Maribel Ortega coach speaker mentor

MARIBEL ORTEGA

I inspire and support women to find their worth and be confident so that they can use their voice, speak up, take new opportunities and ultimately lead fulfilled lives.

SOME FUN FACTS

Coffee with milk (café con leche) is my only fuel in the morning. I just love coffee so much, I look forward to it the night before when I go to bed. On one of my birthdays my daughter gave me a beautiful cup that reads: “Coffee is the most important meal of the day.” Yep, I agree!

I lift weights. Like, seriously, with heavy weights. My husband thinks I’m nuts and that it’s too heavy for the joints, but he’s got no clue! I’ve been doing it on and off for the past 25 years and consistently the last seven.

I’m a polyglot :) That means I can speak five languages: English, obviously, Spanish, my mother tongue, German, my adopted tongue, French and Italian. I know, I’m quite the nerd. That’s ok!

I don’t own a TV since 2007. What a liberation! I left that behind with the rest of the divorce baggage :)

When something cool happens I’m really extroverted: I do a happy dance and sing. My family thinks I’m out of my mind and roll their eyes, mumbling “there she goes again…” Well, I don’t care what they think. I enjoy the moment!

You are a professional woman with a solid education. Your personal and career success are alright.

You know though there is potential for so much more. ​You have heard once and again that you don’t fulfill the expectations of your parents or your teachers, your boss, your partner.  You have all the ideas, all the thoughts formed in your head, but they get stuck in your throat because you don’t dare. You feel frozen.

You want to be that woman: unapologetic and confident in herself, unafraid of speaking up when the time is right, that phenomenal woman who says no without guilt and asks for what she needs because she is self-aware and knows what she deserves. You wish you had a clear path forward with some solid answers.

I know exactly how that feels. I was there keeping myself little too. I was able to transform from that sweet lamb that wouldn’t dare open her mouth to the woman I am now. 

I’m a coach and mentor for ambitious professional women who are ready to claim their space, gain confidence and speak their mind. They know they can achieve so much more, but they are their biggest obstacle, their self-doubt and insecurities. I help them regain the self-esteem, confidence and respect they deserve to themselves, discover their values and strengths and guide them through a process of self-discovery.

In order for you to see how well I really do understand where you are coming from, I want to share my story with you.

I’m six years old. I’m a sweet little obedient girl. I’m standing in the doorway to my parent’s bedroom. They are fighting loudly, screaming at each other, so much passion and hate at the same moment. I am an invisible spectator to their verbal match. They can’t see me, so blinded by rage. I’m standing there petrified, invisible. My father picks up the phone, shoves it in the air like a weapon, screaming at the top of his lungs: “Call the police! Call the police right now if that’s what you want!”. I am so afraid, I don’t know what’s about to happen and I don’t know what to do. My thoughts are racing, I want them to stop, I want to scream and say “Stop! Stop! Please, stop this! I’m afraid!” But my mouth is dry, my lips stay shut and my voice dies in my throat. I start crying silently, paralyzed, invisible to them, wondering what I could do to get their attention. A relationship that ends in divorce.

From that moment on a quest to please, to be the good girl, to be acknowledged, to be seen and praised begins. I am afraid of confrontation and disharmony, avoiding discussions and differences of opinion. I am a straight-A student through middle school and high school graduating with the best grades of the whole school. I want to follow the rules and show almost no signs of rebellion during my teenage years. This is also the time my struggle to keep a healthy weight and positive body image begins, being either on a strict diet or carelessly binging. It’s also during this time that I discover theater. Through acting I find a way to be different and have the courage to be someone else. 

Following the expectations of family members and myself I study medicine for five years, but my motivation towards the end is quite low. I am not the excellent student anymore and without good grades I don’t seem to know who I really am or what I want. I decide to drop out of med-school. I get married at 23, leave my country with my brand-new husband and by the time I’m 25 I am the mother of a sweet baby girl. A year later I begin studying literature at university which is the realization of one of my most desired dreams.

Some years pass... I’ve been married for 7 years and it’s a disaster. I feel miserable, I am alone, lacking love and attention. All I have is my little daughter. But I have the lifestyle, the vacations abroad, the university studies, the husband who travels around the world and provides for us. 

One day I’m alone sitting in the library of the university reading. My mind wanders unconcentrated and I remember breaking down in tears. I don’t like myself, I’m fat and look horrible (or that’s what I made myself believe). I am so utterly unfulfilled, I feel empty and lonely. I ask myself how I can live the next 30 years like this, how will I face my daughter when she’s older and tell her that this is ok. I feel so ashamed.

The day I tell my ex-husband I’m leaving him, I’m scared like never before. I have taken all my stuff in a couple of suitcases and brought them to a friend’s place, where I can stay with my daughter until I get my own apartment. When he arrives from his trip I ask him to sit with me on the couch. I tell him I have decided to leave him and that I’m taking our daughter with me. My heart is racing, I want to crawl in a hole, but I know I need to keep it together, for myself and for her. 

He barely says anything as I’ve caught him unprepared, off-guard. I had planned to stay the night in case we need to talk, but right at that moment I decide there’s no more waiting: this is the moment to jump into my future and I can do it. I feel this power, this energy filling up my chest, this confidence that it’s possible. I tell him that I will leave now and that we can talk in a couple of days. I give him a hug and a kiss. He’s just there speechless. I go to my daughter’s room, she’s 6 years old. I tell her it’s time to go, we get her backpack and she says good-bye to her father.

It’s a nice evening at the end of October 2007. I’ve just turned 31, I have 700€ in my bank account and no real job. I don’t have a place to live and I’m holding the hand of my little girl. We go out into the chilly night to the bus station. While we wait, I feel her small hand in mine, I feel the wind touching my cheeks and this enormous weight rolling down my shoulders: freedom like I've never experienced before, power that I can make choices. That voice that had been caught in my throat frozen for so many years is free and I’m ecstatic. I’ve no idea how, but I know I can do this. We get on the bus to our new future. 

Eventually and by chance coaching falls into my lap. I work a lot on myself, my limiting self-beliefs, my self-esteem. I realize I have all the answers in myself. I am ok. I don’t have to be perfect. My worth depends on what I decide, it’s not based on what other people think or even worse, what I think they might be thinking. People will not always give me what I need, so I have to tell them, I must get in front of that protective shield and tell them where my limits are, when it’s too much. It’s also ok that not everyone likes me. I have gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable. I don’t have to be everybody’s darling.

Some years later, I am sitting with a group of young women giving corporate training, when I realize they are a mirror of who I was 15 years prior with the same or similar issues. That’s the revelation: that’s when I discover that this is how I can help people. I can speed up the process, helping them see for themselves who they are, their values, what they can achieve. I move from being completely dependable on an agency to get clients, to having clients of my own and starting my own business.

After seeing the incredible progress of the women I was coaching and mentoring, I decided to focus on confidence and self-esteem, which are the basis for fulfillment and success in every area of life. 

Today, I get to help amazing women find their passion, purpose and respect for themselves. I live in the outskirts of Munich with my husband and two children, a teenage boy and a young adult girl.

I have created work that aligns with my values and mission in life. I help my clients create a successful life for themselves where self-doubt and limiting beliefs belong to the past. I am so grateful for this opportunity of helping others become all the potential that is silently residing in them.

I would love to hear your story!

To learn more about how I can help you achieve UNSHAKEABLE CONFIDENCE, click here or

send me an email at maribel@maribelortega.com