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The Power of Prioritizing Yourself as a Leader -13
Episode 1324th January 2024 • Marli Williams - Let's Lead Together • Marli Williams, M.Ed.
00:00:00 00:37:03

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In this episode of the Marli Williams Podcast, host Marli Williams dives deep into the crucial topic of prioritizing yourself as a leader with special guest Megan Caldwell, a renowned life, health, and wellness coach. Together, they explore the pressing need for individuals, particularly high-achieving women, and leaders to create space for self-reflection, celebrate wins, and align actions with personal values. With insightful discussions on the impact of societal pressures, the illusion of success, and the importance of pausing to understand one's needs, this engaging conversation offers valuable takeaways for anyone seeking to cultivate well-being and sustainable success in their lives. Join Marli and Megan as they share actionable strategies, inspirational stories, and a playful approach to self-care in this empowering episode.

Megan's Bio:

Megan Caldwell is an educator, coach, speaker and transformational leader who helps women go from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted to feeling strong, confident and empowered in both body and mind.  She believes when women prioritize their own well-being first, they not only gain the time and energy to do what matters most to them, but also gain the strength and confidence to create positive change in the world.

Megan loves helping individuals tap into their most authentic and aligned selves through one-on-one coaching and interactive speaking engagements, workshops and retreats.  In addition, Megan is passionate about mental health and suicide prevention and serves as a board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Oregon Chapter. 

Alongside the impact Megan strives to make in the world, she spends her free time seeking out the best matcha latte, absolutely loves rockin’ out to P!nk and will go way out of her way to view a beautiful sunset.  Megan lives in Oregon with her husband, three children and many pets. 

To learn more about Megan:

Check out here website: www.megancaldwellpdx.com 

Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/megancaldwellpdx 

Join her self-care newsletter: www.megancaldwellpdx.com/newsletter

Download her free weekly wellness tracker: www.megancaldwellpdx.com/resources

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Our Website: www.podcast.marliwilliams.com

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Transcripts

We feel it is important to make our podcast transcripts available for accessibility. We use quality artificial intelligence tools to make it possible for us to provide this resource to our audience. We do have human eyes reviewing this, but they will rarely be 100% accurate. We appreciate your patience with the occasional errors you will find in our transcriptions. If you find an error in our transcription, or if you would like to use a quote, or verify what was said, please feel free to reach out to us at connect@37by27.com.

Marli Williams [:

Hey, everybody. What is happening? I am super stoked to welcome you back to the Marli Williams podcast where this week, I will be interviewing the amazing, Megan Caldwell. She is a life, health, and wellness coach for busy moms and women entrepreneurs, and she really is committed to helping women prioritize themselves. And that is what our conversation is about today and I cannot wait to dive in with you. Let's go.

Marli Williams [:

Hey, everyone. What's happening? I am super stoked to welcome you to the Marli Williams podcast, where we will explore authentic leadership, transformational facilitation and how to create epic experiences for your audiences every single time. I am your host, Marli Williams, bringing you thought provoking insights, expert interviews, and actionable strategies to unlock your potential as a leader, facilitator and speaker. Thank you for joining me on this journey of growth, transformation, and impact. Let's Lead Together. The Marli Williams podcast begins now. Let's dive in.

Marli Williams [:

Hey, everybody. What is happening? I would love to welcome you back to the Marli Williams podcast. So stoked you are here. And today, I get to hang out with the incredibly amazing Megan Caldwell. So, Megan, thanks for hanging out today. Thanks for joining us.

Megan Caldwell [:

Oh, thanks, Marli. I'm so grateful to be here.

Marli Williams [:

Well, I'm excited for you to get to introduce yourself to this amazing community of listeners. So, we'll just kick things off with having you tell people what you are up to in the world and maybe a little bit of your journey of how you got to where you are today.

Megan Caldwell [:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me. So fun to connect and share a bit of my story. So, I am an educator, a coach, a speaker, a transformational leader, and I am just extremely passionate about helping individuals figure out how to truly prioritize themselves. We live in this world where we are so many expectations upon ourselves, and we live in a world where we are taught that productivity equals worth. And so oftentimes, we put ourselves on the back burner. So, my mission is really to just help individuals figure out how do we truly take care of ourselves and our needs, so we can have the time and energy to pour into the things that are most important to us. Whether that be our families or our business or our communities.

