I am Dr. Jen Riday and you’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode number 287. In this episode I’m talking about your ability to change and how you actually can do it. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey, there my friends, welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women, I’m so glad you’re here. So here in Wisconsin, in Madison life is good. My four kids are back in school. My two oldest are all settled in San Francisco with jobs and places to live. Life is feeling stable. I have started playing pickleball with some friends. They tried to convince me for months. I finally dove in and I’m an addict, pickleball addict, I love it. And I’m feeling good. How are you feeling? Let’s talk about what we’ve done over the last 18 months.
We experienced, survived a pandemic. We had a lot of togetherness with our kids if your life is anything like mine. A lot of moments of learning to handle emotions. All the uncertainty, all the change, all the, sometimes what felt like chaos, all of it, we did that. And many of you are asking me or saying to me, “Jen, I’m trying to figure out what’s next in my life. Is something new happening? I don’t know what it is.”
After a big period of uncertainty like we’ve gone through, sometimes it can benefit us to take stock of our lives and look at where we were before and where are now. And from that taking stock of our lives we can start to gauge and decide where we want to go in the future. Now, many people tell me they have no idea what they want to do next. We’ve survived something, perhaps the kids are back in school, there’s still some level of uncertainty which will always be the case because we are humans having a human experience. And that is the nature of our planet.
But we can start to create a new path. What is that new path for you? Well, in this episode I want to talk about change, and growth, and movement in our lives. Who are we now? Who do we want to be? Who have we become over time? What can we do to maximize who will become in the future? Many of us, rather than face change and becoming something better, rather than allowing ourselves to grow, we will distract ourselves. We will numb against the uncertainties of life with things like streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, all the streaming services.
We might be on our social media too much. We might numb with things like alcohol, or drugs, or food, or sugar. Whatever it is I want to challenge you to take a pause on the numbing for a moment and consider who were you pre pandemic? What was important to you? What did you do with your time? How were you feeling most of the time? Perhaps you were feeling stressed, overwhelmed with an overly busy schedule, all the going, all the doing, all the striving, trying to help your kids become responsible citizens that will succeed in the world, all the stress, all the overwhelm.
And then suddenly stop! We had an 18 month experience, or however long it was for you, where everything changed, where we could slow down, pause, and consider. And it wasn’t all hunky-dory, was it? We had chances for growth. We had social change which was for the better, such as with the Black Lives Matter movement and times to be with our families and to be together. All of that happened. And now here we are kind of maybe moving towards the end of the pandemic, who knows? And the kids are back at school.
And this is a period where imagine you’re walking across a valley, we just made it through a valley, we’re at the peak of a mountain right here, a point in time. And the question I have for you is: what are you going to do now? Another question: who do you want to be now? Many of us believe the fallacy that life is all about what we’re doing. We need to do this, we need to do that, unload the dishwasher, change the laundry from the washer to the dryer, drive the kids, go to work, please our boss, bring home the paycheck, eat dinner, go to bed, do it all over again.
But if it’s true that our lives are like a journey of moving from mountain peak to mountain peak, where we can catch the view and catch our breath before we move again, I don’t think you want to spend the rest of your life just doing. You want to become, to be something perhaps new, something different, but what is that? Here on this mountain peak as our kids are back in school and we are perhaps nearing the end, the end is in sight of the pandemic. We have the opportunity to make a decision on who we want to be.
We have the opportunity to look forward and say, “I want to be confident. I want to make a difference. I want to be at peace. I want to like myself. I want to feel calm. I want to be a person others remember as loving, warm, kind. I want to have healthy boundaries. I want to improve my relationships. I want to change my career. I want to spend more time with friends.” Raising my hand, that’s why I joined pickleball. Who do you want to be?
We need to make a decision right here on this mountain peak of who we’re going to be because the fact is we must be in our minds, we must be a person before we will ever take any actions to do the things that person would do. This might remind you of the thought table. The thought table teach us that there are facts. The fact is the kids are back in school. We’re at a place where we can decide who we want to be. There are thoughts, our thoughts generate feelings, our feelings drive us to take action and our actions give us a result. This is called the thought table.
It’s what I teach in the Vibrant Happy Women Club and what you learn to teach others through the Vibrant Happy life coaching certification. It is everything. When we think we’re stuck. When we think thoughts of all I want to do is be on Netflix. I’m so tired. I don’t know what to do. We generate feelings of uncertainty. When we feel uncertain, we will stay stuck in paralysis, taking no action. And the result is we stay stuck, we don’t move to the next mountain peak. What can we do instead?
