Laura Jawad in her cap and gown during her PhD commencement

My career was born in academia.

And as was the case, I grew up (professionally) seeking approval for my ideas. For my writing. For the under-paid privilege of taking up space at the bench.

I had some wonderful (mostly male) mentors. While I had positive experiences with many of them, I perpetually competed for scraps of funding, attention and rare praise.

Just before I decided to leave the university, I spoke with a former mentor with whom I was trying to publish one last manuscript.

Many years into the relationship, I received my first compliment:

“You know, you’re an above average writer.”

Sadly, I was delighted.

I tell this story not to whine, but to set the stage. Because shortly thereafter I decided to hang up my lab coat and instead, hang my shingle.

My personal training certification exam results indicating that I passed.

I earned my personal training certification in 2017 and I incorporated my business in 2018.

When I began this business, I was green as green comes.

Not only was I learning a new craft, I was learning to run a business.

And I was finding a long-buried voice.

When I began my business, I started my website. I started my social media accounts.

But I was terrified of writing. I was terrified of posting. I was terrified of putting myself out there.

And that hamstrung my business for years.

Baby’s first business card!

For my entire professional life, my ideas and my writing were curated and critiqued, required to pass various muster in order to see the light of day.

I was trained to seek approval for my ideas from my (male) mentors. I was accustomed to rounds and rounds of peer review and edits before my writing could be published.

And y’all, the peer review process, flawed as it is, is so necessary. I’m not arguing with that!

But outside of the academy, not every piece of writing needs committee approval.

The idea that I could contribute my own thoughts and constructs to the world, without someone telling me it was good enough, was daunting.

What would people think?

What did I get wrong?

What could I have done better?

Who will call me out?

Who was I to pollute the internet with one more piece of un-curated content?

The day I hit publish on my first blog post, my anxiety was through the roof.

I felt like I was doing something wrong.

I waited for the trolls.

Of course, no one read that first post. That’s just how it works.

It was years before my blog gained any traction.

Same for my social channels.

But as I very slowly continued to publish, and when the world didn’t come crashing down, I was emboldened.

I started out writing purely information pieces or diary-style reflections, and branched out into opinions.

As I wrote more, my opinions and voice grew louder.

And I’ve become a better writer and communicator.

Writing for my blog and my social media channels has allowed me to connect with you.

It’s a tool to attract new people to my business. It’s my laboratory to explore concepts and ideas that I use in my coaching practice.

And it’s where I work towards de-stigmatizing conversations around birthing bodies and pelvic health.

A picture of Laura Jawad sitting on a low concrete wall with Lake Washington in the background.

At 100 posts strong, I’m so proud of this blog.

I’m proud of the space it takes up on the internet.

I’m grateful for the opportunities that it’s afforded me.

I’m grateful to all the wonderful humans it’s attracted into my orbit.

And I’m so excited to see where it takes me.

At 100 blog posts strong, I’m a much more confident writer.

So much so, that I’m going to give myself my own damn compliment:

I’ve become a great writer. And quite honestly? I probably always was.

I was just waiting for someone else to tell me.

As I celebrate this milestone in my business, please join me in a virtual toast:

Here’s to finding your voice.

Here’s to unapologetically hitting publish.

Here’s to proudly staking a claim to your own corner of the internet.

Here’s to seeking no one’s approval.

And here’s to awarding yourself your own damn compliments.

Do you write? Do you blog? Post a link below, I’d love to check it out!

Connect with me on Instagram!

For more expert info on pregnancy and postpartum fitness, pelvic health and childbirth, follow me on Instagram!
Redmond, WA-based Seattle birth doula Laura Jawad, headshot

My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.

Contact me with questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I offer customized, online pregnancy and postpartum personal training to folks locally (Seattle-area, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland) and beyond.

Proud Certified Prenatal & Postnatal Coach, Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach and Postnatal Fitnesses Specialist.

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