Megan Caldwell [:

I just truly believe that when we prioritize ourselves first, we then have the power to change the world and change the world for good. As we know, there's a lot of broken. So, that's kind of what I'm doing now. It looks like coaching. It looks like retreats. It looks like speaking engagements. It looks like community events. Lots of fun stuff. I should share on top of that. I've been married for 15 years. We've got 3 amazing kids. My oldest just became a teenager and that’s crazy. 2 dogs, the lizard. It's a full life and I love it.

Marli Williams [:

It is a full life. So, I think that this topic is so, so important, especially, you know, kicking things off in the new year, I think people are wanting to prioritize guys themselves. And like you just shared; you do have a really full life. You're a mom. You're a wife. You own a business. And so, I would love for you to share a little bit about, like, what led you to doing this work and why does it matter to you personally?

Megan Caldwell [:

Such a good question. I could probably talk for hours on this subject all about me, my whole life story, but I'll spare that. I think as I've heard you say so many times, oftentimes, we as coaches and leaders end up falling into something that we've gone through personally or we wish that we had when we struggled. And so, I started my career actually in education as a high school special education teacher in South Central Los Angeles. Went there through a program called Teach for America right out of college, and I was out to save the world. And I dove into that career and thought I was never going to leave. I was extremely passionate. It was the space where I learned that I was put on this earth to help empower others.

Megan Caldwell [:

It was there several years in where I then had the opportunity to kind of climb the ranks if you will. And my mentor pulled me up to become full time faculty at the university that I got my graduate degree at. And I said, well, of course. Let me go now teach and coach teachers. And so, I took on this new role in a very pivotal time in my life where I was recently married. I just had my first son. And I was promised higher salary and more flexibility in my schedule. So, what did I do? I took it. I dove in and it was freaking hard. And it was within that 1st year in that new role, I had my 1st bout of burnout. For the 1st time in my life, I started having anxiety attacks, panic attacks, and my own mental health suffered. And we decided to pick up camp, move from Los Angeles up to here to Portland so we could raise our kids and I wanted to stay home full time, as a mom because I was just so burnt out. And so, I did that for a hot second and then I bought my 1st business, which was a fitness franchise. And I found my new calling. It was a combination of teaching and coaching and exercise, which has been a big part of my life for a long time.

Megan Caldwell [:

And I took a small little thing into a big nationally recognized franchise. I welcomed 2 more babies into that village. I developed this awesome community. And from the outside, everyone was like, Megan, how do you do it? And I just smile and nod because on the outside, I was building community. I was finding success. I had this big business. And on the inside, I was drowning. And so, it took me to that 2nd round of burnout, which happened just about 5 years ago, where my good friends actually called me out and they said, Megan, you're not right. Like, something is off. What's going on? And that is when I started seeing a therapist for the first time. I hired a business coach to help me figure out some of that stuff. And so, it was my own personal journey that has led me to be so passionate about this work because now I work primarily with high achieving women who are really successful in, like, all these other areas of life. But for whatever reason, and we'll get into this, their own self-care and their own wellness, when I speak of wellness, I look like that whole holistic approach. It is body. It is also mind and emotional well-being. So, there's a snippet.

Marli Williams [:

Wow. I just learned things about you that I didn't know. So, that's neat to learn more about you and your journey and your story because, like you said, I think that as coaches, we tend to teach what we most need to learn. And, the lessons that we've learned along the way and the tools that we've gained, we tend to want to then, like, help other people. And there was something that you said that I think happens a lot to high achieving women, specifically I think maybe this can speak to more people than that, but this idea of the illusion of success on the outside and not feeling successful on the inside or just feeling like you are constantly, like, swimming upstream, and it doesn't matter how much you achieve, there still feels like there like, something is missing. And that constant not enoughness because you're high achieving. So, you're like, if I make this much more money or if I have this much in my business or this many clients or, you know, all of these things that our society deems as, that is success. Right? Like, you're married, you have kids, you have a house, all these things. And from the outside people being like, it looks like you're crushing it and, on the inside, you are crumbling. And to recognize that. You know? And so, for people out there that are listening, it's like, where are we chasing this illusion of success? And, you know, maybe you've reached a point in your life, in your journey where you're like, wow. I thought once I achieved all of these things, I would feel different, and instead I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed out, burned out, and I'm depleted. And I have nothing left to give to my kids, to my partner, to my business. So, that's what, you know, I think brings us to the why you do the work that you do.

