All Posts by Winnie Anderson

Summon the Courage to Be You – the right audience will embrace you

One of the nice things about living where I do (north of Niagara Falls in the last exit in the United States)…is there’s this outdoor theater in town.

The concerts are dirt cheap (they used to be free!) and we’ve seen some great shows….Geezer Rock stuff like..Foreigner…Peter Frampton….Steve Miller…RINGO!!!!

Well last night we saw The O’Jays. How fun are they? They were big when I was in high school.

What struck me by the end of the show was how NO ONE was sitting down. Everyone who COULD stand up was up and dancing in the aisles. People were dancing with random people.

You know what? People who don’t like the music the O’Jays do didn’t come.

The O’Jays didn’t sit up there and cry because there were people who didn’t come to their show.

They didn’t call a meeting to figure out how to convince and persuade those people to give them a chance and consume their music, buy their albums, listen to their message.

No.

They stood up there in their light blue suits and danced their butts off and sang their hearts out.

They didn’t sit around comparing themselves to Yes (the band who will be there next week).

Can you commit to wearing YOUR special outfit and dancing your crazy steps and singing your song at the absolute TOP of your lungs?

Can you listen to the people who LOVE you and who want to hear the same song again even though you just finished it?

Can you just be you? I know it’s hard. Being ourselves is the absolute hardest thing for most of us to do.

Even The Rock – Dwayne Johnson — says so.

It makes sense that we want to fit in and be part of a community. It’s how we were designed.

But we’ve been hurt before being ourselves.

But you know what else?

You were meant to stand out. The community YOU’RE meant to be part of is probably the one YOU’RE meant to lead.

When The O’Jays told us to sing, we sang. When they told us to dance, we danced.

So stop feeling guilty for being the strong, opinionated person you are and start singing that song and wearing that outfit and inspiring people who LONG to hear you.

And stop thinking you don’t “sing” well enough. Your audience…your community…will love it when you just do you. You give them permission to be themselves.

The Courage to Live Your Dream

 

To watch the interview, press the forward facing triangle in the center of the image above. 

To listen to the interviewclick this link and the audio recording will open in a new browser window. 

To download the audio recording to your device so you can listen later, right click this link, choose Save As, and navigate to where you want to save it for later. 

Some of the links below may be affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission as a thank you. It doesn’t impact the price you pay. It’s my way of generating gas money for my long trips back home to South Jersey. 

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you end self-doubt, silence your Inner Critic, and break free from limiting beliefs and disempowering patterns so you break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

SHOW NOTES:

If you’ve ever felt like you were odd or if you have some passion you’d love to build a career or business around and you wondered if you could really pursue your passion and make it pay, then you’re really going to enjoy this episode.

Rose Andreesen is a professional tour guide in New Orleans, specializing in ghost, vampire, and mystery-themed walking tours of the historic French Quarter through HauntedHistoryTours.com.

A lifelong storyteller, her passion for the strange and macabre began at a young age and she’s been reading about vampires, ghosts, and other creatures of the night for more than 30 years.

Rose has an academic background in Anthropology and Theater Arts and finds her work as both a tour guide and podcaster the perfect marriage of her specializations. This gives a unique, immersive perspective to the tales she weaves for spellbound tourists from around the world.

It’s easy to imagine she’s been telling these stories for centuries.

Rose moved to New Orleans one year after Hurricane Katrina hit the area and only plans to leave “when her bloated corpse floats out.”

She lives in a haunted house with her husband, a pair of black and orange Halloween cats, and a decidedly non-goth corgi mix.

Listen in as Rose shares:

  • How her passion showed itself at an early age and why she was drawn to New Orleans
  • How seeming disparate work experiences fit together to give her the key skills to become a top tour guide and story teller
  • The stage secret that she believes is important for anyone who wants to gain and hold the attention of an audience
  • The only time you should apologize to an audience
  • When she knew she was “ready” to be a tour guide and how she was able to decide to transition from part time side gig to full time professional
  • The hardest part of being a tour guide which is also one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur
  • What you must ask yourself and know about yourself before you dive in to trying to make a passion a financially successful endeavor

And as always, listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Guest Contact Information:

Website/ Podcast

Facebook

Twitter

instagram

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Going to New Orleans? Book a haunted tour and request Rose. You can also call 504-861-2727.