We can decide hey, my kids are back in school, we’re nearing the end of a pandemic, this is a new chapter in my life. I want to do something adventurous, a thought. The thought I want to do something adventurous generates a feeling of hope, excitement, adventure. And when you feel that excitement and adventure, you’re likely going to take an action that will generate the result of having an adventure. So, to help you get that clarity, to recognize you can change now, you can start a new chapter, you can decide which mountain peak you want to move toward and get there.
I have some friends to help me out. The other night I was in a graduating class of the Vibrant Happy life coaching certification, we were finishing up. They had completed their 20 weeks, 16 lessons over 20 weeks, they had completed peer coaching, coaching with each other. They had completed group coaching. They had learned all the skills from boundaries to inner child work, to thought tables, to the feel it to heal it method.
All of these skills that not only can be used to help other people, but I feel primarily helped each of these students to heal themselves, to change, to figure out who they want to be so they can travel to the next mountain peak in their lives. And a mountain peak that will allow them to make a difference. So, as we were talking, I invited the students to share the before and the after of who they were before enrolling in the life coaching certification and who they were after.
And I decided to hit record, I have received their permission to share this. And here is a group of nine students each sharing their thoughts on who they were before and who they are after, doing something that helped them to gain clarity, gaining skills and tools that help them to be a person who can get a new result, who could travel to a new destination, to that next mountain peak.
So, I have nothing big to share but I’ll let their words speak for themselves. We can change. We can find clarity on our next steps. And sometimes it involves putting ourselves in situations where we can change. Change really is possible. Have a listen to their thoughts.
So, I think for me probably the biggest thing is I had no idea, I thought we were just going to learn how to coach people. I didn’t realize it was so much personal growth and how it can be applied to anything, anything. This thought table thing is amazing. I mean you can use it for everything. The other thing that’s really amazing is coaching sessions.
And I’ve had some incredible really neat coaching sessions with my stepdad who is not the kind of guy, he’s like contractor, construction worker dude tough guy. And he had these really vulnerable things to talk about. And my little brother, and he’s going through a divorce. And it was just so many neat things that I was like, gosh, this is so cool that I can help them and empower them in some way. And even just an ear to listen. I just didn’t realize how powerful it was.
Well, I think it’s fair to say that nothing is the same now to where I started. I was at a rock bottom. I was burnt out. And I was feeling pretty desperate. And I used all the tools I had ever gained, and I had – I didn’t know how to fix anything. I didn’t have a relationship that wasn’t in trouble. And we worked through tons of stuff, and we decided to start because we were at a gridlock in our marriage where the old things, we’d been together for 11 years, we’ve been married for eight. And it just we got stuck. And so, we decided to – we wrote everything out and we burned it on our anniversary.
And we started new, and you couldn’t use anything from the past, and any fights or any things. It was all new and every relationship is better. Everything is – I have had every person in my life tell me that it’s been a remarkable thing. And it was by fixing me.
For me I would say the – well, there’s lots, but the biggest difference is more confidence in myself. I have a clear vision of who I want to be. I can recognize boundaries that I need to set but also that I was probably pushing for other people too. So that’s helped my relationship with my husband mainly and friends and family. I feel I’m no longer brought down by my family. I have learned to separate that. I love my body more. I am on the way to loving myself more. And I know I’m not alone.
And I know the world’s not out to get me when the bad does happen. And I know I have a team of lifelong friends and support.
For me I think a lot of it was in the beginning when I was just kind of lost. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted but I know I wanted to help people. But I needed to help myself in order to help others. And I was just not in a very good spot. I was just looking for tools to help me and looking for peace. And I think so many changes has happened positive for me in the last 16 weeks, lifelong friends. It has given me direction, confidence, and drive. And then just a whole new look on life and that I can do this.
I mean you guys were here to guide me along the way but ultimately, I did this. And I just – I am very proud of myself because I have so much self-doubt and so much questioning myself. And I did this.
I was just in a bad dark place. I was completely overwhelmed. I was just kind of in the pit a lot. And so, I think for me it’s just I’ve realized now whatever problem I have or whatever I’m up against, I have the tools now whether it’s the feel it to heal it, or the thought tables, or the brain download, or just this amazing group of people that have all helped me along the way with certain issues that I’ve had. And so, I just feel a lot more positive. And I’m also – I don’t beat myself up as much.