Megan Caldwell [:

Yeah. It's like the constant chase. And I know you talk about this a lot, but this constant chase for perfectionism. Right? We, again, live in this society where we are going for these ideals and norms. And now in the world of social media and technology where we're often seeing people's highlight reels, it's like, we don't want to show people the real self. And I have learned on my own wellness journey and now with hundreds of women that I've coached is that when we can tap into our true authentic selves and share our authentic story, all of the ugly to go along with all the success. Holy moly. I have made so many deeper connections. As I have shared, I've struggled with mental health. I've lost someone to suicide. Right? Like, these things are real in life. And when I can accept those and work through the pain that it allows us to celebrate the joy even more, so.

Marli Williams [:

Wow. Yeah. And I think that it's true that I think we tend to want to project that illusion of success too. It's kind of like this, like, never let them see you sweat, never let them see you cry. Kind of this like, hold it together, keeping things like and I feel like I grew up learning that idea of just making everything seem like everything's okay when things aren't okay. And I think that to create places and spaces where people can share and be vulnerable and share what's actually going on besides what everybody's seeing on Instagram and the perfect family photo and, like, the Christmas cards sent on time. Like, all these things that people put so much pressure on themselves for that perfection at the cost of their own well-being, their own self-care. And so, I'm really excited because I think this is an important conversation for anybody out there.

Marli Williams [:

But if you are a leader, a team of a family, of a community, the importance of prioritizing yourself as a leader. And I know that you have a really, really powerful framework. I've seen you guide people through, and I would love for you to share that with the people today if you're open to it.

Megan Caldwell [:

Oh, I would love to share. It's so interesting how it all comes to be and just the dozens of years that I have coached women. Just what have I seen makes women truly successful. So, when I was in the fitness industry, I used to run these like 8-week programs that were like, you just show up twice a week and we'll work on these habits. And by the end of 8 weeks, your problems will be solved and your goals will be hit. And like, yeah, women like achieved goals. But what I learned was, they then come running back 2 or 4 or 6 months later because it wasn't sustainable. So, it really made me question, like, what is it that individuals need to find success and find self-care and find it as a lifestyle, long-term, like healthy habits and mindset long term as opposed to again, we live in a society where we just want that quick fix. Give me the pill. Right? Tell me what to do. What's the new diet? What's the new fad? And so, yeah. The first step, I'm going to tell you that every single step is the most important, but the first step is to give yourself permission. I think that oftentimes, again, kind of like you were just sharing, like, we have this expectation. And especially as women where we are supposed to be the givers and put everybody else's needs first, is to take a step back. And this is oftentimes when women come to me for coaching is they've recognized, I can't go at this pace any longer. I'm going to burn out. I've had the mental breakdown. Whatever it is, is to give yourself permission to take care of you. We've all heard the saying, you put on your oxygen mask first before you put it on the person next to you. And that's what giving yourself permission is. It's saying, ahead of my children, ahead of my business, ahead of my partner, my health and well-being is first. And I give myself self-permission to do that. And that took me years to learn how to do myself, but again, it's a mindset shift. Right? So, that's step 1, is giving yourself permission.

Marli Williams [:

I love that. I want to add something to that. I learned that big time this year as a recovering perfectionist for sure, but also a recovering people pleaser. And this idea of, like, if I do all of these things for everybody else, then I will be loved. Then I will be accepted. Then I will belong. And I went to a retreat last year and the line that I kept writing over and over was to choose myself. And specifically, this phrase kept coming up for me which is, when you choose you, others get the best of you.

Megan Caldwell [:

I love that so much.

Marli Williams [:

Right? And so, it's like, if I were saying it to myself, like, when I choose me, others get the best of me. That first step is so important. I'm just like, you know, if you're out there and you're listening, it's like permission granted, and it's okay. Again, it's rewiring our brains for that to feel safe if we have grown up or heard a story that, you know, again, taking care of ourselves or choosing ourselves is selfish. That is a big, it's a miss. It is not a fact. And so, I love this phrase is, yeah, when I choose me, others get the best of me. And so, I just wanted to add that to our step number 1 on our journey, which is permission.

