The Rise Up & Shine Podcast

The Rise Up & Shine podcast was created for women who are in the throws of motherhood to the woman living in an empty nest. Most of us, if not all I dare to say, have never been taught the HOW when it comes to handling our emotions when difficulty and stress happen. And pretty soon, as life gets filled with more responsibility and never-ending to-dos, we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and unhappy. And, before we know it we’re stuck. Wondering how we got here and desiring to feel more peace and calm in our life.

My dear friend and fellow life coach Ashley and I have been there. I have raised four children to adulthood and am learning to enjoy this next chapter and Ashley has two school-aged children. Throughout our own personal journeys, we have experienced overwhelm, burnout, anxiety and depression, not knowing what to do and so desperately wanting to experience God’s peace and rest that He promises.

We both have gained invaluable knowledge and tools through our experiences, counseling and research that we each decided to go into life coaching and the Rise Up & Shine podcast was born.

We are passionate to help women experience life to the full rather than life full of overwhelm, frustration and shame.

Each episode is designed to help women walk through challenging times with grace and confidence and help them achieve the goals they have for their life. We talk about all the things. From wellness and identity, marriage and relationships, to goals and confidence and everything between. Enjoy!

Opportunity Cost

Episode #128 When we say “yes” to one thing, it’s an automatic “no” to something else. And this involves what’s called opportunity cost. Understanding what

Give Yourself Permission

Episode #125 Most of us don’t give ourselves permission to meet our own core needs so we long for others, especially those closest to us,

Episode #128

When we say "yes" to one thing, it's an automatic "no" to something else. And this involves what's called opportunity cost. Understanding what it is and how it affects your life will help you make decisions with confidence that align with your true values. Listen in and we'll tell you how. More resources at claudinesweeney.com and mindoverchaos.com.




This is episode 128 - Opportunity Cost. You're listening to the rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So, tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast. Welcome back everyone. Do you want to learn to make the best use of your time and money? If so, today we are going to be talking about opportunity cost. Now opportunity cost tends to be an economic term um but we really wanted to talk about it today because it really is a great, a great tool for life, you know in making decisions and how we spend our time or how we spend our money because what happens is when we spend time on one thing, it means we're not spending time or money on another thing, right?

And so today we want to talk about that because this is very relative to just life our day to day. It's something we do a lot of us subconsciously, but it's a very fancy phrase, opportunity cost. I was like what the heck is that when you first proposed this topic, I had to research it and I'm like, oh yeah, this is really good. In fact, this is an area I know I could grow in, but the thing with an opportunity cost is every yes is a no to something else. So, every time we make a choice or a decision when we say yes to something, whether it's the way we use our time or spend our money, we're saying no to Something else. So, for all of you listening today, you've said Yes to the next 15 or 20 minutes you're investing in listening to this podcast. That's a notice. Something else. It's a no to watching a tv show or reading a book or going on a jog or many, many other things. So, every yes is a no. That's the way I like to think about it and it's a tradeoff and we make trade off decisions every day.

We choose to do one thing. We forgo doing something else. We choose to spend our money on something that means it's a notice. Something else at least for most of us. Well and also, it's really the reason why we wanted to do this is because it's really important to be aware of what we're choosing is lining up with our values, what matters most to us a lot of times we're unaware, but then we might feel unhappy unfulfilled. We might desire to be more present with our family. We might desire to save more money, or we might desire to spend, you know, have more funds for fun time with the family or whatever or a trip. So really, it's mindful thinking really stepping back and being mindful of what are the choices I'm making, where am I spending my time? Where am I spending my money? Because a lot of it is subconscious, we're not really aware of that. It's all a choice. Everything we do is a choice. Whether we know what we're doing or not, whether we know what we're choosing or not, right?

Like just mindlessly going to the coffee, you know, machine every morning, right? I made a choice even though it's so ingrained that it has become such a habit and I really do it without thinking it's still a choice. And so, if I am happy with that, then great or if I am wanting to be healthier and start my morning with a cup of water. And if that's really what I want to do, then let's take a step back, slow down. Let's really think about this opportunity cost, right? So, I go to the coffee machine or maybe the second or third time in the morning, then I am actually essentially saying no to the cup of water, but what am I truly desiring? What am I valuing? Yes, good point. And I love the term opportunity cost like every, it's funny because opportunity is a positive thing and cost, we tend to it can sometimes be in the negative column. So, we have, right? What we're giving up, right? So, opportunity is what we get, and the cost is what we're giving up.

And so, I actually love this very complex, very formal sounding term, the opportunity cost, but that is life for whatever we want to get, we're going to have to give up something else, right? And um, I think about when my kids were younger, when they were small, my husband and I, we, you know, you know, both together decided I would stay home and raise kids. So, I did not seek out a career and that was a great opportunity, right? I had the opportunity to stay home to be with my Children, not everybody gets that opportunity. So, I was very grateful. I did. The cost of that is that we had to learn how to live on one income, right? And there were costs to that when we were raising our family in Los Angeles which has a higher cost of living and very hard to get around without two cars and for a time we only had one car and so there were a lot of costs associated with that decision, but at the same time, what a great opportunity. That's just one example of many, many, many, many decisions and choices. We make all the time of these tradeoffs, right? It's a tradeoff. So I got to be home with my kids full time, but we had to make do with a lot, lot less and you can even flip that and if you know someone might say, well, you know, I decided to stay home with the kids, but the opportunity cost was me, you know, excelling in this career that I originally started with four kids, I could have worked myself up the ladder, you could have had this much money and so that's another opportunity across and it's really making the decision on what is best for you and your family or what you value the most and your values and it does take uh, some reflection and some awareness to even go, what do I value?

You know, recently I was reading something, and it generated these thoughts in my head, I was like, what do I really want my marriage to look like now, you know, we've been empty nesters for quite some time and now we've just moved and we're kind of settled. Um, we've moved 20 Eight times in 33 years, we're not planning on moving anytime soon. So there's this opportunity of, what do I want the next two or three decades to look like with my husband, if you know, granted we have those, but what do I want it to look like now is empty nesters that are settled for the first time in a long time, we're really settled, we have a home and um, you know, whatever decisions we make, there's going to be tradeoffs, do we want to travel a lot, You know, there's tradeoffs with that, right? There is financial costs, there's time costs, there's cost of being away from our Children a lot of things, so opportunities and costs and I think about for my, um, in my personal life or even in other moms, I helped coach in our stage of life of being home with the kids and young kids a lot of times, even just in the day today, I can be more aware of what is the opportunity cost.

If I choose to spend time with my family, that kitchen is gonna be a disaster. Well then if I go and clean the kitchen and then my husband and with the kids, they're having a fun time playing a game over here. But I really value having the clean kitchen right now, so I can have peace of mind because if I'm playing with the family that my mind is going to be thinking about the kitchen, you know, weighing those options, right, what is the trade off, what is it I truly value? And I think a lot of it is, what am I like years down the road, what am I going to look back on and say, gosh, I wish I can have that time back and I think for, as a mom that stays home and takes care of the house and it's very, really values family time and quality time that, that is going to be what I look back on and say, I wish I had, I could have that time back, Especially as you being an empty nester. I'm sure it's like, oh my gosh, like I kind of missed those days kids under our roof and but then I have you ever looked back and said, man, I wish I did a better job cleaning those dishes or I did a good job.

I did it all Ashley, you seem to forget but we involved our kids, so you know years are still young. But um yes, there is a tradeoff. I was lucky again; I mean once they're all in school full time it's different because there's time and then we also valued paper plates to be honest with you. So, we had a mini a meal on a paper plate and I know your family values maybe their financial resources more than speed and ease of cleanup. So, we decided that we'll spend the extra 50 cents on paper plates and then mom has less chores to or the kids or whatever then, you know, and we didn't do it all the time. But somehow, we bounced it all. But you're right, there's choices we make every day and I think um that's what it is when we make decisions a lot of times. It's pros and cons, right? But when we have an opportunity cost, we're thinking through and getting to consider all the alternatives to get a full picture when we make a decision. So it's not just pros and cons, it's like I can spend time with my family, I can spend time with my family playing games, I can spend time with my family cleaning up together, I can spend time not cleaning up, it's like putting all the alternatives to get a full picture as opposed to pro cons, which is a more limited decision making process.

So, it's very helpful tool to think about it in this way and I hadn't until we started researching for this topic, but even recently I had started thinking well I should go get my master's degree, I love to learn, so I'm like I should just go do that right? And so I started researching the time and the money it would cost and I'm like maybe not, maybe because I started thinking okay I could get a master's degree and there's a lot of pros, right and cons to that, but I started looking at the alternatives, what could I do with that time and money instead of getting a master's degree. And for me it kind of balanced out that I could get some more um training, I could pay for some training but still have an enormous amount of money left over to build my business and to get resources for my business. And so, I chose that track. So, it wasn't a pro con, it was like what are all the alternatives with my time and money if I choose not to get a master's degree at this time in my life. So, I had to do that with this situation.

And unbeknownst to me, that's exactly what I was doing. I was really weighing off the tradeoffs. Yeah, that's yeah, that's really good. And I think really having an idea of what your ideal looks like, right? I mean, I think it's there's so many wonderful things that we can do that we might desire to do or to accomplish in our life. What are you choosing to put your time and money towards? And really is it, is it going towards the things or contributing to the things that you really value that really matter to you? You know, is it family? Is it finances? Is it um accolades, all there's so many different out there, so many different directions we can take, but just really being aware of every decision you make in your day to day will contribute to something. So just seeing what is it contributing to. I think that's huge.

That's eye opening. It's really just reflecting and taking a look at what are you okay? What choices have I been making? Are those aligned with my values and go from there. And so often we want to blame our circumstances and we don't realize that all the choices and decisions we've made along the way may have brought us to our very circumstance and we've made those decisions and choices, um subconsciously unconsciously we weren't mindful, we weren't conscious, there was no conscious awareness, We're just like you know, going from one thing to another. I mean I think I lived so much of my life in survival mode, and I didn't give a lot of thought to what I was doing, it was just like, oh I gotta get through the day, I got to get dinner on the table. I mean that was my measure of success when my kids were young. If I didn't forget anybody somewhere and had dinner on the table, I had a really good day. I was like that was my measure of success, but I made so many decisions without being mindful like where are we really going as a family? Like I had some overlying values.

Of course, we all do whether they're conscious or not, but a lot of choices and decisions I made weren't made with those in mind. So, let's talk about some of the practicals of how to make these choices decision how to um figure out how to make best use of our time and money really through opportunity cost.

So, the first one is just to examine your values, what are your values? I think we tend to live on default a lot of the time and we don't consciously think about what it is that I really value right now and sometimes really honestly, they'll change, they'll change in different stages of life. Um And so just examine what those are, write them down, journal them out. you know what are the things that really are important to you right now and then the next one is reflect on your choices and if those are leading you down that path and aligning you with those things that you value, that's huge because it's really just awareness so you can mindfully choose the things that will contribute to the life you want and the values that you know you hold very dear Right?

Yeah, yeah. We talk a lot about mindfulness and awareness on this on this podcast and this is definitely a time to do that, not just be in default mode or automatic mode.

The last practical is don't overthink now I know that we just told you to sit and think to examine and reflect but when it comes to the choice don't overthink it. There are psychological blocks When we start thinking about things in tradeoffs and if we overthink, we can become indecisive right? We're like oh I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do because we have choices. Um The other block is emotional stress. We can start feeling really stressed when we have choices and again, I think part of examining your values and reflecting on those values should help eliminate some of this. And lastly we can justify like we can make decisions and justifying even if they're not in line but don't overthink it to the point where you're going crazy in your head and you know, we've all done this, we've made decisions and you overthink it, but just reflect, examine, put it down on paper um and pray about it.

How can we not include prayer when we have to make choices? I love the scripture in Luke 14:28 It's it says, “for who among you is going to build a tower, does not sit first and examine the cost to make sure he has the resources to complete it.” I kind of butchered that I probably just Melded like four versions together. But anyway, you know when we make a decision we think about it first and think about it thoroughly, but don't overthink, don't ruminate, make a decision and then trust, trust that it's going to work out and even if it doesn't work out the way you intended, God's still got you and it's still going to work out so, and you can always choose differently the next time, right? There's always going to be a tradeoff. So, I think that's huge. Just own it. You know, what do you make a choice, own it, be confident in your choice and see how it works out. Absolutely. So just remember every choice you make is a yes to something and I noticed something else, it's definitely a tradeoff here is another great example of opportunity, cost is coaching, investing in getting yourself a coach.

So, when you think about it, it's the opportunity is finding transformation and growth and confidence and being able to step into that life that you desire and living life to the full and being who you desire to be and feeling your very best. But the cost would be time and money. But if you weigh your values, is this something truly to invest in, that will be the best option for you in your life to be able to show up the way that you want to. So, we also want to encourage you guys to check on our website and schedule a call, a free discovery call with either Claudine in her program for empty nesters or myself for stay-at-home moms. Um Ashley's website is MindOverChaos.com, and Claudine’s website is ClaudineSweeney.com. And please we would highly encourage you to consider this opportunity to work with us as your coach to help you just thrive, thrive in life and be who you want to be. And so, check us out over there.

We'll catch you next time. Have a great week. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So, you never miss an episode and while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know, it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at ClaudineSweeney.com. and Ashley at MindOverChaos.com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So, remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. 

Episode #127

You're doing ALL THE THINGS. And to top it off, you're expected to look good doing it! On the outside everyone looks like they have it all together (clean house, clean children, perfect family photos with synchronized clothing, and not a single scowl on a kid's face) all while you might be thinking, What's wrong with me? Moms usually are the care takers and not the care receivers so we tend to be exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed. But a mom's mental health is incredibly important. We give you 7 secrets to boosting your mental own health so you can show up as the confident, happy, fun mom you always thought you could be!




Hi everyone. Welcome back here with Ashley and Claudine on another episode of the Rise Up and Shine podcast on this lovely fine Wednesday. Hi Claudine. Hi Ashley, good to be here, good to be here. Ah so today friends, we want to talk about mom's mental health, so May is mental health awareness month, not sure if you knew that - we love talking about this topic, we feel like it is not talked about enough, especially with moms and amongst moms in motherhood trying to navigate the waters can be very challenging.

But so many of the times we don't speak up about it, we don't always take heart at how we are doing in our own mental well-being and there's also a stigma that can come along with you know mental health. So today we're going to talk about seven tips to boost mom's mental health, love it, I needed these 20-30 years ago, but today better late than never, I thought I'd start out by defining mental health and I like this definition.

It says mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes her own potential can cope with the normal stresses of life, (which you know, let's face it as a mom, especially with young ones, there's a lot of stressors), can also work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her community.

So that is a great definition of mental health. Now, I want to make sure that we separate the mental health that we're talking about today from people that struggle with severe mental illness, real diagnoses like borderline personality and schizophrenia and acute depression.

You and I are not qualified to talk about those topics and that is very different and for anyone that is struggling with those, of course we would recommend that you go see a professional that is trained to really help. But we're talking more about the day to day mental health of mom's, the day to day well-being of moms that are perhaps full time moms or bouncing career and Children just, it can be very difficult whether you have one child or seven is one of my closest friends have, there is a lot of stress, So that is what we're talking about today, right? The state of our mental health really affects how we think feel and act, right? And like you said, we're talking about more coping with the normal stresses in our day to day that come along in the role of mom, right? In motherhood. Um, and it's important to remember that mental health is just our well-being and it's very important to take a good reflection, you know, on where am I really at, how am I really feeling?

And one reason why I'm really excited about this episode today is because we just came out of a pandemic. I mean really, a lot of us, especially in my age group with kids at home did virtual school, some may have varying experiences that come along with that. It was very challenging in our household or at least on me, I feel like, you know, for my kids, it was okay. I think it was really hard on the moms, you know, and the moms who were there, who some may be juggling a job working from home on top of having to help with the kids, especially the younger the kids, you know, I mean teachers have them cut things out and you know, if kids, five year old can't figure out how to work the scissors, you know, danger, danger parents really had to be involved and really be watching their kids and I think that we have come out of this pandemic. I know for myself, I'm feeling I'm feeling things kind of catching up to me because I've always told myself over the last year, I think I really need to take some time to process what I just went through and I've talked with other moms who said the exact same thing, we just quickly got out of it because that's what we had to do, okay, life is getting back to normal and I think for many of us um for myself even and I have no, you know, talking with other moms that it is the same, it's like it's kind of catching up to us, something feels off a little bit and so really recognizing that, wow, we there is something big to process that has affected our own mental health that is sleeping in in our day to day even now, months later.

