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Unraveling the Knots: A Coaches Guide to Helping Leaders
Episode 187th June 2023 • The Fire Inside Her; Authenticity, Self Care, and Wisdom for Life Transitions • Diane Schroeder
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It sounds so simple, and yet one of the hardest things we can do in life is accept ourselves as we are, and navigate beyond labels and societal pressures to pursue our biggest dreams. Today's guest endured some challenging experiences, from being bullied to navigating mental health challenges and diagnoses, before finding her way to coaching and to a path that allows her to enlighten and support others. She gained a lot of wisdom from this journey and offers salient ways that you can shift your perspective to allow exponential growth into your life as well. Join us in this conversation with Amanda Hess and get a glimpse of the roadmap that leads from recognizing and overcoming limitations, to finding excitement and motivation in pursuing big dreams.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about self-discovery, coaching, and self-care.

Amanda Hess is an accomplished Certified Life & Success Coach, and the visionary Founder and CEO of Amanda Hess Coaching. With a passion for helping driven women who have been diagnosed or identify with having a Psychological Illness or Disorder, Amanda empowers them to break free from the stigma and create a life they truly desire - a "hell yes" life.

How to connect with Amanda

Website and Podcast - amandahess.ca

Instagram

@theneurodivergentceo

Facebook

www.facebook.com/amandahesscoaching

How to connect with Diane

www.thefireinsideher.com 

Diane@Thefireinsideher.com 

Instagram

@TheRealFireInHer 

LinkedIn

www.linkedin.com/in/dianeschroeder5/

Are you excited to get copy of the Self Care Audio download that Diane mentioned?

You can get that HERE –TheFireInsideHer.com/audio


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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.

Diane Schroeder [:

When I was about 8 years old, I started to play Little League baseball. And I was not the only girl on the team, but there weren't many of us. I didn't have the option to play softball, and I loved playing baseball. My brothers and I would play catch all the time, and it was just a really great experience. The first coach that I ever had was wonderful. His name was Roger Gudenkopf. And I did not know that being a girl was unique. He treated us all as equals. And to be quite honest, the girls played the infield, and we were a pretty good baseball team. As I grew up and continued my journey in sports, another really impactful coach that I had was in middle school, 2 coaches. And they really taught me how to play basketball. And I loved it. I developed this passion and this fierceness for basketball. It was a great outlet for me to get rid of a lot of my anger, to be quite honest. I was pretty mean when I played. And when I got to high school, I had the most wonderful basketball coach, and he taught discipline like a Jedi mind trick. Every day before practice, we had to go to his room to get the plan for practice. Essentially he was giving us an agenda, and it was great. And I just look back on the great coaching experiences I've had in my life and how they really changed and guided me and influenced how I coach and mentor people. Now, aside from sports, I also had mentors and coaches in my professional career and just friends along the way. I also had some coaches that were not great and were not healthy. 1 of them in particular was about 5 or 6 years ago. I was referred online to a coach who a friend referred me to. And it was a horrible experience. I paid her quite a bit of money. And she didn't really coach. She pretty much shamed and just made me feel bad and really made the whole group of us feel bad. I talk about that experience briefly in my first episode, season 1, episode 1, with my friend Lisa, which is how we met through that group. There is definitely value in finding the right fit to work with someone to help bring out the best in you, whether it be for your business, for marriage, for personal development, for your sex life, finding the right fit is important. I met this week's guest during an online class that we both participated in a couple months ago. And I was fortunate enough to be on her podcast last month and invited her to be on mine because we have this really great synergy and she's just a wonderful human and very genuine and very authentic and I just think that you as a Listener and part of this incredible fire inside her community could really appreciate the lens as to which Amanda coaches. Amanda Hess is an accomplished certified life and success coach and the visionary founder and CEO of Amanda Hess Coaching. With a passion for helping driven women who have been diagnosed or identify with having a psychological illness or disorder, Amanda empowers them to break free from the stigma and create a life they truly desire. A hell yes life. A hell yes life. I really enjoyed our conversation. And I think the biggest takeaway for me, and when I think back to all of my coaching experiences, being coached or coaching, mentoring, and leading others, is that a good coach takes your strengths. They see in you what you might not be able to see, and they help you grow those strengths, and they help you become a better version of yourself. They don't try to change you and make you someone that you are not. Yes, they can give you tools and tips and tricks and try to, you know, help you create better habits in your life if that's what you need. But at the end of the day, You are who you are. And I just think that labeling yourself and trying to be someone you're not because you see it on social media, or you read an article, or a coach tells you that you have to be X, Y, and Z in order to be successful. Yes, there are certain things successful people do. Absolutely. And those are the habits and the consistency and committing to that. What that doesn't do is change who you are fundamentally.