Megan Caldwell [:

Yeah. And I think, especially, like, as leaders, again, it doesn't matter what type of leader you are. We are all leaders. The number 1 leader person thing people that we should be leading is ourselves. Right? So, giving ourselves permission to lead ourselves first. Until we can truly do that, the action won't stick. Right? So, it's like those programs that I used to run. It's like you can go through the motions, but if you haven't actually made the decision to let yourself be your number 1, it's not going to happen. So, that's first.

Megan Caldwell [:

So, the 2nd piece, is 1 which I have again, I work with a lot of overachievers and a lot of recovering perfectionists as well. And it's just this concept that we live in this world of busy, busy, busy. Busy is a word I've worked to remove out of my vocabulary as much as possible and rather I choose full. Again, perspective. But, like, we have the power though amidst this crazy world to pause. So, number 2 is to pause. How often are we actually pausing to check-in with ourselves? I know you have many entrepreneurs that listen to this show. As entrepreneurs, as business owners, we pause every week to do a weekly recap. We look at the end of the quarter to see how we are making progress to our goals. But how often do we pause to check-in with ourself? 1, how we feel. Right? 2, what our needs are. I think a big one that I see is women in particular struggle with is being so caught up in the day to day that they don't even know what they want. But when we take the time to pause, it allows us to feel and recognize. I know on my own journey; I was so caught up in the hustle of making this business big and hitting goals. And I'd hit the goals, and then I make the bigger goal, and I still wasn't satisfied. I didn't realize what I truly wanted was more family time. So, like, how do I keep my massive business going and get what I need and want, which is that connection with my closest people. So, pausing. Now when I talk about the pause, I mentioned, like, as a business owner, we will pause weekly and we will pause quarterly. So, one of the biggest things I help women with is how do we pause daily. How do we take pauses throughout our workday? How do we pause before our partner throws some crazy idea at us? How do we pause to check-in so then we can respond from a place of compassion as opposed to anger, agitation, or whatever that first emotion might be that comes at us? So, this whole concept of pause, I think, can be just taken in so many different ways, but is imperative. The slowdown is so important.

Marli Williams [:

Yeah. And I love this idea of really giving ourselves that space. Right? I think in this world that if you're not busy and stressed out. It's kind of like, you're not doing enough or something like that. What's wrong with you that you're, oh, you're calm and peaceful and grounded? What's wrong with you? Like, what's the status quo we've created? And I think a lot of people are scared to pause. They're scared to slow down because of what they might find, hear, see, feel. If I just keep going as fast as possible on this train that doesn't stop moving, then I won't actually have to make changes. I think that pause is what creates awareness. And if we aren't aware, then we can't do anything about it. Awareness is the first step. But I always like to say with awareness, there's now freedom and choice that you didn't have before because you're actually giving yourself that gift of slowing down and pausing and assessing, like, where am I at? How do I feel? What do I need? Maybe I need water. Maybe I need to go for a walk. Maybe I need to take a minute to meditate or journal or just check-in with myself. And I think sometimes we let ourselves off the hook because we think that has to look like an hour-long meditation. And it can look like every hour on the hour, you have a timer where you pause for 60 seconds.

Megan Caldwell [:

And I love that. That is a tool that I have introduced to women in coaching where it's like set a timer to go off on the hour every hour. And I just want you to take a deep breath and just check-in with your body, and that's it. And it's mind blowing that something so simple can be so powerful.

Marli Williams [:

I love that. So, we have giving ourselves permission, step 1. Step 2, pause. Okay. What's next?

Megan Caldwell [:

Yeah. So, step 3 comes into prioritizing. So, I think in order to truly take care of ourselves, we need to recognize we're not going to be able to do all the things. We wear so many hats and play so many different roles are to recognize in this season of life, what is it that matters most to me? Yeah. There's been seasons where career is top and I got to make the money and I'll do all the things. There are seasons where maybe you're a new mom, you need to sleep. Right? So, you can care for. There are seasons where our parents are aging and we need to, so it's starting to recognize what do you need to prioritize in your life. And this often comes back to, I recently read a book, I think her name Pooja Lakshmin, called Real Self-Care. And she introduced me to this whole concept of what's called eudaimonic well-being, which is basically doing what matters most to you. But you can't do what's matters most if you don't know what matters most. So, it's in this prioritizing stage is tapping back to your values. Who is it that you want to be? How do you want to show up? And then prioritizing your actions based on, again who you're looking to become. But again, if we don't give ourselves permission, if we don't pause, we can't get to the prioritization stage. Exactly.

