This interview was a fun experiment in co-hosting with Elyse Archer, sales coach and host of the She Sells Podcast. Elyse and I connected online and knew we wanted to interview each other on the subject of limiting beliefs, but we were experiencing some scheduling challenges until Elyse suggested that we record once, interview each other and release the finished episode on both of our podcasts. Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks and trusting your intuition, so I said yes and this episode is the result.
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G: Hello, well, we have a very special different type of interview for you today, and I say we because we're doing something on the podcast that we haven't really done before. And so if you're listening to my show, She Sells Radio, you know me. I'm Elyse, I'm your host, but we are also joined by an incredible guest slash co-host because Diann's gonna be producing this for her own show as well. So, Diann, you wanna say hi and introduce yourself?
H: This is Diann Wingert of the Driven Woman Entrepreneur Podcast, and I guess we are kind of co-hosting today, but it's all a big experiment, so let's have fun
G: It is, and I'm excited for this for a number of reasons and I think, Diann, you were just sharing with me before we hit record, some really big takeaways that right away I think our listeners can benefit from so I wanna get into those in a second. Before I do, I'll give just a little bit of context for the interview and what we're, you know, what we're doing here so this can make sense cause I know we're both gonna be airing this on our respective shows. And so I was looking a little while back, I was doing like a little bit of online stalking and just looking for top podcasts for female entrepreneurs and your show came up like right at the top of the ranks and first of all, that's impressive cuz there's so many shows out there for female entrepreneurs.
So you have built something really, really incredible and I remember researching your show and looking into your audience and I was like, oh my gosh like I love her no BS approach. I love how direct she is. I love her street cred too and thinking that your audience was, in many ways there was overlap between your audience and mine. And you obviously work with a lot of female entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, solopreneurs, which we've got quite a few of those who listen here too and I thought, wouldn't it be fun to do a swap?
And so we had actually arranged to do a podcast swap for tomorrow and then, my sweet husband Jason, cuz tomorrow at the time of this recording, tomorrow's Valentine's Day, he was like, Hey babe, you're free all of Valentine's Day right? I was like, it's a Tuesday and I generally like, I love you, I appreciate the romance, I generally have things planned. But he had some stuff planned for us throughout the day and so you were flexible and it was like, Hey, let's hop on today and let's record one episode together and I'm excited for this. And Diann, you had pulled these three powerful kind of bits of learning that I think right away, like we're gonna give some context for who we both are, for each other's audiences but right away, I'd love if you wanna dive in and share some of what you shared with me before we were recording cause I thought it was so powerful.
H: Absolutely. You know, very infrequently do things go exactly as we had planned in our business, in our lives. So when the unexpected happens and something you've been very much looking forward to, like our interview exchange, our pod swap had a threat of being canceled, it was either going to be an opportunity to indulge and disappointment or shift into creative problem solving and Elyse provided the opportunity to do door number two. So I think one of the takeaways for how we made this happen, in the way that we made it happen is that we always have the opportunity to respond instead of react but not only that, if we never take risks and exercise vulnerability.
We're never really going to know what level of trust and self-confidence we're capable of. I have to be clear, this is our very first meeting, even though we've had a few email exchanges, so did it require a little bit of trust and a little bit of vulnerability to take the risk and do something I've never done before, which is a co-hosted interview. You better believe it, but I am here for the growth and the learning. And lastly, I'm always intrigued by the possibility that I can get the same or even better results with less time and effort, and it would've taken us twice as long to record two separate interviews so I'm here for all of it.
G: I love all of that so much. I don't know it, do you know Laura Meyer by any chance?
H: Not yet.
G: Uh, you two should know each other, she's been a guest on the show, she said, I think you two would be super aligned. But she said to me something a while back about just networking and getting to know people and she said, I don't do general networking, which I don't really do either like to me, there needs to be a purpose. There needs to be an intention but she said, if I do, I record it. I'm like, Hey, let's record it, let's make it a podcast interview and she's built a very successful business that way as well, just with being very intentional about networking and relationship building.
