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91. (S3E17) The Magic of Letting Things be Easy with Ahuva Hershkop
Episode 914th May 2023 • FINE is a 4-Letter Word • Lori Saitz
00:00:00 00:42:54

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Meet Ahuva Hershkop, a Toronto-based Anti-diet dietitian and burnout coach for professional women. While raising three children and growing her nutrition practice during the global pandemic, Ahuva realized that while she thought she was “fine,” she was actually far from it. Drawing upon her Orthodox Jewish upbringing, she felt compelled to help other women facing similar challenges, realizing that "fine" is not a worthy goal in life.

In our conversation, we delve into Ahuva's experience, exploring her struggles with perfectionism, the importance of examining your motives, unveiling the lies youtell yourself, and harnessing the power of community while acknowledging that nobody has everything figured out. Ahuva provides valuable insights on overcoming perfectionism, people-pleasing, and societal pressures that hold women back.

Join us as we explore Ahuva's story and learn from her expertise in helping women craft a fulfilling life without compromising their personal or professional aspirations.

Ahuva’s hype song is I'll Make A Man Out Of You from Mulan

Resources:

Of course, you can go to ZenRabbit.com to get your copy of the short guide to working less and living better - also known as The Five Easy Ways to Start Living a Sabbatical Life. You know what else you can get there? The newly revised and released How to Feel Comfortable, Confident & Courageous at Networking Events Book. Look for the link that says Networking at the top of the home page or use this link

Today’s episode is sponsored by Zen Rabbit. If you’d like to find peace of mind amidst the chaos and no matter what’s going on around you, you’ll find a whole bunch of free resources, like meditations and articles at ZenRabbit.com. And while you’re there, if you’re curious about how you might stop working so hard and achieve more success at the same time - get a copy of The Five Easy Ways to Start Living a Sabbatical Life. It’s a short guide to working less and living better. Find it all at ZenRabbit.com.

Produced by Nova Media

Transcripts

Lori Saitz:

:

Welcome to FINE is a 4-Letter Word, the podcast that empowers you to say fuck being fine. Tired of being stuck in a place where you say everything's fine when it's really not fine at all. You're not alone. I'm your host, Lori Saitz. I've been there too, and so have my guests. Here's a secret. All it takes is a conscious decision to change and then restructure beliefs so your actions take you in the right direction. That's where FINE is a 4-Letter Word comes in. Each week, you'll hear inspiring stories from people who have transformed their lives and businesses and practical tips and takeaways to move you from spinning in place to forward action so you can create a life of joy. Thanks for tuning in. Let's get started. Based in Toronto. Ahuva Hirschkop is an Anti-diet dietitian and burnout coach for professional women. While struggling to raise three kids and build up her nutrition practice all in the midst of a global pandemic, she found herself struggling with some serious burnout. Not only did she realize that she was far from fine. Ahuva also discovered that Fine was all she had ever been conditioned to want. Raised as an Orthodox Jew, she was also instilled with the value of helping others around her as she overcame her own burnout and noticed other women experiencing the same struggles. She knew it was her mission to help them. Here she shares her personal story of realizing that fine is not a worthy goal in life and beginning to question the assumptions behind everything she did and believed.

Lori Saitz:

:

Ahuva shares the importance of examining your motives and uncovering the lies you tell yourself. The power of community and acknowledges that no one has it all figured out. She offers valuable insights into overcoming the perfectionism, people pleasing and socialization that hold women back. Of course, you can go to Zen rabbit.com to get your copy of the Short Guide to Working Less and Living Better. Also known as the Five Easy Ways to Start Living a Sabbatical Life. You know what else you can get there. The newly revised and released How to Feel Comfortable, Confident and Courageous at Networking Events book. Look for the link that says Networking at the top of the home page or find the link in the show notes. Now join us as we dive into Aruba's transformative story and learn from her expertise in helping women create a life they enjoy without compromising their personal or professional aspirations. Hello and welcome to this episode of FINE is a 4-Letter Word. My guest today is Ahuva Hirschkop. Welcome to the show, Ahuva.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Thank you so much for having me.

