Hello! I’m René Guerra. My amazing wife, Tricia, and I have been married for 19 years and live in the Dallas area. I’m a proud daddy to our two cats, Hannah and Izzy, and Shanti, our beautiful Hispano Arabe mare.
I’m happy to be a life & business coach who helps people get clear about their passions and goals, get out of their own way, and live a fulfilled life.
I wrestle with self-esteem issues and sabotage myself with inner judgment and procrastination. I listened to the little voice inside my head that constantly judged me, saying “I’m not enough”, “I’m not ready”, “I can’t succeed”.
Can you relate?
Let me tell you the whole story of how it all began and how my life completely transformed.
Growing up with a “Girl’s” Name
“René!!! Isn’t that a girl’s name?”
I was always scared the first day of school. Each time the new teacher would call my traditionally feminine name, I felt like everyone was judging me when my hand would sheepishly go up and I would quietly say “here”.
I would hear comments about my name and then kids staring at me as if there was something wrong with me. We all have something we’re insecure about. Maybe for you it’s your weight, facial features, accent, or something else.
While I never got into a fight over my name, my insecurity took its toll on me emotionally and affected my self-esteem.
I Just Wanted to Hide
Ever had that feeling? Yes…that feeling where you just wanted to disappear into the crowd for fear of being judged and disconnected from the group.
I recall telling my Dad while in my late twenties about the challenges of growing up with a girl’s name and he immediately told me that if I didn’t like it…to have my name changed!!
My first reaction in my mind was, well, it’s a little late now. But, I allowed what he told me to sink in. I began to see myself and my name as being unique. If you really think about it, we are all unique in our own way and that is something to be proud of.
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”Isaac Asimov
I may have not excelled in academics, but my low self-esteem was boosted somewhat by my experiences in Boy Scouts, playing the violin in orchestra, and football.
In the 5th and 6th grades, I excelled in football playing first-string right guard and nose guard on defense. I will never forget and will be forever grateful to my coach, Coach Lloyd Kennedy, who believed in me more than I believed in myself.
Following high school, I attempted junior college and found myself feeling embarrassed that I did not attend a big-name college like most of my friends did. I eventually dropped out of school once I began working full-time in the corporate world.
Despite my corporate success, I always judged myself for not completing college and felt inferior when I was around people that graduated from college.
In fact, I’m quite successful without a degree and discovered that people don’t have to have a degree in anything to be decent human beings and to succeed in life. I learn best from experience and feel that life has given me a hard-earned PhD!
Second Chances and New Realizations
It was New Year’s Eve when, as young, rebellious 20 year-olds, my best friend and I were out drinking and driving and I crashed my truck into a tree while driving through a park. The truck sustained $1,800 damage while we escaped with only cuts and bruises.
When we saw headlights coming towards us within 5 minutes after the crash, we were worried that is was a police car. I threw the bottle of Jack Daniels into the creek, as if the officer wouldn’t be able to tell we had been drinking.
But when the car pulled up, we were relieved to see a station wagon driven by a man with very long hair and beard. He looked a lot like Jesus.
My friend asked if he could take us to his parent’s home and he just nodded…yes. Throughout the drive, he never spoke a word or asked if we were okay. We were so relieved to be heading home and so shaken by the accident that we didn’t notice his mysterious silence at the time.
As we pulled up to the house, we thanked him and knocked on the door. When my friend’s mother answered the door and saw the blood running down my face, she was shocked and puzzled.
She asked how we got home and as my friend and I turned around a second later, the old white station wagon had completely disappeared. “That was your guardian angel,” she said with quiet reverence.
We were shocked and both wondered why the man never said a word and how our injuries were so minimal. We talked about our experience at length and concluded that it was a sign that we had greater things to accomplish in life.
The accident dramatically impacted my life and proved to me that a greater power is always watching over me and that I have things to accomplish in life.
Over the years since then, I would think about the experience from time to time, but it was not until I began to do some deep soul searching after leaving Dr Pepper, that I would again consider what I was truly meant to contribute to the world.
A Free Spirit Trapped in a Corporate World
I worked for the same company for 21 years and dreamed of creating the life I wanted while gazing out my office window. When the company went public, the once family owned company changed dramatically and so did my life. The atmosphere at work would never be the same.
I accepted one promotion after the other because I thought that was what I was supposed to do to get ahead. In reality, even though I learned a great deal in each of the positions and was grateful for the growth opportunities, I was required to become more and more detail-oriented in order to fulfill the requirements of the job.
As a creative idea person who is easily distracted, I felt like a square peg tying to fit into a round hole, which had a devastating effect on my self-esteem. It just did not feel right to me. I allowed it to create tremendous stress in my life as well as to negatively impact my performance.
I would later understand that it was simply a mismatch between my gifts and talents and the requirements of the job and of the corporate structure.
The Challenges and Gifts of ADD
It was not until I was an adult and struggling at work that I was diagnosed with ADD. Finally the troubles I had in school made sense! I didn’t know how to take notes and wouldn’t ask questions for fear of exposing myself for being “stupid.”
I had difficulty concentrating in class. No matter how hard I would try to listen, I just could not catch everything that was said. As an adult, I continued to experience the challenges of ADD. The constant deadlines at work were frustrating. I had trouble starting projects and when I did, I would quickly lose focus.
The same difficulty I had with listening in school continued to plague me at work as well as in my relationships, causing me to miss details of what I was told, oftentimes with unpleasant consequences.
While I have found techniques to work around these issues, I must continue to be mindful. I can easily find myself “down the bunny trail” and before I know it, I’ve wasted minutes or even hours on something that has taken me away from more pertinent tasks.