And so I think to your point of how do we get the same or better results with less time and effort, it's all about efficacy, right, which we wanna be thinking about for the growth of our businesses. So, why don't we do this cuz again, we're kind of ebbing and flowing here and we're having fun and we're figuring it out as we go so I know my listeners will appreciate that and yours probably will too. I think people like an authentic conversation but Diann, let's give some background on you. Share a little bit more about who you are, what you do, I know you transitioned from therapist into coach, right? So I'd love to hear a little bit more about that journey for my audience.
H: Actually, there was an earlier transition, my very first career was in medical sales, so I got trained how to sell to smart people, mainly physicians. I had a second career as a psychotherapist and a professor of social work. I was in that career for quite a long time. The last five years of it was in a private practice where I mainly worked with powerful women. At that point, I realized I had kind of outgrown the role of being the support person, and I wanted to be the person who would start challenging people. So, the way I phrase it is I shifted from focusing the conversation on problems to possibilities, because as a coach, I can be much bolder, I can be more confrontational, but in a good way. And instead of accepting someone's limiting beliefs about what's going on in their life, I could directly challenge them and say, now we both know that's not true. So the type of coaching that I do really helps people who are really ready to let go of whatever is holding them back. And you and I both know oftentimes that's not the lack of skill, it's the lack of will and the mindset.
G: So true, it's so true and you said something I wanna circle back to a bit or we could dig, you know, we could dive into now just your readiness to transition from being sounds, I think you said the support person, writer, the person behind the scenes to really being in the center stage. I know that for me was when a lot shifted in my life and it took a lot to get there. It took like a lot of getting fed up with not living. I talk about like the fullest expression of myself and there was definitely a lot of elements of playing small in that. And then I know for our community too, that is, that's a common thread is that people are done playing small. Maybe you can riff on that a little bit and talk about what you see with your clients and in your own life, like how that transition occurred and was it scary to finally say no like, I'm gonna step into the spotlight of my own life and do this thing big.
H: Well, I will say one of the things that I think served me is that it's undeniable that with the passage of time as a woman, fewer opportunities are coming your way. So I last worked for someone else when I was in an executive position running a large mental health agency, and the CEO that I reported to was both incompetent and unethical and since I am neither of those things, that presented a problem. Now, at that time, I knew based on my age and my stage of career, if I went out looking for another job, it was very likely that I was going to experiencing something similar or worse, so I needed to bank on myself and start my own business for the first time in my early fifties.
I had zero experience running a business. I was going to have to generate all of my own referral sources and get people to pay me directly for something that I had been paid indirectly through government contracts for. So it required what I now affectionately referred to as a major boss up because I needed to go from being a boss in an organization to being the boss of my own life and carving my own path. Of course, it's scary. It's absolutely terrifying, but you're absolutely right about reaching that point of being fed up. I describe it as just being sick of my own. I don't know if it's okay for me to swear. I have an explicit rating. Oh, good, I have an explicit rating on my podcast so I can express myself however…
G: Let's get me one if I don't have one yet.
H: Let's get it, all righty. Well, at least for this episode, you probably need it, but I literally had to get sick of my own shit, Elyse. I literally had to get sick of hearing myself say to myself and to others why I can't do something that I hadn't even tried to do. And there's something about the gift of aging where you realize, you know, if not now when, because there will come a time for all of us where it's gonna be a lot harder and you will only have more time to accumulate more excuses so that was go time.
G: Oh my gosh. Yeah, it's so interesting, the parallels, there's obvious differences, but parallels too, in your experience and mine and you know, my community who listens for the most part is like familiar with, part of my own story was I was stuck at the same level for 10 years and like couldn't break through a certain income threshold, was kind of living like a good but not a great super fulfilled life and for me too, it was the perspective shift. Mine was a little earlier in my journey, I think I was like 45 when it happened but it was the perspective shift of like, I'm not getting any younger, no one is coming to save me. I realized how much I was waiting for someone to come give me permission and validation, did you have that aha too, where it's like, who am I waiting for?
