We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Hoeft, M.A. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, how do you think about risk?
I recently left my very stable 9-5 job of nearly 5 years. Income was dependable and I never worried about whether my next paycheck was coming. Regardless of that consistency, I became exhausted by the combination of stressing over and running someone else’s business with my lack of enjoyment in that position. I read plenty of self-development books as a way to “one day” work up the courage to take the leap of faith to work in the field that I’m passionate about, Sport & Performance Psychology. But “one day” never comes. You’re never prepared for it with that “once I’m ready” mindset.
I reached a point where I knew I had to take the risk and create the life I’ve been yearning for all this time. The thing about risk is that it’s often viewed negatively. There are too many negative “what if” scenarios building in our mind that prevent us from considering that “risk” as a viable option that might actually benefit us. So I’ve chosen to view risk in a different light, not so much as a scary unknown, but more as a decision that I’m committing to seeing through. I’ve decided to lock-in on the steps necessary to be successful and give my best effort to make it happen.
Choosing to view my decision in this way takes the negativity out of it and brings back the excitement that fueled me to pursue my career and passion in sport psych. It removes the guess work and implements a system of belief instead. By taking massive action and choosing to do whatever I can to make it happen, it doesn’t feel risky, or terrifying, or unknown. It feels empowering, like everything I want is on the other side of the hill. I just need to blaze my trail to get there.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a Mental Performance Coach, I help people overcome mental blocks by redirecting or reframing the thoughts that negatively impact their perceptions of any given situation. Our minds are experts at finding the negatives, but it takes a lot of concerted effort to develop the positive thoughts that can guide us to the outcomes we desire.
I found this field after suffering an ACL tear my senior year of high school which took me out of scouting season for college. The day after I was cleared to play soccer again, I tore my other ACL. I felt like I couldn’t find my footing mentally, and I knew that I needed a mindset makeover, I just didn’t know it existed yet. I stumbled upon sport psychology in college and immediately connected with it, knowing that these tools were exactly what I needed to help me with my injuries back in high school. I’ve learned how this work can impact you in all environments, so I’ve now dedicated myself to helping others learn how to apply this in their athletics, academics, business, relationships, passion projects, and day-to-day life.
The most important lesson I’ve learned along the way and emphasize to all of my clients is that happy and successful people don’t have a magic mind that eliminates negativity and propels them forward. Happy and successful people have worked to develop a mindset that accepts the circumstances and pushes through the challenges. The decision to do that is like a muscle; you have to practice and train by starting small and knowing that it will be difficult. The more often you try it, the better you get. You just have to tell yourself that your reason for succeeding is stronger than the excuses you accept. Once people make that mental commitment, it opens so many doors.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a huge fan of outdoor activities and beer, so my go-to spots often have one of these two elements. I love to walk through Grand Central Market and travel along random streets finding the best breweries. I try to go to a new place each time. Some of my favorite LA places are Phillipe’s (before a Dodger game), Olvera Street, and Angel City Brewery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Nobody gets to where they want to be alone. Everyone around them plays a part in their success. My family, boyfriend, and best friends are the greatest sounding boards around. My mentor, Dr. Danny Pueblos, encourages me to set my sights higher. And my pup, Tally, is always around for snuggles when I’ve had a rough day and celebrates with me for my victories. Thanks to everyone for the physical, emotional, and mental support. My #1 goal is to make you all proud.