Related Episodes:

Impact and Influence with Valerie Sokolosky

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Ready to Get the Support You Want and Need as a Mission-Driven, Introverted Entrepreneur?

End the Isolation of Being a Solo Professional

Are you an introverted, mission-driven coach, consultant, or other service professional with a big message and big mission to change the world? Are you ready to stand out and step up as a thought leader in your industry segment and to your target audience?

If you want support to help you stay focused on your core goals along with information, tips, resources, and training to help you be seen as the go-to expert you are, then join the Courageous Success Community on Facebook. 

Break Free From Limiting Beliefs and Disempowering Patterns — Finally!

To watch the interview, press the forward facing triangle in the center of the image above. 

To listen to the interviewclick this link and the audio recording will open in a new browser window. 

To download the audio recording to your device so you can listen later, right click this link, choose Save As, and navigate to where you want to save it for later. 

Some of the links below may be affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission as a thank you. It doesn’t impact the price you pay. It’s my way of generating gas money for my long trips back home to South Jersey. 

 

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show.

This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information to help you move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity so you,the introverted, mission-driven entrepreneur, consistently reach your biggest goals.

You’ve probably tried affirmations, positive thinking, and other typically recommended strategies to release limiting beliefs and you’ve tried hard to change your patterns but gotten frustrated and even depressed when your results are changing then you’re going to really enjoy this episode.

Remember, my guests and I aren’t giving you financial or health advice. The information we’re sharing is for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you need help be sure to seek out a trained professional whether it’s a financial advisor, tax professional, or mental or physical healthcare provider.

Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer

That being said, Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer, is a 3-time author with more than 20 years experience in the field of applied psychology with NLP & Hypnosis. She has worked with thousands of clients in ‘rewiring’ the brain out of stress, cravings, sabotage and the habits that keep us stuck. She has been quoted by Shape Magazine, Active Times and Chicago Tribune and appears on radio shows and local TV. She says, “For everything you want to create in your in life and health, career, it all starts with your brain.”

Listen in as Holly explains:

  • What hypnosis really is and how it’s used as a healing modality
  • How hypnosis used for healing is different from the hypnosis used in entertainment
  • How we actually go through a type of hypnosis in our every day lives
  • How to recognize you may need a hypnotherapist
  • How to find the hypnotherapist that’s right for you
  • The definition of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it helps change behavior Examples of the power of language in our lives
  • The one thing the mind can’t argue with

As always, listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

LINKS AND RESOURCES

Guest Contact Information

Get Holly’s free Instant Motivation Kit

Holly on YouTube

Holly on Facebook

Holly on Twitter

Holly on LinkedIn

 

Related Episodes

Break Free from Money Issues with Abby Rohrer

From Survivor Strategies to Thriver Strategies with Suzie Gruber

Worksheet for this episode

To get the worksheet for this episode, click this link and add your best email address and the country where you live in the form that opens up. You’ll need to confirm your opt-in before I can send you the download.

note

How to Make Faith Front and Center in Your Life and in Your Work Day

“My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing. Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.” SIGH….boy is that true or what? That’s from Sirach 2. That particular book of the Old Testament may or may not be something you’re familiar with but that sentiment probably is. You’d think the opposite would be true, wouldn’t you? But I think this speaks to so many truths about life, work, and business.

When we’re in a stressful environment, we’re going to operate on auto-pilot. Just reacting unconsciously…from the established patterns we’ve developed over the years.

I spent the first third of my career in human resources…in staffing, training, and organizational development.

One of the frustrations I had was that we’d spend tens of millions of dollars on training but not provide the kind of support that course attendees needed to truly learn the subject they were taught, whether that was customer service or leadership.

When learning to apply new skills, new ways of approaching a problem, we need support as we resist and work to break our old patterns of thinking, doing, and being because unlearning and re-learning are two of the most challenging things we do.

Our “reptilian brain” kicks in and we just start to react from those ingrained patterns and deeply rooted beliefs.

So of course our faith is tested…because it FEELS like testing.

But what’s really happening is our old way of being, doing, and thinking — going along with the masses….focusing on short term and worldly gain….being more concerned about our earthly relationships rather than our spiritual relationships — is so comfortable that we instinctively revert back to it.