H: I think that's part of our cultural conditioning. I mean, it's no mistake regardless of what generation you're in, that women have been culturally conditioned to be nice to accept what's given to us, to be satisfied with what we have, and when we want more, more money, a bigger position, more responsibility, more freedom, more creativity. We are labeled all kinds of negative things, including the most famous one, the letter that starts with B and ends with itch. So I part of what we need to experience, what I experienced, and I'm certain what you experienced, is that instead of looking to others to tell us who we are, what we could be, what the fullness of our potential looks like, and that it's perfectly okay to go after it and have it, we have to make that an inside job because even if you're lucky enough to have a mentor, you were still going to reject what he or she says until you internalize it. So I think that's something I really want more women to understand sooner than I did. Not only is nobody coming to save you and no one's coming to empower you, but you have to be willing to take full responsibility for doing that yourself because you will get pushback and you will get shade, and you will get hate even from other women and you gotta be ready for that.
G: Oh my gosh, yes. I'm curious so I'll share kinda like a little piece of my journey there, and then I wanna ask you about this. So in my journey when I made the decision to stop playing small and I had a good, like, it was a good life. I was, the breadwinner for our family was, you know, taking, we were, I share numbers just because it's like helpful for context sometimes that's part of what I find helps my audience. But like we were doing like low six figure income, like everything was fine. Good, I had like a four month old at the time and I just had this kind download of it's time to stop playing small cuz there were still these desires on my heart that I found myself saying no to. I wanted to retire my husband from his, he was working night shift at a hospital. I'm like, he wanted to study to go to medical school and I wanted to be able to retire him so that we didn't have to rely on his income for our life and wanted to play a bigger game with giving and charity and wanted a better lifestyle. Like, I'm not ashamed, like I wanted a better lifestyle you know, six figures doesn't get you what it used to get.
H: Nope, that's for sure.
G: And it was this like awareness of, oh crap, like, I have been playing so small, and again, to what you just said, I've been the only one limiting myself and I felt, I kind of just prayed in that moment, it was like, guide me, like whatever I need to do, God source, universe, like guide me and I will do it very quickly. Got the nudge to make a it was massive for me at the time, it was half of what I'd made the whole last year. An investment in coaching with a woman who specialized in helping women become seven figure earners, like mom specifically. It felt petrifying, but when I decided to do it, I told no one.
Like I told, almost no one I told because I knew enough that to your point, if people won't understand, it was like, if I bring this up with anyone, they'll say, you're crazy, what are you doing, you don't have the money for that. That was the thing that after I made that decision, within six weeks, my income 10xed and it has continued to grow and build from there. But if I had stopped and asked for permission or asked other people's thoughts, like the only people I told were my husband and my best friend who's on a similar growth path, if I had asked anyone else, they would've said, you're crazy, what are you doing? So when you made that decision to say yes to yourself and to step out on your own, did you tell a lot of people, or how did you kind of safeguard that dream and that vision from being watered down by other people's doubts.
H: Excellent question, this is very likely because of my childhood trauma history. But I've come to understand that I have an enormous capacity to tolerate pain and to that point, I think I stayed in situations many kinds of situations over my lifetime, much longer than I should have. Much longer than I needed to, much longer than it was healthy because I had become so strong, it was almost like a badge of honor that I could stick it out. Now I realize, well, that's a great way to waste your whole life proving how strong you are instead of leveraging that strength to make your life better and the lives of people you care about. So I would say that understanding that it's saying yes to yourself will seem like you're saying no, not only to other people.
But saying no to who you've been, and I now believe, because a lot of the work that I do is around uncovering your zone of genius. With that comes the understanding of all the upper limit issues that you have that keep you in place, whether it's in a dead end marriage, a dead end job, stuck at an income platform, plateau, and so forth. You have to be able to understand when you think these thoughts, it's not because they're true, it's because your ego is trying to keep you safe, trying to keep you alive. We should be teaching these concepts in elementary school because by and large, unless you are in personal development or coaching, the fact that you are thinking all the time and that everything you think you believe, even though 90% of it is absolute worthless crap is completely foreign to you.
G: My gosh, this is so true, this is so true. Our little guy is two and a half now, we've got another one on the way in like two weeks, and I am like, now that I know but I, most of my life, I didn't know this stuff. Now that I know it, I'm like brainwashing him consistently with like all the affirmations, like all this stuff, because we are being brainwashed, especially the first seven years of our life right?
