Thirty-year-old Torontonian Danika Czubak is all about helping women to take that leap, to push their comfort zones, to live outside the box. She believes that the more we as women are open to new experiences and the unconventional, the freer we are. And that fiercely courageous act will inspire and mould the lives of our family, friends, communities and world.
It all started for Danika when she traveled alone for the first time, visiting Thailand and Cambodia for 6 weeks. As she felt herself opening to the freedom of the experience and pushing her own box, she realized that she wanted to help others push through their fears and enjoy the incredible freedom she was experiencing.
She’s been putting her best foot toward that goal ever since. Danika wants to spread the joy of life coaching with the world. She feels that most people don’t really understand what that means: imagine having someone on your side who’s like a close friend, but with a little bit of Rambo thrown into the mix! A personal trainer for your life, a cheerleader, a mentor, an ally. Danika wants to see more coaches who are fiercely courageous, fiercely loving and fiercely pushing their clients to face their fears.
From her own personal and professional experiences, Danika has discovered that our greatest fears are often the gatekeepers to the lives we want to live and that we should really be running towards them, not away.
One of the biggest fears Danika has run towards and overcome is her fear of starting her own business. Part of that journey has been learning to come at life with a different perspective. Fears are abundant, especially as an entrepreneur, and it can be easy to fall into being afraid of imperfection, inadequacy and failure. And at the same time, there’s also the all too present and paradoxical fear of success that can sometimes be even more frightening than failure: what if I actually achieve my wildest dreams? What then? Danika says you have to run towards it anyway! If it’s enough to get you scared, you probably care a lot about it and should be busy doing it.
Danika’s coaching business stemmed directly from what she didn’t want. She dreaded going to work, where, ironically, she sold luxury travel experiences from a windowless room. Her professional life wasn’t resonating with her and she came to realize that she didn’t want to work in a box, didn’t want a standard 9-5 job, didn’t want to be told what to do anymore. Running towards the exact opposite of that life and the fear of the unknown has led her to the beautiful and challenging life she leads now. But just because she knew the direction to run, didn’t make it easy. Being your own boss is hard, the life of an entrepreneur is a constant challenge. But now at least she is moving through those fears and finding out what’s on the other side, instead of letting them box her in.
What’s next? Showing up bigger, badder, stronger, faster! In essence, Danika is running towards a life of fierce courageousness. Towards putting herself out there and building a wider audience.
Danika was inspired to take part in SheTravels because she loves how it brings together a celebration of this beautiful city and of travel and transformation in all their forms. Danika is awed by the parallels between her own exploration of the world and of the Toronto urban landscape and her internal travels through fear into freedom. She’s proud to have come so far and to be part of SheTravels family!
Danika is proudest of the moments when she didn’t know how to do something and did it anyway. When she wanted to increase the visibility of her business, for example, she started planning workshops and meet-ups even though she had never done it before. Three months later, her meet-ups were attracting upwards of 500 people and her message is now getting out to an ever-greater and more appreciative audience. Realizing that she could dare to do and learn along the way has been so freeing for Danika. She feels incredibly lucky to be getting to share what she has to offer with the world and to be taking part in something larger than herself.
If she had to sum it up, Danika would say: everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear! If you spend your life concentrating on what might go wrong, you’ll never learn what could go right. It doesn’t mean it isn’t scary, that you won’t fail sometimes, that it won’t be hard. It will. Train your mind to remember that you’re always learning, train it to visualize the outcomes you want, to keep your brain positive. Show up, take a deep breath and check in with yourself: be present! Too many of us live in the future or the past and forget the reality of our everyday physical bodies. Be where you are. Embrace it fully. Feel how lucky you are. Be grateful!
Danika feels incredibly grateful for her family and boyfriend, for their unwavering support and encouragement, for the mentorship of her coach. And she wants to give back even more than she’s received: she wants others to stand on her shoulders, as she herself stands on the shoulders of her own supporters. Danika believes that we live in a world of abundance and that the more we give, the more we get out of life. She preaches and lives the truth of that philosophy every day.
So, if you’re thinking of taking ‘the leap’, Danika knows what you’re going through.
No doubt about it – it’s scary.
Do it anyway!
Article written by Amanda Milroy
Amanda is passionate about languages and writing and has a degree in translation and professional and technical communication. She’s honoured to be part of the SheTravels team and to help put these inspiring stories out into the world.