So what we need to do is set ourselves up for success and to make our faith easier for us to be consistent with — everywhere in our lives but especially in our work and business life.

Here’s how to do that….

1. Make God and faith first. Wake up and give a prayer of thanks to start the day. Develop other rituals that keep you focused on God. You could read morning prayer or read a scripture reading and spend some time reflecting on its application in your life.

2. Put visual cues in your work space. That’s really what the cross on the wall was for (if you grew up in a home with crosses on them…we had them in all our bedrooms). Hang a cross or some symbol of faith (could be a poster of nature or a sunset or anything that reminds you to stop and think about God). Even hang post-it’s on your monitor if that will help.

3. Take prayer breaks. You know sitting for long periods of time is deadly right? So is a lack of prayer I think  So when you take a break, just say a quick prayer of thanks….recite a favorite scripture quote….or just have a conversation with God. That’s what prayer really is to me….a chat with God.

4. Check-in when you feel yourself get stressed. Keep your Bible or other favorite spiritual book handy and open it up for a quick read. Or again,take a deep breath and turn to prayer. You want to develop the habit of turning to God rather than fuming or grabbing a piece of chocolate or whatever is your current habit of dealing with stress.

5. Make God and faith last. Every time you finish a task or project give thanks for the ability to do that work. Give credit where it’s due — to God for giving you the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the work and for sending you what you need when you need it. Say a prayer of thanks at the end of the work day and certainly as you get ready for sleep. Ask for and expect a great, restful night and ask for the wisdom to do what you need to do the next day.

The key thing is to focus on developing the habit of making faith the center of your actions and where (and who) you turn to first for support and guidance.

And if you’re as fascinated about behavior change and habit as I am, check out this great book, The Power of Habit. 

Break Free From Money Issues — Finally | an interview with Abby Rohrer

To watch the interview, press the forward facing triangle in the center of the image above. 

To listen to the interviewclick this link and the audio recording will open in a new browser window. 

To download the audio recording to your device so you can listen later, right click this link, choose Save As, and navigate to where you want to save it for later. 

Some of the links below may be affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission as a thank you. It doesn’t impact the price you pay. It’s my way of generating gas money for my long trips back home to South Jersey. 

 

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show.

This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information to help you move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity so you – the introverted, mission-driven entrepreneur — consistently reach your biggest goals.

If you like what you hear I hope you’ll share the show with others.

Be sure to visit winnieanderson.com/karma to get the show notes and work sheet for this episode.

SHOW NOTES

If you’ve worked hard to release your money story and you’ve continued to struggle, this episode will give you some interesting insight into what the problem may be.

Remember, my guests and I aren’t giving you professional financial advice. The information we’re sharing is for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you need help be sure to seek out a trained professional whether it’s a financial advisor, tax professional, or healthcare provider.

That being said, like many of us in the helping professions, Abby Rohrer started out trying to heal her own issues.

And as she did that she discovered her calling and the things that helped her break free from a compulsive behavior pattern also helped her clients deal with what she calls money karma.

Abby is a Master Healer, Karma and Anxiety Expert with her own healing technology. She’s also a certified Big Money Business Coach. She works with business owners and entrepreneurs to free them from money, sales, and success karma, as well as blocks and fears. She teaches people worldwide how to self heal their karma and anxiety to they can achieve their dreams and thrive in business and in life.

Listen in as Abby explains:

  • What money karma is and where it comes from
  • What she did to turn her relationship to sales around and how that changed her business for the better
  • Where up to 80% of our blocks are located
  • And the different ways we can frustrate ourselves in the sales process

As always, listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Guest Contact Information

Website
Facebook
YouTube

Resources
Worksheet for this episode

Related Episodes
Mind Over Money: An interview with money and success coach Robyn Crane

Ready for Clarity, Courage, and Community? Looking for Support as You Come Out of Hiding and Get Your Message Out in a Bigger Way?

Are you an introverted, mission-driven coach, consultant, or other service professional with a big message and big mission to change the world? Are you ready to stand out and step up as a thought leader in your industry segment and to your target audience? If you want support to help you stay focused on your core goals along with information, tips, resources, and training to help you be seen as the go-to expert you are, then join my Facebook group of like-minded and like-personality’d professionals who are taking steps to create Courageous Success.

Are your actions consitently in alignment with your faith?