I had a really impactful lesson, it was with Debbie, Dina, Lili, it was our group coaching. And I just remember I was talking a little bit and I think Debbie had said, “Heather, pick a picture of you when you were little. Think of a picture of you.” And it was all about the inner child work which I know we had a lesson on. But when she did that and then we all sent each other a picture of us when we were little. And it was so impactful to me. I just don’t beat myself up anymore.
I think of this little girl in this little snowsuit next to the snowman. And before I’d go to that dark place, I think of her, and I don’t do that anymore. So, thank you, I mean it just, it’s just incredible how just everybody on this team has helped in some way, but that’s a big one. I also think too that I’ve been able to help others. I’ve been able to help my husband. He’s been really struggling with being just so unhappy in his career and his job, and just defeated. And so, I mean I’ve been working with him now, just kind of changing his thoughts a bit.
And then just recently I had a client of mine who got very emotional and broke down and was really beating herself up. And I basically kind of walked her through having a more positive thought towards what she was kind of going through. And it was just really beautiful to kind of see, wow, that worked. So yeah, I just, I’m in a better place. I still have a lot of work to do. I still need to – I’m just obviously a work in progress. But I’m not so mean to myself anymore. And I feel like I’m able to help some other people. So, I think that’s rewarding in itself.
I guess I would have to start my story where I was. I feel when I first started this class, I was living a pretty passive life, a lot of inaction, a lot of fears about my own abilities. And then constantly comparing myself to other people. So, I think with the tools, and with the coaching, and just with this group I have become a little more self-aware on the work that I need to do with myself so I’m not feeling quite like the fraud anymore.
And actually but gaining the discipline because that’s something that’s been lacking, I think all of my life actually, it’s the discipline, to do the work and to set the routines. And to stick with things because I’ve always – fear has always given me a quick escape route from things. So, I think that’s the biggest thing that I would say.
So, I feel in the last 16 weeks I’ve become more real with myself. And what I mean by real is that the R is really about relaxed. I do not have every minute of this vacation planned. And we literally are just sitting by the water and listening to it. And I’m feeling just more relaxed about not having to have everything just so. And that actually is really important because I’ve been the ‘type A’ all of my life, that had to everything just organized. I also feel like I’m more engaged in my relationships.
And part of that comes from realizing I don’t have to be everything for everybody. And I’ve really allowed some relationships just to kind of slide by the wayside because quite honestly, they were cup drainers. And I felt like, well, but I have this history with them. And again, who cares? If they’re not filling my cup right now then I don’t need them to drain. And so, I just feel I’m really much more engaged. And when I’m with somebody I’m very focused on them rather than focused on all of the other things, or people, or thoughts that are happening.
And I’m definitely utilizing my thoughts a whole lot more. And I’m getting better at just stopping the thought. So, the thought table process, the inner child work, and honestly analyzing the thoughts, that has been big. And then so the L for real, I’m absolutely listening to my emotions more. And I’m allowing myself to feel them even if they’re uncomfortable.
I have a lot of anxiety coming up, anxiety about the situation with my dad’s health. And I don’t know how any of that’s going to go and I’m just going to kind of fall back on what can I do, what strategies can I put into place to manage those emotions in a more healthy way that actually allows me to continue to be relaxed and engaged rather than so overwrought by it that I go into that pit. So that’s, yeah, that’s where I’m at.
I was, I’m going to say, lost, broken, and searching when I started this class. I had somewhat of an idea of wanting to use my experiences to help other people, but I wasn’t sure how that was going to look or what that would entail or anything. And so, the up-level was huge for me, it helped me to make a real plan of what I wanted for my future. And I feel much more confident with that. Also, I always had my doubts if I could listen to other people well and doing a coaching thing because I tend to jabber too much.
And I found that I was able to do that. So, I am much more confident in that now because it was something I was really worried about. So, I just feel like I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I would have been before I ever started this class.
This past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about all the little things I’m noticing in my life that’s changed, just liking myself more. And I think part of it is one of the really cool things for me was being a part of the group and doing our group coaching. And how we were all really real with each other. And how so different in so many ways across the board. But we could honestly share who we were and yet love each other. And it just gives me confidence to be, I don’t have to hide who I am and things about me because maybe they think different.
I don’t want them to really know who I am because they don’t believe that way and they’re not going to accept me. So, the acceptance, it’s just given me confidence in a lot of other areas with other people. And it’s like okay, I am this way, and this is good. And then the whole thing that we do with the up-level and deciding who we were. And looking at my sheet and this is who I am. And then decisions I’m making, I just am like, I just know what I need to do. And I’m just trusting my instincts and believing in myself.