Lori Saitz:

:

It's my pleasure. Let's start off with the the usual question of what, what were the values and beliefs that you were raised with that contributed to you becoming who you have? Oh my gosh, that's like such a loaded question. I mean, the funny thing is that my parents will always tell you and my mom will tell you that I would start a question like this with like, well, the day that I was born was a.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Friday because that's how I tend to it.

Lori Saitz:

:

I was born on a Friday, too.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Um, you know what? That is a great question because there are so many really. I mean, I was growing up, I was raised Orthodox, Jewish, you know, so I have values that I was raised with at home. I have values that I was raised with in my community. And really a big one of them was always giving back. I say that one of the things that I value most about the Orthodox Jewish community that I grew up in really is like when someone has accomplished something, I've always seen people sort of turning around and being like, How can I help the next person, right? Like, how can I make it that much easier? And that's really been my my view and my value in starting this business, you know, by training. I'm a registered dietitian. I experienced a ton of burnout in building my nutrition practice and seeing women around me who were experiencing the same. So once I sort of overcame that, I was like, All right, now it's my turn to turn around and help them.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah, yeah, that is true that in culturally. Um, giving back and giving charity is, is woven into that.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Absolutely. Yeah. That was a really big, you know, important value that that I was always raised with both in my home and both culturally. And so, you know, that's really where I the minute that I was like, oh, I kind of figured this out, I was like, Everyone now needs to figure it out. Like, I need to, like, spread, like I need to stand on a mountain top and, like, spread the word.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right. Yeah. Yeah. Are you still.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Orthodox? Am.

Lori Saitz:

:

Interesting. Okay. Yes. I because I only I only ask because I know a lot of people I've talked to have been and have left. Yes.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

So I know lots of people who have been and have left. I know people who didn't grow up orthodox and have and have sort of shifted over. I grew up Orthodox. I still am. So I guess I'm always interested truthfully in sort of where people end up finding their comfort, where people end up finding what works for them. Because I think like anything else, there's a million different ways to practice in a way that feels fulfilling to you.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yes, yes, we talk about that all the time, but more in terms of meditation when I'm talking about it. But in in life in general, there are a million different ways. When I, I have a background in marketing and people talk about marketing and marketing a business and it's, you know, you see all the, the gurus out there who are like, this is the way to do it. Yeah, okay. That's one way. Yeah. It doesn't mean it's the way for everyone. Totally.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

And I think that's such a great point because I talk in every single one of my programs and to every single one of my clients about how the biggest thing that holds women back is this idea that there is the right way and we grow up with this. And I think, you know, women are socialized into it from there's a right way to eat. There's a right way to look, there's a right way to dress. There's a right way to like get out of the car. And then if you're an entrepreneur or you go into, you know, I'm a mom of three little kiddos, If you go into motherhood, if you go into entrepreneurship, like there's definitely a right way to do that. And women are spending so much time with their like notepad and pen being like, Oh, that's the right way to serve breakfast to a four year old child and burn out very quickly when in reality there's a million different right ways.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yes, because there are. I was. What book was it reading? I was reading. I think it was Dopamine Nation. Yeah. And she talks about I don't know why. I mean, I know that there's, what, 7 billion people in the world or is it eight now? Eight some a lot. Okay. 8 billion people in the world and 8 billion different views of reality. Yeah. Which also means that there are 8 billion different ways that you could be living your life.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah. And I think it's it's so interesting because we're also in a really weird place in the world, I think, where you can see so many differences. Right? I think that there's another book that is called I haven't read It yet, but I've heard about of it called Weird. And it's like it stands for like white English speaking, you know, like like all stand for something. And it's basically the whole premise of the book is how we think that the place that we live, whatever we do. Right, that everybody, I don't know, takes off their shoes in Canada when they walk into a house or we all drive on this side of the street. Right? You sort of just assume those are values and those are actions that are that are universal and how wrong that is. And I think that in a world that's so multicultural and in a world that's so linked, I mean, you know, I could be speaking to I had a call yesterday with somebody in Australia. Right? And you can speak to people across the world. And yet we still all think that there's one right way and it's like the one that's in front of us.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yes, I love that you brought that up because that's true. And we need to. Well, I'm saying we need to if if you would like your life to be a little bit easier, calmer, more peaceful. Except that our way that there are different ways. Yes. And and it would be interesting to explore. Hm. Maybe the way I'm doing things is not getting me the results I'd like. What if I did it differently? What if I did it the way she's doing it or the way he's doing it? Or what if I adopted this way of thinking That's a little bit different than the way I think. And I know that's easier said than done. Ask any of my clients.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Any of my clients who hear that. They're like, I mean, that's like a lot of what I work with people on and they're like, No, I don't want to do that. I'm going to do it exactly how I've always done it.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right, Right. Because it's not working for me, but I'm going to keep doing it. Totally. Yeah. And you and I, before our in our pre-show call, we just got on the topic of books and we've already brought up a couple of here. I love that we have. So I was just going to mention Joe Dispenza has a book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. Yeah, because we're so I and I recommend it to people all the time because that's the thing. It's like, well, how do I think differently? How do I do things differently? This is I don't know how to not be who I am or how to not think the way I think.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah. And I think that one of the one of the things that I would add to that is that so often we don't even know why we do the things that we do. Right. And that's something that I really work with all of my clients on. Like right at the beginning is just understanding why is it that you do the things that you do right? And sometimes the the answers that your brain will offer to you as to why you do the things that you do aren't actually true, Right? So in my previous life as a pediatric dietitian, you know, I would ask parents all the time like, why are you making 12 different meals for dinner? And they'd be like, Well, the reason is like the why is because my child has to eat right. Like it's a biological need that I need to meet. And the real reason was because I feel so insecure as a parent that if they eat, I just get to feel good about myself for five minutes. Like I can pat myself on the back that at least I fed them, right?

