Rising from Rock Bottom: Why You Can Live a Life You Love

Apr 1, 2020Goals, Personal Development

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Ok ya’ll. I can’t get enough of these interviews. I love hearing these women share their stories and their journeys to living lives that they love.

They’re always so real and inspiring. Today I have Chant’l from Thrive Lounge to share her story of how she has overcome obstacles in her life and ultimately create a lifestyle that is in alignment with what she wants.

I read  her story and was so inspired by it, I knew it could be helpful to other women as well. Chant’l hosts vision board parties and much more. You can learn more about her story and her work at www.thriveloungedc.com . 

I know there have been many twists and turns throughout your journey. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?


That you cannot judge yourself based on a snapshot of your life. Struggling today doesn’t mean that you will always struggle. Also, success today doesn’t mean that you will always be successful. 

Give yourself grace in the low moments. Focus on the choices you made to result in those moments and takeaway any lessons you can. Use past mistakes to inform the next steps in your journey. 

When life is prosperous, remember the rough patches and the work it took to find success. Celebrate your fortune. Be grateful for the relationships and resources that made your success possible. Save for the future because success today does not guarantee success tomorrow.

This is why you must treat everyone, from celebrities to homeless people, with equal respect. You have no idea who they were, what they’ve been through or where they’re going. Honor their journey.


What helped you through those times?

There are three key contributors to my rise from rock bottom: 

  • Community – There were many times I couldn’t afford things I needed. Sometimes I couldn’t afford things I needed for survival like rent and food. Other times it was something I needed to elevate my life. I couldn’t afford to take the GRE and a good friend paid for that. When I got into school and was asked for $1000 to secure my spot, my family and friends all contributed to $50 – $100 to support me. I could not be who I am without them.
  • Faith – There were many moments I wanted to give up on my journey. (Too many to count.) I had to keep believing that there was something out there for me and I’d find it as long as I kept going.
  • Mentorship – Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” This is true for my life in so many ways. My journey to finding who I am, landing my dream career, properly managing my money, finding my freedom in minimalism, writing and publishing my books, creating and marketing my courses all came from finding mentors that could illuminate the path for me. I read books, took courses, listened to podcasts, and attended events to close gaps in my knowledge every step of the way.


Were there any mental shifts you had to make? 

After failing enough times, I truly believed that I was destined to fail. I thought there were some people who had everything they needed to be successful… and then there was everyone else. 

I convinced myself that because I didn’t go to the right schools, grow up in the right neighborhoods, have the connections that my dreams would always fail. 

Vision boards allowed me to give another shot. Later on that journey, I found the affirmation that carried me out of depression and towards my dreams.

“I am the architect of my life. I create its contents and built its walls.”


What has been the biggest thing that has helped you grow into the person you are today?

Learning that there’s no “big break” waiting at the end of a rainbow. Success comes from the tiny habits that you do every day.


What led you to create Thrive Lounge?

At the lowest point in my journey, I couldn’t find a “real job” after college, received a rejection letter from every medical school I applied to, and had a heartbreak that added icing to my deep depression cake. I worked as a waitress, babysitter, and freelancer, making just enough to pay my credit card bills, car payments, and rent. As a single mother, I could barely afford to keep food on the table. I contemplated suicide often than I care to admit. 

I was an empty shell of myself posing on social media, greeting people with the biggest smile as if I weren’t dying on the inside. Pretending only made me feel worse because I wanted someone to see the pain I was hiding, but they couldn’t see it through my fake smile.  

A friend invited me to her Vision Board Party and it was the first moment that I thought “maybe I can turn my life around.”

Feeling empowered by this new abundance magic, I hosted my first vision board party for my friends just a few weeks later. The next month, I started hosting monthly events for millennial women. The next year, my best friend and I started a blog and hosted the first conference.

I didn’t intend to create Thrive Lounge. Thrive Lounge saved my life.


What’s the work that you do with your clients? 

I am a vision board coach and instructor. I help people create effective vision boards through books, courses, and an annual vision board conference. I also help coaches, educators and community leaders host profitable vision board parties. 


What is the impact you have seen from vision boarding?

Vision boards have helped me at every stage of my adulthood from landing a job, meeting my husband, paying off $42K in debt in under 3 years. If you have found yourself unsure of your direction, unable to focus on your dreams then a vision board can help you tune into your purpose to set the goals and take the actions that will make a long term difference in your life.


What would you tell someone that is afraid to go after their dreams?

Acknowledge the reasons you’re afraid. Maybe you’ve failed in the past. Maybe you can’t stop spiraling through negative thoughts. Maybe you don’t have any family or friends to support you. 

When you acknowledge them, you can tackle them one by one. Find a support group. Locate a mentor or listen to podcasts. If you have lots of negative thoughts, find the positive affirmations you can use to combat them. 

Understand that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now and start there. Don’t think about how to get to the finish line right now. Simply think about how to take one step towards it.


Any last piece of advice you want to give? 

Explore until something feels right. 


To be honest, I don’t know how I have the stamina to show up to Thrive Lounge every day. All I know is that this is where I want to be right now. This is where I want to spend my time. This is how I want to make my impact on the world. 


In college (and for a short while after) I wanted to be a doctor. I never looked around at what would be a good fit for me, what sounded interesting or what lit me up. My family chose that path for me almost from birth. So I worked towards that for years. 


One day I realized I didn’t want to keep trying. My gut told me there was something else out there for me. Even though I didn’t know what that would be, I committed to searching. I gave myself the flexibility to not know. This allowed me to discover freely with no expectation that “that is it.” Through that discovery, I found the field I wanted to work in. I’m good at my job and have accelerated fast. I have unlimited vacation time and great benefits. Also, I have time to pursue my passions. With my full-time job, I’ve participated in plays, taken singing and improv lessons and created Thrive Lounge. 


Had I committed to the long road of becoming a doctor, I may not have created the lifestyle I have today. 


How can others learn more about you or get involved? 

Head over to my website at thriveloungedc.com. I share my best stories on my email list.