Marli Williams [:

Right. And I love that idea of self-care being intentionally doing things that matter to you. And, like, those things will shift and change and evolve based on, like you said, the season of life that you're in and actually knowing what does matter to me. What are my priorities? And like you said, okay. If I put myself first, then what is next? Is it my partner or my family, my kids, my work, my health, adventure, hobbies, activities, or things like that. And really assessing how I'm spending my time actually in alignment with what matters to me. That's what I'm hearing.

Megan Caldwell [:

100%. You know, I've got this simple kind of wellness wheel exercise. Some of you have seen it like the wheel of life where it's like you take a look at each of the different areas and you identify how satisfied are you in a state of joy, in your relationships, in your career, in your physical health, in your mental health. And then it's connecting where is your time actually going. Right? You are saying that these things are important, but if you are working round the clock, 20 hours of your time is going there, how important is your own well-being or physical health says?

Marli Williams [:

So, knowing what matters.

Megan Caldwell [:

Yeah. And one other thing that I just wanted to share from Doctor Lakshmin from her book Real Self-Care is just this concept of like when I originally rebranded away from my fitness franchise into my new coaching space, I had a couple women say self-care just doesn't resonate with me. Like, it just doesn’t sound like something I need or want. Like, it's self-care. And I think that the wellness industry has really blown it up. I mean, it is a business where they are selling the bubble bath and they're selling the crystals and all these different things. And some people have the perception that is self-care. Where she has shared this concept that self-care is, really again, turning inward and it is a process and it's a journey. It's not the activity or the destination.

Marli Williams [:

I love that turning inward and actually again, self-care isn't something that you're, like, going to achieve someday. You know? Something that, like, you choose to do, and that's why, like, I love this. Like, when I choose me, others get the best of me. And when I think about what's one thing that I can do to choose myself today or one thing that I can do to show up for me today. And, again, that could be different depending on the day.

Megan Caldwell [:

I love that you brought that up. Now a couple times where it's like, I think as humans, we get so stuck and we like consistency and we like routine and we forget that we are also changing, growing beings. And so, what worked for me in regards to exercise or sleep or how I talk to myself or whatever, when I was in my 20s, is it going to necessarily work right now, right? So, this concept of like which leads me right into actually the 4th one, which is the 4th P is for plan. Because we know that where our focus goes, our energy flows. Right? And so, if we put a plan in place to say, let's just use exercise as example. Like, I want to be a more active person, so I'm going to walk off 6 days a week from 6 to 7 AM. However, you want to do it. Or your lunch hour for a 15-minute walk. When we plan, we are more likely to achieve or to actually follow through on the action.

Megan Caldwell [:

And so, step 4 again is plan. It's just having a concept of, again, being in tune with what your needs are and then writing it down, telling your accountability buddy, working with a coach. But in some way, taking it from and I've worked with you on this, like, from the thoughts and thinking about it to, like, how do you actually make the action happen?

Marli Williams [:

Yeah, what does that actually look like on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Right? And so, I would say if it's not on the calendar, it's probably less likely to happen. It could happen. Probably less likely to happen. And so, I think the planning piece is one of the phrases I love is how do I make success inevitable? Like, how do I set myself up for a win? You know, if I recognize that family time matters or spending quality time with my partner matters, do we have a weekly date night? You know, on the calendar. Can it shift if something comes up? Of course. You know? But it's, like, actually, like, having your calendar reflect your values. And I've had people create their, I've called it a bunch to different things. Your play first calendar, your joy first calendar, or you actually when you plan your week ahead, you actually plug in those, how are you going to show up for you this week? And figuring out what you need in order to succeed. And some people need that external accountability. Like, I love exercise and I love going to actual classes in person. And so, you know, my commitment is at least twice a week, I do a yoga class and then a fitness class in real life with people that I have to pay for and sign up for, and that is part of my weekly plan.

Megan Caldwell [:

Right. It goes on the calendar before you schedule calls.

Marli Williams [:

Exactly. And so, usually, it's like the thing that's when we have time.

Megan Caldwell [:

I'll squeeze it in.

