Danielle Johnson Smith grew up in a military family allowing her to experience cultures outside of the United States. In her quest to understand “why we do what we do” she discovered how to change her own reality for the better. Currently, she seeks to share that knowledge with other First Coast Women.
What can you share about your background?
That’s always a funny question for a child whose parent served in the military. The place that had the most impact on my life was Spain, where I lived for three years. Being exposed to different cultures and how others viewed life opened my eyes to another way and helped shaped who I am today. I also spent 19 years in a small town outside of Asheville North Carolina, until I decided to recreate my life and move to the beach in 2006.
How did you choose FSCJ?
As an out-of-state transfer student, FSCJ was very appealing because of the school’s flexible schedule, convenient locations, smaller classes and their well-versed and knowledgeable faculty.
Did you begin as a psychology major?
Yes. I have been obsessed with trying to understand human behavior and “why” we do what we do and psychology provided those answers. It was when I was exposed to belief systems and subconscious programming that I became attracted to the field of life coaching.
What was your path to becoming a life coach?
Over 10 years ago, I discovered Tony Robbins and my life completely changed. I learned I could change my reality by changing my belief system and breaking down old paradigms. It took many years to start tapping into my potential. What started out as a passion to learn about neuroscience and psychology led to studying emotions, feelings and thoughts. Once I learned how to effect change in myself, I naturally wanted to help anyone who felt that their circumstances were the reason they were not happy. It was exciting to help shift their perspective and see the results of that implementation.
It felt so surreal in 2017 when I attended a Tony Robbins event and became a firewalker. (Yes, it was scary!) I currently have five coaching certifications and am studying Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to add to my practice.
Is “life coach” a recent career option?
I started my coaching business in January 2017. Many think that coaching is a new phenomenon due to all its social media exposure, but our history is rich with early thought leaders and philosophers who were teaching people a new way of thinking and viewing the power of our thoughts. Napoleon Hill (1937) and Earl Nightingale (1957) are two of the earliest champions of this. For example, Hill outlines in “Think and Grow Rich” that our thoughts become things.
Is a life coach different from a therapist? How?
Absolutely. A therapist is a healthcare professional who can evaluate, diagnose and treat people with emotional and mental disorders. They also can help someone understand the “why” behind the problems often delving into childhood trauma and family dynamics in order to facilitate change and healing.
A life coach provides accountability, motivates, inspires and identifies the obstacles and thoughts that are holding someone back. We focus on the how to achieve results to reach any given goal. We start in the “here and now” and focus on the future.
Who should consider a life coach?
Of course, my favorite quote by Bill Gates is … “Everyone needs a coach….”
A life coach is a partner, someone who’s there for you through life’s most difficult and challenging times, to guide you through and help you see things differently. We walk side-by-side co-creating a new path to your dreams and desires.
I help women through anything, big or small. I’ve inspired women who feel stuck, want to make a life change, work through relationship problems or feel like they are not living up to their full potential.
Although most life coaches can help anyone in a wide variety of challenges, we often choose a specialty that we are an expert in such as money, health, career, life purpose, relationships and more.
I personally specialize in helping women over 30 embrace, evolve and embody the women they are born to be. What brings me joy is helping women navigate dating, breakups and (interpersonal) relationships and working through being stuck to create a more fulfilling life. It’s very rewarding to see people light up with new information, strategies and change the trajectory of their current life situation.
How was your Hurricane Dorian experience different from other storms?
I have experienced four hurricanes, but this one I approached in a different manner. In years past I created a lot of my own stress. This year I prepared everything, purchased healthy snacks, exercised to relieve stress and surrendered control.
What do you enjoy most about living in Ponte Vedra?
I love the small community atmosphere, the slower pace of life and the green landscape. We are in a great central location to St. Augustine and Jacksonville but still tucked away from the big city life.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend the majority of my free time listening to personal growth podcasts, doing HIIT workouts, biking to the beach and eating at our favorite local Mexican restaurant on Friday nights.
Would you like to tell us about your family?
I am very excited because in April I married my best friend, Bradley, on the beach. We are both online entrepreneurs committed to helping others realize their full potential in and around fitness, relationships and mindset. We are currently looking to adopt a rescue dog.