I’m easily bored and, in fact, even got tired of trying to finish this About Me! I have now learned to manage the challenges while embracing the gifts of creativity, imagination, and intuition that are also a part of ADD.
“You Have No Drive”
Perhaps one of the most devastating events of my career was when, after a 35-minute interview for a position with a corporate trainer and psychologist, I was mislabeled as a person with “no drive.”
I was crushed. I had poured all this time and energy and heart and soul into this company and position, all of which seemed to go unrecognized.
When I learned that I did not do well in the interview and would not be considered for the position, I reached out to the corporate psychologist for advice and feedback on how I could improve myself.
Her response was to email me a 45-page document without any specific information about how and what applied to me. Her assessment of me after only a brief interaction was not only inaccurate but damaged both my career and my self-esteem.
How carelessly do people spread judgments, which are nothing more than their own personal opinion, like this without any consideration of the impact it might have? Has something like this ever happened to you?
I was miserable but was afraid to quit my job due to the economic downturn at the time. Would I be able to find another job without having a college degree? Would I face bankruptcy, lose my house, and end up homeless?
Enrolling in a coaching program with Jack Canfield Coaching changed my life. At the insistence of my wife who was frightened by the physical and emotional toll she could see the stress was taking on me, I finally took a courageous leap of faith . I moved beyond the corporate world and created a life and career that was in alignment with who I am and what I have to offer.
I Was Occupying Someone Else’s Dream Job
I’ve come to learn that when we go through something difficult or tragic or painful, there’s a bigger reason. And although we often can’t see the lesson while we’re going through it, we generally are aware and actually thankful looking back.
I later came to realize that it was neither good nor bad that I wasn’t a match for the positions I held. When I chose to leave, I was opening the door for someone who was more passionate about the work to move in.
Declaring My Independence
When I left the corporate world, people congratulated me, with many expressing that they wished they could do the same. A few told me I was brave for quitting without another job, and “at your age” or “without a degree.” Although I was a little scared to be heading into uncharted territory, it just felt right for me to leave when I did.
How often do we wait for the perfect time to make a change in our lives? The words of one of my favorite authors, Wayne Dyer, echoed in my mind: “Don’t let your music die in you.” By trying to force myself to fit into a mold that wasn’t me, I was slowly allowing my music to wither away inside me … not anymore!
Discovering a Second Love: Cycling Motivated Me to Take Risks
While attending a health fair sponsored by a local television station, I surprised myself when I impulsively committed to participate in the MS 150, a 2-day, 150-mile bike ride, to raise money for MS, from Frisco, a town north of Dallas, to Oklahoma. I was not only motivated to face a physical challenge but was also looking to lose a few pounds. I had allowed my 6’0 frame to grow to 216 lbs with a 36-inch waist. I looked and felt miserable.
I was scared the minute I signed up and I was not even sure I could do it. I committed to doing whatever it took to achieve my goal despite my fears. I trained hard with the help of a friend so when the big day arrived, I was confident that I could make it. It was a tough two days in the saddle with some challenging hills to climb but I kept telling myself that I had the power to make it.
Cycling has built my confidence, both physically and mentally. It has given me the courage to take risks, both on and off the bike, from riding down hills at over 50 mph to leaving a secure, albeit miserable job, to branch out on my own.
I have physically challenged my body to levels that I never dreamed I could accomplish, which has inspired me to reach higher in all aspects of my life. The discipline that it takes to keep pushing up a hill when my muscles are screaming in pain is the same discipline I use every day in my business.
One day on a particularly grueling ride, I said that I didn’t think that I could make it back to my car, 10 miles away. My friend’s response has become my mantra as I face any challenge in my life. “You always have more than you think.”
Bike riding also fueled and fulfilled my core value of adventure and need for new experiences. I not only seek new routes that are longer in distance but more challenging for me to conquer, in beautiful locations, and with new friends. It sparks my passion and has provided me with some of life’s greatest lessons.
Life is Like Riding a Bicycle
Albert Einstein said, “life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
I love using the analogy of cycling as it pertains to life. I enjoy sharing the lessons I’ve learned from cycling with others. Both in cycling and in life, if I never ventured outside of my comfort zone and took the risks, I would have never seen the other side of the hill.
In cycling and in life, I have encountered road signs that directed me to my next step and roadblocks that challenged me to take a new direction. Through it all I have had to take action, to keep pedaling in order to reach my goals.
Some people ride to their goals at a slow pace while others may sprint. Some may even walk their bikes. The idea is to keep moving and taking action. If you just sit on your bike and never turn the pedals, it is tough to make progress…and you fall off the bike!
Don’t allow that happen to you, keep pedaling towards your dreams and goals. Together let’s see what is on the other side of the mountain.
The Real Me
So…this is who I am and my hope is that it will give you a glimpse into my personal world of challenges and how I have dealt with my own issues in life and what I have to offer you.
My fascination with the study of self-help and inner growth has helped me to identify the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that ran through my mind repeatedly. I’ve learned to face my life challenges through consistent study and listening to feedback from my trusted mentors.
Through reading, attending personal development courses, and coaching, I’ve strived continuously to better myself. I am a work in progress, complete but not finished, always evolving, and that is what makes my journey in life so rewarding.
I feel a strong calling to share what I’ve learned throughout my life with others who may face the same challenges.
I thank you for taking the time to read and discover more about me. A big thanks goes to my wife Tricia who has been a constant supporter and believer in me even when I thought about throwing in the towel, cycling shorts and jersey.
As a team, we have managed to come out on top through many challenges throughout our lives. In the end, we realized that the universe was conspiring in my favor to move me towards the life I was ultimately meant to lead, and I am forever grateful.
So…dust off that old bike…and if you’re ready…come and take a spin through life with me! Let’s discover together what the universe has in store for you.