Diane Schroeder [:

Hi, Amanda.

Amanda Hess [:

Hello.

Diane Schroeder [:

How are you?

Amanda Hess [:

I'm so great. How are you?

Diane Schroeder [:

I'm wonderful. I'm so excited to chat with you once again. I had the privilege of being on your podcast a few weeks ago and now we get to talk again and my community gets to hear you and your message.

Amanda Hess [:

You know, I got a lot of great feedback about having you on my podcast and I actually just sent the link to 1 of my good friends and we were just talking about self-care and I was using your whole like keeping the cheese on the cracker analogy. And she loved it.

Diane Schroeder [:

It's funny because when I started using that, I was like, it was mostly to mansplain self-care. But as I've said it more and more, it's like everyone like, oh no, I can relate to that. So feel free to use it to talk about self-care because the message needs to get out.

Amanda Hess [:

Yes, well, I always give you credit because it came from you and it's brilliant.

Diane Schroeder [:

Well, thank you. So I would love to hear a little bit about you and your story and kind of what you do and how it's different than what a lot of people may think when they think of hiring a coach, because you're pretty specialized and I absolutely love it, especially because I'm such a big proponent of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. And that's such a wide net that people just don't always think about. They only think about women and underrepresented groups, but not necessarily neurologically diverse.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, oh my gosh. I'm just gonna listen to that later and write it all down because you just so eloquently talked about that. Yeah, you know my story. I think it's interesting, right? I think that I'm 47 years old and life happens and It starts to happen for some of us when we're quite young, and there's traumatic things that go on. There's trauma that we experience that really deeply impacts us as adults. And we spend, or at least I'll speak about my own personal journey, because I don't want to speak for everyone. But I think for me, when you're a child, you really are just sort of living from a standpoint of every day is just a new day. You don't have a lot of baggage that you carry with you throughout your life, But you start picking baggage up. So you start picking up these bags as you go through childhood and then teenagehood and then adulthood. And what I really found was that I was kind of a very bossy, we'll call it that, girl growing up. And I had very strong opinions and ideas. And that's not very universally accepted by the world. So it was a challenge for me in school. I was always a really good student. I definitely lived for my parents approval and my teachers approval. And I got really good at that. And so I think that a lot of people can probably relate that did have that experience because it's a very easy way to be validated. And the problem being that when you get validated in that way, you're probably not getting validated by your peers because you're not doing what your peers would like you to be doing. And it was just really interesting. It was a really tough thing for me growing up. I was really severely bullied in school, both physically and emotionally, all through high school. And it was rough. I'm not going to lie. It was really, really bad. I had some very dark days. And some days it was really hard to show up for school because of the abuse, honestly, that I was going to take. Now looking back, I think it's so interesting as a parent looking at that, but kids don't also necessarily tell you what's going on and you don't really necessarily know what's really going on in the classroom. But I took that experience and when I went to university I really decided to reinvent myself. I think that was the first time I'd ever reinvented myself and decided that I was gonna reinvent myself into the most likable person around. So I was the quintessential party girl. I would party 7 days a week sometimes. I definitely went from being a teacher and a parent pleaser to a peer pleaser. So there was a big shift. And so I partied a lot. I think throughout my life I got really good at being a chameleon. And it bites you in the end when you become an adult and you really do start trying to create the life you want to create for yourself. And in many ways, I was able to do that. But what I noticed was that the emotional swings that I was having were severe and difficult to control. And ultimately, it was resulting in things in my life that I didn't want, like huge fights with my husband that were dramatic and out of control, really just feeling like I was losing it on my kids and not being able to pull myself back, almost feeling like it was a movie, watching myself behave the way I was behaving. And I got diagnosed with postpartum depression that moved into being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I really just identified as being basically a, I don't know if I'm allowed to swear on your podcast.

Diane Schroeder [:

Yes, you absolutely are.