H: And then we take it over for ourselves like you're I always say that when you're born, your brain is an empty field of fertile soil. So the seeds that get thrown at that brain in the first seven years are going to sink deep cuz there's nothing else planted there. And they're going to have very deep roots, which become the neural pathways of your future thoughts. So later on you can completely un-brainwash yourself but the thoughts that show up naturally in your brain that seem so true to you because you can never remember a time that you didn't think them. You will have to fight those like your life depends on it because the happiness and satisfaction of your life actually does depend on it. I just wish we'd known sooner, but we're making up for lost time by spreading the good news now.
G: It's one of those things where once you realize it, you're like, oh my gosh.
H: When you know, you know right?
G: You know, you know. Yeah, exactly so there's two things you said there that I would love to go deeper and stop me at any time because I get excited and I'm gonna like take, I wanna find out so much more from you, so stop me at any time if you're like, no, we need to redo.
H: And don't forget, don't forget, I'm supposed to be interviewing you too, right?
G: That's what we'll weave it in, it's ebbing and flowing so, it's all good. But you said two things that stood out to me a lot. One was the capacity for suffering, and then two was that like 90% of our thoughts were kind of bs.
H: That's probably generous, it's probably more than 90.
G: It's, it probably, I know. I was like, how did I go deeper we're 30 to that because it's so true. Once you learn that, just because you think a thought doesn't mean it's true, it's a little trippy and it also takes a great deal of self-awareness to be able to stop the thoughts in the moment. How do you the capacity for suffering resonated with me because just today, I even noticed in some things in my life now where I was like, I'm tolerating something's taking longer than I desire them to take, and I'm kind of okay with it. And not that there's not a timing to things and a rhythm and a process of being the match for what you want. But I was like, I feel like my tolerance threshold for things taking a while in certain areas of my life is higher than I want it to be and my pain tolerance, I know I've also, similar to you, like put up with a lot of stuff over the years that didn't feel good, was painful, etcetera. And I'm happy to share what I tell my clients to do, but like what is your process for noticing and catching the thoughts and for redirecting and for shortening that suffering and pain tolerance any tips for that?
H: Yeah, a couple things to disclose that I think are important. I had a pretty serious car accident years ago when I was still in my medical sales position and wasn't able to work for a year. That began a journey of chronic pain that I have been living with for now more than half my life. After they had tried all the pills, all the procedures, 12 hours of traction a day, cauterizing my nerve endings, you know, you name it, everything's short of neurosurgery, because they said my spine was too delicate and they wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot scalpel times three, three people said that so I'm like, okay, no surgery. I learned that meditation could be helpful for someone with chronic pain that led me on a path to actually embracing a Buddhist philosophy in my life.
So I have been learning to observe and manage my mind for almost 20 years and I will tell you, not only has it helped with the chronic pain, in fact, most people who know me don't even know I live with chronic pain because first of all, it's not very interesting to talk unless you wanna play the victim card, which I most certainly do not but also because I manage really well with it. The other thing that's helped me with enormously is ADHD because I am able to observe my thoughts as they're happening, and that has helped a lot with impulsiveness and rejection sensitivity, and some of the other things. I mean, I don't have to tell you in sales, dealing with rejection, dealing with the anticipation of possible rejection is key. So I've done a lot of work around rejection sensitivity, and also just thinking of each of my thoughts as like a thought bubble.
If I have rapid thoughts, if I'm really excited, I'm having an ADHD moment, I think of it as like opening a can of soda and all of a sudden, you know, the bubbles are all right there. Sometimes it's just one thought bubble at a time, more like a balloon but I have learned to hit the pause button most of the time because if I don't, I'm going to make an impulsive decision, an impulsive judgment, an impulsive reaction that later on I'll wish I had handled differently. So part of this is just simply maturity and being on the planet more years, but also accumulating experience with what it feels like to almost want to blurt something out and then taking a breath instead.
If I wanted to interrupt you because you had something really juicy, I wanted to grab a hold of and swing. I don't wanna dominate the conversation, so I just have my little notepad over here, I'm gonna write it down. It's not like one thing, it's a lot of little things done consistently over time so that I don't have to do things impulsively because I'm unafraid of missing the opportunity, more opportunities will come my way. That's one of my affirmations, so I don't have to act on every one which means I can live with a lot less anxiety and fomo.