Lori Saitz:

:

That I'm keeping them alive.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Exactly. And that why is very different than well, of course, my child has to eat is a biological need. Right. But so we spend so long doing these things that we don't even always understand why we're doing or what we're getting from them. And we're like, I don't know. I've just always done it that way. So of course I have to.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right, Right. And allowing yourself time to stop and question. What you're doing and why. Why and what the result is. And is that the result you'd like to get or would you prefer something different? Nobody really makes a lot of time to do that. If any time.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I think that there's I mean, time is time is always a tricky one, right? Because, you know, so many busy professionals feel like they don't have. I'm running a workshop later this afternoon on why, you know, working moms specifically feel like they have no time because that's you know, that's the one that I hear a lot. And also, I think that it's it's building the time and it's building the trust. Right, which I think are two different things, because when we don't build the trust to say like, I'm willing to look at this and say, maybe there's another way. Right. I'm willing to look at this and say, I'm going to try doing it this way today. And if it crashes and burn, it crashes and burns. Right. If we can't trust ourselves enough to do that and sort of have our own back. Time is a really great excuse as to why we never do it.

Lori Saitz:

:

Oh, wow. That's good. Yes. That whole trusting yourself.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah, yeah. And I think that it's really not a skill that that so many women are raised with, Right. Being able to have that trust.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right. We're often taught to not trust ourselves. Men and women to not trust ourselves, to listen to those voices outside of ourselves because they know better than we do.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah. That's. Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

And that it's actually the opposite. We always, when you tap into your own inner voice and you allow yourself the time to hear it or the time, the space really more than time, the space to hear it. That's your truth. Yeah. Not the truth of the other 8 billion people in the world. Yes. So since the show is called FINE is a 4-Letter Word. Tell me about the time when you were struggling with that, when everything was fine, but not fine.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I love first of all, I love the name of the show because it's so you know, it brings up like the Ross from Friends. Like, I'm fine. Don't know why it's so squeaky and and I think that it's. It's something that I've definitely struggled with and it's something that I think that like. Fine is also what women are taught is. Is what we should aim for, Right? So long as you're fine. Like, fine. We're not aiming for, like, good. We're not aiming for, like, I am living a life that I cannot even imagine. It's like, if you're fine, don't complain. Right. And that's kind of how I felt in, you know, I found out that I was pregnant with my third child and schools closed on Friday because of COVID. I found out that I was pregnant on Sunday and, you know, was raising three little kids during during the pandemic, was working my pediatric nutrition practice. And I had spent so long in hustle of building it and being like, it has to get to a certain point and it should be here already. And you know, some people, like you said, like, you know, have the one marketing secret and it gets them to seven figures in two weeks.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Why aren't I at seven figures in two weeks? And there's something wrong with me And all of those like mind games comparing myself to everybody else that I went back to work six days after having my son. You know, brought him to every nutrition appointment and very quickly found myself very burnt out. And I was like, it's fine. It's just part of life, right? Raising three little kids and hustling to build a business. And this is what entrepreneurship is just like. And this is what being a young mother is like. So I must just be fine. It is just what it is. And very quickly I was like, Yeah, I think I'm fine. I don't think I don't think I can remember my name really so much and, you know, really had to take a step back and acknowledging that, number one, I wasn't so fine. And number two, that fine wasn't really my goal in life or I didn't want fine to be all that I was aiming for were both very hard realizations to come to.