Amanda Hess [:

Basically a fuck up. I identified with being a fuck up. And that was hard and really rough. And I suffered for years. And I went through therapy and I did group therapy and I did different medications over time. And it wasn't really until I found coaching. This is such a long story. I'm so sorry. It wasn't until I found coaching and I actually hired a marriage coach because I identified my marriage was all messed up because I was a fuck up. And so the marriage coach was the first person that ever validated me and validated my feelings and said, you know, this makes sense. This comes from somewhere. Also, like, you're not that abnormal. That's not that different from what other people experience. And that was the first time I ever felt truly, I think, loved in a relationship with somebody that was trying to emotionally help me. That wasn't, you know, my family, right?

Diane Schroeder [:

Thank you for sharing all of that. That's a lot. And I identify with so many parts of your story. I often say that I spent most of my life trying to be seen. You know, and I had some trauma happen at a really young age. And it's not that my parents didn't believe me. I almost drowned.

Diane Schroeder [:

It was terrifying to me, but I was okay. So they didn't witness it. They only saw that I was fine afterwards. So I think, and I can relate to it as a parent now, it just wasn't that big of a deal. But I remember that very moment, I was like, they don't see me. So I wanted to please them. I was a parent pleaser, teacher pleaser, and simultaneously kind of became a peer pleaser too because I was told I was bossy, I was too much, I was too demanding, all the things. So a chameleon is another word that you said that really struck true. Same thing, that I felt like Julia Roberts from The Runaway Bride, you know, whatever someone was doing, I was that person. You like your eggs over easy. So do I. That sounds great just because I had no sense of self and sense of who I really was. So thank you for sharing that. And exactly what you said, you're not alone because I hear your story. I'm like, yeah, yep, yep, check, check. Similar but different.

Amanda Hess [:

It's so funny, right? When you realize, I do think, I do believe honestly that a lot, a big part of mental health, it's almost like we're so ashamed or so worried that if somebody heard how we really were, we would be, you know, I don't know, what's the word, smited. You know what I mean? So we keep it all tucked inside, and then maybe we only tell it when we're in therapy. And it starts to become this kind of dark space where we live. And It's so tough when you're in that space because the more you think that there's something like inherently wrong with you, the more that that eats at you like acid.

Diane Schroeder [:

Right, well, and you wanna try to fix it, but if you try to fix it, I can only imagine that it's like, well, no, this doesn't work. I'm still, you know, it's hard to stop playing that tape in your head.

Amanda Hess [:

Well, and we try to do the wrong thing. Cause what we try to do is we try to basically change the symptom. So the symptom is you losing it on your kids. The symptom is you having those swings where you're either like so reactive that it's out of control or so shut down that you can't get out of bed. Those are symptoms. So where people get stuck, like I even was just coaching a client today And she was telling me that, Oh, I just need to like, maybe I just make it so that I walk my dog and then I have to because I have to walk my dog. And I was like, I think you should go for a walk without your dog. Because I don't want you to feel backed into a corner. This has nothing to do with your dog or whether or not you take the dog for a walk. Right? This has to do like this is a symptom of how you think about you.

Diane Schroeder [:

So after the therapist kind of validated you, I'm sure that was like a light bulb moment and really probably changed the trajectory of your life and kind of where you wanted to go from there, did it?

Amanda Hess [:

Well, it was just my coach, actually, which is so interesting. But it did change the complete trajectory of my life. I mean, her name is Maggie Reyes. If you want to look her up, she's an amazing marriage coach. I mean, I can't say enough good things about how she coaches, her style of coaching. But yeah, because I was able to start approving of myself, I started to be able to see that more was possible for me. And I could see that I wanted to help other women that had the same experience. And so I decided to enroll in coach training at the time I was working as a, you can call it an image consultant or as a fashion stylist. I was working with women in their closets, taking them shopping. And I'd always really noticed that the relationship that women have with their bodies and their money was something that needed to be addressed. And so that's where I sort of wanted to go with it. And that's why I wanted to get my coaching designation. But then what I realized is in that coach training, that was the most beautiful experience. Because I'm watching other people get coached. That's how it worked in this particular school. So I went to the life coach school. Back then, when you took coach training, there were modules that you took. And then once a week, you would get on a group call on Zoom, and you would coach each other. And then you would get feedback from the instructor about your coaching. And what I saw was that, yes, this is just actually called being human. And that's, I think, the biggest gift that I was ever given was the reality that you're just human. We're all just human. We're all just doing our best. And you know, you said to me before we pressed record that you had a previous guest that had said, nobody gets up at the beginning of the day thinking, you know, I'm going to ruin everybody's day or whatever they're going to do. Right. I do believe that for the most part, Most people are trying to do good in the world and we're also struggling. Like there are real struggles that we have to get through and they're hard.