The other day I was over at the beach, and I thought, I haven’t even had a time of shame or loneliness. And that used to come on me when I was alone, I would have these crazy feelings that would just come on me. I haven’t had any of those in months. And I didn’t know how to control them or where they came from but they’ve kind of disappeared, which is crazy. And then I’m also, I’ve met with different people.
I had breakfast with someone the other day who I – kind of a casual acquaintance but it was like, yeah, sure, let’s do it. And she’s older than me. And someone that I admire, and I was telling her, she wanted to know about my coaching thing, and she immediately wanted me to coach her on something. And I said, “Sure.” So, we kind of did a thought table and she texted me and just said how much that really helped her.
And normally I’d be like, did they like me? What are they thinking? And now I feel I’m not worried if they like me, they just like me and they’re attracted to me and want to be around me. Do you know what I’m saying? They just are like I’m having some positive energy or something that people are being attracted to which has really been cool. So, everyone, I’ve had great conversations with everybody, so I just really love you guys also.
Wasn’t that beautiful? To hear that in a 16 week period of time that these people completely changed how they view their lives, how they think, how they show up. They built a skillset that allows them to make a difference for their spouses, for their siblings, for their coworkers, for their loved ones. Change is possible. In fact, I believe we are wired to grow and change.
So now as you stand on a mountain peak with your kids back in school, with the whole world before you, a valley below, you have a decision to make. What is your next step? Who are you going to become? What skills are you going to gain? How are you going to grow as you move forward? How are you going to make a difference? I know this, each of you have had experiences that may have felt hard while you went through them but that will allow you to be compassionate, and helpful, and skilled, to help someone else struggling with the same thing.
A friend of mine said it best, she said, “Each of us, each of you listening has a song to sing that if you don’t sing will be lost to the world forever. Each of you have lives that you were born to touch.” Your experiences happened for a reason. And if you feel like you’re not good enough and you can’t make a difference, I say, poppycock, a word I never say, hogwash, I also don’t say that. Here’s what I know. Your experiences, however painful, are behind you. The pandemic is slowly becoming a part of the past. Whatever you experienced before that, part of the past.
You have a whole path ahead of you. Who are you going to help? What skills and growth are you going to achieve so you’re better able to help others to make a difference? Your life will feel so much more fulfilling when you are living your purpose, when you’re taking your life experiences and helping others to overcome similar experiences. Believe me now, there are lives that you can touch. And there are changes you can make that will help you to do that, whether it’s for your family, your friends, your loved ones, your coworkers, your spouse.
You can absolutely change; you can be who you want to be. It just starts with changing your thoughts, learning how your thoughts generate feelings and emotions, those emotions determine how you behave and how you act. And those actions yield results. If you don’t like what you had in the past or what you’ve had for the past 18 months you can start fresh. I want to challenge you to do something big, take a leap and make a change just like those students we heard from, from the Vibrant Happy life coaching certification as they graduated.
We can change. What are you going to do? What steps are you going to take to make sure that happens? What learning environment, what new setting are you going to put yourself in so you can change more rapidly, so you can become someone different as you journey to that next mountain peak, so you can live your purpose?
My friends, I want to thank you so much for listening. As you may have heard, the Vibrant Happy life coaching certification, our September enrollment closes very soon. We will get started on September 20th. I would love to invite you to join us. This is a place as you heard from the students where you can really change, change how you think about yourself, change how you hold boundaries, change how you handle emotions so that everything is empowering. And you can handle everything, and not only survive, but thrive in your life.
You deserve that, your kids deserve a mom who can do that, everyone around you is watching. And you have great light and influence. And as you build your skill set, your kids will build theirs, I promise that is true. My friends I love you. I love you. You’ve got this. Take the path that is right for you, trust your heart and your intuition, take the leap, and do something that helps you to grow and become who you want to be. You get to decide what your next mountain peak is, how you’re going to make a difference, how you’re going to live and show up.
And I think you’re amazing. I’m honored that you listen. I’m honored I get to be a small part of your life and I want to thank you for listening today. You can change, you can become whatever you want to be, it just starts with a decision. Where are you going? Who do you want to be? Who do you need to be to get yourself there? What is the difference you’re going to make? You’ve got this my friends. I love you so much. I will see you again next time. Until then make it a vibrant, happy week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.