Lori Saitz:

:

Did someone how did you come to them? Did somebody say something to you? Did you know? Was there a specific incident that like hit you in the head by like a two by four? What was it?

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

And there are a couple of instances that kind of hit me in the head by a two by four. It was like when I got so used to like always being up and doing something. I remember there was like one Sunday morning. Um, where? We were like all sort of sitting around and I was like, okay, we need to do this. We need to do this. We need to do this. And like, everybody wants, like everybody needs to do exactly what it was that I was saying. And my husband turned to me and he's like, We're all okay. Like, just sitting here, like, just hanging out, Just watching. Like, we're all good. Like, you're stressing that we're all like, we want to go out and we need to do and you need to make breakfast. And like, all of like, you're the only one who's stressed. And I was like Huh? I am dressed like.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I was creating the story in my head of like, my kids need me to make a three course meal for breakfast or like, make pancakes for breakfast or I need to clean the house or I need to throw in laundry and, like, get it all done before, like 8:00 in the morning. And everybody else was okay. And I was the one who was, like, racing around like crazy. And it was just a lot of those, like, sort of realizing, like, all of these little stories, right? All of those little times. It wasn't like it was some massive like the the heavens parted and, you know, like God himself was like, hey, you're good down there. Like, you can you can take a break. But it was really just noticing, like a lot of hustle to nowhere. Right, Right. Like a lot of just sort of like moving for the sake of moving and being like, why am I doing all of these things right and having to really take that step back and. Like, understand where I wanted to go and why I was doing all of these things that weren't really getting me there.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yes, right. The idea Of being in motion Versus Achieving something or accomplishing or taking Right action, whatever right action is in your particular, you know, in that situation or whatever. But yeah, and so many people spend their time because they're doing something. They feel like they're being productive, that they're accomplishing something. But really all they're doing is like walking in a circle.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Totally, yeah. I say this all the time is, you know, like my clients, like they value they don't always recognize. But it is in the high achievers. You know, I work with perfectionist women. I work with women who want to be able to, like, do it all. They just don't you know, they don't want people to be like, well, you can just relax and like, go get a pedicure today. And just like some self-care, they're like, No, I have an impact. I want to have like, I have want to show up in a certain way for my family. And they don't always realize that we're often socialized to hold being busy as a value, right? Right. To hold just being in motion. And the way that I often describe it is, you know, in I'm a runner and I run inside during the winter because I just like run like I enjoy running. And so the treadmill is very useful for me if I just want to be in motion, right? If I want to be able to run and not risk falling outside. Right. But if I was trying to get somewhere like actually get from point A to point B, I could run on the treadmill all day, every day with the Google Maps in front of me. I'm not going to get any closer to the place that I actually want to go, right? And sometimes people equate just being in motion, just doing things as like, Oh, I'm definitely moving myself further, you know, closer to my goal. And that's not always the case. Like sometimes you're just running on a treadmill just because you've been taught that just moving is what you should be doing.

Lori Saitz:

:

That's such a great analogy.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I only think in analogies.