Diane Schroeder [:

Absolutely. Well, and I think you know we learn from life as you know you mentioned as a kid every day is a new day. We're picking up all these rocks and putting them in our bag that we don't realize are gonna weigh us down when we grow up. So the tools that we use to survive when we're younger, then we kind of just hang on to them because they're the old standbys, right? Like it always worked up until now, but those same tools don't work to help you thrive always. Sometimes they do. And that's the humanness of it and realizing that we're all experiencing life differently, but we're all experiencing life and that it's hard for different people at different points.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah. And you're not a robot. So don't expect yourself to be, you know, I find that later in life, like I love coaching high achieving women leaders. Right. And I think you probably do as well, because their drive is truly impressive. But when that drive doesn't allow you to rest, when that drive doesn't give you the opportunity to reflect or just to take really good, solid care of yourself, what happens is you start developing symptoms.

Diane Schroeder [:

Yep. That's really profound because your body's like, all right, not listening. So we're gonna, you know, it's that universe gives you a whisper and then it might like scream a little louder. And then finally it shouts until you listen and that can manifest through symptoms in your body or other things. It's not that you can't fix it, but you've been ignoring it for so long. And I also think not only that, you're ignoring your authentic self because you're trying to hide parts of yourself that you feel are shameful or not normal or because we don't talk about mental health, you know, anymore or as much as we should. And I think it's getting better in a post-COVID world, but you're hiding your authentic self. You know, you're dimming your flame. You're not being the light that you should be, even if you're industrious and high achieving.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, 100%. It is a puzzle. Like, I know that you probably find this too, when when leaders come to you, because there's so many things going on. And by the time you really realize, actually, I need help. I am no longer functioning. This is no longer working for me. I like to use the analogy of a necklace. So I used to be the manager of a jewelry store, and there would inevitably be knots in the chains, like no matter what you did. And there are these little teeny weeny white gold fine chains, right? And we don't want to send them back as a store because we have to pay for those. And we're trying to manage cost, right? So you would just take 2 dress pins and you would just slowly pick away. Sometimes it would take 3 days to get that knot out and other people would go in and work at it. And then all of a sudden it would just undo and then you could pull it apart. And I think that for most of us, when we've reached a state where we realize that the symptoms are out of control, that's what it looks like.

Diane Schroeder [:

Oh, that's a beautiful analogy because all I can think of is those times in my life where I've tried to undo a necklace. And it comes as this juice is worth the squeeze or not. Do I just throw the necklace out, or do I continue? And then it becomes almost a challenge, right, to undo it. And then the satisfaction that it's done. But that's a great analogy. So how do you specifically, what's your coaching style? How do you work with women to help them, you know, undo the knots?

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, it's a good question. I think there's a couple of things that need to happen. Currently I work mainly one-to-one with my clients. So we do a one-on-one coaching relationship where we get on a call on Zoom every week. What I like about that is that it allows me to really be present with what's going on for you. But when I think about my process, there is 1. And the first thing is, we have to identify where you're at, right? We need to take stock. We need to look and say, What's happening? And what is working and what isn't working? And you know, 1 thing that I walk my clients through whenever we're on a strategy session, if I'm somebody's talking about wanting to work with me, is we'll do what we call a life wheel. And so on a life wheel, it's like, how do you rate your life on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest, and then they'll give it a number, right? And then the question is, why do you rate it that number? And what do you think it would take to make it a 10? And what that does is it allows you and me to see where your values are at, where you're maybe having some thought errors, things that you're thinking are true that aren't true, right, where you're limiting yourself, where the pain is coming from. And we do that for all aspects of your life. So we do it for relationships, we do it for career, we do it for money, We do it for personal fulfillment, romance, right? So that we get a big picture of what's happening, because generally what happens is there's a central theme. 1 thing that's sticking you in more than 1 area of your life. And then once we know that, then what we can do is, is we can start looking at the beliefs you have, maybe identifying some that don't serve you. We can see where your body is entering like a trauma or a stress response and how that's affecting you. And we can start working with allowing emotion, so important, a skill that none of us are taught ever. And we can work at building your belief in something else being possible. And I think that that's the starting point that everyone needs to start at. And for some people that takes a day and for some people it takes a year because it's just like that necklace. So that's where we start. And then once we start building that up, then we can start building your confidence and your ability to take care of yourself when you need care, to identify when that's coming up for you, to see when you're entering a trauma or a stress response and be aware enough to be like, oh shit, this is happening for me, I need a break. And then also like a lot of the work that you do, right? Building out self-care, building out, you know, self-care isn't just what you do. And I know you know that. Well, care is how you think about yourself. And if you start thinking that you're a worthy human being just because you're here, then you can start really implementing self-care practices that really work for you and that aren't punishment-based. Like, the 1 thing I would say that I see the most, and it's honestly heartbreaking, especially for high-achieving women or high-achieving women that have gone through burnout, is they are so adept at beating the shit out of themselves.