I totally agree. It's funny, I was having a conversation with a mom with older Children recently and she was talking that now that the pandemic is over, they're traveling a lot more for business, but now she has Children that are in high school and just bouncing travel for work and um managing the kids and their schedules and all that, it's just too much and we got used to being home and being you know more, I don't know, present. Yeah. And now we have this great conversation about trying to find balance in the new normal which is kind of like the old normal. Right? Then we got used to the new normal which was the pandemic and now we're back to the old normal which is now the new, new, new normal, right? I don't know, but it's always adjustment and so it's learning to find that balance even in our own heads with our expectations and what we think we should be doing. You know, we talk a lot about what we should, we should ourselves like I should be able to do this and, and I think that's one of the issues with moms is we think that we should be able to handle all this mothering and running a house and doing it all on our own and doing it well, right?

And looking good, doing it is just going to say and Instagram doesn't help because you see these moms, I'm like, I don't know if I would have survived if I had Instagram when my kids were little. I'm like, everyone is perfect. They're all dressed and perfect like Stepford wives. Yeah. And I'm like walk around a little dress that high heels and makeup all made up every single day while you're doing all the things. Yeah. That would have been a lot of pressure personally for me. So I'm glad ignorance was bliss back in my day. It's impossible expectations, right? Yeah. But I think when it comes to our own mental health us women, especially in mom's, we don't give ourselves the time or the opportunity to take care of it, but we take care of our bodies. I mean, we're not ashamed to go to the doctor if we have pains in our back, right? Like if my back hurts even some do, but I'm saying it's much easier, there's no stigma there's no like if I, if my back's hurting and I can't carry my Children or I can't do my day to day. I wouldn't hesitate to at the very least go see a chiropractor or get a massage.

But yeah, I would do something to care for my physical health. But when it comes to our mental health, when we feel like we're on the verge of breaking or we have pains right from our mental health. We, there's so much stigma and we tend to hold back and we don't seek the help that would help us all around would not only help us, but our families as well. And I want to remind you our listeners, nobody is immune, you know, to mental health issues. Nobody, we all are dealing with stress in our day to day. We cannot pretend everything is great. Everything is going just perfectly. Um, and you know, social media can really play such a huge factor in that in creating these impossible, unrealistic expectations on what we should be doing as moms and my daughter has these cute cargo pants that we bought off of amazon. They're super cute. There's a tag on it on her leg and it says, I'm fine, it's fine, everything's fine. And it was so funny because when we ordered it and she started wearing them, I thought, hey, you say that all the time.

But then I also self reflected, I thought, gosh, I say that all the time to you and that's what we do as women, especially moms, I find it's good. But when you take a second to really think about, am I fine? We realize we're pretending we pretend all the time because we feel like we can't stop, we can't slow down. We can't really be honest with how we're doing, we can't fall apart. I have no time for that, right? I have no time and I have to keep it all together. I have to keep me all together because I have to keep them all together and have the house and our schedule and all the things altogether. And that is the unrealistic expectation and it's been decades and decades of that, right? And so, and especially with mental health, we are seeing now more than ever because it's becoming a bit more normalized. The detriments of not really intentionally caring for our own well being because we always have believed, especially as moms, it comes along with it, right?

I mean we are birthed our Children, we birth mom guilt with it. Um, but we feel like we should be performing to a certain standard and it's really detrimental to us and we're not allowed to show up the way that we really can and want to for our loved ones. One of the other things that I think was really harmful or at least for me when I struggled with depression was and as a mom and as a Christian mom, I thought something was really wrong with me. Like there's something really wrong with me that I should feel this way. I quote unquote know better. I read my bible every day. I should feel better. I should do better. All the things you were saying. You know how we think, how we feel, how we do. And I really thought something was wrong with me. I couldn't understand what was going on. I'm like I must be broken like everyone else is okay, but there's something wrong with me. So everyone else. Yes. Yes. Because we always do right. We look at everyone else and we're like their life is perfect. I'm the only one that's going through this.

And so it was so healing for me to realize that there was nothing wrong with the I wasn't damaged or broken. Um, I didn't need to pray more have faith more. Although those are great things. The implication was that I was doing something wrong, you know? And so I got this subtle judgment, There was subtle judgment and shame added on top of what I already felt. And I think sometimes the worst place we can be is in our own head, right? Because we sit there and ruminate and we think over and over about what we're thinking about what other people have said and it creates even more mental unwell Nous right? A lot of it, most of it is all in our head and when we're feeling that way, especially the shame on top of it. We withdraw isolate, we keep ourselves like we kind of what my husband used to say, he used to describe it. I'm like that's a perfect way to describe it. I would go into my shell, my shell of protection isolation so I don't have to because I get tired of pretending, you know, I get tired of pretending I keep away.

I feel like in order for me to show up or to go out with a friend, I have to be put together and sometimes we even believe that I have to be put together to show up for God and talk to God and that is a fallacy, you know, there's so many lies along with motherhood that we have bought into that is very harmful um for our mental health and our well being really, what is it that we desire? We desire peace, we desire to be present, desire, fulfillment, Desire to experience more happiness, You know, and I say experience more happiness because there's no way we're going to be happy 100% of the time. That's not realistic. So we have to be careful um and more confidence we really desire those things, but it's tricky. How do we get there, you know, as moms I know for myself personally where I've battled with depression as well for years is that I always felt like I was falling short. I always felt like I was failing.

I always felt like I was a fraud. Like I'm just not doing enough. I'm not doing good enough. I'm not being enough. I'm not, you name it dot dot dot right. The list goes on and on. And we do that. We keep adding shame on top shame on top of shame. And that is not how God sees us, right? And so what happens is it leaves us depleted, depleted, defeated all of them, All of them, um, depressed. Uh and so that's why it's so important just in our normal day to day to just really reflect and spend a little time like how is my mental health going? How is my well being? How am I really feeling? What am I thinking about A B and C and be honest. But um and so when we really take intentional look at our own mental health, it will also increase our regulation or emotional regulation will be able to have more resiliency when we experience stress on day to day, we'll have a greater capacity to handle stress and we'll be able to improve relationships and like I said, we'll also, it'll help improve our self esteem and confidence.

So that's why we really want to share these practical today with you, our friends because there's so much you can experience in life, you know, and we've been there, we've been depressed, we've been anxious, we've been down, we feel very low in our life and broken and um, these, I'm not saying, you know, this is one pill, you're, but these practical, those we compiled together from our own personal experience, our own personal research and training, um, that have when utilizing these have really, really improved our, our mental health. Yeah, that's awesome actually. Well let's start. Let's share the practical that have helped us and have helped so many others that we've shared them with. So number one, this is really helpful and I kind of alluded to it already, but limit your time on social media. Okay. If you're not feeling great then going on and seeing everyone supposedly amazing perfect lives is not going to help your mental health. I know for me, like I do a lot of business posting on my Instagram account, but I don't go on Facebook very often unless I'm feeling in a really good, strong place.

I had to shut it off for a couple of years because I couldn't handle it now. I can go on and see my friends and I'm excited. But for quite a while it was very difficult for me to go onto social media because I wasn't in a healthy place and it did not build me up. It did not edify me. It made me feel more broken and more damaged. Number one limit your time on social media. Absolutely number to be open and honest, this is huge. I know for myself personally when I finally, you know, opened up my mouth and started sharing with those closest to me or even you know, it started with one trusted friend really what was going on and how I was feeling, there was a big weight that was lifted because we're not meant to do life alone. You know when we are feeling at our most vulnerable and weakest and lowest we need those close to us that we can rely on and get comfort from and encouragement from So being able to be open and honest, even honest with ourselves.

Really honest, look with curiosity and not judgment with self compassion and kindness, highly stressed that, but really be honest with how things are going in your life. What are you focused on? How are you feeling? You know that's huge, That's a great one. The third one that was really helpful for me is physical. Well being like really take care of yourself because what happens is when we get depressed or anxious or not feeling great mentally, we start to not take care of ourselves physically. Right, right? We do because it's easy to just eat all the sugar, right? Eat all the sugar because it tastes so good and momentarily we feel good. Um maybe we sleep too much or not enough or binge watch. So with physical well being, we want to move our bodies even if it's a walk short walk even just go around the block one time, I mean, I remember when I started exercising after a long time, I was like, I'm just going to walk around the block.

Like if I thought to myself, I'm going to walk for an hour, I wouldn't do it, but I told myself I'm just going to walk one time around the block and I did it and usually after I walked around one time I was like, oh, it feels so good and make sure you eat nutritious food, you've got to fill your body with nutritious food, eating sugar is not going to help your mental health, not saying never do it, but don't make that your daily diet, right? Get plenty of water. That's another one. In fact, in fact, I will never forget about six months ago, I was having a really down day and I did all my self reflection and start, you know, examining my thoughts. I'm like, what is going on? I slept well, I ate, well, I was so dehydrated. I was like, wait, I haven't had anything to drink other than coffee, which dehydrates you And like a day. And so I went and had a large glass of water. I kid you not within 15 minutes. I felt totally renewed. I'm like, Oh my gosh, I let myself get totally dehydrated and then sleep.

So we can't say enough about sleep, burning the candle at both ends, which is hard when you're a mom and you have young kids it can be very challenging to get sleep but fight to have a good night's sleep every night. Those things make such a difference for your mental well being. Absolutely I want to add a little um story onto the sleep I think with us moms especially with having younger kids were so exhausted you know we put the kids down we want to lay in bed and just binge on our shows because now it's my time, I get time to myself I can watch what I want and I've done episode after episode after episode after episode pretty soon. It's like oh I only got six hours of sleep last night because I needed me time and I thought for a while. Well that was me time. I really need the meantime but day after day after day I was getting worn out because my body was not getting the proper sleep duration and sleep cycles and you know all the things and so we tend you know the binging on the T.V. Shows was good in a sense to help me relax and you mentioned before that before but it helps you relax but in moderation because sleep it should take precedence definitely over that is your me time. It's funny you should get older like women my age were like sleep is my me time. I love it. Okay so the next one is pray and journal praying. Journaling both of these have a tremendous effect with processing our emotions. What's going on in our day, whether they're big life moments or decisions you're having to wrestle with or even just smaller day to day stresses anything and everything. And this is where you go to God, you get everything out on paper or you know in prayer, just get everything out, be honest, be raw, be real. This is so crucial to our mental health because we have to get things out of our head. As Claudine mentioned, you know, the worst place we can be is in our own head.

And do we tend to over think we tend to over analyze. We tend to ruminate and just vacillate on things issues. We tend to worry, worry especially as moms and a lot of it is driven by fear and insecurities. So really to be able to pray journal, get it all out of your head because it allows us to process and then be able to formulate a plan action steps, just have more clarity and it really helps us to be more creative and it improves our memory to it helps us really to okay, look at the facts outside of ourselves, outside of our own head and be able to just make decisions based off of that, you know, Okay, where do I go from here. This is what I'm feeling, this is what's going on. Okay, got it all out. Process all my emotions, Let's move forward in a healthy way, That's a Great one. Another important practical is ask for help, right? It's so hard to ask for help. Yes, it is.

Were the helpers? We don't like to be the help ease, right? No, it's a lot. But to ask for help from the right person from someone that can help weather. It could be for just helping lighten your load if you need a babysitter or someone to help with laundry. I mean, who wants that? We want to feel like we have it all together, right? Who wants to invite someone over and say, can you help me clean my house? I'm just having a really rough week. And I mean that's so hard for any of us to do, but even more so it could be helped for your mental health. Like my first coach that helped me during this really tough time for me was a grief coach and she's the one that helped me identify that there were actually a lot of things that I was grieving that I had a lot of losses that I didn't even know. And I'd like to say I asked her for help. The truth is my husband went and asked her for help on my behalf. He's like help my wife would you could you help my wife. But that was a big turning point for me at turning point, not only in my mental well being my mental health, but also my life and the trajectory of my life and then even now for work, I mean it all started with that because technically my husband asked for help, I didn't do it, but the minute she called the check and I was like yes, I need help, I need it now.

So ask for help. It's not like you said earlier, it's not a weakness, it's not a shortcoming to need help. In fact, were built to be in community and to be there for one another. So, you know, you hold some someone hands up now and later they'll hold your hands up and that's why I think for me, I love doing the work I do because I feel like I've been given to and now it's my turn to turn around and give to others. Um Next one is sticking to a routine now. This one for me being the free spirit and all I remember especially through the pandemic, I was watching the news and they were talking about this specifically, they were talking about, you know, through the stressful, uncertain time. Just what the best thing you can do for your mental health is to stick to a routine and I hate routines, but I have learned over the years that I need it and I even keep it simple for me and what I want to encourage you, our friends listening right now is just focus on a morning routine, how we start our day will really determine how we end the day, you know, and how we feel, ending the day because again, we feel like there's all the things to do.

I don't have enough time. I'm so exhausted. Many of us, especially who have younger kids wake up tired, we go to bed tired, we wake up tired, we're tired pretty much all day for myself. I tend to get a spurt of energy around like 11, one or two and that's my little burst of energy. Um, but really being able to stick to a morning routine, I sacrificed a little bit of sleep to wake up earlier because I realized as I was practicing this. Yeah, as hard as it is to wake up earlier and I wake up at 5:30 AM if I feel much better than if I had slept until five minutes before we camp the kids, I just feel better. It is a sacrifice. It still is a sacrifice after all these years, but I know I'm a bit more clear headed. I could pray. I spent some time in the bible. I you know, focused and meditating on a scripture that it can carry with me with for encouragement throughout the day.

Um I also get to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence and the quiet of the morning as the sun is rising, it's beautiful. Um, and I write down what my day looks like, you know, I figure out what are some things I need to do today, what are some things I want to do today? Um And I get that done. It's awesome. It's a little bit of time. It's just a half an hour. You know, it's not a lot, but it's, it really helps me prepare. It's that's the, that's the mood of the day. I think it's so important. It's different for everybody. Everybody has different needs and desires for the morning. But I do think that's so important and just you just push yourself just do it because you won't feel like doing it. I never feel like, yeah, I don't feel like doing, but I just do it and then I'm always grateful. I've never just said, well, that was dumb. You know? No, it's like, okay, I feel better my days up to good stuff. And the last one, the seventh tip we have for you is affirmations.

Now, affirmations are really helpful if you are in your head a lot and you tend to have negative beliefs about yourself as a mom. I personally experienced that, and I would tend to focus more on, like I mentioned earlier in the episode, I'm not doing enough. I'm not blank enough. You know, I mean, the list goes on and on and on. And I know many of us moms feel like that. So, affirmations, what I did is I would either put one or two on a sticky note, put it on my mirror in my car and I just needed a little bit of encouragement for myself. Yeah, it's a form of self-love, right? It's being able to think a couple positive things about yourself and not only negative things because when we get on our head, if we're feeling behind, if we're feeling like we're not doing enough, we are constantly going to be shaming ourselves with shame and thoughts. And so, affirmations really helped me in my confidence as a mom and what I did also, I had about four or five of them and I put it as a screensaver on my phone.

So, whenever it, you know, lit up when I got a message, I would be intentional to read it, not just swipe to see what message was that. I would actually read it any time my phone lit up. Okay, these few things and I needed that. And you know, many of us do need that to help just encourage ourselves because we're not always going to get appreciation, right? That just kind of comes with the territory of being mom, right? We don't always say, oh, thank you so much mom, you made my day sometimes we do. Which is amazing, but a day-to-day reminder that hey, I am an amazing mom. Hey, God loves me. Hey, I have so much to offer and to give whatever affirmation speaks to you, um highly, highly encouraged to do that. Yeah. Well, this was great stuff actually. I mean, we could go on for days. I mean, there's so much to this and there's so many resources out there. Another plug, if you are seriously struggling with um deeper, much deeper issues than what we shared or have thoughts of suicide. We have a resource.

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Center at 1 800 2738255. But if you're just struggling with the day to day mom health, um then we pray that these tips will find you and help you when you put them into practice and I'll leave you with this scripture that has been so helpful to me in psalms 42 11, it says, why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God. I love that because it reminds me that there are times of discouragement and sadness that we're not alone, were not damaged. We're not broken. And yet to remember where to put our hope, which is God. Um if I put my hope all in myself, I'm probably not going to make it. But when I put it in him and just trust in his timing that even these tough times, even these challenging times, it's just a chapter in a season and it too will come to pass. Alright, Friends. So, we are so grateful that you tuned in to another episode here with us.

And we also want to remind you we have more resources on our website. You can check out Claudia's website at Claudine Sweeney dot com. And Ashley's website at Mind over chaos dot com. We have resources. We have more podcast episodes. We also have a way of reaching out to us. If you feel like you are ready to ask for help, that's what we do as life coaches, we are here to help you get unstuck, find peace and purpose in your life and help walk with you. Give you practical tools um tips tools, all the things to help you rise up and shine and live and feel your very best. So, thank you again for tuning in and we will catch you next week. Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode And while you're at it share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at ClaudineSweeney.com and Ashley at MindOverChaos.com.

Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So, remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life, mm hmm.

Episode #126

Is it difficult to accept certain aspects of your life? The state of your marriage, your kid's choices, your job, or just life circumstances? If you want more peace and fulfillment and less stress and anxiety then radical acceptance is a fantastic start! As your life coaches, listen in and we will teach you how. More resources at claudinesweeney.com and mindoverchaos.com




Hello everyone welcome back here with Claudine and Ashley. So, to start off this episode, I'm going to ask you a question. I'm going to see if you have often thought any of these or maybe all of them for example, have you ever said to yourself “this isn't fair” or “it's not right” or “things should be different” or “why is this happening to me?”

I say that often, especially being clumsy, I can never catch a break. People shouldn't act like this or another. One of my faves. I tend to think often is wishing things could be different. “I wish this could be different.” So, if you tend to think any of those thoughts somewhat often, then you might actually be lacking acceptance, acceptance of what is just reality, right? A lot of times, like I said, the wishing things could be different. I think that a lot. I think many of us think that went a lot and so we live, you know, trying to expect this other little reality or ideal.

We have expectations, expectations is huge. Um but we haven't actually accepted what is and the reality that we're living. So we're going to talk about this episode today, diving right in and we're actually going to talk about radical acceptance, it's a thing and the purpose of radical acceptance is to help us cope with any painful situation that could come up in our lives now or in the future and instead of suffering endlessly because of these events, right? Because of adversity. Radical acceptance will help guide us to feel the emotion, feel the pain and rise up and shine anyway, right? We learn how to cope, and we can rise up and shine so radical acceptance. That's what we're talking about. And when you asked about, has anyone ever thought of those? I was like yes, on every single one, every single one, I'm like, oh my gosh, that's me, me, me, me, me. So, this was a great topic because it's definitely something I've had to learn how to do and have to continue to put into practice. Absolutely acceptance. Even though we've learned these tools and we have ourselves become life coaches and teach it to others.

Life happens, right? Stress happens. And so, we still can fall go back into those thought patterns that were so ingrained in our neural pathways and our admiring definitely we recognize it a lot sooner and we know what to do. We have the tools what to do. But what you said, I want to point out again, that's really important for our listeners to know is it does not mean to not feel the emotions. So radical acceptance just means accepting things out of our control as like fact, right? Not setting the meanings behind it or the judgment on things, but just accepting, accepting this is my reality right now right now. This is my reality right now. It might change. Things might change. Um usually they do, right? But this is my reality right now and allow yourself to feel what you're feeling. All emotions, whether it's grief or disappointment or sadness or anger or allowing yourselves to feel, it will give you the will to lead you to radical acceptance.

Because what we try to do as humans, we try to numb out the pain. We don't want to feel discomfort. We don't want to feel pain. And so, we think that's the better thing, right? I want to try and be okay. I got to keep going, keep going and be tough. But one thing I was actually having a conversation with someone is tough, toughness is very different than resilience, right? Resiliency more is being able to rise above things and work through things, feel your emotions and be able to move forward. Whereas being tough is what we tend to do. We cope. We deny we ignore how we actually feel. So, feeling your emotions is crucial in order to be able to radically. Yeah. Practice radical acceptance. Yeah. And there's reasons why we don't want to accept what is right. We feel like if we accept it, then we're kind of surrendering or giving up, right? We're agreeing, right? And radical acceptance is not agreeing with everything that has happened right? There are unfair things that happen in our life that are beyond our control.

Many times. We also it also does not mean approving of everybody else's choices or behaviors as an empty nester. As a mom of adult Children. I have to accept a lot of the decision and choices my adult Children make. I don't necessarily have to approve of it, and I don't need to agree with it, although for the most part they're doing really great. But there have been times where I've had to accept, but I can't, I don't necessarily approve of it or agree with it. And lastly, what it does not mean is saying is your life without choices. And that's the thing we feel like, well, if I accept this, it means I'm not going to have any choice because I'm accepting it. No, that is not what it means. Um, just because we don't have control, maybe a particular circumstance, we still have the ability and the control and how we respond and to make different choices based on what is currently going on. And part of this radical acceptance is like I said, being able to feel our emotions, but also not letting the initial pain that we feel from the situation to prolong prolong time and time again or for a long duration of time.

And for one who has experienced depression, I know that pretty well when we fix it and ruminate it turns that pain into suffering. And so that is what radical acceptance is, is that we don't, you know, we take the pain, we feel the normal human emotion going through that pain allow our bodies, our physical bodies actually to even process the emotions, our bodies need those emotions to be processed through and released. Um but not be able to just prolong it into suffering and suffering for a longer than we really need to. That's right. And when we don't accept things that are going on, when we try to deny or resist it, it does hold us back and it hinders us, right? It's hard to rise up and shine when we're living in denial or resistance. Yeah. So, it is it actually is a skill to learn how to accept what is going on in our lives, right? And use that as an opportunity to grow and make the situation better.

So, and also, what happens is it just those emotions we try to deny and push aside to simmer like a little, you know, simmer under the surface waiting to come out. And if we're suppressing and suppressing and suppressing then we tend to have a meltdown. We just had this big blow up like, right? Absolutely. Yeah. So, it's really important to be aware. You know, try not to spend your energy and your time resisting or fighting against the reality. You know, accepting. It is a lot more freeing than trying to ignore it or suppress. Absolutely not. But I think sometimes it's subconscious, I mean I feel like I look back at my life and see different situations that I was not accepting. Like the same thing. Like I wish things were different, but consciously I didn't feel like I was expending a lot of energy especially when we deny it like ignorance bliss. I used to say that ignorance is bliss. I'm just not going to deal with that situation. It's like people that are in financial trouble and won't open their bills, right?

Like I've seen that happen. I mean I know for me when we're going through tough times, there were envelopes that would, that would come and I'm like, I'm not opening that. So, I'm just going to ignore this circumstance, right? But see I see it as like the weight, the weight of that getting heavier and heavier and heavier on you, didn't it? Because what's your secret? I just ignored it until then it got so big. Like I was just sharing family member recently that ignored their tax problem, right? They just ignored the fact that they had a tax problem. They hadn't filed in years. But you know why when your bank account gets um levied then you can't ignore it anymore. So, what happens is you can live in ignorance and bliss for a while and then the taxman cometh or whatever is going on in your life. You know, two things are certain death and taxes, they're coming for you. So, and it's funny to me because I also know people that have physical symptoms and they refused to go to the doctor a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone. They're like, I don't want to go because I don't want to know and I was like, what?

Like, don't you want to go to know early on to deal with. Like it was, I can't even remember who it was, but I know but what it is because then it's acknowledging it to be true, right? And we don't want to acknowledge it, right? True, Right? It's so hard for us. Yeah, Yeah, yeah. Certain areas and we all have different coping styles, right? And so, I have a very guilty conscience. So yeah, I do too. I do too. But there were certain things like I knew I couldn't pay the bill. So why look at it like maybe I could pretend the number was lower and same thing with this person that had this tax bill. They knew they couldn't take care of it. So, if I just ignore it, maybe it'll go away. But it doesn't. And that's so true because now it kind of sparked this thing. So, one of my Children has a health condition. I was asking myself not too long ago, why did I wait to email the doctor about the questions I had, I was thinking maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away. But then when I saw more evidence of this condition happening more frequently than I thought, okay, I can't ignore it anymore.

But I think that's why I think it was acknowledging it's true, then it's true. Like I was trying to, you know, this isn't this isn't happening. This isn't happening, but I did, you know, because I prolong I think that's exactly unbeknownst what I was doing. People live in denial. Absolutely right. We're not radically accepting what is and we live in denial or if we have a clue that's going on, we're trying to suppress it, distract ourselves. Um, you know, all the different ways. We try to avoid difficult circumstance because who really wants to go through difficulties? I don't exactly, I want life to be a walk in the meadow. I know, and that's the thing is we don't accept Most of the time. We have a hard time accepting life as being 50% positive experience and 15, negative experiences or challenge challenges. I think we try this; we hope and expect this ideal, even hell, everything's gonna be smooth and you know, especially as a Christian, don't you think, don't you think it's like, alright, I thought, oh, I'm a Christian now and I'm going to do all the right things.

So, everything in life is going to be right? So why are bad things happening right now with our mind bad things happen to good people or why do we get stuck in those negative thought patterns? Absolutely. Do not practice radical acceptance and its radical really because it goes against what our flesh wants and what's easier for our flesh to do. And so, it is an actual decision, I am deciding to radically except ABC whatever it is, what it is right now. Currently your situation or your circumstance. Well, I have some practical. So, I know you do too. So, let's start sharing the practical. Because it is radical acceptance. It's not something we're taught. At least. I wasn't taught how to accept difficult situations and adversities in my life. I just subconsciously my brain in order to conserve energy and keep me safe. Just learned ways to cope, you know, deny suppress.

Resist. That's what my brain does. So, the first practical is write a list of the situations you are currently unaccepting. Could be your finances. That could be your marriage. It could be a child situation with them. Those are usually most of them are health. Those are different ones that really, we contend to suppress or deny. So, write a list out. And this will help you recognize the situations that you are resisting and dying. Yeah. I was thinking because we might not actually outwardly unaccepting it. But in our heart, we are right. So, there are things like for example, with my child's health condition, I wasn't going around telling people that I do not accept this. In my heart. I pushed it aside so much trying to ignore it that it was still in the back of my mind. And so, you know, when you think about all these apps that are open on your phone and it drains your battery and so when we constantly have all these thought patterns going on and not accepting this and not accepting that and um it is if we don't make that list of things and really identify what things in my current situation my current life right now, am I not accepting that is that awareness is huge.

You know that is so crucial to be able to, you know what's going on and what's really helpful with this first practical too is when you write that list, keep it strictly to the facts. Don't add your assumptions, your opinions or your stories to it, right? We make, it means so much. Like for example for me when we had our financial troubles, it would have been more realistic to me to say our debt out numbers are uh our liabilities outnumber our income like that would be the facts of that particular time in my life rather than I'm such a failure, we're gonna lose that. You know, we add so much story and drama and assumption and opinion to it. Just list the facts and that's been a really important lesson for me to learn is look at my situation. Look at my circumstance as neutral facts. Just lay the facts that you know, the same thing with our weight for women. So many of us struggle with our weight no matter what size we are. I know women who are size for that struggle.

I know women who are size 14 and struggle whatever size you are. But if you just write down this is the number. That's the fact and I accept it. But the acceptance is just the facts. Just the number. Don't add any drama story. Someone might write down. I am overweight. That's not a fact. Yeah. So, what you say exactly the number. Just the number. I am whatever you win a 2nd 1. And we talked about this a lot and we kind of already did in this episode. But allow yourself to feel, allow yourself to feel whatever, whatever it is that you're feeling right, right there are specific times. And I've actually even given this advice before to others, especially with moms and their kids and they're going from activity to activity. Sometimes something triggers us and that we're having a hard time uh, accepting if you will and it can read an emotional response sometimes that's crying. Maybe we feel like I just need to go and have a good cry, but it's not a good time.

I will say even go make time later if you can't do it right now, make it happen later when you can, when you get a good cry schedule and good cry. Whether that's your next shower, whether you need 10 minutes in the closet during dinner. Sometimes there are times I had to leave the dinner table to go spend 5, 10 minutes because something happened. Um, that I needed to get the emotion, the emotional release out and so that is important to allow yourself to feel that because that is the first step to being able to accept what is going on. Yeah. I don't know why Christian women again, why we feel like we need to be joyful all the time. I mean I know it says rejoice always, always. I say it again, rejoice but I do think that we just reason. We look at that one only and we forget that God has made all emotions. That there's a time to mourn and there's a time to laugh. I mean it's funny we can fixate on one scripture and get caught up in that and I feel guilty because I feel sad or frustrated because we “should” ourselves.

I should be rejoicing. I should be grateful that I know that especially with depression, I should be grateful. Why am I still feeling depressed right when I went through? Yeah, I've shared this before. I had someone in my life spiritually. Um you know, mentoring me that said you look around, you should be grateful. Like I confessed, not confessed I shared where I was really at, which was scary to do and that's the advice I got grateful. I've heard that from many. Yeah, so hard. You're like we tell ourselves I am grateful, but I'm in pain. My heart hurts Another one. I'm sorry to interrupt. Okay, another one even is anxiety and I just want to talk about this really briefly to because depression, anxiety, again that we've talked about, especially early on in our podcast that we've struggled with. But anxiety is something that I live with, and it comes and goes, and I've had, you know, when it comes, especially if it comes for months at a time, I can tell myself, but I'm doing all the right things. Why does this keep happening?

Why is it? And it's just it's one of those things I've had to learn to accept. I'm not saying I am an anxious person because we want to refrain from labels. It is I get anxiety. Sometimes I have anxious feelings, I have anxious thoughts and I sometimes, you know, will experience anxiety and but that's radical acceptance, right? That's being just accepting. Sometimes I get anxiety and I learned to live with it. I learned to cope with it and do the things. But allowing myself to feel because that might read frustration at times, that might read um grief at times, because we're not living up to the ideal of this isn't the way it should be right. And so, by allowing ourselves to feel those when they come. And when we it's funny because when we allow ourselves to feel it, um it processes fairly quickly. It's when we resist it suppress it. Again, Same thing with, you know, radical acceptance is about our situation, but with our emotions when we try not to feel those feelings actually increases our pain and suffering and last longer and we can end up fixating.

Ruminating, judging ourselves. It just is a constant negative cycle downward cycle and really exacerbate anxiety and depression. And what we teach our clients all the time is that our emotions are signals. They teach us that something's going on, that we need to address right? Like even with anxiety, it was, you know, it can be the root. I thought of, I can't handle this. So, we get anxious because we think I can't handle this. But if we're not aware of that, if we don't even know to address it, it'll just keep cycling and depression is like for me, it routed out of the same thing. I can't handle this, and this is not what I chose. And shame and shame so much of it. But if we just allow ourselves to feel, then it processes much quicker. It's like, oh, I'm feeling this today. That's interesting. What should I learn from this feeling today? And look at me, I'm a normal human being, right? When I was thinking about with the radical acceptance, is this is what's happening? I don't like it, right? But I can't accept it.

You know, being able to acknowledge how you truly feel about it again. Don't ignore that. But just this is what's happening. I do not like it I feel and give an emotion I feel angry about, I feel sad about this, disappointed or let down or acknowledge that and then but I'm going to accept it is absolutely which leads into the third practical, which is letting go of what you can't control. There are a lot of things that happen in our lives that we really don't have any control of. Again, adult children, I can't control their behavior right. They’re adults, I can consult, and coach and you know, give them some advice, but ultimately, they're adults and they're going to do what they want to do. Our spouses oftentimes do things that we can't control. We can have conversations, we can make requests, we can set boundaries, but they're still human beings with human um their free agency, free will they get to live this life how they want to show up.

And so, there's this this the practice of letting go what we can control. But then on the flip side of that is accepting our part in different circumstances. If we can change something. Like obviously with our financial situation when the market crashed and that was a really tough time for us, I had to accept. It would have been easy to blame the bank. Well, they did this and there was some wrongdoing, but I had to accept my part in it that we got to that point that at that time all our eggs were in one basket, the real estate basket and once we realized that this is our part in it. Like everything was in one basket, we need to diversify, then we can make different decisions. So, I accepted what was, but let go of what you can't control because there is so much that we can't control. And there's another part of that too. I want to add on. Don't personalize things. This is really important because especially when things are outside of our control and there are other people, other people's behavior choices, moods. That's a big one for me. Can you just all be happy all the time so I can feel comfortable at home, right?

Um but don't personalize it. You know, I remember early in my marriage, and we joke about this, my husband and I, but I can find myself almost wanting to do it, but I don't because I've learned this is you know, I'm totally personalizing and putting a whole different meaning behind it. But I used to personalize his silence and I must have done something wrong. And so even this morning, this morning it's Tuesday and yesterday morning, I remember talking with him just about our day. What are you doing? And he's kind of quiet. Um and kind of short and I'm in my mind again, going back to my old rewire my old wiring. I'm thinking is he upset about something. Does it have something to do with the budget? Like, you know what is he must be bothered by? And I realized because we had a conversation, he said he just, it's his transition period because now he's thinking about work because I get up with him early in the morning and so we have a few minutes to talk, but I am personalizing it because it must be something that he's upset with me or you know, and it had nothing to do with that.