Lori Saitz:

:

I love it. I love it. And Right. And that that allowing yourself again, the space to stop and sit and recharge. I mean, maybe not physically sitting, but but allowing yourself the space to recharge because you you're going to hear me say this on like every episode. Now, this whole idea of having a phone battery B, at, you know, low, low battery mode when you go to bed or maybe not even that late in the day, maybe it's in the middle of the afternoon. It's on low battery mode. You throw it to the side and you don't plug it in. And you expect it to be back to 100% in a couple of hours or the next morning. And it's not. That's not how it works. And that's how the same.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

And you're pissed off at it that it's not back to it.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right. Exactly. That's right. It's the same thing with ourselves. We don't allow ourselves to recharge and then we beat ourselves up for not being as productive as we think we should be. Yeah, but you didn't give yourself any time to recharge.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

And then you just try and double your effort and then wonder why you're burning out faster. Right? I think that's a lot of the burnout cycle that my clients end up in is like, they're hyper productive, right? And then it still never feels like enough because number one, life is a never ending to do list. Like I could have a to do list that I want to accomplish when I'm 90 and I'm like, Oh, like, why aren't I doing that today? And so we never feel like it's enough, right? And then they're like, Well, I must not have done enough, so I can't take a break. And then they're burnt out and then they just feel like they have to push harder the next day and so it's always sort of like this upping the ante and being mad at ourselves, like furious at ourselves that we can't seem to accomplish on that level.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right. And on top of that, not being able to sleep Because We haven't accomplished enough during the day. So now-.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I call them The credit rolls.

Lori Saitz:

:

Recharge.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah,

Lori Saitz:

:

The what?

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I call them the credit rolls. Like there's, you know, like before a movie and after a movie, there's like always the credits, the, the woman that I work with tend to like before we're working together be falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night or waking up in the morning with the credit rolls. Right. Of like, yes, take out the garbage. The report is due today. My kids, like soccer camp, needs to be signed up for all of those like credit rolls that never seem to stop for them.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yes, that is. That's. A great visualization.

Lori Saitz:

:

Allow me a quick moment to thank you for tuning in to FINE is a 4-Letter Word. If you're enjoying the show, please take a second to hit the follow button so you don't miss an episode. And if you haven't already, I'd love it if you would leave me a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts. Your feedback helps the show reach more listeners like you. FINE is a 4-Letter Word is available on all major podcasting platforms, so no matter where you listen, you can stay up to date with the latest episodes. Now let's get back into the conversation.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. So then What did you do After you came to the realization that You were in this fine place and that. And not fine with being just fine? What what was your next.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Step. It also happened to coincide with when my son started daycare, I think it was. I dropped him off for his first day and I was like, Oh, it's quiet and I don't have to do 12 things at the same time. And I was like, I don't even remember my name anymore. Um, and I really took a step back, which was probably the first time that I'd ever, like taken a step back, like, metaphorically taken a step back in my life of not being like, I need to market my business and do and do. And I really just started from that day asking the question whenever I was doing something of why I was doing it. That was probably the first the first step that I took to stepping back from from the burnout that I was experiencing was getting super clear on why I was doing anything that I was doing, whether it was, you know, grocery shopping, the way that I did, whether it was thinking about my business, the way that I did, whether it was how I served my kids dinner and getting really honest with myself, like for the first time, not just accepting those, you know, because sometimes our brains and I say this to clients all the time, like we'll offer you and it's like, why did you go out of the way and, you know, pick your friend up from the airport at 3 a.m. even though it was 3 a.m. and your brain is like, because we are that good of a person, like we are just the best people and we like to think that. That's why. And often there is some sort of external validation that we're looking for some sort of like, I was just moving and if I was moving, I didn't have to listen to all of the thoughts that go on in my head about how like I should be further ahead and I should have done more and I should be, you know, more accomplished in life or I like how I messed up as a parent today when I sit down, right? Like if I move, I avoid all of those thoughts.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

A lot of the whys. That we offer ourselves first just aren't true and a lot of the honest ones. Aren't really fun like they you know, it's not the most fun experience to have to actually grapple with those honest answers. And so, you know, I step back, I did a lot of research around behavior change, you know, in addition to everything that I had from already being a dietician. Um, from how women are socialized, from how we end up here and just sort of understanding that for myself so that I could really evaluate those whys. And then eventually I was like. I think this is a thing that, like other people need to hear because all of my friends at the same time that I was saying this were also like every night we'd be sort of messaging like, are you struggling today? Because, you know, I really had a hard day. Or are you this like, I feel like I'm a crappy mom all the time. And I was like, oh, it's not you know, even though your brain offers you like it's only me and I'm clearly not, you know, not measuring up and everyone else has it figured out. I was like, Oh, nobody has these skills. Like we're an entire generation and probably generations before are being raised without these skills. Like they don't know what they're doing anymore than I do.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right. And so we look at.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