G: Wow, that's so powerful. That is so powerful.
H: It all adds up too like all of these lessons, you know how it is, they just kind of layer on themselves and then you realize I'm making better decisions. I'm more satisfied with the decisions I'm making, and I can see myself thinking small as it's happening and stop it in the tracks. Now, that was not always, most of the time it, the awareness comes after the fact, but if you don't get too discouraged and you don't give up, you don't decide, oh, this doesn't work. If you keep at it, you can absolutely get ahead of even some of your thoughts and anticipate, okay, I'm leveling up. In this scenario, I know exactly what thoughts to anticipate and watch for so when they happen, I'll be like, I am so ready for you. You're not getting in here and messing with my mind, I saw you coming and you are not welcome at this party and I use a lot of metaphors and analogies and humor because otherwise it can feel, it can be very fatiguing to be managing your own mind. Let's face it, we're always thinking and when you don't like the thoughts that are on speed dial, it's some work to change them, but so so worth it.
G: It really is, it's mental gymnastics. I call you'll feel fatigued at the end of the day of your day actively. Do you write them down like that's what I do, I actually have a note on my computer and my phone that's like, these are the old personality thoughts just so you know when they pop up what they are, do you write them down or how do you track them and kind of have that foresight of, oh yeah, this is gonna come up so that you're ahead of the game.
H: Well, I use the app, ThinkUp. Okay, it's an affirmations app, it's one that I recommend a lot. People do not need to get the paid version. You can get the free version, it allows you a small handful of affirmations, but what's cool about it, Elyse you're gonna love this. You record them in your own voice and the reason why that's powerful is because that's the voice you're talking shit to yourself with so you're literally able to override those automatic negative thoughts by choosing new thoughts. So how I use it is both to, if I don't like the thoughts that I'm thinking naturally, I already know what they're gonna be. I do something that's like the opposite. I record those in the app, and then I just allow it to play in the background kind of subliminally while I'm getting ready in the morning, maybe while I'm working out, while I'm doing my nighttime routine, walking the dogs, because the programming gets in there, even if I'm not consciously listening to it, and I also have a hit list what I usually call a shit list of like frequent flyers. The thoughts that I have literally been thinking all of my life that aren't true, were never true, and yet still somehow they keep showing up. But the difference is I'm onto them and they used to control me.
G: So good, I love the frequent flyers analogy because it makes it a little comical almost, which I think sometimes we have to do with this stuff.
H: I have to use a lot of humor in my life because things changing your life, changing your mind, changing your business, unblocking and unlocking your own potential make no mistake, it's work. So I use humor to lighten it up and to offset some of the heaviness of it, because even helping people do that work can feel heavy to me. So there's, my husband can't understand with the nature of the work that I do, why he hears so much laughter coming out of my home office. But to me that's a superpower when you can confront painful realities in your life or the life of someone you're working with, with affection and respect and lack of judgment and humor, I think it's a powerful combination.
G: So powerful, it's so and let me pause too cause I feel like I have 20 more questions for you. But I also, I realize that with how you've trained and condition your thoughts and holding back from the impulses, you may have questions that you wanna ask or, so let me pause and I'll just redirect over to you for if there's anything we've talked about so far that you wanna go deeper in or anything you wanna ask me otherwise I can keep going forever with questions for you but I'll pause and and send it over to you.
H: Thank you, yes actually, I know that there's a lot of noise in the coaching industry about six figure this, six figure that six figure the other thing, and you already acknowledge that actually when you have a family in most parts of the country, US Canada, six figures isn't exactly putting you on Easy Street. You also said that you were stuck at an income plateau for 10 years and that just became your norm. It set your expectations, it set what was possible for you. It set your lifestyle and your husband's career and then something changed. So you now teach other people how to do that what do you think were the most surprising and unexpected things that you learned in that coaching program that started to open your mind to the possibilities for you?
G: Absolutely, that's such a great question and for me the transformation I wanna say, people will hear, sometimes like, oh my gosh, you 10 X income in six weeks. Yes and I had been stuck for 10 years trying to figure out how to do it and not able to do it or didn't take the right steps to do it, and the steps were mental, so I always just wanna preface that with like, anytime you hear overnight success or overnight this or that, remember that there's much more to the story than there was but to your point, Diann, like my, what I know now, because part of the process for me was I've been looking outside for the solution.
