Chris Coladonato

Brilliant Rebel Case Study

When you're meant for something bigger

For as long as she can remember, former World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street had known what she wanted to do with her life. 

In a 1999 CBS News interview, Picabo stated, “It was my dream come true, what I had always dreamed of all of my life.”

If, like Picabo, you are lucky enough to have known your life path from an early age, consider yourself one in a million. 

For the rest of us, either life sets us off on a course that doesn’t feel satisfying and true to who we really are or we find ourselves becoming dissatisfied later in life.

So we make a list of the pros and cons of our current situation, we look at trends in job markets, we talk to friends and colleagues, and we analyze the financial feasibility of a new path.

Still, we’re not feeling satisfied with this newly envisioned path, if we can envision a new path at all.

But what if the answer has been right in front of you the whole time and you simply cannot see it?

For many years, Chris Coladonato had been feeling stuck in her corporate work, unable to break free from what she had always been doing and the stories she told herself about what was possible.

In her own words:

I knew that I was meant for something bigger, but I didn’t know what that was or how to craft it. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and I knew the only way I would find it was to do something big, something deep, to look inside of myself, when all I had been doing was looking outside of myself for the answers.

You can step into the unknown... and thrive

After leaving her corporate job, Chris started a company in which she continued to do what she had been doing in her corporate work – coaching people on leading virtually. 

Yet, even with the added independence of being an entrepreneur, something was still missing. She knew there was more. Even before her transition from corporate to working independently, she followed Melanie Spring, leader of the Brilliant Rebels, on social media. 

As time passed, she became more and more interested in the kinds of things Melanie was talking about on Instagram, such as taking control of your life, never settling for a job you’re not in love with, and — the coup de grâce — listening to your intuition.

Knowing she could benefit from clearer intuition around her work, Chris decided to schedule a chat with Melanie. She didn’t feel like she could find a new direction without help. After Chris chatted with Melanie over Zoom about her life and her true aspirations, she decided to join the Brilliant Rebels Experience because, as Chris explains:

I wanted different perspectives, to be pushed out of my comfort zone, because I had been living there far too long.

You can find the answers with the right questions

During the VIP Retreat, one of our retreat leaders asked Chris to visualize herself five years down the road – where she wanted to be and what she saw herself doing.

As Chris reflected on the experience afterward, she said she envisioned herself, “on a mountaintop, outside of a tent at sunrise on a cold morning sipping coffee — I could see the steam rising from the mug — and looking around saying, ‘I have to share this with the world.’ It was at that moment, I knew I had to do something with nature. I had no idea what it was, but I knew I had to weave it into my work somehow. It had to be what I did, even though I was like, ‘who gets paid to take people out in nature?’”

“They teach that the answer lies within you,” Chris said. For many people, going “within” for the answer may seem like foreign territory, but the Rebel Guides in the Brilliant Rebels Experience don’t leave you hanging with that premise. 

They guide you to find the answers within. “I vividly remember that there were a few times during the Experience that I actually begged them to tell me the answer. Yes, I begged. And they kept telling me that the answer is within me.”

Following our Rebel Crew’s careful guidance, Chris went within. “While I had journaled for years and spent time reflecting, I don’t think that I ever trusted myself enough to really listen to myself,” Chris said. She continued:

I was always seeking the answers in books, podcasts, articles, etc. And while those are great resources for inspiration, when it comes right down to it, the answers you seek are within you. They are the ones that light you up, that make you go, ‘Oh, yeah, THAT’S IT!’

Chris now leads groups of people into nature and, yep, she gets paid to do it through her passion business, Connection Catalyst

And equally important was that, in her words, “I was starting to trust myself more, diving deeper into who I really was, and then one day I noticed in my journals that I wasn’t just ranting … I was really reflecting and asking myself deeper questions that led to actionable insights.”

Chris sums it up like this:

My Brilliant Rebellion is one of letting go. Letting go of what I thought others wanted, what I thought I should do, be, think and feel. Letting go of the stories that I held on to for so long. Letting go of all the thinking (which had served me well over the years) and really listening to me, my heart’s desire, my gut instincts. Letting go of the thought that something has to be done a certain way. That life had to be lived a certain way. Life was meant to be lived my way. I had forgotten that. And in a world that tells you what you should be doing, what is ‘normal’ and ‘expected,’ it can be hard to be you, really you. And that, to me, is what The Brilliant Rebellion is all about. Being authentically you, unapologetically you and living your life, your way.

Chris’s initial concern about joining the Brilliant Rebels Experience…

When we asked Chris what her biggest concern was about joining the Brilliant Rebels Experience, she said:

“What if I went, and nothing changed? But then I thought, what if I didn’t go, would anything change? What future is possible with the support of The Brilliant Rebels? And if the future is more bright and shiny than where I am now, I say yes. Because I know that I can’t do it alone. I need others that have said yes to themselves, surrounding me and sharing their ideas, hopes, struggles and love. For we are all in this together.”

If you feel like the time is right to spark your Rebellion, click below to set up a time to speak with a member of the Rebel Crew about attending our next Brilliant Rebels Experience. We would welcome a conversation to find out if it’s the right time for you to take that next step!

The Brilliant Rebels Experience is an eight-week mentorship program designed to remove the barriers to your growth and progression into your life’s next chapter.

It includes a VIP Retreat with luxury surroundings and accommodations that are designed to help you enter a comfortable mode of self-discovery and transformation. 

Throughout the experience, Rebels are mentored and supported to explore their deepest desires, wild aspirations, and fuller awareness around their life path, both personally and professionally. 

Our Rebel Crew works one-on-one and in groups to help Rebels give up playing small and step into a bigger version of themselves, defining and pursuing their purpose, and maybe even bucking the system along the way.