-Emerging from a cocoon.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah, we think everybody else has it figured out And. Yeah, and it's not true and.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. Even even the people in the highest. I'll say highest positions, whether that is in corporate or in in any aspect of what you're comparing yourself to. Yeah, they don't have it figured out. No one has it figured out. We're all here to Help each other Along on this journey That's called life.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Totally. And I think that it's like it's also when people are like, well, they have it figured out. I'm like, Have what figured out? Like, what is the it? What is right? What do you think that they figured out that you haven't? Because it might be this like one little tiny snippet. And also I think that we're so you know, especially as perfectionists, we're so conditioned to value the end goal. Right. It's never the process. It's always like the end product. Right? And so we think we're like they've reached a certain point where now it's done. It's like wrapped up in a nice little bow. It's perfect for them. And nobody lives like that. Like, even if, you know, even like the Dalai Lama, like, I'm sure they still working on stuff, right? Working on self-development, trying to get become more enlightened. Like I, I think that we all we sort of operate with this place of like, I'm a work in progress, but everybody else seems to be these beautiful, packaged little people.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right? Because our minds play tricks on us. And and tell us that. And again, it's not true. I love the exercise that you just mentioned about asking yourself around every task or every every thought. Why am I doing it this way? Yeah, that's a great exercise to engage in. I'm going to challenge every one of you who is listening. Do it for a day and then see if you can do it for a week.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

My number one strategy, truthfully, to anybody who feels like they have no time is I call it my what? Why? What? Strategy, which is just number one. We don't have to look back and, like analyze our entire day, but just take like five minutes and think about what are the things you're doing in the day because sometimes you don't even remember. Did you scroll Instagram for 30 minutes? Did you walk around the block? Did you cook dinner? Did you do work? Did you. Whatever it is like just write it down on a piece of paper and then go back and ask that question of why. Right. Like, why did you cook dinner the way that you did? Why when you're when your kids were like, can we have cereal for dinner? And obviously I'm a picky eating, you know, dietitian by training. So I there's a value to, to definitely, you know, making certain things for dinner or whatever. But the point is, like when your kids were asking for cereal, why did you feel the need to make a whole three course meal? Right. Asking why? And then if you, you know, always going for 2 or 3, like challenge your brain to think of the second answer. So again, not that like I helped a friend because I'm just such a good person.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Why did you really do it right if there were a more. And the way that I like to trigger this is if you ask the question why is because I'm just such a good person, ask the question. If there were a truer answer, what would it be? Right? And then if you really can't think of anything, ask the second what which is what are you getting out of this? Because there's always something you're getting out of something, even if it's I promised myself I was going to go to bed at 10 p.m. and I went to bed at 3 a.m. and now I'm exhausted. What were you getting out of that? I don't know. Maybe if maybe if you're a mom like me who has young kids, you know, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. is your only alone time. Maybe you're getting that. Maybe you forgot that report again because you've always held the example of yourself or the image of yourself as an irresponsible human. And this just confirmed it. Right? Right. It doesn't have to be a positive thing that you're getting out of something. It can just be something that keeps you safe. And sometimes your brain would rather keep you safe in something that makes you feel horrible. Then introduce a new thought of like, maybe I'm not totally irresponsible.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yes. Because that is familiar. So it isn't It's comfortable because it's familiar. But that doesn't mean it's really comfortable.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Exactly.

Lori Saitz:

:

I just wrote this down. This this exercise. This is. This is Amazing. Yes. Yeah. So then once you started asking these questions of yourself, what were the answers you were getting and what did it lead you To create From that?