Diane Schroeder [:

Oh yeah, yes I can raise my hand at that. I have a gold medal in that, which is probably what drew me to wanting to help people with a self-care strategy to avoid that. And it's always constant work. So thank you for sharing all that. It is because, man, like there is no 1 that could criticize me more than I could criticize myself.

Amanda Hess [:

It's true. I mean, we are, I always think too, the people that are hardest on the people around them are so hard on themselves. That's almost always true. You know, when I see somebody and they're struggling in their marriage, like I struggled in my marriage, where I was pissed off that my husband wasn't doing the things that I thought needed to be done the way I wanted them done. You know, he wasn't buying me the flowers that I wanted, if buying me flowers at all was even a thing. And I was so good at picking him apart. But the truth is, I did that because I did that to myself too. And when you start seeing that, you can't unsee it.

Diane Schroeder [:

That's very vulnerable to share. And thank you because I hear saying that I'm like, oh, yeah, like, I think about my partner. Yes, but also my son when it comes to parenting, like if I am triggered by something that he does, or I have this like super emotional reaction and I just get angry and frustrated at him, it's usually because I'm just not in a good place myself.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, that's always true, right? I mean, parenting is the wild, wild west, man. I don't know, it's hard. And your kids push your buttons in ways that other people cannot. And but yes, you know, whenever I'm unregulated emotionally around my kids, I know that that's not their problem. That's my problem. But I also don't beat the shit out of myself either, because that doesn't work either.

Diane Schroeder [:

Right. Well, learning that, right, learning that beating yourself up does not serve anyone, especially not you. And that's a lesson I had to figure out on myself too. I mean, it takes time and patience and sometimes I fall into it and I, you know, because again, we're human. So at least now I can see it coming when I'm starting to feel like my whole body feels different and I'm just kind of cranky and you know I shut down. I shut down, the walls go up and I go into my hole. How do women once they unsee it, is it like after that next step you know so if it takes someone a year to realize you know that they're worthy and that they have value. What happens after that? I'm assuming it's almost like this beautiful growth, like learning how to walk for the first time, that you're getting your new sea legs underneath you. How does that look?

Amanda Hess [:

That's such a great way of looking at it. Yes, it's exactly like that. I mean, it's so fun. I've just watched my clients over and over go through this same process, where when they finally turn that corner of seeing their self-worth and they can see where they have agency over themselves and agency over their own life, then you get to start building possibility. Then you get to start looking at your life and going, what do I want though? And then we can get to work on creating that because you can start then seeing yourself as this bigger version of you. That's always been there. Like she's always been in there, but we've just through, you know, honestly, we've just oppressed it, or we've depressed it, or whatever the word is. Like society has just messed with us. Like, living in a patriarchal construct messes with us as women because we start thinking that how we are is a problem and it isn't. I promise, if you think you're ADHD, who cares? Like, listen, I care. I love you. But like, who cares? I mean, if you have BPD, if you have OCD, if you're anxious, if you have ADHD, it doesn't matter. What does matter is If you decide that who and how you are is enough already, and then you're like, it could be fun though, right, to go and do this other thing. Like I'm fine the way I am. Fine. Totally fine. But I could go out in the world and I could do this big thing that I want to do. That lights a fire that for many of us doesn't exist.

Diane Schroeder [:

I think it exists. It just is like the small little flicker, like a spark, you know, that just is kind of dull and doesn't really shine a bright light for all of the reasons you just said, it is very hard living in a patriarchal society that tells us through messaging from the time we are small that we should play small, that we're not enough, that we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, check all these boxes to be successful. And then you throw in like social media and you know, the world today of like these ridiculous standards of the way people, you know, fake life. It just buries onto it that to not, you know, have that true north of, but you can do whatever you want. You're not stuck in the circumstances you think you are. And I just commend you for coaching women out of that because everyone should be, we should all have that opportunity. And it breaks my heart that some people don't think that they deserve it.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, lots of women don't think they deserve it, and it is. It's heartbreaking to me, you know, especially when I coach somebody that is like a high-level executive that honestly is so smart and so giving, and yet she thinks that she's stuck there. She thinks that's all there is. I think it's such a fun adventure to think about what if it isn't though. What if way more is possible? And I promise you, it really is. And this isn't some magical thing, although maybe it is. I do love the idea of that. But even if you are just a pure realist and you just are, you know, only the things I see are real, that's fine too. See this, people that think it's possible go out and create it and people that think it's not don't. And that's just the truth.