So, we want to be very, very careful and again, we won't always know that unless we openly communicated huge, always asking questions. I have learned so much. You don't ever and the last one is learning to meet our own needs and letting go of unhelpful emotions. So, if you hopefully caught our last episode about meeting our own needs, we dive into how to do that and why it's important to do that. Um but meeting our own needs and not expecting and relying on people outside of us to do that for us to fill our cup or to make us feel worthy or validated as a person. Um and even as Claudine shared to even financial needs, you know, that you felt your financial security. So, learning how to meet our own needs is huge. And being able to practice radical acceptance again, go back to last episode because we really dive more deeper into Yeah, and I love that because our adversities do not define us, right?

So whatever challenging situation is in our life right now, that doesn't define us. Our response to it Will define us more than what we're actually involved in at the time. And I love what John 1633 says because I had to learn this. Another key one for me says, I have told you all this, so that you may have peace in me, here on Earth. You will have many trials and sorrows, so That's in there. I don't know why I thought that life was going to just be a walk in the meadow and that there would be no hardship. I don't know why I thought that, but I did, but Jesus himself said, Hey, there's gonna be a lot of trials and sorrows on this earth. And what you said earlier is accepting that life is 50, 50, you know, 50 of it's going to be amazing and 50 of it, it's going to be a real challenge. And when we meet our needs, when we lean on Jesus, we can make it through anything and we can radically accept anything that comes into our way and we can still rise up and shine when I love, I want to add on to that because what does it go on to say is but take heart, I have overcome the world right?

Right? So, our faith is so crucial and being able to practice radical acceptance of faith, that God will be working things out. Yes, you know, he is, he is fighting the battle and he was victorious, right? And so that is huge to help us be able to practice this radical acceptance absolutely outside of our control. Well, if you need more resources, we have an exercise sheet, radical acceptance exercise sheet that you can find at our websites that ClaudineSweeney.com or MindOverChaos.com. Just log on there. And um, there's a worksheet that you can download that can help you practice radical acceptance. Hope you all have a wonderful day until next time.

Episode #125

Most of us don't give ourselves permission to meet our own core needs so we long for others, especially those closest to us, to meet them. When they don't, we're left feeling discouraged, defeated and, maybe even, depressed. Learn tips on how you can take back YOUR power and fill your own cup so you can rise up and shine your very best self.




This is episode one, permission to meet your own needs. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So, tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners today. We're talking about a really interesting topic and that is human needs and in 1943, Abraham Maslow developed a theory of human motivation, and he had a hierarchy of five stages of needs. And while we're not going to delve into that specifically and uh you know in great detail, what is fascinating is that we all do have needs and what we're going to talk about today are ways that we can meet our own needs that work for us that are healthier because we all have needs.

And one way or another consciously or subconsciously we're trying to get those needs met. The problem happens when we try to get those needs met in an unhealthy way and personal needs are things that we need met to live a life we love and to thrive, which is what we're all about here at the rise up and Shine podcast and our needs are neither good nor bad. I mean they're different for every single person and again, they can be met in positive or negative ways relative to your desired results. So that's what we're going to talk about today. Um again, we all have different needs, but we all do have needs and today we're going to learn how to meet our own needs. Okay, because part of the issues that we're always looking to others to help us meet our needs and today we're going to talk about how to meet our own needs. So important, Right, So important. And this is this topic is I'm really excited to talk about it. How do I go about meeting my needs? But especially for women, we feel like we need to take care of everybody else's needs. We need to serve. We need to show up for others, which to an extent.

But what happens is we neglect our needs and so, and the more roles you have in life and responsibilities, it's even easier to neglect our own needs. To the point where we might, we might not even recognize what our needs are. We are so out of touch with what we need and that happens so easily in our culture for women especially. So, I'm excited to talk about this because we have very specific things that we can, you know, steps to take to become more aware of what our needs are and be able to start meeting them ourselves within ourselves. Yeah, I think you're so right as, as moms, you know, you're currently a stay home mom. I'm obviously my kids are adults and I'm an empty nester. But when my kids were young, it was so true. I was so busy meeting their needs. Right? As moms as wives, we're meeting our husband’s needs, we're meeting our kid’s needs. And as Christian women were meeting needs within the church were serving, you know, in which are all good things and we're happy to do, we're happy to do it. But along the way, we lost meeting our own needs.

And what becomes dangerous is unhealthy and unhealthy is when we look to others to meet those needs. Like we're too busy were too overwhelmed. So, you meet my needs, right? And I can look to my husband and think you need to meet all of my needs. Now there are needs that my husband needs to meet that only he can meet. But we're not going to talk about that today in graphic detail, but there is one. But other than that, it's really not fair to put all of our needs to be met by someone else or even his mom's, our Children. We want that acceptance. We want that validation from our Children. Like if my Children behave and they look good, then I am worthy. I'm a good right, right? And that's where it gets unhealthy, right? Because we're expecting other people to meet needs. I thought about the movie jerry Maguire right, that famous line, you complete me, right. And I started thinking about that and we're conditioned by that even in marriage, you refer to your mate as your better half for the other half or I'm the better half, right?

Or that I'm the better half. Yeah. But there's conditioning that were not complete without a mate, you know, and it's so common. It's in movies, it's in books, we see all these books about his needs, her needs. So, we know their needs and love languages and it becomes very focused that without this other person without our spouse, our needs can't possibly meet met. And I think that's really unhealthy. I know for me in my own life, I think there were a lot of needs I placed on my husband that weren't fair to place on him. And what if we showed up in our relationships is 100% complete. And that's why I really like this Maslow's hierarchy of needs because for years and years I just could not identify very clearly and precisely what my needs were, especially when you're already in such an overwhelmed state, we can't really think rationally and find solutions to problems even though, especially as mothers, especially with young kids when we are moms of young kids, our brains are so frazzled and fried that we're trying to find solutions for our kids and where your shoes and let's get to the house on time or we need to have dinner at this time, daddy's coming home.

Let's give them a big hug. All these things that are just part of our responsibility and our role. And so, but again, when we neglect our needs were not showing up as that 100% best version of ourselves. And I think that is what is motivating for change. You know, when we realize that I am serving and doing all these things from my family, friends, even at work, whatever your roles are in your life, If you take a really close look at how am I meeting my own needs and how that directly affects how you show up, then you can really start identifying, okay, what do I need to do here? I should shift something a little bit and this was so transformative for myself realizing how I needed to take care of better care of myself. And again, this goes way beyond self-care. Self-care is definitely a part of it. But when you're not getting it, especially from Children, they don't always go around. Thank you, mom, for dinner. Thank you for finding my shoes. Thank you for getting me to school on time. That just doesn't really come with it, right. Um, but what happens if we're expecting that, then we're going to be constantly discouraged, constantly disappointed.

And I've been there, and a lot of moms are there in that place. And so, what can we do to shift that? So, we can feel better, and we can get those needs met even within ourselves, like to think of meeting my own needs Oh, I can do that. It was so eye opening. Yeah, absolutely. For me too, I think for many, many years, you know, I gave up a career willingly and happily to stay home and raise the Children and I always worked part time just to help bring money into the household. But I didn't have a career per se. And so, I really looked at my husband to provide financial security and we had some really tough years because he too was in commission only sales. We both did real estate for a time and when the market crashed, yes, it was not financially secure to say the least. And so, there was no financial security and I remember being really bitter towards him because I expected him to meet that need? Like I never thought, well I need to be responsible to meet my own financial needs.

Like he, I gave him all the power, basically, I basically said in my head unconsciously, I wasn't even conscious of it, but here's one of my needs and I've given it all over to you and you better do it right. Of course, I didn't say that out loud. I probably wasn't even super conscious about it, but it hit me one day because I was so upset and bitter. And then, and then I realized, oh, I'm expecting him to meet this need? It's like, what if I meet that need for myself, what if I develop a career now that the kids are grown, that was my choice to give that up. Um then why don't I meet my own financial needs and provide my own financial security. That was it for me about 10 years ago and it was eye opening. Like I can meet my own needs, I don't need to select him. And of course, he helps provide and he is the at this point, still the higher wage earner, but it was letting go of that expectation, this unrealistic, unhealthy like you have to do it all expectation and accepting that I can be part of this too.

I can provide for my own needs. And then, as you said earlier, giving the power over to him. So, then that means that your power less, but it's not necessarily true. You do have the power if you want to choose, I want to have a little bit more say, or I want to feel more financially secure. I have that power where I can go get a part time job or start a new career if your kids are of age and you know, so what do I want? And what are the needs, the deep needs that are getting in my heart. And that's what's so important to dig deeper, dig deeper and just spending some time and what do I feel like my needs are because again, we get so bombarded with life and we're busy and schedules and stressed that we don't, we neglect that, that is the need of itself of just identifying what your own needs are and accepting that we have them. And I think as a Christian woman to for me, I think about that scripture in Philippians 24, and it says let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others or needs right?

And I think for so many years I understood it is don't look at your own interests or needs only look to the interests of others. It's so funny how word placement the only is it right here is that right? There makes all the difference. And I had misread that for many years, and I felt like I'm really selfish if I think about myself or my interest or my needs not understanding that I couldn't be the best version of myself or show up as the best version of me for my Children and my family. If I didn't take care of my needs and then, you know, I was resentful because I felt like I'm doing for everybody else. And what about me? And then you think, okay, well my husband should be doing more for me because look at what I'm doing for all of you and it's just very unhealthy and it's a vicious cycle and really reading that and understanding, wait, it does say not only to your own interest, but then you know, so we protect against being total selfish. You know, it's all about me but at the same time we do have to take care of ourselves not just others. That's when we give them power.

I will be okay when you do this, when you fill this need bucket then I will feel validated and important but really know that we are valid and important and just the way that we are. And I love that you're saying that because I think some of those corn needs like self-worth validation, acceptance and love. We tend to look to others to fill those buckets of needs. It's okay to love yourself to be patient with yourself to be kind with yourself acceptance. We feel like well if I dress a certain way or look a certain way then people will accept me. But what if we just accept ourselves for who we are already all those things, all those needs, if we do for ourselves first then we can give unto others. It's interesting the way it works. It's a lot like the oxygen metaphor, you know on the plane, you got to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others and I think is we meet our own needs and we have those core needs met by ourselves and don't look outside of ourselves, then we're able to give that and return to others in a greater measure.

I really believe that. And I've seen it over and over and over. If I feel accepted by myself and I'm not looking to you. And what happens is even in relationships. If my friend says something that hurts my feelings, you know, it can sting for a moment. But if I don't have these core needs met on my own, then I'm going to fixate on it and it's going to affect my self-worth, my acceptance, all those things. But if I love myself and accept myself and validate myself, I can look to my friend and go, hmm, I wonder where my friends at. She must have been hurting too. Have said such a comment to me. Or I can come from a place of non-judgment and not emotionally react and say, let's talk about that. And it's just a different energy. It's a different place to come at that when our own needs are met Well. And also, it allows us to overlook offenses a bit easier saying be a doormat and go ahead and let people treat you poorly. I'm not saying that at all. But it does allow for you to um not take it so personal.

Which can be hard because when we are seeking that approval validation outside of ourselves that I am worthy if you meet my needs because then I know you love me or I know you care about me, then that's exactly what's happening right now. It again is just going back to give that power over to the other person and then we become powerless, not where we want to be Absolutely, that's unhealthy, right? Yeah. Like I was mentioning there's so many books that teach us how to meet other people's needs, but I don't know where the ones are to help us meet our own coordinates. I'm sure they're out there, but we do have some practical. So, um, let's share some of those practical with our listeners actually of how we can meet our own needs. So, number one, just become aware, be aware of when your needs are not being met, right? When you feel like maybe I need to give a little bit more attention to what I'm needing right now and a lot of times we'll know when that is well known, we're out of balance and it's a good time to really take a closer look at with curiosity, no judgment what needs have yet to be met and what needs do I need to make sure I'm meeting, right?

You know, for me it's funny you say that because for me, I know when the need is unmet because I usually have a strong recurring negative emotion. So, before I was aware, like before I even got into awareness mentally, consciously in my thoughts, I would have a strong negative emotion, you know, I get angry, resentful, bitter, all those the ones that we can feel, but we don't want to be stuck with that. So, I was like, oh that's when I started connecting the dots, oh something's not being met here. So, for me it's a strong negative emotional reaction. That makes sense because for minus the overwhelmed. And then I start feeling a little irritated, I'm doing all this, and I started cycling through those thoughts. I chose this life; I chose this life. What about me a second? Practical for meeting our own needs is to be able to identify it and Ashley, you, and I both have resources on our website that will go over Maslow's hierarchy of needs with some more information. So, you can get those resources that mind over chaos dot com or Claudine Sweeney dot com.

And there's a resource there that could help you identify it. But it's important to identify what need like for me, like I mentioned before the financial security that goes under safety. But identifying the need that's not being met will help you along the path to getting those needs met. So, identify third one, Give yourself permission. This is so important because a lot of times we're going to get stuck on that thought like, well, I can't think about me, I have to show up for everybody else. I have to meet everybody else's needs. I need to be on all the time, right? You need to be able to fix things and help people and most of that is our family, right? I need to be showing up for my family and at the expense of our needs. But giving yourself permission, it is okay for me to meet my need. That is okay. And that is huge because it can help take that pressure off of feeling like it's wrong because what happens as women, we think what we should be doing, or we think we're going to be judged for it. And a lot of times it's not the case.

We think, oh, if I do something for me or trying to meet this need, then someone else is going to think il of that or judge me for that or what have you. But really giving yourself permission is key to be able to be making change, right? Absolutely. It's such an important one. Right? Instead of stuffing it, like I don't need anything, I can do this, and you can give yourself permission. Don't need permission from someone else outside of you. We can feel that so strongly that it feels like that's what we need to be doing. But remind yourself, I can give myself permission. I can give myself permission to go take a bath. I can give myself permission to whatever your need is a Good one. And the last practical that I have is how can I meet my own needs? Thinking outside the box instead of looking to others. Get creative and figure out, okay, I need to feel safe. I need to feel like I belong, what can I do actively to help get this need met for myself, instead of looking to someone else to meet your needs.

And this is where coaching is really valuable because we can help women identify their needs and then get creative and think of ways other ways that they can get those needs met in a healthy way rather than with expectations of others that may or may not get met. Now, it's never wrong to have expectations of others like you shared earlier and communicate them, but when we're expecting to get our core needs met by other people that might not even be equipped to meet him, we're going to be in trouble and coaching can really help with this, really helping us find ways creatively to get our needs met, give ourselves permission identified awareness. All that works into that. Absolutely. Alright everybody, thank you for tuning in again, once again on the Rise up and Shine podcast, we hope that something in this episode has helped you that you can take one little nugget into this week to help you identify your needs, yourself permission and how practical things that you can do to meet your needs. So, you can rise up and shine and be your best self and show up as the best version of you.

Take care. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rice, I've been shined podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So, remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. 

Episode #124

When we are triggered, there is so much happening within our bodies it's extremely challenging to respond with calm and patience and find resolution. We become overwhelmed with emotion, stress and, possibly anxiety, we might not know what to do in that exact moment. We might react in a way we regret causing us to feel shame. We talk a lot about thought work here on the podcast but at the precise time we are triggered there are a few steps to take first that will get you the results you really want. These steps will help you respond with confidence and kindness rather than with an impulsive reaction which will result in healthier relationships with others and yourself.




Welcome back listeners today, we're talking about a popular subject, triggers emotional triggers and we actually did episode 106. We talked about triggers, we defined it, we gave some practical on learning how to respond instead of react when you're triggered. Today. We're going to go a little bit deeper onto triggers. Recently I was having a conversation with a woman, and she made a comment about doing thought work when you're triggered. And Ashley and I hear on the show talk all the time about renewing our minds and really working on our thoughts because we know that those create our emotions, and our emotions fuel our actions and that gives us our results in our life. So often we talk about how we have to really work on our thoughts. We have to manage our minds so that the rest will be better. But here's the thing when you are triggered, it affects your amygdala and that's an emotional center of our brain and when we're in that position, that is not the time to do thought work. So that's we're going to talk about today because when you're triggered and you're emotionally in your fight or flight, our prefrontal cortex has shut down so we can't make any new thoughts or logical thoughts at that particular moment or problem solve right?

Which is a lot of times what we try to do when we are triggered. We tried, okay, I got to fix the problem and you know that part of the brain just shuts down and the amygdala get that in your vocabulary Amygdala. It's also fun to say but it's really important to understand this little almond shaped part of our brain that is kind of acts like a baby gate if you will. And I take this analogy from a book from Dr. Daniel Siegel called the whole brainchild and this book changed my life and the whole trajectory of my parenting even but learning about the amygdala and what it does in our brain is when we are triggered, it activates the fight and flight response, right? The fight flight, freeze response and so understanding this and what happens with our prefrontal cortex and that like I said the baby gates, so we have our prefrontal cortex and we have our limbic system and so the emotional part of our brain in the limbic system is going to be what takes over, it's like the baby gate, you know, shuts off the access to upstairs, the higher thinking of your prefrontal cortex, your executive functioning.