Marli Williams [:

Yeah. We try to squeeze it in. And, again, maybe you don't have an hour, but do you have 15 minutes to take a walk at noon? And I think sometimes too, days are different and people get really caught up of, like, it has to be the same time every single day versus, like, one of my things is I want to move my body every day. And so, the night before I can say, like, how do I want to move my body tomorrow? Maybe it's the day I have my workout class or I get on my Peloton or I take a walk with the dogs, but it's, like, thinking in advance. Because if we don't, it's, like, the day just gets away from us, and then the week just gets away from us, and then the month just gets away from us.

Megan Caldwell [:

Yeah. And then it's the end of the year. It's the end of 2024, and have we actually made progress? And so, like, the concept of, again, working with recovering perfectionist and type A and achievers, we like the plan and we like to stick to the plan 100%. Right? But it's how do we build flexibility into that plan. So, exactly as you said, like, how do you set yourself up for success every single day? And some of it is the actual writing it down, blocking the time. A lot of it as we know, again, is the mindset shift as to how we are approaching these things.

Marli Williams [:

Yep. It's so good. So, we're going to go through that one more time to recap.

Megan Caldwell [:

I got last 1 to add on. There's no 5 parts of this. And the last 1, I know you're going to love. It is P is for praise. Okay? Because, again, our brains are naturally wired to look for the bad to protect us. Right? And so, we have to think about as we are even making the smallest steps in our own wellness journey, how are we praising ourselves? How are we celebrating our wins? How are we, again, just celebrating and praising as opposed to, I think we've talked about this before, but Dan Sullivan has the book, The Gap and the Gain. And it's this whole concept of oftentimes when we are ready to make change, we start here at one point, and we're looking to get up here. And when we only make it partway, rather than take a look at the progress. Right? We look at the gap as to how far we still need to go rather than look at all the progress I just made. Praise yourself for those small baby steps. So, maybe something happened and you didn't get to your hour yoga class, but you did say, I am a person who moves every single day and so you did 3 downward dogs in between your calls that day. Count it as a win. So, just don't want to forget the praise part.

Marli Williams [:

I love that, and I think it's important to find ways to celebrate yourself. I think that one of the hard parts about self-care or prioritizing yourself in this way is this illusion of progress. Again, it's not an end destination. There's nowhere you're trying to get to with it. It's changing our relationship with that idea of progress versus just seeing it. Like, again, this is me showing up for me, and how do I want to acknowledge that? How do I want to affirm that, appreciate it, and celebrate that so that I keep doing it. Right? And finding small ways to feel celebrated because I think it's one of those things that no one else sees that oftentimes self-care, not always, it's like but it can feel like I'm choosing this, you know, even if I go to yoga class with a bunch of people, no one's going to be like, high five. You went to yoga. Like, that happened this morning at my fitness class because I was working out with a buddy and we're like, we freaking crushed it. Like, let's go. And, like, that feels good when you have someone else to, like, affirm and acknowledge and witness you in that. And like you said at the beginning of our conversation, we live in this world that is so focused on productivity, getting somewhere. And with this idea of prioritizing yourself, there isn't anywhere to get to. It's just a choice that you make and the decision that you make. Again, it's not something, like, you do for a little while and you're like, I did that. It's something that you will always do and it will shift and change and evolve throughout your life.

Megan Caldwell [:

And I know you love the word journey. It's the journey of wellness. Right? It's the journey of self-care. And it's this whole concept of like, yeah, a high five to a friend when you see him at your walk or your fitness class is awesome. But, again, it's that internally how do we praise ourselves.

Marli Williams [:

Yeah. And one of my favorite things about working out or exercising in the morning specifically is, like, I think to myself, no matter what else happens today, I showed up for me. Learning that internal validation and internal appreciation and internal celebration as someone who loves seeking that from the outside, I've really learned how to cultivate that in me of saying, like, no one else knows that I went on a 5 mile walk today or no one else knows that I did this, and that's okay. I know that I did that, and what can I do to acknowledge that and celebrate that? I'm trying to think of what are some ways that you could praise yourself or celebrate showing up for yourself, celebrate self-care. What would that look like? Or what does that look like for you?