 

image courtesy of Pixabay.com

A few years ago I came up with “Thankful Thursday” as a way to remind myself and my connections to take a minute to reflect on and celebrate something we’re extra grateful for. There’s always something, right? And we know what we focus on expands. Well today is also Holy Thursday for those of us who follow the Christian beliefs around Easter and I saw some posts on Facebook this week that concerned me; so I feel compelled to share a few thoughts with you.

Believe me I’m not preaching here. I know I’m far from perfect.

I’ve mentioned before that this year (March 7th 2019) is the 20th anniversary of my brain injury. If surviving something that kills 60+% of the people who experience it doesn’t increase your faith then I’m not sure what will.

I spent a lot of time (and still do) wondering why I survived and wondering why I had the minimal damage I had / have considering the severity of the accident.

I had some long conversations with the Almighty and told Him I understood there were lessons I needed to learn and things He needed me to do and I was willing to do them.

This of course was before I got so frustrated with Him that I told Him to stop being mysterious and start calling me (that’s a story for another time ).

I started to get the unfortunate sense that there was some form of ministry He was calling me to. (Oh no! PLEASE not that! Funny how we say we’ll do whatever we’re called to as long as it’s not X)

I thought maybe if I got more active at church I’d be able to figure this out.

So I was helping at a fundraiser — manning the cupcake table — when 2 pillars of the church came near my table. They didn’t say anything to me or acknowledge me.

Pillar number 3 of the church came in and he asked if I needed anything. If I needed a break or water or anything.

I said no and thanked him.

sad young girl covering her face

Image by Riala from Pixabay

He left the area and as soon as he was out of ear shot, pillars one and two began talking about him…making fun of him…criticizing him…they sounded like two teenaged girls in the the high school cafeteria.

I watched and listened to them and my jaw dropped open.

Luckily my relief came at that point and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. It was like I’d been hit with a lightning bolt.

As I drove home I realized that being faithful isn’t just going to church. It’s not just reciting prayers we could say in our sleep we’ve said them so many times.

Being truly faithful means living a life of service that’s in alignment with the tenants of our faith. It’s living our lives 24-7 truly in alignment with our faith.

Our faith is challenged in all of the little moments of choice in our daily lives. Will we be kind or will we snap at someone? Will we be patient with that person in front of us at the store or will we sigh loudly and engage in passive-aggressive behavior? Will we say a prayer of thanks that there was no accident and hope the person who cut us off gets to their destination safely or will we we speed up and give them the finger?

And what about our behavior on Facebook, on other social platforms, and even on blog sites? Will we choose kindness and patience, working to understand others actions and motives — always assuming that someone is coming from a good place or maybe an uninformed place — or will we strike out with judgment and even hate?

It was in that moment at the church fundraiser that I suddenly realized so many things about Jesus and faith.

It’s not about the rules. It’s not about what you do on the Sabbath. It’s not about what you eat and when you eat it or anything else.

It’s about Love.

We’re made in God’s image. The image of love.

“Love thy neighbor as yourself” is one of the “two great commandments. “

It’s not about romantic love. It’s about compassion. Compassion for others and also compassion for ourselves.

A friend of mine is going through something truly horrible on Facebook right now. Lawyers are involved. It’s stressful. It’s ugly.

I’ve seen people make hateful comments to others over political beliefs and I’m sure you have too.

We’ve seen people cheat, lie, and bribe to get their kids into school.

So on this day of all days as we move into the holiest of time in the church calendar, please ask yourself what you could do to bring your life more into alignment with your faith, beliefs, and values. And what more could you do to become more Christ-like? Because whether you consider yourself Christian or not, there’s probably some element of Jesus’ life and teachings that you (that we all) can learn from and admire.

BTW, I wrote a book after that experience at my church. It’s called Faith From 9 to 5. I’m writing this and wondering now if maybe it’s time for the sequel?

Have a reflective Holy Thursday and long Easter (or Passover) weekend.

sunset three crosses

How to Put More of the Real You Into Your Marketing to Attract Great Clients and Opportunities

One of the common themes you hear repeatedly about marketing is the need to be “authentic”.

But how do you actually do it and why should you?

The most basic answer is because we all do business with people we know, like, and trust. And we can’t know, like, or trust someone who doesn’t share the sort of things we need in order to know, like, and trust them.

