INTRO TO CRYSTALYNN’S IDENTITY AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
What happens when you finally achieve the “look Mom, I made it moment,” only to discover you are actually miserable?
When Crystalynn found herself in this spot, she first harnessed the incredible resiliency she’d built through life’s curveballs. Next, she connected to her why focusing on identity. And finally, she chose to pay it forward by supporting moms. Advocating moms confidently put themselves on and at the top of their to do list through her business Heart Over Head Coaching.
While Crystalynn’s career didn’t begin with identity and self-confidence at the core, each experience led her to the discovery of fulfillment. She also grew in her self-confidence, leaving a toxic relationship and embraced raising her oldest son, Drake, as her calling.
Her story is filled with resiliency, shifting of identities, and how paying it forward feels aligned with her values.
As a retail manager turned HR professional and eventually coach, Crystalynn uses her journey to show women they can do hard things. In fact, the reward on the other side is well worth the journey.
She has battled for a relationship only to realize it affected her self-worth and well-being. Discovered herself after years of leaning into ONLY the identities of mother and employee. Additionally, cares deeply about supporting women to discover their self-confidence even when they feel lost.
Enjoy the words of wisdom and incredible journey of Crystalynn Godek.
EARLY CAREER IDENTITY
After graduating from Indiana State University, Crystalynn’s career began. She loved the retail management space and was offered a position right out of college with Target. Eventually, she was recruited over to Kohls.
While infant son, Drake, was home sick with RSV, she was called away from work to get him to the hospital. Instead of being able to drop everything and get to her son, she found herself trying to find coverage at the store in order to leave. After a few unsuccessful attempts, she eventually authorized overtime for another manager to come back to the store so she could get to the hospital with her son.
Upon returning to work, she was reprimanded for leaving. Recognizing this value conflict and the work over family approach she felt, Crystalynn made a bold move. She left the familiar and comfortable space AND her identity as a retail manager, moving into a start-up.
Bluefish Wireless, a tech start-up now known as MOBI Wireless, became her new home away from home. Ironically, on day one, a snowstorm closed down Drake’s daycare causing her to miss her first day.
I thought for sure I was going to be fired. Their phone system wasn’t working, and I couldn’t get ahold of anyone until 4 in the afternoon. Can you imagine? I just kept thinking – great, I haven’t even started and I’m already going to be fired.
Quite the opposite occurred though. She was met with understanding and hit the ground running (on day 2) in her new role and identity.
LOOK MOM I MADE IT
Crystalynn quickly acclimated to the start-up. The founders immediately noticed her potential, giving her additional projects and responsibilities. All of which she grew successfully.
In start-ups, founders see potential in others before they see it in themselves. Ironically, it feels very similar to coaching.
She rose the ranks and took on her first Vice President role. Six months into the VP role, she had a strange realization.
I actually hated it. I enjoy supporting people in getting where they want to be. Building programs. Navigating relationships. I felt like in my time as the VP, all I did was review and create RFPs (request for proposal). Not feeling passionate about it, I realized I was in the wrong space.
Instead of suffering in silence and hanging on to the title, Crystalynn voiced how she was feeling to her leadership team. In what she refers to as a flip of the white board moment, the company was ironically looking into a new position. One capturing performance management, building out programs, training, onboarding, development plans, leadership cohorts, and employee appreciation.
She shifted into the Talent Development Director role and thrived in a space more suited to her natural talents.
It is more powerful to speak up than to silently resent.
– The Client Courtship Coach
SETBACKS TO IDENTITY AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
In total, Crystalynn was with BlueFish/MOBI for 10 years. During this time, she raised her son Drake as a single mom. Simultaneously gaining self-confidence and recognizing her independence as a blessing.
She eventually met and married her husband, Michael.
A lot of pivotal life moments occurred during her time with the start-up. Further resulting in her identity being very tied up in the organization and her role as a people leader.
As investors made their way into the company, the culture began shifting. Crystalynn was laid off as a result of some internal changes.
Absolutely a blow to her, her family, and all she knew about her current identity.
Alternatively, she began to think about this quote:
“Maybe your life is falling apart because you prayed for something better.”
This shift in mindset led her to invest time and energy into herself. She landed an HR Project Manager role really leaning into her strengths and values. She was also presented the opportunity to go through a coaching program to become a Certified Professional Coach through a program at iPEC – Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
HEART OVER HEAD COACHING- A SHIFT IN IDENTITY
She began the coaching program at iPEC while 8 months pregnant with her second child. A nine-month program, she finished her coaching certifications with a baby and a desire to provide one-on-one coaching to women.
Heart Over Head Coaching means initially, our ideas start in the heart. Then move to the head where we become overwhelmed by the how. In turn, we allow the dream to fizzle. She counsels women to pay more attention to the heart.
Crystalynn works with moms to put themselves on and at the top of their to do list. This is done through three key steps.
First, self-care is mindset work.
Shifting their beliefs on what they need to feel re-focused and re-energized. Also realizing the importance of showing your children, especially daughters, what self-love looks like.
Time is our most valuable asset, in turn, being intentional with time.
Next, confidence in not only their abilities but also in the resiliency of making it through hard seasons.
Crystalynn envisions when a mom stops judging herself, this leads to their ability to stop judging others. Shifting to a place of curiosity and causing a positive ripple effect.
Expectations are a tough thing. My mom had expectations that I would do things in the “right” order. Marriage, then house, then kids, etc. My own confidence grew in my personal relationship with myself when I realized – just because it didn’t happen in that order, doesn’t make it any less beautiful.
I thought this was such a beautiful and impactful statement. I wrote last month about expectations, and Crystalynn articulated this point so well.
Finally, understanding as well as re-claiming identity. Understanding who you are and what you want to be.
The return on this work resulting in you getting to be yourself. Often achieved by shutting down the internal judge.
MOTHERHOOD TAKES SELF-CONFIDENCE
When Crystalynn and Michael began to discuss having another child, Crystalynn admits being scared.
I was terrified of losing myself again. Drake was and is my life. For a lot of years, it was about Drake and work. I’d spent a lot of time reflecting and doing the inner work to find myself again in all of this. The thought of losing myself again was overwhelming. How am I going to hold onto me in this?
She then remembered back to her own resiliency in getting out of her first relationship. During that time, she had to overcome the thoughts she couldn’t be by herself. In fact, she had created a wonderful family and environment for Drake. The key was believing in herself. Understanding identity and self-confidence.
Whatever life throws at me, I can figure it out.
With the clarity of her identity and self-confidence, she, Michael, and Drake welcomed Art into their family the summer of 2019.
Crystalynn loves being a mom and talked with passion about raising kids with such a large age gap. She also shared her own shift of less judgment of self. Even a renewed focus on joy this time around.
SUMMARY- IDENTITY AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
Crystalynn finds great joy in being a mom, wife, and supporting other moms in finding their identity and self-confidence.
Moms need to understand and believe they can be other things and that is okay. When talking about identities, it’s not OR, but rather AND. Your children reap the benefits of this approach too.
While she calls the decision to have another child a defining moment, there were definitely a number of those in her life. She has an amazing way of looking at those moments as points of growth versus through a lens of self-judgment.
Couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our own lens?
When’s the last time you checked in on your own identity and self-confidence?
And Crystalynn, thank you for sharing your story with The Mom Huddle!
Motherhood is the noblest of causes, but it’s not necessary to lose ourselves in the process.
-Amy M. Brinton
Let's stay connected!
New Blog notifications and updates on the book