Diane Schroeder [:

Agreed. That is, amen. As you're saying this, I'm thinking about my almost 24 years in the fire service. And, you know, I got hired young, I didn't think I had a lot of options, because I was 17. When I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to get in the fire service because I thought it would impress my dad, if I'm being completely honest. I wanted him to be proud of me, that validation, right? People pleaser. And then I fell into it and I loved the work. I loved the fire service.

Diane Schroeder [:

And there were ups and downs and you know, all the things. I just never imagined I could do something else until about 6 years ago and I was like, man, maybe I don't want to be in the fire service, but what does that look like? You know, I make good money, I have a good pension, you know, is it my identity is, you know, when people ask what I do, and I say, I'm a firefighter, that's a pretty cool response. Oh, wow, really? And then when I, you know, that fear of what does it look like on the other side, and through work and meeting incredible women like yourself and just, you know, creating this amazing community, I felt I could take the leap. And I have no idea what it's going to be like. And yet, 10 days now or 9 days now that I've left, I already feel lighter and different and excited by the possibility because I believe it can happen. And so it's just what you're saying is true and I'm proof of that, I guess. So anyone listening that thinking, no, that's not real, They're making up stories about people. No, it's absolutely true. You can. And in order to create that space, you have to create it. So you have to let go of things. You can't take all the rocks with you.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah. Isn't that the truth? I think we are afraid of letting go of what we know. And I think it's okay and healthy to be afraid of that. I think it's a healthy fear. It's just whether or not you want to let that be the reason why you didn't go and do the thing you actually wanted to do. Do you want that? It's okay if you do. There's no wrong answer. Nobody's going to give you the right way to live your life. When you do put those rocks down and then you have that empty bag, it is a little scary. You do want to tap into courage to be able to create that. And that's why I think coaching is such a gift for anybody. I've always joked that I'll always have a coach, and I literally always do. I mean, I have some coaching in some capacity all the time. And it is nice to have somebody to link arms with that's going, yeah, you can do this. You're the best. I think you're amazing. Of course you can do that. Having that voice in your ear when you feel afraid is everything.

Diane Schroeder [:

It's your hype man. You know, that's 1 of the guys at work who's like, who's going to be my hype man now that I'm leaving? I'm like, you'll have to find another hype man. But you know, we do need that. And that falls into the community piece of it. You know, you should, I believe wholeheartedly that who you spend your time with and who you have in your circle is so important to whether you thrive in life. What do you think about that?

Amanda Hess [:

hen I moved, like we moved in:

Diane Schroeder [:

I agree. I agree. Well, and that's beautiful and it goes back to courage. And I also think that doing it in our forties, There's something really special about that because we're at the sweet spot in life where it is midlife. It is, you know, I always describe it as I'm over the hump. I know I'm on the downhill slide of this thing called life And I don't want to waste any more unnecessary moments worrying about all the shit I worried about going up the mountain. And I want to live life to the fullest because it's not infinite. And I think, you know, doing that, it's scary, and not everyone's going to come along with you. And that's okay. That's not their journey. I wish them well, and I don't completely cut them out of my life. It's just different. Because I want to be around that energy and that synergy that continues to lift each other up. I think that's really important.

Amanda Hess [:

I totally agree with you. It's very easy, the way our brains work, we do want to look behind us. We think that that's really important for where we're going. And it really isn't. Even where you're at right now isn't super important when it comes to where you want to go. It is like you say, it's that leap of faith. It's taking that jump. It can be really scary. Man, is it worth it though? And I agree with you too in that, you know, being in my 40s, I think that if you're lucky, you will have coaching or therapy or somebody come into your life that will show you that you should never convince anybody of your worth ever.