The other piece of the answer is, life is just too short to pretend to be someone you’re not.

But as corporate escapees…people who’ve spent decades working for companies…we may not fully know who we are.

It’s why it’s so important to detox from your corporate life as you begin to plan and build your business.

In this Facebook Live, I talked about how to put more YOU into your work and messaging.

You can watch the video below, head over to Facebook to watch and comment there, or you can skip down and continue reading where you’ll get the more organized version of my tips.

So how, exactly, do you add more YOU to your marketing?

Get clear on your POV and share it. I grew up in an environment where it wasn’t exactly safe to voice your opinion. It was a time when children were seen and not heard and you didn’t voice an opinion unless you were asked for it. And the one you voiced better agree with your parent’s. I grew up professionally in a similar environment.

There were times when it was ok to voice an opinion but even then, it had to be worded very carefully in order to get your colleagues or your boss to listen.

That can make voicing a strong opinion in your marketing very difficult. But in order to clearly stand out people need to know what you stand for. And while we all know there are lots of shades of grey in life and business, the best brands are clear and polarizing to a degree.

Remember, marketing is as much about repelling as it is about attracting.

Know what you want to be known for then work to be known for it. Do you want to be known for always being on the cutting edge? Then you better communicate true thought leader ideas. Do you want to be known as a straight-shooter? Then don’t mince words and recognize some people aren’t going to want to hear that.

Create branded content. Branding is all about being easy to remember and about making a promise to the marketplace.  The goal with branded content is to become known around a language, a system, etc. It makes it easy for you to begin to be known for that specific thing. My content gets branded around the concept of courage. That also makes it easier to come up with visuals that support the messaging.

cartoon guy busting out of the page

Images courtesy of Pixabay and 3dman_eu

On Facebook, my posts almost always include a picture of this little cartoon guy. That helps me build a brand image so when people spot that guy in their feed, at a glance they know it’s me.

Bring things you love into your content whenever possible. My cats often pop into my videos, I make movie and Sherlock references in my posts, and when I do videos at my desk you can see items behind me that support my branding. My little stuffed lion….my violin (which is part of my Sherlock collection)…and sometimes you can see my Sherlock figurine and Sherlock teddy bear. Now that I’m doing videos in other parts of my house as well as outside (when my stupid wifi works) you’ll see my garden and other things important to me. And did I mention my cats? 🙂

Sherlock Holmes memorabilia

Share your story. I know how hard this is. I’m a very private person and an introvert. But people really do want to know how you got where you are and they want to know what you wrestle with. Think of it this way — we want diet tips from Jennifer Hudson. We want to hear from someone who struggled and made it, not from someone who appears perfect and can make us feel like we’ll never be anywhere near where she is.

So share your mistakes….what was hard for you…and what drives you. Tell stories! Those are the things that really raise your KLT-Q — your Know-Like-Trust Quotient.

People want and need to connect emotionally as well as cognitively with you.

Embrace your quirkiness. I take pictures of my crazy socks. I’m a crazy cat lady and proud of it. I’m from Jersey and have giant coffee mugs with the State on them. I know what it’s like to be afraid of showing that stuff. But remember this:  fear is just a memory. You’ve already been rejected…your feelings have been hurt….so you’re just anticipating that happening again. This is why it’s so important for you to have a clear POV and share it. When you do, you repel people who aren’t interested and you attract people who love you BECAUSE you’re quirky.

 

 

 

 

 

Get a color palette. One of the easiest things to do is get a color palette created. You don’t need a logo (yet anyway) but a color palette helps you create a unified, attractive message and visual identity. Be sure to invest with a good designer who truly understands branding. It’s unlikely you’ll find someone like that on Fiverr.

Finally, take some risks. On the anniversary of my car accident, I shared a very long post on Facebook. (I published it here too) I talked about my long recovery and how emotionally painful it was for me.  That post got amazing engagement — more than 90 reactions, dozens of comments, and I had 20+ people ask to join my Facebook group, the Courageous Success Community.

If you’re looking to really have your marketing efforts pay off, no matter what type of content you create or where you share it, you’ve got to bring more YOU into your message so you attract more great clients and opportunities and do it faster.

Following the Universe’s Signs and Finding Freedom as an Entrepreneur

To watch the interview, press the forward facing triangle in the center of the image above. 