I've been hiring mentors, coaches, trying every sales script, doing all the tactical things, all of the matter on matter approach and no matter what I did, I always felt like I couldn't break past that income threshold. I always felt anxiety about money. I always was afraid that it was gonna go, I was always afraid when it came time to pay my bills. I had just a lot of low grade anxiety going on with a lot of different areas financially, and the impetus for making that decision to change and I think when we're really ready to change, it usually requires some type of a burn the ships type of moment where it's like you're giving your subconscious such a strong command that no, this is happening. And it usually has to be backed up with some sort of big quote unquote risky action or thing where you're burning it to the ground like, this is happening or I'm gonna figure something else out right? Like, I'm going all in on this, but not having that plan B and so a mentor I was working with like right before then, right at the time, had had me do this exercise that I think was actually a Cathy Heller original and it was called Your Five Dream Lives.
And it was, for whatever reason, it just struck me because she had me look at, if you could have any five dream lives, what would they be? And you think back to what did I wanna do in childhood, what have I been saying you know, at some point I'll do, but not yet. And for whatever reason, it wasn't like the moon was lined up in any direction or anything was perfect timing in my life. It just struck me differently as I looked at these dream lives and there was kind of an element of sadness as I looked at them that was like, oh my gosh, you know, I had wanted to sing. That was always a vision of mine but I stopped singing publicly after I was sexually assaulted in college. I wanted to be a philanthropist, but I always had the quote unquote excuse of, well, I don't have enough money. I wanted to play on a much bigger level in my life than I was playing and I started looking at people who had actually executed on things similar to the dream lives that showed up for me, and I realized, number one many of them were younger than me or they had more challenging situations growing up, and it was kind of just this revelation of maybe it was being a new mom too.
I think that helped shift my perspective a bit, but this revelation of like, I'm the only one who can do this for myself. And so when I made that commitment and that decision to just do whatever it took to get out of my own way, and to finally confront the limiting beliefs about money and potential and who I was, what I knew in that moment was, you know, the, of course, asking the universe answers it's like the next day the coaching opportunity with this mentor showed up. When I said yes to it and I didn't tell her this, but it was, I knew that just literally making that investment in myself that I didn't even, I had to put the deposit on a credit card. I didn't know how I was gonna pay for the rest. I was petrified, again, I was the breadwinner for the family.
I thought, am I putting us in financial ruin by doing this but the pull was so strong, it was almost as if the person I had to become to even pay for that and to say, I am worthy of investing at this level, because I had never done something based on self-worth for I'd held back from investing in myself or held back from really what I really wanted because I realized I didn't feel worthy of it. And in that moment, that declaration, it was like, it almost didn't matter what she taught me or what we did together, the person I had to become to just confront the money demons was gonna be a radically different woman than who I had started off as. So I would say through a combination and the incredible mentor, through a combination of her mentoring, we did a lot of inner child work, which at first I was like, that does inner child have to do with making more money has a lot to do inner child.
I dug deep into a lot of Joe Dispenza work at that time as well and I love how you said meditation has made such a big impact for you, cuz It did for me too. A lot of work on the energy of money and so it was all the inner work. It was, that was what really catapulted my journey and realizing it was never about the exterior. It was about my self-image and how I wanted to be a million dollar business owner. I had wanted to have the life and the impact that came along with that, but my identity didn't match that. And so it was the process of reconditioning my identity to start to see myself as someone who not only could do it, but was worthy of it and I think that's a big thing. I've just start, your level of income will never exceed your level of self-worth, so I'll pause on that but those, it was really the inner work piece.
H: No, it totally makes sense and I think one of the things that I've been able to lean on a lot with my background as a psychotherapist, when people talk about transformation, I don't think enough of them talk about identity crisis, because the reality is as you level up in whatever way you choose to do so, leveling up in your income, leveling up in your impact, leveling up in the size of your team. You know what whatever your goal is, you literally are going to have an identity crisis which is part of addressing those upper limit issues because the person who thinks the thoughts that become those upper limits is the person that you are and have been up to this point.
