Christine Hassler (www.christinehassler.com) is a life coach, spiritual counselor, best-selling author and speaker specializing in helping people answer the questions: who am I, what do I want and how do I get it? Her first two books Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything and The Twenty-Something Manifesto were branded her as the personal growth guru for Gen Y. Recognized as a leading expert on 20 and 30 something life and overcoming Expectation Hangovers®, Christine has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style, WGN, PBS, and in Glamour, Self, Women’s Health, The Wall Street Journal, The Laura Ingram Show, and The New York Times. She has been a popular columnist on the Huffington Post since 2006. Christine speaks and facilitates workshops at corporations, colleges, and conferences around the world. She is a spokesperson for American Express, a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100 and serves on the Faculty at the University of Santa Monica.
Christine grew up in Dallas and graduated cum laude from Northwestern University. She then studied at the Communication Arts Company, received her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, and is a Certified NLP Practitioner. Christine is active in volunteerism and loves living a healthy lifestyle. She currently resides in Los Angeles and loves spending a great amount of time with her family and friends in Austin, Texas.
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Willing. Passionate. Loving.
What is your life motto? I can’t always choose what happens, but I can always choose how I respond.
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? Fourth Grade [laughs] I think that’s when I really started because in fourth grade a couple of girls who I thought were my friends starting the I Hate Christine Club. From that point on it was a domino effect of becoming addicted to achieving and feeling like I had something to prove which drove me to create a career that I hated. Although I was very successful at a young age, I was still miserable. After I left that successful career of being a Hollywood Agent to being able to fully make money at what I love doing, that process took about 3- 3.5 half years – and it was a tumultuous time!
How much time and effort did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? For me I really do think that the main reason I am successful in what I do is that I was totally willing to know external reality is a reflection of internal experience. I think that working on myself was the key ingredient, investing in learning new tools, being committed to growing in my consciousness; healing unresolved issues, deepening in my spiritual practice and education as a business person and really looking at myself – looking at everything in my life, at all my relationships, all of the situations and all of the choices as containers for growth. So honestly I feel like it was all the time and it continues to be a 24/7 job. I never feel like “I’m done” yet I never really feel like it’s a “job” either because I love what I do. One of my top priorities and values is that I walk my talk to the best of my ability so I’m consistently attuned to what I am doing/learning and what I am teaching.
What are the challenges in your line of work? One of the things about wanting to serve and so wanting to help is that I get so passionate and there’s so much I want to do and there aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s realising that it’s not my job to save the world, it’s my ego that thinks so – it’s about not taking on too much and learning to delegate. For me, it’s also about carving out time for my personal time, to replenish me and ensure that I’m getting the support I need as well. And to relax in the knowing that really Spirit is the one who is driving so the more I surrender, the more grace I experience.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson? When my fiancé broke up with me six months before our wedding, one of the comments he made was that it was really hard to love me. That was so hard to hear at the time and what I realised is that it was hard to love me because I had such a bad relationship with myself, I didn’t love myself and because of that, no one else could really get in. Nothing and no one was never good enough for me, because I was always looking for someone else to fill the void in my life – and that’s not possible but I kept looking. It was excruciatingly painful when this man who I outsourced a lot of my love to and whom I loved left me. AND it was a wake up call to realise that if the thing I wanted more than anything was love and the feedback I was getting was that I was hard to love, then I needed to look at how I was loving myself.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? Don’t take anything personally, use everything for your learning, and make waking up to the Love that you are a priority.
In your mind, is formal training essential? Some kind of training is essential yes, I think that life experience is great training but we ALL have blind spots. We need a toolbox and other to shine light on our blind spots. If we are coaching with people just based on our own individual experience and what we’ve been drawn to, in terms of our own self-help stuff, we have a toolbox that is limited and shaped by our own personal experience. So I think some kind of formal training (which can include working with a coach) is important to expand our toolbox and push us out of our comfort zone.
Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? I think having a mentor is crucial, and I think that having more than one is crucial. I think that different mentors fulfil different roles for us and there are some mentors that are business mentors and some that are more personal and spiritual mentors. I have a mastermind of mentors that have been and continue to be extremely important. To me the best way to find mentors is to seek out people who aren’t necessarily doing the same thing that you want to do but are living lives that are in alignment with your values and what you want. Look for people who really are living the life you want to live and seek those people out. The best way is to identify who they are and then ask them (and be sure to give a clear explanation of what you are asking). It’s very flattering to be asked to be a mentor and I think we all have a responsibility to mentor individuals who are coming up on the path.
What are some steps those starting out can take to start/further their career? Get a coach and work with him/her over a committed period of time. Then become your own best client. Look at all your past and current life experience as your classroom. Through the combination of your training, develop and life experience lessons, you start to develop your unique voice, tools and skill set. To me it’s really living your life in alignment with your intentions as a coach. Congruence is key. Now, I’m not somebody who life coaches on a daily basis – I don’t go to the grocery store and start giving pep talks to people and I definitely don’t do it to my friends. Yet I do always try to show up with loving and integrity and create a safe place for people. Finally, identify your mission, your brand and the energy you want to give off as a coach. What’s the safe place you want to create for your clients? What’s the vibe, the resonance? Start living that way – and writing. Writing, writing, writing.
What kept you going when you weren’t at your best? Knowing that not being at my best is part of the journey. Knowing the longer I stalled the harder it would be to get moving again. Also, my self-talk: not judging myself, accepting myself and letting myself be human. And most importantly meditation and prayer. My spiritual practice always brings me back to my best.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? I don’t believe there’s such a thing as making it.