Story by Lisa Anderson | Photos by Joshua Jacobs
“Welcome to the Graceful Confidence podcast,” the bright and cheery voice says at the push of the play button. “I’m your host, Lauren Debick. The founder of Life Coaching with Lauren, a female empowerment coach, an entrepreneur, empath, and a lover of the eco-friendly lifestyle…now, let’s dive in.”
Lauren grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but she always knew she was destined to live in a warm environment and near the ocean. She interviewed with The Villages Media during her senior year of college; the week after graduation, she was headed to sunny Florida. Fast forward eleven years and she is now a podcaster and the Community Engagement Director for Marion County Public Schools.
The Long Journey
The journey wasn’t so simple for Lauren. She didn’t get to fast forward to her life now, and she didn’t wake up one day, decide to start a podcast, and become a successful influencer. “It was a process—an eleven-year process.”
That first year in Florida was particularly difficult, and Lauren spent a lot of time traveling to and from Ohio, which meant a lot of time in airports. “If you’ve spent time in airports, you know that they have those books about how to change your life if you’re unhappy. One of the books I picked up initially was The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. It was all about the power of gratitude, and how [it] can really change your life for the better.”
Lauren put what she read into practice, and she saw the change. It inspired her to start a blog about living your best life called “You Got This.” She kept it up until roughly three years ago: Life happened, and the blog fell away. Lauren filled the voice with another blog called “Mermaids and Mana.” The new blog was meant to be about filling your cup and having a positive impact, but it skewed towards environmental concerns, which is what filled Lauren’s cup.
Discovering Graceful Confidence
“From a very young age, I’ve been very involved in wanting to do the right thing for people. My mom likes to tell a story of when I was in ballet at two-years-old. There was a mom who was yelling [at her kid], and I went home and told my parents. I asked, ‘Why do people treat each other like that?’ So, from a very young age I had that awareness about being kind to others and living things. I tried to save the trees, and even now I’m passionate about ocean conservation. I just want to help everything, but I have also learned that you can’t do everything. So, I transitioned more so into trying to help people become the best version of themselves. Then, in turn, they can positively impact the world in whatever way is important to them.”
Lauren saw the possibility to also make an impact through the sway of marketing and communication and chose her career path accordingly. “There’s a very ugly side to it as well, but it’s powerful, and I saw the influence there.”
She first saw radio as a chance to bring little moments of joy to people, but it wasn’t enough. As she moved forward in her professional career, she kept trying to find more of those moments. “The problem was, I was waiting for something to happen. It was like I was waiting for someone to hand something to me and be like, ‘Okay, here’s this token. Now you can make this positive impact on the world.’ When in reality, I have all the tools that I need.”
As COVID made its mark upon the world, Lauren took the time for self-reflection. “I need[ed] to go back and take all of this knowledge and experience I’ve had from college, from growing up, from writing, from communications and put it together. And that’s how the Graceful Confidence podcast was born!
“It started out so I could help other women realize that you can be successful, you can be ambitious, and you can be kind and graceful doing it,” she emphasizes. The podcast is the opposite of the idea that nice girls can’t get a corner office.
“Everybody goes through [life’s frustrations]. However, I think it’s how you handle that, and how you treat others when you’re going through those things is what matters.”
No Such Thing as Work-Life Balance
“For a long time, I really struggled with trying to compartmentalize myself.” Lauren would be one version of herself at work, one version of herself at home, and one version of herself with friends. Most of us do it. We have personas for varying parts of our lives, but Lauren realized she didn’t need to do that. “Now, I can be myself all the time. So, I can be a professional and have my mermaid mug on my desk. I can be a podcaster and still be able to help with different things.”
One of her most recent podcasts covers this topic. Episode 17, Gracefully Accepting There is no Such Thing as Work-Life Balance, talks about her struggle with integrating work and home, and she shares tips on what she will be doing to reduce stress levels in both environments.
Lauren will often use her current situations as subjects for the podcast, but she happily takes suggestions from her listeners, too. When she is not well-versed in a topic, she invites a guest to talk about it. A new episode airs once per month, but Patreon members get an additional episode every month.
Lauren gives off the vibe of a realistically positive person. As she says, it’s not about being positive in the frustrating moments of life, but it’s about how you handle them. You can approach them with kindness, understanding, and compassion, or you cannot. We have all seen the situations when someone does not bring those tools to the table.
Self-care is a big part of being able to tackle hard situations and living life with graceful confidence. “This is a time we need to take the time for ourselves,” Lauren says. “If the bubble bath and a manicure are your thing, that’s cool, but it’s not always about that. Sometimes, it’s finding that passion project and just going for it. Sometimes, it’s talking to a friend. Sometimes, it’s finding new ways to look at the world and showing appreciation. Sometimes its finding ways to generate a little more compassion in whatever situation you’re in. You don’t have to wait for something to happen to you.”
When Lauren stopped waiting and took the reins, she created a passion project that now has over 1,000 downloads. She is making the impact on the world she was always seeking.