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

I didn't like the answers that I got. If I'm being honest because, you know, a lot of them were like, because this is the way that I'm supposed to. Right. I'll give you one example that sounds like it's a really simple shift, but it was, you know, very massive for me. Again, like, you know, by training, I'm a dietitian. Um, it was something as simple as, like, my kids were all in the same daycare that had a park attached to it. And even in the summer of that year, I started packaging up like a snack, like dinner, like crackers and cheese and just, you know, snacky things and bringing it to the park and like, letting them just eat dinner there. And it was sort of like a just come and go and whatever kind of dinner, like it wasn't. We all sit around the table and we all like have an organized dinner time, which is truthfully a way that I and a lot of dietitians will tell you like is a way to raise an intuitive eater. And I was like, You know what? They're happy. I'm happy. Everybody's had a great time and we've all gone home. Right? And so I realized how many times in my day in my life I wasn't taking those opportunities to just make things easier on myself. Have everybody enjoy more because I had such clear pictures of here's the right way to do things.

Lori Saitz:

:

Okay. You just said something that I want to draw out Just to Make a point. About it.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

It's okay for things to be easy.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Totally.

Lori Saitz:

:

But we have this idea that if it's easy, it's not good.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

And I think That that we have to recognize, like, we come by that honestly, I say this, you know, I ask my clients all the time, like, how can you make things 1% easier for yourself? Yeah, but we don't value that as a society. Like if you look at any Hollywood movie, right, when the the basketball team who's been losing all season and lost the coach and they have no hope and they somehow make it to the finals when they win, we cheer right when the underdog like comes back up, like bloodied and battered, like we cheer for that person. But when the team who's been winning all season, probably because they've been working equally as hard and have been practicing and so what? So they're good at basketball. Like that's great. If they won, we'd be like, That's a stupid movie. Why did I even make that? Like, we're not cheering for that team, Right? Right. We have this idea of like, we're only allowed to cheer for the David and the David and Goliath story. And so. Right. Especially women internalize that and they're like, how can I make doing laundry a David and Goliath story, right? Like, how can I make it like I overcame obstacles to get to the other side? But not everything has to be that.

Lori Saitz:

:

That it's only worth doing if it's difficult.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Absolutely.

Lori Saitz:

:

Okay. Go on with you. I just wanted to pull that point because I heard it loud and clear.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah. And I think that's that's a really easy that's a really important point. I mean, that's and that was really, you know, when I that was one of my whys right when I started asking like, why am I doing things this way? Why am I because and sometimes the honest answer was because I'm trying to make it hard on myself, right? Because I only value things that are accomplishments if we've gotten to the other side, right? And so a lot of these whys were were that like just recognizing I was doing things a lot of like there was there was definitely a right way to do it. And so I had to do it that way, especially if it was hard because like, you know, we love we love a good overcoming story and just starting to practice asking these questions. Um, and I think that the mistake and the difference in how I now talk about things in the, in the way that I talk about it with my clients versus how it's talked about in the industry is a lot of people are talking about burnout in how you got there. Right. How you hustled and how you, like burn yourself out. And so now, like you're going to pull yourself back from burnout. And that's true. Like I think that it's important that women everywhere know you don't need to wait until society changes or like again, like the heavens open or somebody is like, here is a 12 month long vacation that you can take and like, see you in a year. You can pull yourself out. But you didn't get yourself here. Like really being able to understand how women are socialized into burnout. Like, basically we're we're putting a car. We're like, there's a rock on the gas pedal and then we get to burnout and people are like, I guess you got there by yourself.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right? You did it to yourself.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

You did it. Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Well, again, that's part of the beating ourselves up.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Um, for I don't know why.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

But the women are -

Lori Saitz:

:

-just covered a lot of the reasons why. We are so conditioned. It's a brainwashing,

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Totally.

Lori Saitz:

:

That happens For A lot of people Especially in North America. I mean, yeah, I know you're in Canada and I usually say the US is like masters at this. And one of my friends posted earlier this week on LinkedIn. She had just come back from two weeks in New Zealand, in Australia, and she was writing a post about How Insane our view of taking vacation or taking time off is. And how other when she was over There and they were like, you brought your computer. Why,