To listen to the interviewclick this link and the audio recording will open in a new browser window. 

To download the audio recording to your device so you can listen later, right click this link, choose Save As, and navigate to where you want to save it for later. 

Some of the links below may be affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission as a thank you. It doesn’t impact the price you pay. It’s my way of generating gas money for my long trips back home to South Jersey. 

 

SHOW NOTES

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to create success in a way that’s in alignment with who you are you definitely want to hear this week’s episode.

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you stand out when you hate standing out, sell your services even though you hate selling, and create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information to help you move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

The show is available in both video and audio formats and on a variety of platforms.

If you like what you hear I hope you’ll share the show with others and I hope you’ll decide to become a fan of the show by signing up at Winnie Anderson.com/fans. When you do, you’ll get episodes delivered right to your inbox along with information, tips, and resources to help you – the introverted, mission-driven entrepreneur — consistently move forward to reach your biggest goals.

 

Whether you’re a long time listener to the show or you’ve just discovered it, I’m sure you’re driven to serve and to bring about an important change in the world.

You recognize that there’s something different about you, about how you approach the world, and that you have a experiences and a message that can powerfully impact others.

But how do you do harness that and direct your energy to build a thriving business?

In this episode, best selling author, speaker, and medical intuitive Dave Markowitz shares his journey of discovering and embracing his empath abilities, recognized his need to chart his own path as an entrepreneur, and how he built his successful practice.

Listen in as Dave shares his journey from retail worker to self-employed intuitive and reveals:

  • What an iconic TV show and empaths have in common
  • What it means to be an empath or a highly sensitive person
  • How to blend those elements of your personality and still grow a business
  • How to balance serving at a high level with self-care
  • His thoughts on handling the 8 strategic priorities we deal with as entrepreneurs and shares some of his best practices along the way.

As always, listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Guest Contact Information

Website

Facebook

YouTube

Amazon Central Profile and books

Resources

Worksheet for this episode

Related Episodes

Jenn Savage – The Success Journey of a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Scott Chesney — Success No Matter What

Peggy O’Neill — Your Challenge is Really a Gift

Ready for Clarity, Courage, and Community? Looking for Support as You Come Out of Hiding and Get Your Message Out in a Bigger Way?

Are you an introverted, mission-driven coach, consultant, or other service professional with a big message and big mission to change the world? Are you ready to stand out and step up as a thought leader in your industry segment and to your target audience? If you want support to help you stay focused on your core goals along with information, tips, resources, and training to help you be seen as the go-to expert you are, then join my Facebook group of like-minded and like-personality’d professionals who are taking steps to create Courageous Success.

On the 20th Anniversary of the Greatest Gift I ever Got

20 years ago today (March 7th) I pulled out of my driveway to go to the gym and then stop by my office to do some straightening up. The next thing I knew I was conscious of a strange noise in my left ear. It was the sound of the EMT cutting open the jacket I was wearing.

I told him to stop it, because it was my favorite one.

I then lost consciousness again.

I had survived a car accident.

I spent the next week in the hospital in and out of consciousness and have very few memories of that time.

I do know I struggled to control my emotions.

The rare times when I was in conversation with anyone I struggled to follow what they were saying. I struggled to not compulsively repeat myself over and over and over.

I struggled to not sound angry and to not start crying.

I couldn’t hear very well. I complained about my double vision so much that I had two….MRIs?….CT scans?….I can’t remember what it was; but I remember being wheeled away and stuck in some contraption so doctors could figure out what was going on inside my head.

The day of my release, the doctor – who never looked me in the face while he talked to me – told me I had a brain injury and what I was now was the best I would ever be.

I couldn’t tie my shoes. Couldn’t remember the honeymoon we’d been on just six months earlier.

I couldn’t see right. I couldn’t hear well. And I had lost sensation in most of my face including my mouth and gums.

When I walked, I had to stay close to the wall because I was afraid I’d fall over.

I was 36. I had been married for 6 months. 10 months prior to the accident I had graduated in the top 10% of the class when I got my Master’s degree in HR. I had been promoted 3 times in 18 months and was about to be promoted again from Director of HR and Chapter Operations at the nonprofit where I worked to Assistant Executive Director.

I spent the next week at home. Sleeping.

Each time I woke up I had a hard time processing what had happened to me.

