G Day Story: Tanya Geisler

Tanya Geisler and dadWhen I was a little girl, the world was wide and open and bright and possible. I was surrounded by friends and life was idyllic. I danced and laughed with wild swaths of joy.

I loved and was loved. I celebrated and was celebrated.

I was free to colour outside of the lines. I was free, period.

As I approached adolescence, things started to shift around me in ways that were unsettling, ungrounding and unnerving. Un-understood.

I didn’t understand why some of my friends turned their back on me, no longer dancing with me, loving with me, celebrating with me.

They’re jealous, said my mother.

So began a distrust of my sisters and a wall was erected.

I didn’t understand why I was being to told to colour inside the lines.

You’re old enough to know better, said my teachers.

So began a distrust of what a thought I knew and the dawn of believing what I was told.

Which was convenient because my head and my heart seemed to always be at war, telling me different things. So I started to listen to everyone around me. Wearing what everyone else wore. Saying what everyone else said. A good girl. A people-pleaser. Keeping my head down. No more wild swaths of joy.

My classmates wanted to be sixteen. I wanted to be six again. I no longer felt free. I envisioned myself trapped under my school desk. I could try to hide, but I couldn’t escape from the passage of time.

Many years and MUCH personal work later, I have learned to come back to that ten year old girl who KNEW. Who knew how to be a good sister, in love and celebration. Who knew that saying the same things and dressing the same way, and the “yes, please” and “as you wish” were the path to mediocrity…not evolution.

My ten year old self is my greatest ally. She is my mentor. She is my goddess. I trust in her and she trusts in me.

My work in the world has led me to helping other women leaders come back to their centre. To come back to the time before they handed over all that they knew in favour of what they were told.

The opportunity to participate in GDay is an incredible one. To support these goddesses in rooting into who they are in this moment, to celebrate themselves and to celebrate each other, walls down. This is the fortification I yearned for in my development. And the genesis of such incredible possibility, it’s startling.

What I know with every cell of my being: Latent within each of us rests the solution to the world’s most egregious issues. And we can change them…if we trust in what we KNOW and act from there.


Tanya Geisler is a Leadership Coach with a penchant for clarity and an abhorrence of the Impostor Complex. A mother of a 10 year old girl, she’s coached hundreds of people who were ready to step into the starring roles of their lives. She’s created The 12 Lies of the Impostor Complex (and One Truth), The Joy Pages, Board of Your Life and the transformational Step into Your Starring Role coaching program. A writer and in-demand TEDx speaker, she’s convinced that if we all knew our own personal brand of joy, life would be more aligned, saner and well, joyful! She will also be presenting at G Day Toronto on April 26th. Thanks for sharing your G Day story with us, Tanya! 

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