Um again if you need more definitions you can even google these terms but it's a simple concept but it is so profound and transforming when we understand what happens because like you said well we try to problem solve and fix the solution and sometimes even if were triggered in a relationship where we have a conflict in a relationship, this is what happens especially with couples, we go around and around and around and around arguing and arguing and arguing and fighting and fighting because we're just constantly like ping pong, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger and we're triggering each other's pain points. But our prefrontal cortex because it shuts off temporarily. We're not able to come to a resolution. And so today we're diving into what things are we practically going to be able to do when our brain is activated like this. That's such a great point. Sometimes we feel out of control, right? So emotionally out of control but we try to gain that control back. Well today is going to be tools on what to do.

Yeah, that happened, and you'll know you're triggered when you act disproportionately to whatever just happened and people react in different ways. Like some people get angry, that's mine. So that's fight. Right? I'm a fighter when I get triggered. Not my normal calm self. Not at all. Some people shut down or get the silent treatment. So, you're the flight, the flight shut down. Other people become needy or they turn to food, alcohol drugs. Netflix negative coping negative coping pattern behavior. So even understanding like when that happens like, oh, like even for example, it's so funny because I love how life works. Like every time we're preparing for a show or I'm preparing to do something, life gives me a really vivid example. And so recently we, I got a phone call from our new lender loans been sold three times in seven months. So that's fun. So constantly have to make changes of address. But when I saw that it was the lender like everything in me I felt panicked, I felt angry because we had such a bad experience with our last lender 10 years ago and it was such a traumatic years-long experience with them trying to get our loan modified during the financial crisis.

So that now whenever I see like a lender's phone number, it just triggers all that emotion from 10 years ago and I just felt all the feelings right, I felt all of them and at first, I wasn't going to answer and I'm like no I don't want to deal with this. And then I was like no I need to deal with it because they're just going to call back and actually, they had a mistake on their end. So, it was a great thing um to calm down to give it a few seconds, calm down, just deal with it and then they were able to correct it on their end the mistake because it wasn't on our end this time and it wasn't even last time in some ways but this time definitely. But I was definitely triggered, and it was quite a big response for just seeing a phone number on my phone and that's how you know if you're triggered and everyone has different ones because we all have different triggers. And one thing that's really powerful to know is what happens in your body when we are triggered. What is actually like how do you feel physiological? So, our heart rate increases, our blood pressure increases.

Um We get rapid breathing, shallow breathing. We've talked before, you know, especially when anxiety kind of rears its head. We tend to hold our breath at times and with not even thinking about it, we could get cold sweats and feel a lot of tension. I know for myself when I get triggered, I'll feel my muscles just tighten and then it feels like I have a pinched nerve in my neck. Especially if it's been days, it starts doing that and very uncomfortable but it's important to know, okay, listen to your body. We don't always do that enough listen to our body because there's times when we get triggered. We know that okay, something upsets us. That's not fair or you know I'm frustrated, or we feel angry or sad but then we just do the things to cope to get by like we said, um and so listening to your body. So that way you can choose a healthy way to respond rather than just reacting and going on default. But choosing a healthy response that will best serve you in your life and your wellbeing and your relationships.

Well let's talk about some of the practicals we have. So, one of the first practical is when you are feeling triggered when you're amygdala has flipped its lid. You know oftentimes when people get angry, we say he flipped his lid, she flipped her lid. That's actually true. There's a little piece of that amygdala that flips up. And so, some research has shown it takes about 20 minutes for it to calm down. But we don't necessarily have 20 minutes. Like for me, I had like 20 seconds to decide whether to answer that phone call, which I did. But let's talk about some of the practical is one of the first ones is to feel it and breathe like it's okay. Like everything you just said when your body, when you start feeling all those heightened physical sensations and you feel angry or shut down or any emotion with it, just feel it and breathe. Don't forget to breathe. I forget to breathe, especially when I'm upset, I would forget to breathe. I just kind of hold my breath instinctually so remember to breathe, feel it and breathe and I'll add onto that to um in this step. What could happen is, well, I'll give you an example.

So, morning routine for a lot of moms tend to be very stressful time getting your kids to school on time, making sure they have everything getting in the car with hopefully no conflict right or quarreling between any of you. Um, but I would get triggered. I would feel the tension in my neck, my muscles, I would feel panicky, like we're going to be late. We're going to be late, and I'd get frustrated, start running really frustrated and then I would be snapping at the kids and I'd be lecturing the kids and I remember taking them to school, dropping them off. I would not give them the best goodbye because I'm frustrated. That's what we do right? As moms, we tend to get frustrated and then what happens, we drop them off, we go home, and we feel shame right? Then we feel bad. Oh my gosh, that was not my best moment. I feel horrible. And for myself, I would fixate on it, and I would ruminate on that shame and create a story. Oh my gosh, I'm scoring my Children and I, you know, I was not showing myself grace at all.

And then, you know, I'd pick up the kids and we talk about it, I'd apologize, they would apologize, and we try and okay, what can we do better for tomorrow and we try and work through it. Now. I'm not saying that I don't get triggered. The triggers are still there because we still have a morning routine. We still have to get to school on time, but I learned I was aware of it. I learned what could I do differently. And so, I will get in the car. I decided I need to stop lecturing. I need to stop making shame-based comments towards them and making them feel bad, um, snapping at them. It's not helping anybody. It's not getting me the result I want anyways. So I learned to just get in the car and sit silently and then if they try to talk to me and say I need a minute, I need a minute I'm breathing, I'm breathing and I'll tell them even later I say I need to allow my brain to calm down because what happens if we don't pause in that moment we will say or do things that we will regret.

So that is my point of grace story. Yeah. So, paws. So, the second practical is to pause the third one which you kind of alluded to it in your story is observed with no judgment like we do. We shame ourselves. So, I shouldn't have acted that way. And it's not that we consciously wanted to act that way. I know when I get triggered and I react in an angry or hostile way. It's not like I'm like I want to behave this way, It's the last thing, the last way I wanted to write, we're not thinking properly, so observe it. Like while I was really interesting, I got really upset there. I really reacted defensively or angrily or whatever way, but with no judgment and really take the time and separate the shame out from the behavior. Like that wasn't my intention. That wasn't my desire. That was I got triggered. That's how I responded and the great thing with triggers which we talked about last time is they show us where we need some more healing. It shows us where we have work to be done. It's like, oh, that's interesting. Like even for me, this phone call, that's such a small thing.

Obviously, I'm sharing a very small example. There are people that have really deep, deep wounds and you know, a wound from a lender from years ago is not the same as someone who had abuse in their childhood, but it showed me, oh, I still have some issues here, whether it's forgiveness or finding trust or going forward with confidence and faith in our finances. There's still something there. So, it shows me, oh, I still have work. I don't need to feel shameful about it. I just need to observe it without judgment for one common one is also just being on social media because we can compare our lives and ourselves and our appearance and all kinds of things, our Children in our house and compare it all our vacations with other people that are posting on there. Um, but if that is a trigger then recognize that right? Could be certain topics of conversation. It could be someone else's success or like I said, I feel I can feel triggered by someone else's vacations.

Wow, they're going on nice vacations. We don't do anything fun. You know, the one who just got back from Hawaii Yes, but that exactly. But that's what our brains are trying to do, right? Our brains are trying to protect us from pain and, but we do go to those things and just recognizing, hey, I think this triggers me. I might need to cool it on social media, or I might need to talk with this person, say, hey, this is kind of a hot button issue for me. You know, if we can't really, you know, it just kind of triggers me or it's uncomfortable to talk about this and then do some of your own work and ask for help for guidance. And that's what Claudine and I are here. I'm going to put a plug in for coaching because this is huge. This is something that we do with our clients is recognizing triggers and how to help you rise up and shine and be full of peace and love and fulfillment in life and when we are flipping our lid and we're not having control of our emotions and we don't really understand what's going on and are aware sometimes we need that extra guidance and that extra help.

And so that's what Claudine and I do. Please check out our web sites and Claudine ClaudineSweeney.com. Ashley specifically for stay-at-home moms. MindOverChaos,com. And yes, Claudine with empty nesters. So huge help there. Another practical Thank you Ashley for that wonderful little inside commercial there. But another practical is find the good and the gift of the trigger, there's always a lesson and we kind of talked about that, but you know, there is something that still needs to be healed, there's something that still needs to be resolved. So, it is a gift. So, when we feel that emotional, you know, we get upset, we feel that emotional um reaction. It's like, okay, what's the gift here? Because I want to remove all this, right? We want to be empty of all the wounds and the hurts in the past and we want to be filled with love and joy and peace and kindness and all those things. And so, it is a gift. And just saying, wow, that's interesting, where can I grow here and thank you for this lesson for this gift? I think there's something to be finding, there's something to be said for finding the good in every situation, you know, looking for the good instead of I can't believe I acted like that again.

And that goes, it goes along with separating the shame out, but just saying, wow, this is, there's got to be something good that comes out of it. So find it and like you said, that's how we can help too with coaching, we can help find the good in a situation that when you're too emotionally connected, it's hard to see and now is the time, Once our brains have calmed down to bring in the thought work, right, We can't do that in the very beginning, when our brain is on hyper alert and we're reacting already and the amygdala has kicked but now is the time has flipped his lid now as our brain has calmed down and we can bring in, you know the thoughts and dig in, dig deep to find out what is the belief underlying this situation that triggered me? What is the story that it's bringing up or that I'm telling myself what, if you're able to access those memories, what memories could be, you know, part of this all factor in here, A lot of them are still subconscious. But if we do take time to sit down and reflect and think about these things, it can be brought to the surface.

It just is really giving ourselves that space to okay, what is going on here and again with grace and curiosity. Alright everyone. So, we hope you enjoyed this episode today on triggers and really understanding what happens in your body when you are triggered and allowing yourself some time to let your brain calm down. That whole emotional chemical response that is happening in your body, allowing that to pass and then being able to and then be able to make healthy responses. You know, deciding on how you want to respond when you're triggered and even going forward is what can I do for the next time when this happens again. So, thank you again, everyone for tuning in. We are so appreciative of you, and we just hope that you have a wonderful week, and we will catch you next week.

Episode #123

Prioritizing can feel impossible when everything seems equally important. But what if everything is NOT equally important? Today we dive into a concept called the Eisenhower Matrix to help identify what things should be top of your list and what things should be off your list. Visit mindoverchaos.com and claudinesweeney.com for resources.




This is episode 123 Prioritizing Using the Eisenhower Matrix. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners. I have a few questions for you. Do you find yourself busy, but don't feel like your work has a high impact. Do you have long term goals, but no time or energy to make progress on them? Have a hard time delegating and or saying no. Or do you find yourself running around putting out fires all day? Figuratively speaking, that is unless of course you're a firefighter and then they may be real, but I know his mom's, we can be putting out those fires all day long if so you might have a problem with prioritization.

I know I did and today we're going to dive deep into what our priorities are and how to make decisions based on the important and not important. The urgent and the not urgent. This is really good stuff. Yeah, I, my brain still tries to tell me that everything is important just as equally important. I should prioritize everything. Everything is a fire right? That needs to be put out, especially as women and moms and wives. We tend to have a lot on our plate because there's a lot of different hats that were wearing, right, A lot of different roles that we have to fill. A lot of responsibilities fall on us lovingly of course. But yeah, it's really important to prioritize and it could be a lot harder. You know, sometimes we just don't know where to start, especially if we are already in a place of overwhelmed, which happens very easily and often when I think you hit it on the head, it's like where to start. That's where I get overwhelmed. Like I have so many things like yesterday, I had a really long list of to-dos and I was really kind of stuck in the morning and overwhelmed.

And then I literally had to put this into practice. I'm like, okay, what needs to be done? Like what's urgent and important and what's important, but I can put off, I can schedule it for later. So that, I mean we make so many choices every day. Right? So how do we know? How do we know? So that's what we're going to talk about today. How do you know? How do you know? Yeah, absolutely. And you know, one of the reasons why we want to talk about this is because it can produce a lot of trouble in our life, in our mental state, our emotional state, um, in our environment and even a lot of anxiety, you know, I mean, I will, I have experienced anxiety at times and I wasn't keeping up with things that should be a priority and letting go of things that really aren't as important or urgent. And so it's really this tool that we're going to share today is so helpful because sometimes, you know, I know I'm not the only one in this, but many of us are just like, just have someone tell me what to do and I'll do it right, tell me what's the most important thing I should get going today and great, I'll get it done.

But when you're left with all these things on your plate, I don't know where to start and we start saying these things like I have to do everything and that I have said personally in my household and you know to myself, not necessarily out loud, sometimes out loud perhaps, but when I'm thinking these things it causes me to feel resentment, frustration, bitterness, especially towards the other members of the household, where I feel like you should be helping me and I'm just grumbling and complaining in my heart. Um that doesn't produce much productivity, Trust me, another one is saying that there's too much to do when we focus on, there's too much to do, not enough time, how am I going to do all this? And we're just kind of cycling through those thoughts that's also going to cause us to feel overwhelmed and just stressed out and one more we tend to say is I'm supposed to do all this again with the prioritizing that all feels just as important and where do I start? Right, And so what ends up happening is we freeze and we don't get anything done.

I know for myself, especially if you experience anxiety on a certain level, it's like there's so much to do and then you just try and cope to number the uncomfortable feeling of anxiety and stress, but then nothing gets done, then you're not productive and then you feel even worse, right? You feel worse and you feel more shame like I'm failing, I'm not doing the things I should be doing right. Exactly. That's exactly what I think you described my whole early parenting years when my kids were little. That's exactly it. There was so much to do and we take on our own stuff, but we take on our spaces stuff, we take on our Children's stuff. And that schedules that you know, they they have busy schedules and then I love, my favorite was at eight p.m. The Oh mom, I need a poster board for tomorrow, like it's a little late now. I mean literally that happened more than once. It got to the point where I just bought them in 10 packs and then kept them put aside because that was like I have a project due tomorrow and I need a poster board and like it's a p. Yeah So we had to get creative and then I got wise. But as an empty nester, it's interesting that now I have more quote unquote time, obviously I don't have more quote unquote time.

I still have the same 24 hours. But I have less people whose demands, their schedules and their demands on my time are less. And then, so now for me, it's deciding what's important for me to do in my day. Yesterday, like I mentioned was really, I got really stressful and I was really frustrated and overwhelmed. I had a work commitment that I needed to accomplish. I needed um we I volunteered to have book club at my home last night, so I needed to print out the book list which includes research. I had committed to my husband and we had our son come over to clean out the garage, which was actually my idea and my schedule and that was actually my idea and I was the one that put it on the schedule, so I couldn't complain at that. But and we needed to go get groceries because we had no groceries and I was having people come over. So all of a sudden there was a long list and like you said, they all felt important and urgent. I was like, oh I need to do this all. So I had to sit myself down and actually use this tool, okay, what's the most important and really it was the business commitment I had, I needed to do that first and if worst came to worst and I didn't have my book list, I was just going to pull out my laptop at seven and we were going to decide together and we got groceries and the garage got done so, but I had to pull out this tool and it was really helpful.

So I'm really excited to share and we've touched about this before. We've talked about scheduling and prioritizing, but we're going to go a little deeper today. So if any of you out there have seen the Matrix movie, gonna share a little story here now, it was very, pretty simple, right? He had two options. You choose the red pill, you choose the blue pill. If life were so simple. If you heard our episode last week research shows that we have, we make about 35,000 decisions a day. Yeah, it's overwhelming, overwhelming. We can understand that, wow, I I get why deciding what's important or what I should tackle first or what I should prioritize could be so challenging, right? Because I mean, they're on a bigger scale. They're also on a smaller scale, these choices that we make day to day. But so the Matrix, this is a different kind of Matrix, the Eisenhower Matrix that is and this is such a powerful tool for helping prioritize these many, many, many decisions that we have on our list and to do, right, that we can easily be overwhelmed with, become extremely fatigued, stressed out and just kind of freeze up because sometimes, like we said, what do I do now?

Where do I start? And then we end up doing nothing. So this guy like Claudine was sharing when we get in that mental space, it is very hard for us to make that decision and to problem solve because our brain is like, oh I'm shutting down for the moment, I'm feeling a lot of feelings right now. So this tool is so handy to have that it will walk you through these, you know, specific steps on prioritizing the things that are that really should demand your time. It's a very complicated name for a very useful and practical system and President Eisenhower actually developed it and he was President and running a country. So since none of us have quite those same obligations, I think that if it was helpful for him it could be helpful for us and I love definitions, I like to know what we're talking about. So one of the first things to define is what is urgent because right, everything can feel urgent, but what is truly urgent are matters that require immediate action.

