Jennifer Racioppi Reflects on HER
Journey Through Anxiety & Disease
As ambitious women, we want to live, work and create in the flow of success. Whether that’s in the boardroom or the kitchen, whether we are an entrepreneur, a corporate executive or a soon to be college grad, we want to execute our vision. We want to contribute. We want to live from our hearts and lead from our revelations. We want to communicate and collaborate. We want to take exceptional care of ourselves and those we love. We want to make an impact in our communities and our families. Underneath it all, what we really want is to know that we are worthy and that we belong.
And if you’re like me, you also want to do it with total abundance. You want ease. You want your lifestyle to make financial sense, and most importantly you want to spend your time doing what you love. Anything less than this feels, well I’m just going to say it—like total torture.
I got you, I understand.
The heart-driven success you are after is your birthright. It’s actually your gift to
humanity. You are here to do nothing short of this.
However, what I am talking about here is not about reaching perfection. It’s about 100% owning the truth of who we are and operating from this place as the default setting in our lives.
You see, if we are constantly looking for the world to validate our worth instead of sourcing it from within, we are already operating at a deficit and this complicates our ability to expand our very essence. When we come from a place of needing to prove something we usually just push it away. However, not only does this striving for worth and validation often prolong our desire to achieve our goals, it wreaks havoc on our body too.
As a teenager, I constantly strove to be the best at everything I did. As an honors student, varsity athlete, student council member, Editor-in-Chief of the high school yearbook for two consecutive years and a journalist for the school newspaper I always pushed myself to work harder and be better. However, underneath the facade of the outgoing, confident teenager I worked hard to create—I suffered intensely. I went through periods of extreme depression and often had thoughts of suicide.
Simultaneously, I struggled on a physical level. I had horrific experiences with my highly irregular menstrual cycle. Heavy bleeding, painful periods, extreme PMS (now referred to as PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) defined my life. Though my proactive mother had me in counseling to actively work through all of these issues, the gold standard treatment at the time—the birth control pill to regulate my “normal” hormonal irregularities and other prescriptions drugs—did very little to reverse my condition.
I lost weeks of my life to extreme pain, terrible anxiety and an overall feeling of hopelessness as I worked myself into the ground, constantly pushing myself harder and harder on my quest for some sense of external validation.
Unfortunately, my situation became much worse before it got better.
One month after I graduated high school my symptoms came to a head when I collapsed with horrific pain and crawled to the phone to dial 911 for help. That night I went into emergency surgery to have a massive tumor (my doctors later told me one the size of a bowling ball) removed from my left ovary. One year later, I underwent a radical hysterectomy as an emergency effort to save my life in response to aggressive gynecological cancer.
Though my cancer treatments did indeed cure me of any malignancy and I am extremely happy to report that I’ve cancer free for almost 19 years, what happened in the years that followed was as challenging as the disease itself. Having entered immediate menopause at the age of 19 my body went into shock. It wasn’t long before I found myself struggling with extreme symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Extreme panic and anxiety took over my life and less than a year after my hysterectomy I found myself incapable of keeping up with schoolwork, withdrawing from my classes and taking a long leave of absence from school.
After a great deal of healing, my life took a dramatic turn for the better. I went from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder into Post Traumatic Growth Order.
A turning point for me happened when I learned that I could not live my life in pursuit of other people’s approval. When I realized that I could self-validate my life transformed substantially. I stopped seeking outward approval, conceded to the fact that I am human and therefore incapable of ever being perfect—and I softened.
Life became playful again.
I traveled the world, climbed the corporate ladder and fell head-over-heals in love with my deepest passions of women’s health, success coaching and astrology. I launched my own business—a boutique consultancy for women who want to achieve their professional goals without burning themselves out. On a daily basis, I get to help women optimize their lives by taking supreme care of their health while they pursue professional goals that are deeply congruent with their most authentic values. And I get to do it all through the lens of one of my favorite tools: astrology!
Look, that success we want is ours for the taking. But you don’t have to burn yourself out in the process of accomplishing your dreams. Your health is your biggest asset—arguably the most important aspect of your success. Work in a way that honors you and you will receive dividends for the lifespan of your career.
“Jenn’s wisdom for visionaryand entrepreneurial women is profound and far beyond her years. Her talent to lead, guide, motivate and mentor is a rare gift that women business owners would benefit from gifting to themselves. If you’re looking for a breakthrough in your business, an understanding of why things are happening in your life the way they are and to truly be seen, heard and supported, I highly recommend working with Jennifer Racioppi.”
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