Diane Schroeder [:

Agree. That gives me goosebumps because your value, it's not dependent on someone else's value. And everyone adds value. That's why it's called value. It's not a negative number. It doesn't take away. It adds too. And I do wish could hear that message starting from the time we're little, you know, how valuable we are, how much we matter. And you can matter just as much as your siblings or your friends, everyone does matter. And I just think on a different level that also really talks about belonging in workplaces and just belonging in community and you know, that inclusiveness that you know, everyone offers value, the diversity of I mentioned earlier, the neurodiversity that that's a beautiful gift because everyone looks at the world through a different lens. And if you only look through 1 lens, you're missing out on the whole view. It's a very limited mindset and view. Totally kind of random question, but I think it ties into this for authenticity. I'm curious if you could talk a little bit more about when you worked with women and their closets about their body image and money. And part of it is selfish, because I know those are 2 things that I have really struggled with, especially my body image, especially as I've gotten older, because it's just different now. How does that impact women? Like everything's slowed down.

Amanda Hess [:

It's just different now. If you have not, like, I don't know how old you are, Diane. I think we are actually maybe the same age.

Diane Schroeder [:

Yeah, I'm 46. So yeah, we're about the same age.

Amanda Hess [:

I mean, like I've started into perimenopause and it's just, hmm, it's an adventure. What I will say is that, yes, I literally never worked with a single person that didn't have a hang up about their body. Every single woman did. And I think it's really important to realize that we have been socialized into that. That is not, you weren't born with that. That is society seeping into your body and fucking with you. And I really look at it like that. So back then, when I would dress people, They would tell me that things they wouldn't wear because their arms were too big, because their legs were too whatever, that their butt was too flat, that their boobs weren't big enough, that their boobs were too big, that their boobs went out sideways. I mean, like even just we could do an entire podcast about the relationship that you have with your boobs. Like, seriously. Because we have all the thoughts. And I mean, like, I just think it's really fascinating that aspect of it. And I'll touch on it more, but the other part is the money. And I am like, we are socialized to feel guilty for spending money on ourselves. And it's insane. It makes no sense. Money is so neutral. Money is just an exchange for value. And I do see this a lot where women will not spend the money to have beautiful things because they don't value it. And the way that I know that is because they'll take their family on vacation to Disneyland, but they won't redo their wardrobe. They will spend money on their kids' braces, but they won't buy themselves the really beautiful underwear that makes them feel amazing, that looks amazing on them. They're not prioritized. Well, nobody sees it. How many women do you know that wear shitty underwear? Because nobody sees it. You see it though, right? You put that on your body and a lot of women don't even see themselves in the mirror. What I call it is drive-bys. You just kind of give a glance and you're like, yeah, I don't have any toothpaste on anything. There's no deodorant stains. Out I go. And I really think that there is so much value in connecting how you really want to think about your body. Your body is a part of you. We can't just dissociate from ourselves in that way. We can. It just will really mess up your life. When you start connecting those things, I think that the most courageous thing you will ever do in your entire life is decide, I look beautiful right now exactly how I look. And that is courage. That takes courage and society will disagree with you and it's rammed down our throat. But I will tell you, and I like to kind of get mad. So like I find what's been working for me lately, because this is always a conversation, not a destination, right? I get mad at the patriarchy. I'm like, screw you for saying that I have to be a size 6 to be or a size 4 or size 2, like that if I'm a woman and I'm this height and this weight that that's like unattractive or blah, blah, blah. I'm like, who says? Not me. Anyways, that was my rant.

Diane Schroeder [:

No, I appreciate that. And yes, I could talk about boobs forever, a whole podcast episode, because as someone that was very blessed in the boob department for a long time, I actually had a reduction surgery because it was so horrific growing up in middle school, the grabbing and inappropriate touching and comments and stereotypes that went along with how my body was and really what that has done to me to this day. I still struggle with like, oh great, just when I get comfortable, perimenopause hits and I now have a belly again.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, I've just decided I'm gonna love my belly because I'm like, what if my belly was hot, though? What if cellulite was hot? Like, actually really attractive? Like, you can play with your brain. Like, I just always invite women. I'm like, play with it. Just think about that knot in the necklace and like those 2 pins. We're just playing with it. What might shift a little bit for me and move me 5% more in the direction of loving how I look. And I will tell you, I sometimes am just like, fuck you patriarchy. Fuck you.