There are visible issues that pop up and demand our attention now and and often urgent situations come with clear consequences for not completing these tasks. They're unavoidable. But if you spend too much time putting out these fires, it can just create stress and result in burnout, right? And that's what we're talking about. We can get burned out when we're constantly putting out fires. So we have to determine what's truly urgent. What requires immediate action and there'll be a consequence if we don't attend to it. And things like that could be like for me I had this business project, I needed to finish that tomorrow. There would have been not a major life altering consequence. But for me, I want to be a woman of my word. And if I say I'm going to do something on a certain day, I want to do that. Another one is picking up our sick kids from school, right? You can't put that off. You can't let your sick child just stay in the school nurse's office all day. And another one is responding to important emails right there. Some of them are time based. Not all emails, most of them are not protected. Yes.

Unless you're meeting someone that night. It is not urgent if it's about making plans for a dinner next week. Yeah, not as urgent. Right? So urgent needs to take action now and there'll be consequences if you don't. And let's talk about important tasks. These are important because they contribute to our long term goals in our life values and they require planning and intentional thought and action. And when we focus on important matters, we can manage our time and our energy and our intention attention rather than mindlessly expanding these resources, which is so often I feel like I'm just doing, doing doing if you feel like you're on the hamster wheel, that's part of the situation. Like you're just going, going, going. But it's not intentional. And some of those things aren't important. Like yesterday I had to really figure out and honestly, I didn't finish my book either for book club that immediately got relegated to not important and not urgent even though book club was that night I'm like, you know what?

This isn't going to be a life altering thing if I don't finish the book. So that got deleted. So and that's what we're going to talk about this matrix and how we take care of the important and urgent and not urgent and not important right now chores around the household would be a great one that it's important, but not a set deadline, right? Not in my house, my house, They were urgent and important. Mine. I mean, I guess depending on the values, right? And what are your values? My values are I don't need a vacuum every day. You're talking about your chores. I was talking about my kids chores. I see your talk, I understand now. See I hear chores and I think Children well interesting. Learning something new. But it's also true. I get that that that makes sense with young kids because you're training them so I never thought of house work is my chore. Oh my gosh, do you enjoy housework? Some people, I don't I don't totally enjoy housework, but I do really enjoy a clean home.

So that's true. I looked at it as a task, not a chore. I figured my kids had chores and I had tasks. Yeah. Just learning something new about meaning I give it is very much a chore. But you know what, I think part of it when the kids are out of the house, if my husband takes them out to the park and I'm alone and I can crank my music and I can just solely focus on cleaning, then I enjoy it. Um and I can think of it more as though this is a nice task that I'm doing and it just feels so good. But I think going into it, especially with still having kids in the house. I know when I clean this it's a chore because five minutes later it's going to look exactly like that's true. That's true. They just come and undo everything that I just did. So probably different life circumstances interesting. So it can be urgent, not urgent, but yeah, yeah. Some people for their own mental well being, they do need to keep their house very clean and like disinfected clean all power to you. That's not me. But you go girl, let's go, let's describe the matrix here.

So we will both have resources on our website. So you have a visible worksheet to see and do this. Get up on your fridge anywhere. Your calendar somewhere you can see it. This is so, so helpful. Yes. It's a great reminder and you can find that either at mind over chaos dot com or Claudine Sweeney dot com on the resource page and it's there for yours for it's there for your taking. But it's a four box um little design, a little Matrix and Stephen Covey actually, popular Stephen Covey actually popularized this in his book, the seven habits of highly successful people. But the first square is important and urgent. So when something is important and urgent we do it. We just do it right. So yesterday with my business project, I needed to just do it. I couldn't think about it, delegated schedule it. Delete it. I just needed to do it. Which I did. And this is the one with the deadline. Had a deadline. Absolutely had a deadline.

And and if I didn't take immediate action, there would be a clear consequence. Right? I wouldn't be a woman of my word. So I it was urgent and important and I did it the next box. The next part of the Matrix is it's important but not urgent. So here we can schedule things. So things like exercise, right, those are important or important value to my life. Right? But if I don't walk today or go to the gym today, there's not a clear consequence but I should do it this week. So I'm going to schedule it because it's important to me. Um there's all kinds of things like that that are important but we don't need to do them today. Like buying a 10 pack of poster boards that became important but not urgent but now they were there so I didn't have to be rushed out the door with an urgent and important. Yeah. It really takes the pressure off you know because when we are bombarded with all these things we have to do ah and don't know where to start that. Just delegating these into each little quadrant of this matrix is it takes pressure off.

Okay I can put that off for a few more days. I don't have to respond. And even like what I was thinking of a text message when we get an email or a text message or some alert on our phone, our brain is constantly like what is it, who is it do I need to respond? And it can cause just it totally takes our attention away from whatever we're doing at the moment um and keeps us from being present. And a lot of times it can be from our families. Right? But recognizing that okay, I don't have to know right now. If there's not like a meeting later or an emergency then I can respond later. I can respond tonight when I put the kids down when I have some free time. I turned off all notifications on my phone a long time ago. I didn't, I don't have them on there. I don't want them on there. And I look at people with apple watches and they're constantly and I'm like, I have zero desire in that. In fact a family member wanted to buy me one for christmas. I'm like, please don't, please, no, thank you. This is for my mental health. I'm like because I know because you're right, our brains think that every text, every email, every notification is important, right and urgent.

Like we feel like I've got to respond to that immediately. We really don't usually not. There is no consequence if you reply to a text in five hours versus five minutes or five seconds as so many people are trained to do unless of course you're meeting someone for dinner and you're telling them you're running late. But other than that, so I don't have notifications on that's it. And this is really important too because if you want to protect again, going back to values right? So I've had this discussion with my husband our time at the dinner table electronics especially because once the kids get to an old enough age and they have their own phone, they're going to learn by what we model. Right? So my husband said, can we just have the phone put aside somewhere on the counter turned off because a lot of times to the school, an automated message will call, especially when we were getting all these covid stats right from the school they called daily and it was always around dinner time. So we would put the phone away and we would silence it. So that way we can be present. Because if we're, you know what we do around the dinner table, we play games.

And if we hear a phone go off, then we're going to be, who was that? And we're going to totally take our attention away from what we really value. Yeah, yeah. So good. So good. So again, so again for the important things that we want to do because they're based on our values and goals and we have to decide is it urgent and we need to do it or is it not urgent? And I could schedule it in fact earlier you asked me, well, um, I have to get an oil change and I said definitely important. But not urgent unless your car is smoking black smoke out of it or whatever happens when you don't have oil. I don't even know. But because my husband takes care of lucky, lucky me, look, I don't even know what happens if you don't have oil. I don't know. But it's important, but not urgent. So it can be scheduled for next week, but make sure to schedule it, Otherwise it won't happen and then it will become urgent when your car is smoking or not functioning. Absolutely. So actually, why don't you share the other two squares of the matrix with our listeners?

Right? So now the next quadrant is not important, but urgent. Now these are things that we can delegate, right? This is within your family, this is at work wherever. But being able to delegate. And that's one thing that I've been doing even with my kids because I'm like, hey, you live here, you can help out and things that are or not as important, but they're urgent. I can say, hey, I need you to do this. Like the dog has to go out to be right now and I can't, can you please do it? Exactly. Great example. Yeah. I live that one almost every day. But I'm trying to incorporate other people because it's okay to ask for help. Right? A lot of times what causes a lot of our overwhelming stress. We feel like we have to do everything and so we don't delegate and delegate is so healthy. Especially with getting your kids involved too. Do you know what I delegated when my kids were young, What chores? Sure, delegated a lot.

My kids, I have four of them. And I remember at one point going, yeah, I am not, I am not able to take care of all the, hey, hey, you can do this. Yeah, delegate delegate. I love it. I'm not great at it. I've learned, I've learned to be a good delegator, but it's not my natural, I think for a lot of women, Yes, we do. It's partly a control thing. Like, I mean I hear this from many women. If I want it done right, then I need to do it. We do that with the kids too. If I want the dishwasher loaded correctly, I need to do it. But what happens is we're taking on more and more because it can be a control issue and then we're just stressed out and then we're resentful because hey, you're not helping. But then when I try to, when they do try to help, they do it wrong. It's this inner battle that we have as women. So with the delegate right things that need to be done, but don't require your specific skills. Right? It can be a busy work if you think so. Some examples could be like, I like to write blog posts or posts on social media, right?

That's something, a lot of people pay people to do that. Especially if you have a business that's an online business. Um, scheduling. Being able to schedule things in the calendar. I'm starting to do that with my kids. You know, they have their own calendar with their activities and I'm teaching them, but also delegating at the same time, right track of their activities, husband. That's a great one for him to help with two and you're all sync up another one. like we said responding to some emails or a text message. So another good example that I can share with having kids at home if I'm driving and I have a message like if I'm meeting a specific person like we're actually on our way and then send a message. I will have my child in the car respond right hey this is really urgent right now because we're meeting them right now we're on our way. Can you send the text message? Otherwise I mean I could pull over. Yes but that will also be a little bit more stressful and their kids are old enough and they're not driving. Exactly.

Another one is meal prep. This is a big one. I've been asking the kids and my husband some ideas of hey what would you like you want to go ahead and fill in because I've been doing my monthly meal plan since the beginning of the year which has been fantastic. And I can say hey if you have an idea or suggestion for dinner, once you fill it in one of these days that's empty. And another thing that's great about that is when you have a picky eater then they feel like oh my dinner that I want gets to be scheduled in there and they can actually help you prep it when they get to a certain age to, they like to help make it absolutely they can do certain things and that's very, there's a lot of benefits that come to it that come along with it and for some reason I guess it's urgent that our families eat every night. I guess they want to eat a meal every single night ironically it's not as urgent to me for me and important actually. Yeah I like to eat often. That is true. And the last quadrant, the last box here is not important not urgent.

Take it off. Just take off your list. You know take the pressure off. We don't need it. They're distractions that can make you feel worse and they can be okay but only in moderation. So things like this are social media or binging tv shows or movies, video games and some women play video games. But while thinking like candy crush someone just got me onto word all last night. I've been playing it every day a little bit. It's hard. Oh I'm really good at it. I'll show you my tricks. I'm getting better because I'm like this is a good memory game. Good brain and it's actually you have to use a lot of that's why I decided to do it. But I was refusing for a little while. They're eating junk food. Not necessarily nourishing our bodies but taking the easy route right. We tend to eat a lot of junk just to check the box. But it's funny the things you just listed on the not important and not urgent are the things that I naturally want to do to fill time because in a way they're stress relievers for me, but like yesterday like I could have told myself that it was urgent, important that I finished reading that book I was having, but it really wasn't and I've trained myself enough and I have enough awareness to go, okay, this really isn't urgent, it's kind of important, but not that important, but naturally I am, you know, I am, I lean towards doing those really easy things like their time wasters because they're not important, not urgent, but they feel time so we can feel busy, right?

But we're not busy accomplishing anything that helps us achieve our goals and that are in line with our values. So really good way to um prioritize and to discern what is urgent, what's important and what's not. Yeah, and you know, one thing that I realized with you like using this tool other than it took a lot of pressure off of things that you know, I could put that off a little bit later and just really focus on a few key things that need to be done like right now or today. Um but it helps me be more intentional in my schedule and I think that's the whole idea, right? Because if we are intentional in our schedule are planning the things we have to do our responsibilities, then we're gonna be creative in ways to, you know incorporate more of the things that are important to us and that really matter and delegate things that we can delegate or just kind of take some of those time wasters and save them for another time even. And one thing that I've learned for myself if I have a busy day, um and I'm running from place to place and I know it's going to be a longer night, I know myself now that I will get run down and I'll be exhausted by seven and I'll want to go to bed and I'll be falling in and out of sleep and really spend as much time with my family.

And so I've learned that if I have a busy day, if I have even 30 minutes that I can give myself a lunch break, then that really changes the whole rest of my day because I can eat lunch, watch one of my favorite shows, just kind of zone out a little and recharge and then it gets me through the rest of the day because what I would do is more coffee, More coffee, but then it runs me down because I'm not stopping and being intentional, no, I need 30 minutes of just nothing so I can recharge and get moving through the rest of the day, definitely important, important. And I think about, you know, last week we talked about people pleasing and I think sometimes with people pleasing, we can get a lot of it feels like important and urgent, right? Because we're depending on someone else. So, first you have to figure out If when you're saying Yes to is people pleasing or not. So if you haven't heard that episode, check it out, episode 122. But once we decide what our values and what are important and urgent tasks are, it's important to prioritize so we can live, like you said, true to what's important to us and to live our authentic life and to rise up and shine.

I don't want to feel anxious and overwhelmed and stressed out over my schedule. I want to feel peaceful and confident and secure in my decisions and with my schedule. Schedule definitely. And I think about Ephesians 5, 15 in the ESPN, it says look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of your time. And I love that. Like what is the best use of my time And when we use this matrix, it will really become clear, right? And I know this was a lot of information, but again, check out our websites, Claudine at ClaudineSweeney.com and Ashley's website at MindOverChaos.com. And there is this principle that will be a visual for you and again posted up somewhere where you're going to see it all the time and even if you take time out in the morning to kind of look ahead at your day and schedule your day, this will be an awesome tool to do that. So you know what things need to get done today. What things can I do later this week? It will really, really take a lot of that stress off of your shoulders and you'll feel good, you know, and you'll be much more productive.

Absolutely. And if you need more help in deciding what is urgent or not and what is important or not, Ashley and I as life coaches can help you do that. We can provide the support and the resources and the practical to make those decisions. So your life can be full of peace and joy and confidence, right, Claudine. And so if any of you are interested, I work specifically with moms and stay at home moms. Um and you can visit my website for a free discovery call where we can get in touch and talk about these things and Claudine at her website, you can also discover. You can also book a free discovery call with her at Claudine Sweeney.com. So we thank you again for tuning in with us and uh please if this has helped you share it with a friend um and don't forget to hit that subscribe button and thank you again for tuning in with us every week, we appreciate it and we look forward to connecting with you have a great week. Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rice.

I've been shined podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney.com and Ashley at MindOverChaos.com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #122

Today we talk about people pleasing and how to quit! Trying to please people leaves you exhausted, stressed, and most likely insecure in your relationships. We might show up for others more out of fear rather than love. In this episode, we give you 4 tips for quitting people pleasing once and for all and begin restoring peace within your soul. For more resources visit claudinesweeney.com and mindoverchaos.com.




You’re listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley, an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So, tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright, this is the Rise up and Shine podcast.

Welcome back friends to another episode here on the Rise up and Shine podcast. We are so excited you're here and tuning in with us again. I want to start with a couple of questions for you and really self-reflect and see if this sounds like you 1st. Do you tend to over apologize? Do you struggle with saying no? Do you care a lot about what other people think of you and do you tend to put other people first above your own self at the expense of yourself?

Maybe even well if these sound like you, you might be a people pleaser, my friend and we personally are too recovering people pleasers, we have been there, we've experienced it and we have learned some amazing tools that have helped us overcome this because it really did take a toll in our own personal lives and you know, as Christian women, there's a fine line between serving and being a people pleaser, between denying ourselves and doing for others out of love, not being selfish and being a people pleaser. So that's why we're going to dive in today and talk about the difference and the healthy way of serving and saying yes versus people pleasing, which is unhealthy. Yeah. One of my biggest revelations would be that when I really started paying attention to this in different relationships, I had like to what extent do I people please? I realized because I struggled with why I'm just serving, right? It's my heart and that's what I'm called to do.

That's what we're supposed to do and that's what I want to do. But I realized it was coming from a place of fear and not love and I thought, okay, then I need to dig a little deeper there. And that is why we're bringing this up because many of us do that we think we're serving, we think we're doing the, you know, the right thing, we're being Jesus like, but we're actually might be doing it from a place of fear and fearing rejection, fearing abandonment, fearing disapproval. That was a big one for me. I had feared a lot that I would disapprove or be disapproved of, right? If I didn't show up the way this person wanted me to or meet their expectations. Yeah, exactly. And you hit it on the nail. It's like people pleasing comes from the heart of fear and serving comes from the heart of love and when people please, if we do it too often and too much or even a little in an unhealthy inauthentic way, we'll end up feeling resentful, um depressed, dissatisfied. It can lead to all kinds of negative feelings. So, I don't think that's what serving um is supposed to do.