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yes Totally. It's so interesting because I saw somebody also a colleague posting about how she had gone on vacation and it was like a three day vacation with her husband. She's like, I left my kids and I, you know, went on vacation. And it was the first time that I've ever left my work computer. Like I consciously had to choose. And it is like it's revolutionary. Yeah. Don't bring your computer along. Right. And I think that we all you know, I was joking to somebody else earlier in the week that there's nothing even doing this work. There's nothing that like irks me more than when I get a reply to an email like three days later and it says Sent from my iPhone. And I'm like, Huh? You've had this on your computer, on your iPhone the entire time, and like, it took you three days to respond. Okay. Right. But it is like it's it's funny. Like I notice that conditioning even in myself. Like if the if the email got there three days ago, of course they should answer it three days ago. Does it matter if it was one in the morning like they should be answering it when they get the email. Right. And that's how so many of us operate and how so many of us end up burning out. Because no, like you don't have to do everything immediately now, all the time. You don't have to be on all the time. Yeah, but we all think that we do.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right? And it comes back to that, that we teach people how to treat us. So we teach them if we are going to be available 24 over seven, we're teaching them to then expect to get a response right away, whereas you could equally, equally as easily train them or teach them that I will get back to you within 24 hours or 48 hours, or, you know, only between the hours of ten and four on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, like whatever you want it to be.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

And I think that, you know, what I say is that there was the analogy that somebody like a couple of years ago had had talked about between like recognizing what are plastic balls that you're that you're juggling and glass balls, like when you're trying to juggle multiple things, having to know what are glass balls and what are plastic balls, like what's going to drop and break. And, you know, I talk about like glass balls and plastic balls and there are lots of balls that we should have never been juggling to begin with, right? Like we should have just never picked up. But the reality is we're not even seeing the balls that we're juggling as plastic or glass. We're like, this is an atomic bomb. And if I drop it, like all hell is going to break loose. And most of the time we're not we're not creating the space to, like, not answer that email because we're like, if I don't answer that email, the world as we know it is going to end. And 99.9% of the time, that's just not true. Right? But it is. It's how we think about it. And so we we unconscious we like expect other people to also. Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. Wow. This has been such a good conversation. We are so many amazing analogies that are stuck in my head now.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

That's why I use Them, because they can't get out.

Lori Saitz:

:

Right. Right. With great lessons attached to them. And this exercise of questioning what? Why and what are you getting out of it?

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Love it. Before we go Let me ask you What is the song That you listened to when you need an extra boost of energy?

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Okay. So I have a couple of them. Okay. But my but my favorite one to listen to now is actually because I showed my kids the movie recently. Mulan There's a there's a song in Mulan Make a man out of You that I that I is always a fun type song for me.

Lori Saitz:

:

Okay cool. We'll put a link to that in the show notes. The other thing I'd like to put in the show notes is how somebody can get in touch with you if they want to continue the conversation.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Absolutely. So the two places that I hang out most are on Instagram. My handle is Ahuva Hirschkop and I run a free community on Facebook called Beyond Burnout with Ahuva Hirschkop. And there you can find out more about my 12 week coaching program. Any of the shorter containers that I that I run and just come hang out with like minded women who are moving beyond burnout.

Lori Saitz:

:

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your story on FINE is a 4-Letter Word.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Thank you for having me.

Ahuva Hershkop:

:

Lori Saitz: I came away from this conversation deep in thought around the concept of it's okay for things to be easy. And I started examining why am I doing it? Whatever it is this way. Is there some way to make it easier? Think about that. Now here are your key takeaways. Number one, the biggest thing holding women back is the idea that there is a right way. That stress of always trying to do things right is quickly leading to burnout. We each have our own version of right. Number two, women are often told that fine is all you should hope for. If you're fine, you can't complain. I'm sure listeners of this show will quickly recognize that's total BS. Number three, here it is again. It's okay for things to be easy, but we've all been taught that things are only worth doing if they're difficult. Again, it's okay for things to be easy. Number four, When you're trying to juggle multiple things at once, it's important to know which are glass balls, which are plastic, and which you shouldn't even be juggling at all. Number five The reasons you tell yourself why you do what you do are often lies. Use a who, What, Why? What framework to take stock of what you do during the day. Think critically about why you did it. And lastly, what are you getting out of it? Thanks for listening to FINE is a 4-Letter Word. If you've enjoyed the show, please follow and share it with a friend. Leave a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite platform to help others discover it too. You can find links to my socials on my website Zen rabbit.com. And before you go, take a moment to reflect on what you're grateful for today. Remember, you have the power to create a life you love, and I'm proud of you. Thanks for joining me. Take care.

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