Diane Schroeder [:

I love it. And it's so impactful. And I can only assume that that also leads to loving yourself more. If, you know, obviously when you love how you look, you have that confidence. You realize, you know what, I am going to splurge. I could talk a whole episode about underwear and the importance of wearing the appropriate underwear to make you feel good about yourself, because it does matter. Even if no 1 sees it, who cares? You are worth more than crappy, ripped underwear.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, and there's such beautiful underwear out there now, like Skims is beautiful and like Knicks is an amazing line where I like, you know, wear the underwear that feels good to you, but like spend money on yourself.

Diane Schroeder [:

Well, you're investing in you. And that's important. And just like you would invest in, you know, I think about how much I've invested in my son's baseball for 3 months. Like, yeah, I can buy myself something, you know. Again, it goes to this finite mindset. I think that we, you know, we put everyone else first because the patriarchy has told us that we have to do that and self-care is being selfish. It's just really you're just robbing yourself of being authentic and you're robbing yourself of joy and the joy that this life brings instead of comparing to everyone else just being you. And even when I'm a hot mess, I'm still just being me.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah. And I always like, listen, I will tell you this, and you can take it in the spirit, hopefully I mean it, Don't say that to yourself, that you're a hot mess. And here's why. I think that what we say to ourselves matters a lot. And that's why I'm so anti-disorder. I just don't believe in identifying yourself as a disorder. I have anxiety. I have depression. I have BPD. But also, I'm a hot mess. I hear it a lot. It's trendy and funny. I think it's considered acceptable because, and I'm sorry, I'm not meaning to put you on the spot or put you down in any way.

Diane Schroeder [:

You're not.

Amanda Hess [:

Just so you know, I mean this in the most loving place. I think you're a badass. I think you are an amazing, beautiful, powerful woman who is making change in the world, and that is incredible. You are not a hot mess. And how many guys say they're a hot mess? Like, 0.

Diane Schroeder [:

That is true. Thank you. I appreciate that. And then also, so the next thing that popped in my head when you said that, I just need the confidence of a mediocre white male.

Amanda Hess [:

Exactly. Exactly that. I had a coach that I hired that I'm using again for business coaching and she uses the expression like big dick energy. And I'm like, yeah, use that.

Diane Schroeder [:

I like that. Okay. Well, thank you for setting me straight. I appreciate that because you're absolutely right and I agree with it and I will not call myself a hot mess anymore. I'm going to use my big dick energy. On that note, I don't have any other questions. I would love for you to share how people can find you. I will put all your information in the show notes and just how they can connect with you.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, absolutely. So you can find my website, amandahess.ca, super easy, Hess, S-S, like not F-F, not H-F. I just get that a lot. You can also find me on Instagram. I actually just changed my Instagram handle to the NeuroDivergent CEO, so you can find me there. And I do have a podcast. I am going to be rebranding it, but right now, it's still Fuck Your Disorder, How to Love Yourself No Matter What. So if you like what I shared here, you can listen to me and Diane's episode that we did a few weeks ago. Or I think it might have even been, yeah, I think it was just 2 weeks ago. So that's where you can find me. Come find me on Instagram for sure. You know, send me a DM, say hello. I like to have conversations. I like to know who you are. And then I just really try to make sure that I'm giving you things that will really truly help you in this journey of life that we're all on.

Diane Schroeder [:

Well, thank you. And you absolutely hit my 3 pillars of leadership, community, and self-care. So thank you for putting good work out into the world and reaching, you know, with your sphere of influence to create a bigger community of badass women. Very grateful for that. To leave the episode, I'm going to ask a fairly random question because we didn't ask a lot in the beginning of the episode because we just dove right in. And I would like to know who you saw for your first concert.

Amanda Hess [:

That is a great question. I'm trying to think. You'd think I'd know, but I don't think I do. I never went to a concert as a kid. I went probably after I graduated from high school. It was my first concert. It might've been Spirit of the West. I don't even know if you know who that is. They're like very folksy.

Diane Schroeder [:

Okay. I like it.

Amanda Hess [:

So I think that was it. But also it could have been Alanis.

Diane Schroeder [:

Oh, I saw her live. That was a groundbreaking, life-changing record for sure.

Amanda Hess [:

Yeah, it was such a revolution for her because that was so different than what she'd ever been before. But Jagged Little Pill, I think, was the tour. It was so good. I love me my 90s alternative music though.

Diane Schroeder [:

Absolutely. That is, I still live in that world most of the time. When my son comes home from school and I'm blasting it, he's like, all right, so that's the mood we're in. Awesome. Well, Amanda, thank you so much for joining us and we will chat soon.

Amanda Hess [:

All right. Thank you so much for having me. I was so happy to be here.

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