Megan Caldwell [:

The one thing that really comes to mind is gratitude. It is like, actually, again, taking the time to pause and reflect back and be grateful for all that you were able to do in that day whether it looked the way that it was planned or not. So, expressing gratitude. I know especially as people are trying to get back into this whole wellness space whether it be exercise or nutrition or drinking your water or sleep. The brain likes checking things off, so habit trackers can often be 1, apps on phones. I just recently, like, in the last couple of years, started wearing a Fitbit and just like having I guess that's somebody else cheering me on. It's the watch cheering me on. But it's like, what do you need, right? I love just taking a moment reflect at the end of the day of what is one thing that I did for me today. And it might be okay. I did get to bed on time or it might be I did get out for my walk. And then I think so much of it too is, again, who you surround yourself with. So, like, do you have that community of people or do you have that support? Because we are way more likely to stick to routines and habits and shift mindset if we are around other likeminded individuals.

Marli Williams [:

So good. Alright. So, now that we've done all 5, let's do a little recap. Number 1, I want to try to do it, make sure I was a good student today. K. Number 1 is permission. Giving yourself permission to prioritize yourself. Put yourself first. Number 2 is pause. Slow down. Check-in with yourself. Asking yourself what you need. And number 3 is actually knowing what your priorities are and, you know, am I spending time doing what matters most to me, right? Number 4 is having a plan. Putting a plan in place so that I actually do the things I say I'm going to do. And number 5 is, make sure I praise myself and celebrate those wins.

Megan Caldwell [:

High five, my friend.

Marli Williams [:

Boom. I was listening. I was paying attention. I was with you. I love that and I think that that is super valuable. Again, anyone out there who is recovering people pleaser where it's like it's for me, it has been such a journey to really learn how important this really is as a leader, again, in your teams, in your family, in your companies. And the thing is we can intellectually understand this, and we could tell other people the importance of it. But people don't do what you say, they do what you do.

Marli Williams [:

So, again, especially for, like, busy moms out there, it's like your kids are watching. And, again, instead of seeing this as a selfish thing, seeing it as something that's actually essential for you being, like, the mom, the person, the parent, the partner, the boss that you want to be. Like, prioritizing yourself, putting yourself first, gives you the energy and the ability to do what you want to do more effectively and giving from, again, this place of overflow and abundance rather than feeling depleted and giving from a place of, like, resentment and frustration. So, I am so grateful that you've walked us through. You've mapped it out for us. It's a beautiful framework for people to take out there into the world of them. I would love to know any final thoughts that you would like to leave the audience with today as they go out there and put themselves first. What do you want them to know?

Megan Caldwell [:

I think just loop back to that 1st step. Just know we are giving you permission to take care of yourselves. And now you have that opportunity to say, yep, it's time. So, just start small, one thing at a time. What is one thing that you can do today for yourself? Maybe it's just, take a pause and take a deep breath right now, but success will build upon success.

Marli Williams [:

Yeah. I love that. So, if people want to learn more about you and your work in the world, I know you're an amazing coach, a speaker, you're having an epic retreat coming up this spring, like, where can people learn about all the things?

Megan Caldwell [:

Yeah. So, you can find me at megancaldwellpdx.com. You can also find me on Instagram, Meghan Caldwell PDX. Same name on the Facebook. Would love to connect. I just love having real authentic conversation, and so I appreciate this.

Marli Williams [:

I love it. For those of you out there listening, you know that I love to say actions where the magic happens. So, like Meghan said, doing one thing for you today and letting that be enough. That's your homework assignment, do one thing for you right now. Keep it simple. And I'm going to add a 6th one to our list because it starts with P, which is play with this. Have some fun with this.

Marli Williams [:

So often, we take self-care and all this stuff, like, again, so seriously. And if we invite that energy of play, what's a playful way for you to prioritize yourself, to show up for you so that other people get the best of you.

Megan Caldwell [:

Love it.

Marli Williams [:

So, I am so grateful for this powerful conversation. Megan, thanks for joining us today. Thanks for listening everybody. We're sending you so much love and celebrating you every step of the way. Let's go. See you next time. Peace.

Marli Williams [:

Thank you for joining us on another inspiring episode of the Marli Williams podcast. We hope you're leaving here with renewed energy and valuable insights to fuel your leadership, coaching, and speaking endeavors. I'd love to invite you to subscribe, rate, and review this podcast to help us reach more aspiring leaders and speakers like you. We have more exciting episodes and remarkable guests lined up, so make sure to tune in next time. Until then, keep leading with purpose, coaching with heart, and speaking with conviction. This is Marli Williams signing off. See you next week.

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