of working with you, I realized that, yeah, I’m not the life of the party. I’m not doing a keg stand or running around screaming or making a million jokes…but I have this natural ability to be warm and to make people feel comfortable. And I’m realizing that’s enough.“
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