SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As a Personal Development Coach, ArDenay Garner works with people to help them achieve their goals. She’s intentional about what they see in her office.
“I view things that have happened in three ways: It’s a blessing, an opportunity, or a lesson,” Garner explained. “And so when people come into this space, I really want them to be encouraged, feel inspired.”
She’s a licensed Master Social Worker, but serving as a coach is what she is passionate about.
“A lot of people come to me because they’re stuck. They want to either launch a new career, maybe they’re stuck in a relationship,” Garner said.
It’s not so much a job, but a calling. “It’s my way of giving back because I honestly know I couldn’t have made it to where I am without the help of the entire village,” Garner added, “That village includes my family, my friends, my community my neighbors.”
While Garner grew up in the Kennedy Square housing project in Syracuse, the time she needed support the most came when she was living in Atlanta, Georgia.
“That’s where I experienced homelessness,” she said. “That’s where I experienced abuse. That’s where I was on welfare. That’s where I had to go from home to the grocery store with a kid in a carriage and pushing one in the stroller. I learned to do all those things, I call it through thicker times, being away from family and friends.”
What she encourages others to do, also made a difference for her – asking for help. A friend showing her how to travel around Atlanta without a car, helped her get out of an abusive relationship.
“She showed me how to catch the bus with two children. That might seem, like oh that’s so simple, but it made a difference. Me learning how to take public transportation to go to the grocery store meant that I would be able to feed my children if I left that situation,” Garner recalled.
She did because of her desire for a better life for her children. Garner eventually moved back home to Syracuse. She’s married now and helping others overcome different challenges they face. It’s not just through her work as a coach, but as an author. Her second book, ‘Stand up! Resilient Black Women Who Are Shaping The World With Their Faith’ is a collaboration.
“These contributing authors talk about their stories of overcoming abuse, betrayal, abandonment, the loss of a child,” Gardner explained. “That book really is designed to help people heal, get delivered, and set free.”
As coach Garner helps her clients problem-solve by writing their own personal story down and then getting it published.
“They come to me with a story,” Garner added. “They participate in an anthology project and by the end of the, let’s say four months, they are published authors. It’s the personal development piece where I’m helping them grow through their doubts and grow through their insecurities so that they can actually become the best version of themselves.”
If you feel stuck in an area of your life, Garner has some advice.
“You have to be willing to do the work. Even when it gets ugly, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you have those quote-unquote bad days, feel your feelings in the moment. Go through the bad day, but get up and be willing to do the work or ask for help,” Garner said.
You can’t lose when you bet on yourself.