So the notion that you could claim a new identity for yourself and not experience something potentially terrifying in the process, I think really isn’t helping people understand why it's so important to get the right kind of support. I know there are people who are able to do this on their own, some of them become extremely popular celebrities but to actually stop being the person that you've been and the person that you've always thought of yourself as, and allowing yourself to evolve into a new identity. If you think about that, it would be like, what if you had like a traumatic brain injury and you woke up in the hospital and the doctor said, could you tell us your name you know, you literally won't know who you are until you have some practice at that new level.
So, I think it's just a fascinating thing to consider, and that's why I'm sure you would agree why meditation has been so helpful. Because I mean, at least what I've understood and what I've learned in following the Buddhist path for almost 20 years is that identity is a construct anyway. And so you practice non-attachment to all things, including that identity, which I think helps a lot in the evolution of it. But something I really wanna ask you about, and I see it holds a lot of women back who maybe have allowed themself to think, I want that, I want that million dollar business. I want that global impact. I wanna retire my husband. I wanna send my kids to private school. I want to be generous in my giving, whatever the driver is. I think a lot of women hold themselves back because of fear of envy and what I call ambition shaming. I would love to hear your thoughts about that.
G: Woo, yeah.
H: Juicy, right?
G: It is now I wanna hear your take on it too.
H: No, no, no, no. You go, you go, you go.
G: I'll go first and then I do wanna hear your thoughts on that. Yeah you know, it's so funny I was speaking with some members of my mastermind the other day, and we just got back from this retreat in Sedona, and they sharing something that I could relate to as well, where people were asking them like, how was it? And it was a couple of women who said this, and they're like, I wanted to say like it was amazing and it was transformational andI'm thinking here about myself. And they said, but I found myself holding back from saying how it really was, I'd be like, oh, it was, it was really good. Because they didn't want to, whether it's outshine, whether it's make someone else uncomfortable or seem full of themselves, and I've absolutely had that come up in my life as well. You know, the fear of envy piece and the ambition shaming, I think at this point.
I've curated my circle enough to where it's not something that comes up a lot in my own life, but I do, I have seen where I will absolutely hold back from sharing whether it's a big win or whether it's a certain yeah, a win, a success because there's this like, oh, who is she gonna think she is type of vibe with it. So I don't know if I have the perfect answer for that. I know in my own life it's been find the people like I know my husband, my mentor, like my dear girlfriends, like I'll share with I think knowing that whatever judgment someone puts on you is really a judgment they have about themselves, and we can know that consciously it doesn't mean that we don't still fear putting out there our successes are going for what we really want. But yeah, to me I've always, I've learned to be very careful about who I share with and what I share. But I'm curious to know your thoughts now cause I feel like you probably talk about this more than I do and I'm, I'm very intrigued.
H: Well, I think because a lot of people I work with deal with rejection sensitivity in order to be able to stand out, I think like, show up, stand up, speak out. You gotta be able to take up some space, own who you are, except who you're not, and be unapologetic about all of it and of course that takes a lot of inner work. But if part of what you're showing up for is the fact that I am incredibly grateful for the life that I have. I am incredibly grateful for all of the lessons that I've learned, even the really painful ones, because they contributed to me becoming the person I am. I wouldn't be this person had it not been for all of that.
But I am keenly aware that as an intelligent, educated, successful woman who happens to be also tall and well spoken, I have been told all of my life Elyse, all of my life, starting from maybe early high school, that I'm intimidating. That caused me along with other feedback that I internalized to wanna shrink myself, to wanna hold back, to take up less space. I mean, everything from the I'm not gonna wear heels anymore to, I'm not gonna wear bright colors to, I'm not gonna raise my hand. I'm gonna give other people a chance well, I eventually couldn't hold back. I eventually felt like I can't sit here and listen to all these people saying things that aren't adding to the conversation or they don't really know what they're talking about.