I looked fine. Why didn’t my eyes work anymore? When people saw me they would either ask me what was wrong with them or they’d look over their shoulder thinking I wasn’t looking at them.

I went back to work.

I thought just needed to get back to a routine. Back to doing what I knew I was good at. But I struggled to do the smallest task. I couldn’t control my emotions and of course people didn’t understand I wasn’t the same because I didn’t understand it either.

And I looked so normal.

Then the migraines started.

They’d last for most days of the week. Every week.

Sleep was the only way to get relief.

After about a month more of my unusual behavior and inability to function my husband insisted I see our family doctor.

My doctor took charge of my care and explained that getting well had just become my full time job.

FINALLY. Validation that there was something wrong and some hope that I could fix it.

I saw a physical therapist to regain my balance and learn to deal with the loss of much of my depth perception. Many TBI survivors continue to reinjure themselves because of their issues. I hit my head on the trunk of my car twice. I fell down the stairs of my deck.

I saw a psychologist to deal with the fact that I had suddenly become a disabled person and to work to learn how to control my deep frustration with my issues and to relearn how to control my emotions (for me, this has been the hardest and most shame-inducing “scar” since I had always prided myself on self-control…the calm in the center of any storm).

I saw a neurologist to try to solve the nerve, hearing, and vision problems in my head. But it was my home town eye doctor who came up with a solution of sorts to the vision problem.

Lasik surgery in one eye created mono vision where one eye sees distance and the other eye handles up close. But I had to wear an eye patch for months before I took that chance and I was shocked at how people treated me when I wore it.

The reactions were occasionally funny — like the cashier who yelled out how much I owed her. As if not being able to see out of one eye also meant I was deaf.

But most of the time people made very hurtful comments. I assume that was because they thought I couldn’t hear either, even though I was less than a foot away.

Finally I was referred to an occupational therapist who specialized in treating the brain injured.

It was the hardest, most frustrating 6 months of my life.

There were times I’d be late to my appointment because I couldn’t remember how to get there even though I had been there less than 48 hours before.

If anyone had seen what we were doing for hours at a time they’d think we were “just” playing video games.

But I was working to retrieve the skills that that had gotten jumbled up inside the filing cabinet in my head.

I couldn’t add one column of three single-digit numbers.

There were times when I would burst into tears from shear frustration.

“You HAVE to do this” my OT would say. “THIS is what’s going to get you back to where you were. THIS is going to get you back to the YOU that you remember being.”

That’s what kept me going. Hope and someone who believed in me…who believed she could help me.

THAT and the determination that this wouldn’t trap me. It wouldn’t define me.

My family didn’t understand what was going on or why I wasn’t the same.

I understand that it hurt them to think of me in pain or suffering emotionally and not being able to help me.

It hurt me that I couldn’t talk to them about what I was going through.

I looked so normal.

And when friends saw me – people who I had worked with and known for years — I had a hard time remembering their names.

They didn’t really want to hear how I was. They didn’t want to know I was in physical pain or that I was sad and depressed.

Most people say “how are you?” as a sort of extension of their greeting hello. They don’t truly mean it. And if you mention something you’re struggling with they’ll try to minimize it what you’re experiencing by laughing off their own forgetfulness or struggle with words.

I knew they meant well and were uncomfortable thinking about what I had experienced and what I was going through.

But it still hurt.

As I worked to get better, colleagues who heard about my accident and recovery began calling me asking if I was well enough to do a small project for them.

It might have seemed small to them but it meant the world to me.

Suddenly I had validation that I was worth something. That I wasn’t useless. That I still had skills that mattered.

One project lead to another and the projects got bigger.

People often ask me what kept me going during the recovery (which is never really over….TBI is a lifetime of adjustment and work to develop new strategies to bring me ever closer to my former self).

In a word….faith.

The definition of faith is belief in that which is yet unseen.

Faith is built on trust.

I believe you play the hand you’re dealt as best you can. We can’t afford to give in to the sadness that can easily seep in and overwhelm us.

I also believe that because God created the world in balance – every back has a front, each season is needed for the others – this had to have happened to me for a reason or reasons and it was up to me to use it for something positive…or something negative.

I also had to give myself a break and have faith in myself. I had to trust that I could do this. I could recover.

