We had the good fortune of connecting with Ileen Bocanegra and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ileen, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?

Most definitely.  As a matter of fact when I was just starting off writing my first published book it hit me. Who was I to be a published author? I started battling with those thoughts of discouragement and major insecurity. I thought, surely no one would even be interested in my book. Months would pass as chapters were being written. Over and over I would question myself. I was so ready to quit! I mean, seriously. I nearly deleted my book halfway through writing it a few times. But I kept pressing forward until one day, in late December of that year I wrote my final chapter.

I faced a similar situation when I made the tough decision to walk away from corporate world and focus solely on my writing and starting off my life coaching business.  There would be months with a steady stream of business followed by seasons of drought.  I’d find myself feeling as though maybe leaving a steady income for an uncertain one had not been in my best interest.  But I’d remind myself of my WHY.  Why had I started in the first place?   Revisiting my WHY pushed me to keep pursuing the vision of entrepreneurship and being a published author.

Quitting is so much easier than pursuing. When we give up on something, the top reason is FEAR followed by UNCERTAINTY. Both create this illusion that you aren’t capable or even worthy to succeed. When my clients have that urge to quit and just give up, I always remind them that there is a great chance their success is just one more step away. I draw a line on the floor and illustrate the process of being on the verge of success or attainment of their goal. And with just one step, they can be crossing into their vision. I also remind them to revisit their WHY.  I’ve also learned when it’s time to walk away and for me it’s not necessarily giving up, but it’s restructuring the process. The time comes when you continually make attempt after attempt but feel unfulfilled and no longer passionate on WHY you started in the first place. Remembering our WHY is the fuel to the fire that keeps you pursuing your dreams. If the passion is gone, and the vision has changed, it’s then and only then that I believe it’s time to walk away and create a new strategy for your dream.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

Although I’m a Life Strategist, I see myself more as a creative. Being an author and podcast host, I am always working on new projects, new material and books. Honestly, I am most proud of the fact that I never gave up when I felt all the odds were against me. I faced trials and circumstances over the past year that could have easily knocked me out of the game. But even then, I picked myself back up and took it all like a new challenge that needed overcoming. Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone and walked in my faith, I don’t believe I would have fulfilled my dreams. I would have stayed at a 9-5, still dreaming about what I wish I could do instead of actually doing it. Being a full-time writer and life strategist allows me to walk in my visions. The visions of working with women, equipping them with what they need to feel empowered to take on the challenges they face in life. I’ve dedicated myself to be that voice of encouragement and motivation that leads women to create the strategies they need to achieve success in every area of their lives.

Although it hasn’t been easy, I remain steadfast in my pursuit to continue walking in my visions. I am a firm believer that faith is the main ingredient to fulfilling our success. Faith in God and in ourselves and our dreams. Without it, we don’t have the belief system required to achieve our dreams. We can easily sway and eventually quit. My goal is simply this. That you will love the life you live and live the life you love. And not be afraid in stepping out of your comfort zone.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Now that’s a great question! I’d have to say Galveston would be my go to destination for a quick getaway.  Definitely spend some time on the beach basking in the sun. Murdocks is one of my favorite spots to relax near the water on a rocking chair, just enjoying the sound of the waves crashing up against the shoreline. Fish Tales on the Seawall is perfect for a yummy lunch or dinner. Nothing beats fresh fried fish and shrimp, with a view to the ocean. The Strand in Galveston is another great place to do a little shopping at some of the cute boutiques.  Not to mention the many great restaurants along the Historic Strand.

In Houston, off Washington is a great sushi bar named Soma Sushi.  My all time favorite dish there is the Crazy Irishman with some edamame. Just serve me that and I am a happy camper.  All along Washington you’ll find a great array of restaurants and places to relax and have a great time.

We can’t forget shopping.  City Centre Houston is the perfect escape for shopping, great food and entertainment.  I love going out there with my girls.  You just never know what treasures you’ll find out there.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As I reflect back on when I decided to step into the journey that would soon lead me to where I am today, I know that my success is attributed to a few people that walked alongside me. My hubby of course, has been such a great support of my work. I can’t thank him enough for always listening to my crazy ideas and always being the voice of encouragement I need.  My sister Veronica, who is my greatest most valued critic.  She tells me what I need to change, what works best and what’s a total flop.  I also want to thank my mentor and dear friend Irene Franco. Meeting her has been an extreme blessing for me. She taught me to keep going and not allow myself to feel less than or unqualified. She always would say, and even now, that there’s something special about me. She believed in me and pushed me when she knew I was unsure of myself.  My beautiful friend Yolanda Juarez has supported me from day one. She lead every detail to my first book signing and continued to be the voice of encouragement in my life that has always pushed me further. Another great inspiration in my life has always been Tony Robbins. Following his teachings and reading his books for years encourages me to pursue even the craziest of dreams. He reminds us to not allow fear to keep us from our destiny. And I can’t agree more.

Website: www.blossomedflowers.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/theileenbocanegra
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IleenBocanegra
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LivingEncouraged
Youtube: https://youtu.be/nV_ZCrgTEX4
Other: www.livingencouraged.org

Image Credits
All rights reserved by Ileen Bocanegra