Shannon Petralito

Finding Your Passion And Living Our Dreams by Shannon Petralito

From a very young age we are all asked the same question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Children are never afraid to dream. Do you remember having these amazing ideas of what it is you wanted to contribute to the world when you “grew up?” What were you passionate about? Whatever it was I’m sure when you were younger there was not an ounce of fear in announcing it to the world. You were not afraid of being laughed at, you were not afraid of failure, in that very moment in time you were confident that you could be that something! You believed you could be whatever it is you wanted to be! You were passionate about your goals, dreams & aspirations! Do you remember lying awake at night thinking of how you could get there and what steps you needed to take to live your dream? I sure do!

Something happens however when we get older, we somehow lose that confidence and we somehow think our wildest dreams are not worthy of pursuing. These dreams seem too far-fetched and too hard to reach as we get older. Sometimes it’s because our lives take us down different paths that lead us to unexpected experiences and somehow we get wrapped up in the moments and forget about what we really want out of life and what it is we really desire.

Growing up I remember wanting to be a range of things from a famous singer to a trainer at SeaWorld!

I believed with all my heart I could! At one point I took voice lessons and learned my career in singing was short lived! At another point I decided to take courses in Marine Biology and Chemistry so I could work with marine mammals but soon discovered that the higher levels of math were not my strong point. I continued with the Biology courses not knowing exactly where they would fit in in my career but I stuck with them anyway and dropped the Chemistry. I tried like heck because one thing I am not is a quitter and I am not afraid to fail. I am more afraid of not trying and asking myself what if!

Years passed and I graduated only to be left continuing the job I had throughout college – working nights as a bartender. I began to wonder what is my passion? What is it I really want? What was I going to do with my life? I honestly felt empty and lost! I could not answer the very question that I was so eager to tell everyone when I was a child! What happened? Was it that I grew up and the reality of the world made my cynical?

In a panic to “find myself” I took the advice of my mother and went back to school to get my paralegal certification. Was my heart in it? No, but I felt I needed to “find my passion” by trying different things, maybe eventually I would run into something I loved? Well, it wasn’t becoming a Paralegal. Back to the drawing board I went and continued with my “safety net” job of bar tending. Was I happy? No! I was depressed & miserable – I felt bad about myself. It was hard to watch all of the women my age around me with careers while I was now a new mom tending bar! It did a number on me mentally!

Alas! Then came fitness! Exercise has always been part of my daily life in one form or another. After I had my son I decided to challenge myself and compete in a Figure Competition to get in the best shape of my life and to focus on something positive to help me forget about how unhappy I was with my job. Was I nervous? Heck yeah! I had no idea what to expect. I am a thrill seeker by nature. I thrive on the rush and adrenaline! Little did I know that this random decision would change my life and ultimately help me find my passion!!! I soon discovered that working nights and getting in at 4am and up at 7AM to train and take care of an infant did not mesh well. This is where the leap of faith happened! After 15 years I decided enough was enough and I decided to go for it and give 100% effort into building a career in the fitness industry!

After all I loved working out, I loved competing, I loved soaking everything in that I could about nutrition and fitness and I really loved sharing my knowledge and passion with others! Could I have finally found my calling? I believe I have! I love what I do!

As with any business or career change it takes time to build and it takes patience in networking and making connections but if you are driven and passionate enough you will get there! Doors will continue to open and some will close presenting bigger & better opportunities. No experience is ever a bad experience, think of them all as learning experiences and opportunities for growth! I without a doubt know I have made good decisions and not so good decisions but all resulted from not being afraid to try. I know I have so much more to learn and I know that many more opportunities await but I have to be bold enough to go after them! How else can you live your dreams and find your passion? You don’t just stumble upon them – you have to be courageous enough to put yourself out there and try new things!

Shannon Petralito

I spent many years believing that some people have good luck and some people have bad luck. I believed that some people were just fortunate enough to have great opportunities present themselves while others like me just made the wrong decisions and that was it – I had to make the best of it. I somehow felt that if I missed out early on my calling then I was destined for whatever was coming my way – again feeling lost and angry!

It wasn’t until I made this decision to take my interest in fitness to the next level that I discovered my passion and began to dream big again just like when I was a child!

I began to revisit my faith, I began to think positive and began to truly believe that if I worked hard enough I could make things happen! I began to believe that I deserve to be happy and to be successful and that God would present me with the tools I needed to get me there!

Just about five years later here we are reading a chapter in a book that I am honored to have been asked to write! I would never have imagined that I would be sitting here at my computer writing my thoughts and hope that they motivate and inspire others in some way!

After years of soul searching and many learning experiences and some let downs my path has led me to what I believe I was meant to do. I truly believe I was meant to utilize my knowledge in fitness and health to educate & inspire others. I love what I do and I am PASSIONATE about it! It is an amazing feeling to help people become more confident in themselves and begin to love themselves as they should.

I used to be that person, feeling lost, uninspired and unsure.

I want to pay it forward and tell each of you that no matter how young or old, not matter how many mistakes you make there is always time to find your passion & live your dreams. Each day is a new opportunity so make the most of it! There will be bumps in the road and there will be days you feel like you’re getting nowhere but as long as you keep moving forward you are getting closer to your success!

Finding your passion comes easy for some of us for others it may take a while but I really believe that no one should have to “settle” and feel that this is the best life has to offer them if they are not truly happy with where they are. Everyone deserves happiness and everyone deserves to experience something they are passionate about.

We have all heard the saying “nothing worth having comes easy” if you truly want something bad enough you are most likely going to have to work for it. I don’t really believe that those who we see as “lucky” and having it easy really do – in fact, I think that the less you have to work for something the less rewarding it is and you will always in a sense feel an emptiness or a void.

If I can close this chapter with one final piece of advice it would be this: Pride and passion are found through working hard and remaining humble. Stay focused and dedicated to your goals and as you learn and succeed always be generous enough to share your experiences with others. Have faith and know that there is always a chance to find your passion! Doors open doors close but opportunities are always present you just have to be receptive to them!

Live with belief, live with faith, live with passion!

Connect with Shannon Petralito via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube and her website.

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Written by Shannon Petralito

I'm a WBFF pro figure athlete, Ms. Figure Universe 2011, CPT, fitness model, health & wellness expert. I have my own business called Shannon Petralito Fitness where I'm helping women live happier & healthier lives!


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