I had to stop focusing on what I struggled to do or what I couldn’t do (yet). Instead I had to be so grateful for what I was still able to do – write and teach.

I had to learn to give myself what I was known to give others:  compassion. To be kind to myself.

That was especially hard because what I was forced to realize was I couldn’t be kind to myself since I actually LOATHED myself.

I had to admit that all of the degrees I chased and the jobs and promotions had simply been a way to get outside validation that I was a good person….a smart person….a deserving person…a worthwhile person.

See, as my brain worked to re-organize the memories stored in my mental file cabinet, all sorts of awful memories stored away in the banker’s boxes of my head came tumbling out.

As the early years of my TBI recovery passed and I struggled with marketing myself as a solo professional and taking action to do the things I knew would lead to business for me (things I could easily tell others to do), I had a colossal epiphany, which was this:

The behavior patterns and strategies I had developed over the course of my life that had led me to be a good student and a successful employee were now actively holding me back. And I knew I HAD to break free from those disempowering patterns I developed that yes, had helped me survive and even thrive in those environments but now actively held me back.

Things like perfectionism….not rocking the boat….people pleasing (which was actually an extreme attempt for love and acceptance)….workaholism (which for me was driven by a combination of fear and wanting to be seen as good and valuable).

So on top of dealing with my ongoing brain injury I had to heal from the emotional trauma I had experienced growing up as a child, living in a house with abusive parents. I had to heal from the emotional trauma I experienced working for abusive bosses.

I had to become a student of mental health. I had to take my knowledge of behavior and motivation much deeper in order to recover from my newly rediscovered emotional wounds, just as I had to relearn how to learn as I recovered from my physical wounds.

I share all this because whether you’ve experienced something traumatic like I have or you’ve “just” experienced the slings and arrows of everyday traumas – little wounds that overtime become deep, painful aches that you try to hide — each wound you experience or obstacle you face is an opportunity to grow in a new direction. It’s an opportunity to shed beliefs…stories… that you’ve become attached to but no longer serve you.

Some people decide the pain of change isn’t worth it. They believe THEY’RE not worth it.

Don’t let that be you.

Promise yourself that you’ll step up and create #CourageousSuccess for yourself.

PS. If you or someone you know recognizes that fear is getting in their way and they’re ready to get help to break free then please know you’re welcome in my Facebook Group, Courageous Success. You can ask to join here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/2104151309834011/

The Success Journey of a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

To watch the interview, press the forward facing triangle in the center of the image above. 

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SHOW NOTES

If you’re someone who doesn’t just feel sorry for or compassion for others but who can truly feel what that other person is feeling or if you keep hearing your too sensitive you may be either an empath or a highly sensitive person or HSP.

I finally came to the realization that I have some empath tendencies and I have friends and family members who are highly sensitive people.

This realization got me to thinking about other HSPs and empaths out there who are trying to build businesses and I thought we could use a little insight into this from someone who’s done it.

That’s why I wanted to have today’s guest on the show.

Jenn Savage helps professionals create spiritual connection, tap deeply into the essence of who they are and find their space where confidence moves you to speak your truth and do the inner work of the journey you’re on. She also has the skills of marketing and strategy and understands how to make them work for healers.

So listen in as Jenn explains:

  • What it means to be an empath or a highly sensitive person
  • How to blend those elements of your personality and still grow a business
  • How and why money can be an issue for empaths and HSPs
  • The things we think are wrong with us and how in fact they could very well be what’s right with us
  • Her thoughts on handling the 8 strategic priorities we deal with as entrepreneurs and some of her best practices

As always, listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Guest Contact Information:

Jenn’s website

Jenn on Facebook

on Twitter

on YouTube

on Instagram

 

RESOURCES

Worksheet for this week’s episode

Are you an Empath?

What’s the Difference Between an Empath and a Highly Sensitive Person (hsp)?

 

Looking for Support as You Come Out of Hiding and Get Your Message Out in a Bigger Way?

Are you an introverted, mission-driven coach, consultant, or other service professional with a big message and big mission to change the world? Are you ready to stand out and step up as a thought leader in your industry segment and to your target audience? 

If you want support to help you stay focused on your core goals along with information, tips, resources, and training to help you be seen as the go-to expert you are, then join my Facebook group of like-minded and like-personality’d professionals who are taking steps to create Courageous Success.