So that's how we know to fear feeling any of those negative quote unquote emotions. It's probably not coming from a place of love. Yeah, it was for myself personally it was to the extent where I needed therapy, like I needed to get help with it, and I didn't actually know that's what was happening. That's when I started really discovering what was going on on a deeper level, but I just was experienced a lot of anxiety where it was debilitating. You know, I felt I mean I would get panic attacks and I would feel almost paranoid um if I was experiencing a situation with somebody or you know, saying no or just really cycling those negative thoughts and those stories in my head and once I was able to get to counseling that I really understood what was going on, I was like ah it's fear, it's not love, it's fear, that's why I'm doing this and those two can't coexist, do not coexist. And the thing with people pleasing is if we continue to do it and feel those negative emotions then we're going to develop negative coping behavior.

That's why it's important to address this because when we're feeling resentful or depressed or fearful or any of those guilty dissatisfied. We're going to tend to cope with some unhealthy behaviors as well, which can lead to overeating right over drinking over Netflix, binging those things that that aren't healthy for us, and they don't help us rise up and shine and live our best life. So that's why it's important to deal with it and really come to the heart of the matter, deal with the heart of the matter here. Yeah, and I know personally and speaking with many others um friendships and even some that I've coached even if we've experienced certain traumas in our childhood that has, that also determines kind of the level of which we people please, some of us people please. Um But some to even more extreme, you know I felt like I was on the extreme end of the specter, wow this is like my whole life that's taking up. Um and I did it with my kids, I did it with my husband, I did it with family, with friends, you know I did it all the time.

And even to the point where like if someone else honked at somebody else, I would get anxious like what did I do wrong because I cared so much about what people think, but it really it's obviously not logical that had nothing to do with me right, but my brain was like danger, right, we're doing it again or you know you did something wrong Ashley and that wasn't what was going on but really digging deeper to find out why. And then again with the certain tools that you can use to overcome it. Oh my gosh, it's just an amazing transformation. It's very free. Well, it's interesting you say that because we are wired for social connections, right? That's how we're built and there is a need to be approved. We want to feel approval because we don't want to be kicked out of our social circle because thousands of years ago, if you weren't part of a tribe, you were not safe, like you couldn't live on your own. There were too many predators in too much danger. So, our brains are wired to keep us safe, and we need the approval of others to quote unquote, stay safe. It's very different this day. But unfortunately, our primitive brains have not um you know, they, they still think, oh, danger if you're not approved of, you're going to be alone and that's not safe.

So, but we know because God has given us our prefrontal cortex that we can think and have intentional thoughts and feelings and decisions and all that. But thank you God for that, by the way, I think that was one of the best gifts it is ever could have received. It is the best gift, and we have a lot more power than we thought, right? And we need to learn how to manage our minds and manage our emotions so we can rise up in shine and live our best lives and don't have to live from this place yes, Fear. And one of the other things with people pleasing for me was that I was showing up with a lack of authenticity. I wasn't really me because there's that fear again, if people really know me, they might think I'm selfish, I might get rejected, right? We've talked about that. Um and if I don't have the approval of people then where am I going to be? I'll be lonely and I'll be depressed. But the truth of it is when we people please when we go against ourselves, we don't show up as ourselves and there's a disconnect, There is a disconnect and even if people approve of that person, that's not the real me anyway, they're just approving of the person that says yes to everything and then you have to keep up that persona and it's exhausting.

It is and it does, it can lead to anxiety and depression and really struggle mentally. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, let's talk about some of the practical because we have a few that have helped us and that have helped others to overcome people pleasing. So the first one and you kind of hinted that actually is the why really checking the motives of our heart, Is it coming from a place of love or is it coming from a place where it's there's fear and maybe we're trying to seek approval, which actually we did a whole episode on how to stop seeking approval In episode 103 and we go deeper into that. But really checking our motivations, checking our hearts out for what is why am I doing this? Why am I saying yes to this? And I used to say yes to a lot of things again for fear of rejection or disappointment. Um but you know that's a lot, it's hard like my why wasn't because I genuinely want to do this or I genuinely want to serve in this way, it's like if I don't, what will they think of me? So, examining your why, why are you saying yes to something someone is asking of you?

The second practical is setting up healthy boundaries, boundaries was not my vocabulary word in my you know brain, but that is something that really helps as boundaries, you know, something like I thought that's selfish, it's not okay, I can't say no, I can't do these things but you know, I have to show up and be serving and those aren't things, those are stories that I'm you know, bringing up in stories or meanings that I'm giving to things and situations and relationships even, but having healthy boundaries is crucial for healthy relationships and I tell my kids all the time that you know, we teach others how to treat us and so when we people please we are teaching others that that's ok and that you can ask whatever you want from me and I will always deliver or I will always serve, I'm always there for you. But then what can happen is then, you know, we tend to people pleasers tend to attract people who might take advantage of that kind of mentality. Yes. And so, and then it's just cause for disaster, right?

And that's not a healthy relationship. So, setting up healthy boundaries is very important. And we actually have an episode on that episode 33 of setting up boundaries and what type of boundaries and what does the boundary look like? And um you know boundaries, like if you think of a house, you know with the yard and we have fenced yards um so are the property is on our side of the fence and the neighbor's property is on their side of the fence, what's mine? This is mine and that's yours and very very crucial for healthy relationships and healthy you as well. Yeah, absolutely. And going along with boundaries, I'd say another practical is don't make excuses if you have to say no, you don't have to make excuses. You don't owe someone a whole list of why I can't do this thing, like no is a full sentence and you don't have to apologize for saying no right? That's it. That's the part of it because I tend to say, oh I'm sorry, I can't and then why do I apologize, oh I can't next time though.

I mean we can say things like I wish I could, but unfortunately my schedule doesn't provide that right now it expresses the desire to help. But unfortunately, I can't and that's it, right. Just a sentence. One thing that's helped me in this specific situation. Like if I know if someone says that to me, if I ask this of you know, hey, can you help me with that? And they say that very thing I don't think anything about Okay. Yeah, no problem. But for some reason when we think if we say that to somebody like oh my gosh, it's detrimental and they're going to yell at us and be so frustrated or disapprove of us and think less of us and that is not true. That is a story that we are thinking. Absolutely. So that was the third practical, just don't make excuses, you can just say no and that's okay. Um number four, bring it before God definitely bringing things anything that you know, we fear any anxieties, any prayer requests, anything, bring everything to God.

He is the best source to give us peace and guidance. You know? And sometimes we struggle with do I say yes, do I still know what do I do? And I just always bring it back to God and I pray and I just lay it in his hands and say God, you know the situation, I don't know what to do here, please guide my heart and knowing what I should do and make the right choice and sometimes the right choice is to be able to serve sometimes the right choices be still and say no and that's ok. But own it, huge thing is being able to own it. Yeah, that's important. And I think about the scripture in Philippians two, it says let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. And it was really powerful when I read that scripture because sometimes you think it says don't look at your own interests, just look to the interests of others, but that's actually not what it says. It says, let's let each of you look not only to his own interest, which would be selfish, right be very selfish if all we ever thought about was ourselves, but also to the interests of others.

But it doesn't say neglect your own interests. So, there's a healthy balance there. And I do think even though it's number four could very well be the most important practical and bring it to God pray about it. There are times where I'm like, should I don't know like I kind of do have the time, but I, you know, I just don't know if I pray about it and I'm like God direct my steps, make it really clear is this an area I can serve in? Or is this an area where I'm doing it out of the wrong motives because it's selfish. It is selfish to do it out of the wrong motives because I want approval or escape rejection. I want to disappointment that in and of itself is selfish because writing about your So it's taken a lot of work to really to walk that fine line between serving and people pleasing and really it's practice self yeah, it's practice and self-awareness which we talk about all the time, really reflecting on our own hearts and going along with the self-awareness as well, is being confident in who you are.

You know, that's huge. People pleasers tend to feel inadequate and insecure and have a lower self-esteem and we feel like we need to we need this approval because it validates us as a human being and that is not the truth and the truth is that again, that's another story, right? We believe these stories that I need validation outside of myself. So, I am a valuable, worthy person. But again, going back to God, we are valuable and worthy in him. You know, that's it. That's plain and simple. That's it. We he sees are worth and value and be confident in knowing that then we will feel confident in making these decisions whether we say yes, whether we say no and how we're showing up and serving and it will really lead to serving from a place of love and not fear because you're coming from a more confident place, a place that I like to call a God for guidance, A God like that, confident in God through God from God right? That's awesome. I love that.

Well as faith-based life coaches, we can help our clients determine if they're being people pleasing or serving. We can help with the self-awareness and the motives of the heart. So, if you're in need of a little support and a little encouragement in this area, we are here to help, you can find this over at MindOverChaos.com or ClaudineSweeney.com. And you can schedule a free discovery call on either of those websites with Ashley or Claudine until next time. We hope this has been helpful and practical to help you rise up and shine. Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise Up and Shine podcast.

Episode #121

Do you have "that thing" that you've always wanted to do? Or maybe you want to be more courageous in your ordinary day to day. Such as the courage to set boundaries or the courage to do hard things. Whatever area in your life you are desiring more courage this episode is for you. Courage isn't necessarily a natural skill but it is a muscle that can be strengthened. Tune in to learn practical steps you can take to grow your courage and stop letting fear hold you back from the life you are REALLY wanting to live. More resources at claudinesweeney.com and mindoverchaos.com.




This is episode 121, Strengthen Your Courage Muscle. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So, tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast.

Welcome back listeners today, we're going to talk about courage. Courage is the quality of Mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger and pain without fear. That's what courage, That's the definition of it. Now let me ask you this when you hear be strong and very courageous, what do you think? How do you feel when you hear that? Usually these are the kinds of instructions you receive when something risky or dangerous lies ahead, that's for sure.

What was going on when God told Joshua that in Joshua 1:7 “be strong and very courageous”. It's almost like uh-oh something's coming, doesn't it seem like that to you? Like a warning? Yeah, it's like a warning. Be strong and courageous. So, what's coming up? Why do I have to be strong and courageous when you're on a hyper alert? Right, but you and I have been talking recently and we need to have courage in our day to day life, it's not only for the big monumental things um a lots going on in our world right now as usual and I feel like we were saying that a lot last year and now we have war going on and there's people that have to face some very real, very specific danger and there are a lot of them are acting with great courage, but even in our small day to day things, we need to find courage. I mean I remember my time when I struggle with depression, I had to find the courage just to get up, right, I had to just the have the state of mind to face the uncomfortably the pain, the discomfort of just getting up out of bed to rise up and shine right?

So even in our day-to-day life, the quality of courage is really important. That's why we're talking about it today, right? And sometimes we can think that courage, some people have it. Some people don't, you can think of Wizard of Oz wasn't the lion who just wanted courage and it's so true, we think some people are just born with courage and some people just aren't and there is some truth to that, some tend to be more courageous just naturally, but it is also something that can be learned and practice and you know, you'll hear a lot of people out there and like what we like to say is if you think of it like a muscle, right, strengthening that courage muscle, it takes practice, it takes work, it takes intention, but it's possible and I think a lot of times we get stuck with feeling so afraid and a lot of what happens in our brain which we'll dive into a little bit but we get so stuck in that place of being fearful and we think that's just what it is. Maybe it's not meant to be or and we just stick to our comfort zone, and it's really default and but what happens is we're not happy, we're happy, we're not fulfilled.

We're not satisfied in our life. There still is this deep yearning for more, you know more peace, joy, love you name it and just even goals and dreams in our lives. Well, it takes courage to go after a new job or career. I'm thinking of some of the things um or start a hobby, you know or start a business or join a group. I mean I remember when my kids were young since many, many years ago and I wanted to be part of the P. T. A. But I was so fearful like I was like I was like I'm not going to go to school by myself and an evening I remember so for years I didn't join and then years later one of my neighbors like hey there's a P. T. A. Meeting, you want to come with me tonight. And I was like sure I'll go with your safety, right? I had a companion. I had cohort with me, I wasn't alone. But there's all kinds of things in our day-to-day life that Could cause fear. And I think for me as a younger mom in my 20s and 30s, I feared fear. I feared fear. So, I was like, I don't want to feel fearful.

I'm straight afraid of even feeling that feeling. So, let's just stay super comfortable. Let's just keep really safe within the confines of my home. And I was busy obviously with four Children. I was very busy, but I feel like now that I'm older, it's like, okay, I have to break out of my comfort zone. I have to find courage to do the things that I'm passionate about or interested in. I want to be a life enthusiast. You know, I'm enthusiastic about life, that's how I want to live. You can't do that without some amount of courage. And also, when we are stuck in that comfort zone and I'll say stuck because that's eventually what it essentially what it is, is being stuck there. Um A lot of us feel at peace with it. And if you listened or if you have not gone back and listen to episode 118, Surrendering verse Settling. You'll know you'll understand that if you really peel back the layers, are you truly happy with that being in that place. And what happens is we think, well we're just surrendered to what is.

But essentially, we settled, we just decided, no, I'm going to settle in this place, and it is what it is, but again, like I said, we're unhappy and unfulfilled and really when we have courage, when we practice courage and build that muscle, it does so many amazing things for you. It, you know, allows you to pursue your goals, your dreams, like you said things you're passionate about, it helps you get things out of life that you really, really want right deep in those um desires, those dreams, those passions of yours. It also boosts self-confidence and increases happiness, which I think many of us want. We definitely all want to experience more happiness in this life. I even have that talk with our kids about um being happy, you know, and what that looks like and how you can even choose how your day is going to go because I have one child who tends to think if a couple unfortunate situations happen in the morning, then it's a bad day, the whole day is ruined, it's a bad day and I think most of us can relate to that, you know, oh my gosh, this is going to be a bad day, sometimes we do, but it doesn't have to be a total break of our day, right, when a few things happen, but if we really practice this courage and really understand that, gosh, if I just strengthen this muscle a little bit, I can potentially experience more happiness, more fulfillment, more confidence, more peace.

Gosh, why not? Right, let's go for that. What can I do? Sign me up? Yes. Um you know, it's funny, I'm thinking of when I've had to be courageous recently and for me it's been probably like the last 8 to 10 years, I've had to redefine myself because my Children all grew up, I'm an empty nester. My Children are adults and they've moved on and I made it. I know I did it, I'm on the other side, but I had to find courage to recreate my life, you know, that's what I work with women now. I coach women typically empty nesters that are on the other side and they're trying to redefine themselves and reinvent themselves, but it took a lot of courage to figure out even what I liked or what I was passionate about because my Children, my home where it for so many years, I always had jobs that they were part time and they were kind of accessories. My main thing was my home and my Children and so I really had to find the courage to face the discomfort, the pain, the difficulty, the challenge, the challenge of hard, I think about that I had to confront that face it and just do new things for me and that was hard.

Um I was recently at a workshop and one of things that came up, someone was sharing, how introverted and shy they were, and they didn't do anything until they were like 22. I was like me too; I didn't go to a grocery store till alone until I was probably 25, I had Children in 21. So, it was just there was so much fear and of course as I've grown, I've had to confront those fears and the hard things like it's okay, I can do hard things. In fact, my new saying now is I do all the hard things. I got coached on that recently by my coach. I'm like okay, it's one thing to say and you and I teach this all the time. I can do hard things. It's a whole another one to say what say, you know what I do the hard things. I do all the hard things like already Yeah, I already do it and if it comes up yeah, that's who I am. I do all the hard things and things and I survived and I'm shining, shining bright, I'm rising and shining even with the hard things and how many of us think well in order to be courageous then I don't fear anymore right?

Like the fear just goes away. But that's not what happens. Fear is inevitable. Fear is a part of life, it's even a part of our wiring right or fight and flight. It's a part of our survival. However, practicing courage and building that courage muscle does not mean it's not going to be there, it's how you choose and intend to get through difficult situations right? We can choose to let the fear take over and have more power and control over us and we're just going to shrink back and stay comfortable and safe. Or I could strengthen that courage muscle and no, I am adamant not to go back there, I want more out of my life, I want to experience more happiness and fulfillment and confidence and so you know I can do hard things. I am doing hard things and pump yourself up sometimes. I still have to do that right, pump yourself up and just decide just to make a decision. How are you wanting to handle a situation or how are you wanting to, you know what are you wanting out of life? That's a big one. And again, what is that thing or an area of your life that you wish you had more courage.

That is a great starting place right to really evaluate what area of my life or what's that thing I've been desiring or yearning for, but I just didn't feel bold enough, I didn't feel courageous enough to go after it. Yeah, that's a good point. I remember 2030 years ago I had started working for Mary Kay part time, the cosmetics company which as I've just shared, I was very introverted and shy, so totally the wrong business to be in at that point in my life. But my mother-in-law gave me a book called Feel the Fear and do it anyway. And yeah, it was a good book, I who knows where it is now. We've moved a few times, but it was a really good book. I remember reading it and I like what you said, courage isn't the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and doing the right thing anyway or taking the right course of action anyway. Um and we can do it. I mean we were going to share some practical in a few minutes but just even understanding that it's not the absence of fear, I think I face fear quite a lot actually, especially running a new business by myself, like all the businesses I've owned before have been with my husband, I've never had a business all by myself and my coaching business is just me, I don't have a partner, I don't have a helper.