I have to break out of this box and I think something that's helped me a lot personally is recognizing if you are keeping yourself small, if you're holding yourself back, if you're settling for less, if you're tolerating too much, if you are diminishing yourself in any way because you fear other people's judgment, I got news for you, sister, they're already judging you, they're judging you anyway. It may not be for what you're trying to avoid, but they're already judging you because the people that are preoccupied with judging you are dissatisfied with themself. It's a great distraction, so you can never satisfy them enough to make judgment off the table, so you might as well be you and equip yourself with the skills to care a whole lot less about them because they were never going to be your people anyway. And that takes some learning, especially because, sadly sadly some of those people may be friends and family members. I think one of the biggest level ups in my life, to be honest with you, is letting go of people I've outgrown.
G: Yes, one of the hardest.
H: Yeah, it is hard because you realize that your circle becomes much, much smaller, much deeper, much richer and I'm okay with that because what I was willing to sacrifice to have more people who weren't really there for me who I didn't feel safe being all of me with. I had a very close friend for like 25 years, and I kept feeling this growing discomfort because I noticed when I was struggling, when I was hurting, when I'd had a failure, she was right there. But when things were going better and better and better, I got nothing but shade or even she would turn on herself and criticize herself by comparing unfavorably to me.
And I finally said, this is a conversation I should have initiated a long time ago, we can't be friends anymore, and I don't want you to guess why I'm gonna tell you exactly why. And that was really, really hard because I'm not unkind but I didn't wanna just ghost or fade or, you know, dial down on, you know, the dimmer switch and just not be as available. I wanted to say your envy has killed our friendship so this is where it stops for me. That isn't something everybody needs to do, but you'd be the first one to agree that having a curated circle is immensely important to maintaining your new identity as an expanded, evolved version of yourself, wouldn't you say?
G: So true and I think one thing two things I would actually take from what you just said and kind of how I think about it is one is a lot of times we say, well, they're gonna judge, well who are they even because oftentimes, sometimes it is someone that we know and they're in the inner circle, whether it's family or friends, and you can pinpoint them. But oftentimes it'll also be like, who random people on social media, people you don't even know, I mean, we kind of group people together in our minds. So just getting really clear on who are these people that I think are judging me and do they matter or not. But the second piece that I would add in there too, and it's really just something I thought about while you were talking is perhaps a good litmus test for a relationship of any sort is, am I expanding like is this a container that I feel that I can keep expanding into. Or am I feeling like I have to shrink and looking at that as a litmus test for the quality of any sort of relationship in your life. And if it's one you can expand into, beautiful and if it's one where you feel like you have to shrink and play small and downplay and minimize it's time for some adjustments.
H: That's excellent criteria.
G: Yeah, well and kudos to you for having that conversation because most people probably that I'm sure that was uncomfortable for you to do. But the directness, I think clarity is kind and the directness there is powerful too so we could keep talking forever.
H: But we're not going to, because we promised each other, we would keep this cause wasn't one of the goals here is that we were gonna be efficient and do more with less.
G: I think we did it though. I think this was a really good conversation.
G: No, this is beautiful. Why don't we do this do we wanna share where people can connect with us to learn more and to engage further I'll have you go first, Diann.
H: Okay, if you like the sound of my voice and what I have to say with it, and you are not already listening to the Driven Woman Entrepreneur podcast this is your personal invitation to do so. You can find my website at DiannWingertCoaching, and I'm on most of the socials, but actively growing my connections on LinkedIn.
G: Amazing. Amazing, which is maybe where I reached, I'm like, did I reach out to you on LinkedIn or Instagram cause those are kind of the places I hang out.
H: I think it was Insta.
G: True Instagram. Okay, cool, cool, beautiful and I would say the same thing so my podcast is She Sells Radio and people usually come in looking for sales tips and advice, and then they find out it's a lot of deeper work and conversations like this, which are so much fun today, elysearcher.com is my website and I am primarily on LinkedIn and Instagram, but I'm everywhere at Elyse Archer. So this was so fun, thank you.
H: We're always selling, aren't we?
H: I think everything is sales, I really do. And I'm always so bummed when I hear how many women say they hate it. I'm like, have you ever convinced a kid to eat broccoli? Ba bam, you're in sales.
G: The hardest sales job of all time, I'm learning.
H: No lie. No lie.
G: The hardest of all time.
H: Well, thank you for suggesting this, for making it easy and fun, and I will absolutely do it.
G: Same here, thank you so much.