All of it falls on me, there can be a lot of fear. Like do I have enough time, do I have enough energy? I'm older now, can I work the same amount of hours, all those fears there, you know can come up when you're an entrepreneur and especially one that doesn't have a partner so for me this is a new thing um but we're going to feel fear every day, but can we rise up above that and still take the right action so we can live our best life. Yeah, Take the steps towards the life that you want. I have this quote probably this morning or yesterday. I don't even remember, and I wish I could reference who said it. It was it was awesome. It said faith moves mountains. Fear creates them. Oh my gosh! That is so powerful. Right? Nice artwork. It probably is somewhere so credit to whoever said that, that I just listened to. But that that really resonated with me. You know that's true. We have we have a choice; we have that power to decide which direction we want to go. Am I going to let my fear be in charge?

Or am I going to let my faith be in charge and take steps towards being courageous and bold and God will work things out. God takes away and it really is a testament to our faith. I mean, you look at all the stories in the bible, right? It's like you said, be strong and courageous well for what? What's coming? What's coming my way when I know what I need to prepare for and it's very true. You know. But really every morning waking up with that mindset that come, what may? Right? I love that. I know it was a song come what may, but whatever is going to come my way, I can handle it. I got this; I have support of people around me. I have my God leading me through today. Whatever comes but I choose intentionally to be courageous today. That's great. Well actually why don't we share some practical things that have helped us, that have helped our clients and that hopefully will help our listeners to find more courage and build their courage muscle. Excellent. Okay, so first one small step really takes small steps, we can think of whatever again, whatever that area in your life that you want to practice more courage.

Um, it could be relationships, it can be, you know, friendships with your Children, with your husband, it can be work, it could be going after a new goal, It could be building a business, whatever, whatever have you, whatever that area is in your life, even finances, um, take small steps, you know, chuck it down. We look at the big goal and we can freak out. I have no idea what to do. I don't know where to start. I don't, you know, we come up with all these reasons and excuses and just, you know, that seems so rational why I don't think I could do it. So maybe that's just a pipe dream and it'll never happen. But if we start small and just take little baby steps, right, we're a big fan of what about bob? If you've seen that movie, the baby steps many years ago with Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray, oh my gosh, even my kids just crack up, they love that movie. But the baby steps, baby steps to the elevator, baby steps into the door, baby steps out the door. You know, just all chunk it down to smaller stuff that seems manageable. That seemed possible and that's what it is. one ft in front of the other gets you in the right direction and gets you to reaching your goal.

Yeah. That's awesome. That's a good one. I do, I do that a lot. I have to because the big is overwhelming. So little, little baby steps, great, practical. The next one is imagining the best-case scenario instead of the worst-case scenario because our brains are wired with a negative bias. And so, it's easy to go well if I do this, I think for me like going back to the P. T. A. Thing, I think I was so quiet and shy that going to a big root group of women was intimidating. I felt like I won't have anything to say. What if they all ignore me? What if I'm wearing the wrong outfit? What if you know all the negative worst-case scenarios had I had the knowledge and the skills to even think what if I meet my best friend there, what if I'm embraced into this community? What if like I never even thought that because I had such a negative bias in my mind set. So, I always feared the worst. I never thought like What if it turns out really great, right? You know? And the truth is it's a 5050, we have a 50% chance of it going well, it's a 50% chance of it not, it's just our mind is wired to think negatively think worst case.

And so, then we perpetuate this fear cycle. Well, it's interesting. I don't know how many listeners out there have even been given advice or have given advice that says, well what's the worst that can happen? And I've been told that and that does not help my brain. To me, it's like then I think of all the things, right, the worst things that can happen. But for some people it works. Some people can be like, Oh, that's really not that big of a deal. I couldn't handle that and that's great. Some of us cannot. Some of us need to think well what's the best thing because that's what I want to focus on. There are different options. 50% chance that it's going to go the worst case. 50% chance it will get the case. So, weigh the options. It's really important to keep that in mind. It's not all going to be bad. Yeah, that's a good one. The next one is asked why and why not? So, when you have an area that you're wanting to grow in or practice courage, ask yourself why, why I want to go after this in my life. Why is this so important to me, why does this matter so much to me and really evaluate that journal.

It really helps, but really contemplate on that on that why? And that helps with motivation. The other question that really helps transform my life and my thought process when going after a goal is well why not? Because what happens when we ask ourselves why I want to go after these goals and you kind of get all excited about motivated, you feel it in your gut pretty soon. All the reasons why you shouldn't do it. All the excuses, all the reasons, all the fears, all the self-sabotage, the limiting beliefs, all these, you know negative thoughts, those are going to keep coming up to, you know, trying to get you back to your safety net to your comfort zone. But when you ask, well why not then really for me solidified. What about that is really important to me, why does that matter? And why not go for it? You know, Am I, what I tend to do is I look way ahead. Am I going to look back on my life in 20 years and say I'm glad I didn't follow through with that or am I going to say I wish I had followed through with that because a lot of times what happens is that desire doesn't go away, we just prolong it and then made me never even reach it.

So, asking why not? Is just as important as why to help with that motivation? Yeah, yeah, that's a great one and it’s kind of practical, number four kind of follows up with that, it's positive self-talk. So, it's kind of focusing on the positive, the best-case scenario, the why the why not in a positive way because again our brains are always, we're always thinking the negative, right? We're like, oh I'm not good enough, I'm not worthy, I might fail, we have long lists, that's easy. Right? I don't know about you. For me, it's really easy. I've got my list of 10 go twos of why this isn't going to work and why my fears are legitimate, but to train ourselves to talk positively to ourselves and it's a lot of work, it really is not natural for most of us and it takes training and then that becomes our default, but for a while it's going to be a lot of training, just like going to the gym, right, we talk about this all the time. You have to go to the gym more than once to sculpt your muscles. I mean, I wish it was a one and done, but unfortunately consistency apparently is the key and so you have to keep doing it.

So positive self-talk. If you catch yourself saying negative, fearful worst case scenarios, just stop, just stop, like I'll even tell myself in my head, stop, I just say it stop in my head and then I turn it around and I'll try to either create a positive thought within me and if I am stuck or need more guidance, then I'm going to go to the scriptures and it's it's interesting. There's a great passage in 41 Isaiah 41 10. I love it in the message bible but says, don't panic, I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I am your God, I'll give you strength, I'll help you, I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. So, when I can't muster up some positive self-talk to myself, I love going to the scriptures and especially finding different versions and this one happened to be the message bible message version and it's so good. And I feel like it's a friend talking to me and saying, hey, don't panic, I'm here with you. You know, I'm going to keep you steady and firm. I'm like, oh yeah, it's just a great reminder for me and it keeps me in that positive state of mind, and I will leave you with this quote came out of the psychology today.

It says courage allows one to overcome personal limitations and pursue a full life and that is exactly what Claudine and I help our clients with right to experience life to the full abundance and help overcome fear and practice more courage in any area of your life that you're looking for. So, thank you for tuning in today with us again. I hope this helps inspire you encourage you empower you. Please remember to share this podcast with some friends, many friends. We love to spread the word to get all this encouragement out to as many women as possible. So, we will catch you all next week. Bye bye. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rice. I've been shined podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at ClaudineSweeney.com and Ashley at MindOverChaos.com.

Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So, remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Episode #120

The thoughts we have running through our minds can either empower us or disempower us. How we feel is directly related to these thoughts and in today's episode we share four secrets to deciphering which thoughts best serve you so you can live your life full of confidence and peace. For more resources, visit us at mindoverchaos.com or claudinesweeney.com.




 Welcome back listeners. I'm going to start us off with a scripture in 1 Corinthians 4:18 from the Message Bible, it says “God's way is not a matter of mere talk, it is an empowered life” and that's what we're talking about today. Empowered Living.

Webster defines empowered as having the knowledge, confidence means or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself.

And last week we talked about the art of choosing and making choices, which is making decisions, but to have the confidence, the means and the ability and that's we're going to talk today about how to have an empowered life, how to live empowered, So empowered living. I love this topic because I remember my really transformation several years back when I worked through a lot of trauma from childhood and depression, anxiety and really steps, you know, crossed over into feeling much more empowered and just learning the tools on how to do that and especially with coaching, walking me through um so I want to share specifically about some thoughts that we might have things we say to ourselves that are actually disempowering for example, I can't do this. How many times have we said that? Or I am not good at this or I'm not good enough or I'm failing. Oh my gosh, I'm not doing anything well.

I don't have enough time. That's another one. It's one of my favorites. Yeah. We say that all the time. Not enough time in the day. I'm doing everything. I don't know if even if you're married have had that, had that thought in your own marriage that you feel like you're doing everything and your husband is not helping or your wife is not helping. And also if this happens then I'll be happier then I'll be able to do this or that if then mentality is also really keeps us stuck and disempowered in our lives for sure. Well, you know, I definitely went through a few years where I didn't feel empowered at all. I felt very disempowered. Like you shared and I would read these scriptures like the one I started off by reading and reading, It's an empowered life and I thought, you know, I don't feel any power here, I'm a believer, I'm a follower and where's my power and just felt like I got short changed somehow and didn't understand how the mind works. I didn't understand our thoughts and our feelings and our actions, how all those tie into each other.

Um and that I really did have the power, I did have the ability. What I was lacking at the time was the confidence because I didn't understand how to work and obviously that's what you and I teach our clients. That's what we work on is really empowering our clients to have the confidence to make the choices so that they can feel empowered, that they can live life to the full, that they can rise up and shine. Absolutely. I forgot one very important one on that list, Claudine that makes us feel disempowered. I should the ship is such a powerful word that dis empowers you. Let me tell you. And we still do it. We'll still find ourselves like, oh, I should be doing this instead, or I shouldn't have done that or I should have known better. I should, I should, I should, I should and we do that all the time. And it's so disempowering and really cuts us down. And again, I mean, we've had even an episode about self talk and that is huge on how we talk to ourselves. Can either empower us or Disempower us.

And a lot of time it does take away our power, right? We belittle ourselves. We criticize ourselves. We put ourselves down way too often. It just seems so natural and even I know in my own life and many out there who might be listening right now if you've experienced trauma in your life that also plays a big role in whether we feel empowered or not. And so if you've become a people pleaser or for myself, I was codependent on people and circumstances and you know if things go well then I'll feel good or this relationship goes well then I feel worthy or valued and gosh, we do that a lot. But again, that's giving our power over to circumstance right outside of us, right? Yeah. And that's very disempowering when we give our ability to to feel to have emotions, to act when we give it to other people. It's very disempowering and it's also very victim mindset. Very much so. Yeah, well I lived there.

Yeah, I did too. I just thought everything was going to be given to me and when it wasn't I just would get so discouraged, like, oh I guess I don't get a good life, I get this. So so mediocre life. But then I understood I learned the tools and the practical to really rise up and shine, which is why we try and share these things. But let's talk about how how can we feel empowered. Let's talk about some of the ways we've talked about the Disempowering thoughts, let's talk about some practical is to live empowered. So first off what we like to say cast the past, we have even held a workshop in this was one of our topics casting the past and what that means. Again, like I said, if you've experienced hardship and pain and discouragement and trauma in your life, you might be holding on to that and it could be disempowering to you. And like I said for myself personally, I was very much a people pleaser codependent. I cared way too much about other people's opinions and their view of me and I would have someone else's voice in my head, right, what I should be doing.

Yes. And sometimes it likes to come up again, but luckily we know the tools now what to do, which is why we're here to share it with you. But if you feel like I'm living for someone else, whether their approval or trying to make them happy, especially if you struggle with anxiety, That was a big one for myself as well. And depression and anxiety are signs that you could be, you know, you are you are disempowered if you're struggling with depression, anxiety, and you and I have both been there. So we know that and I love that that you shared cast the past because our past is not a prediction of the future, but our brain wants us to think that it is well this is the way it always goes, this is what's happened before. But honestly, the stimulus is not the same. So whatever happened in the past, it doesn't mean it's going to happen. The future, pardon my little dog who's visiting with us today in our recording studio. She's quite noisy, but that's so important to know that our past does not dictate our future because I really thought that I believe that it did.

And when we cast the past, when we push it aside and we, you know, we don't look back, even the bible teaches us don't look back, but yet we do that right. Our brains are um wired that way to take that past experience and go, oh, now it's a future predictor. This is what's going to happen. It is protection. And that's what our brains always want to keep us safe and keep us comfortable seeking pleasure. Safety comfort. That's how our primitive brains are wired. And unfortunately it does how upright it keeps us safe to a big extent. But unfortunately it keeps us stuck as well. Yeah, well and stuck from feeling empowered specifically in this category. Cast the past. If we are if we have said to ourselves or believe that well, my past has made me who I am. My past defines who I am. We tend to label ourselves based on experiences from our past and it's very disempowering, right?

We cannot feel empowered. We cannot live in that place if we are stuck from our past, right? And that's why this is so huge and there's so there's important things to let go. You know, it's not doesn't mean that we're condoning the situation or what this this person may have done to us or how we were treated. It's not accepting it, but it is freeing yourself and letting it go and allowing yourself to move forward, right? You're not being stuck in that place, still so held by the chains from your past, in in this place. Yes. Another empowering um practical is forgiveness. I know we talked about this a lot, but when we don't forgive someone again, we're giving them the power of how we feel, right, because they don't even know half the time they're going about with their life, but we're stuck with resentment and bitterness and anger. And if we don't forgive, we're the ones that what's that quote?

You know, you keep drinking the poison, it's like the other person is free, but you're you're suffering. And so forgiveness is another big one to live an empowered life and really being able to forgive those people that have genuinely done you harm. You know, clearly the scriptures teach all about that. Um we did do the power of an apology, but this is the other side of it. This is the power of forgiveness which we'll be doing in an upcoming episode, but really, forgiveness is a big one to live the empowered life, bitterness, resentment, right? Definitely? Disempowering. Yes, you cannot rise up and shine when you are full of those things and again, it is like you said, giving the power over to the other person and what they did, right? But we think that well if I forgive them, then I'm condoning what they did or accepting, like, well, okay, all is forgiven and you know, but that's not the heart of it. The heart of it is allowing yourself freedom to move forward and just accepting this is what happened.

Even if you didn't get resolution, I choose to forgive because it's in my best interest for their well-being. Yes, absolutely. A third practical really is looking at our actions and we know we teach and we know that our actions are driven by our emotions which are created by our thoughts and you touched on this, but it's so important to manage our minds manage our mindset because if we don't, we will be disempowered, right? And we have to look at the thoughts and even deeper than thoughts our beliefs because a lot of us carry a lot of limiting beliefs that we were, that we learned in early childhood that were not even conscious of their unconscious and they're affecting our day to day life now. And that's why sometimes it's so helpful to have a coach or counselor someone to walk with us that helps us identify those limiting beliefs and those toxic thoughts. A lot of us had toxic conditioning, right? And you mentioned it earlier too, but that's not enough fill in the blank.

I'm not thin enough, pretty enough. Good enough, smart enough. You know how many right isn't that one that we say as women even as moms to be busier right now? I have the opposite. I was always too busy, I don't have enough time. But that's the thing is like we feel our place so much. I feel like I have to be busy because if I'm not busy I'm not productive. Yes. Yes, I'm lazy. Yeah. Absolutely. That's the western mindset. For sure. For sure. That's that's a toxic thought. I mean really nowhere does it say we have to be busy all the time. Very disempowering. And the fourth practical is just to remember whose we are right? We have the gift of the Holy Spirit. And I want to close out with this scripture Ephesians 3:16. This is the N. L. T. Version. It says “I pray that from his glorious unlimited resources, he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” And I think that is so important because as we've talked about toxic thoughts and conditioning.

It's important to reframe those thoughts into truth, right? And what better source as from God himself, right? His truth and empower ourselves by filling ourselves up our minds up with positivity and his word and really trusting in the Holy Spirit working through our lives. So we really hope that this episode has helped you. We really desire you guys to live empowered and full of abundance in your life and rise up and shine. And that is why we are here And we also want to encourage you again that if you are looking, if you feel a little stuck, if you're looking for a little bit of extra help in your life to do just that. To live empowered then we want you to check out our web sites. It's Claudine Sweeney dot com and mind over chaos dot com and we are here, we would love to talk with you. We offer free discovery calls to see how things are going currently in your life and if you're feeling stuck or what area or areas you would like to see growth in.