Week 6 - Using Your Unique Gifts and Being Your Authentic Self (Amber Fields's Story)
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hello. This is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of the Badass Womens Council podcast and CEO of WEthrive. live. I'm so glad you're here. We are in a series called stand tall in your story. And today I want to open up with a question for you. Have you ever made a decision that just didn't turn out like you expected it to, and then you spent a lot of time, too much time, trying to make that decision fit into your plan? Well, this is a part of Amber's story. Amber Fields is our featured speaker today and that decision for her was an$ 80,000 college degree that she felt like she was wasting because she wasn't working in the industry that her degree was in. She came from a family that just hadn't had college degrees as a part of their generational history and she was ready to make a change. And when that didn't turn out like she expected, it was a really heavy burden. But, she finally realized she already had everything she needed within her. But, we do that, don't we? We think we have to find the right degree, the right job, the right award, the right waist size, the right Brownie badge on our lapel, to feel whole and to thrive. We scour every book, every TED talk, every podcast, trying to find the answer. The truth is we have everything we need within us already to thrive. The answer isn't out there, it's within us. When we tap in to our authentic and unique self, and live out our unique gifts, talents, abilities, struggles, everything that we've learned in our journey, and we do that with great intention, it's there that we find our joy, our wellness. A life of thriving, not striving. We each have authentic gifts, unique to us, that we came with. And then, we have experiences that add to our gifts, talents and abilities. And when we take those unique gifts that we already have and we give those gifts to others in our community, our company or to a cause, y'all, that's the best of humanity. That's how we're meant to live. It's like pieces of a puzzle coming together. You've heard me talk about marbles and puzzles, right? Well, let's just review. Shall we? So, take your hand, and look into your hand and picture that you have... If you're driving, be safe. Picture that you have a handful of marbles and each one of them are perfect, round, shiny. And you take your hand with that handful of perfect shiny marbles, each of them exactly the same, and you turn them over. Turn your hand over and you put them on the table in front of you. What happens? They all roll away. Marbles don't stick together or fit together. Now, if you take handful of puzzle pieces in your hand and you picture there, some are right side up, some are upside down, each with their jaggedy- ass edges. Every single piece of the puzzle, different. Dust from the bottom of the box. You got to flip them over and figure out which side has the picture. But, when you turn your hand over, and lay it out on the table and you do that with intention, you figure out how they fit together, which side is up, what clicks together. There are two characteristics of a puzzle when it's put together. One, it's far stronger. And two, it's far more beautiful. We're each unique pieces of the puzzle with our jaggedy- ass edges. And we're looking for those people that we fit and need to be with to make us stronger and more beautiful. If we spend time trying to round out those jaggedy- ass edges to be perfect, then we don't realize the real gift of what it means to come together with others. Amber's story is a stellar example of living out that unique puzzle piece that she is, that allows her to fit together in her family, in her career and in her community, to make things stronger and more beautiful. Here's Amber.
Speaker 1: So, please give a warm welcome for Amber Fields.
Amber Fields: Hello. Oh my gosh, you all look good. Woo, I'm so excited to be here. So, my story actually starts in San Francisco on Pier 39. How many of y'all have ever been there? It's beautiful, right? It's gorgeous. So, Sandy and her family are on vacation, and they walk into Mrs. Fields Cookies and she meets this really handsome Filipino guy named Frank. And after a few exchanges, he's coming to Indiana to come hang out with her and her family. Uh oh. And the evitable happens and she finds out that she's pregnant. And at 17, you don't know that you're equipped to raise a baby. So, the delivery comes and her dad's in there with her. And the adopted parents are in the other room by the way. And her dad says," I need you to hold this baby one time and if you feel nothing, then you do what you need to do. But, if you do feel something, then me and your mom will help you raise her." So, he places me into her arms and she never let go. Thank you. I wouldn't change a thing, but it was hard. She was a baby raising a baby. We lived with my grandparents for a couple of years, till she married the man I know today to be my dad. They both worked really hard to take care of us. My mom, for most of my formative years, worked two jobs. And what I saw in her was she was tired, she was exhausted and she was never genuinely happy. And I said," Oh, hell no." I said," I'm going to create something different for myself and I hope that it'd inspire my mom to do the same." So, I went to college. I wanted to be Katie Couric since before I could talk, or Oprah. I mean, hey. So, it's 2001. I'm the news director of a radio station here in town. And it's chaos. It's crazy. People are trying to reach their families. It's nuts. And I'm sitting in a tiny studio, through tears of my own, trying to read the copy that the first plane had been flown into tower one. I was distraught. I was like," I can't deliver these kinds of messages every day of my life for the rest of my life." So, I didn't. But, boy, did I have an$ 80,000 degree, have a ball and chain behind me that I drug everywhere. And it looked a lot like shame, guilt and unworthiness. And right about that time, I met this really handsome guy and he had these two sweet babies, Devin and Caitlin. They were one and two. And I wasn't about to take him around the world to do a career that I wasn't even 100% sure I wanted to do. I knew that I didn't want to, but I paid for it. And the world says," If you pay for it, then you do that", right? I didn't. I wasn't going to. So, I picked being a mom and a wife, take care of this family because that's where the family needed me to be and I put myself on the back burner. So, I started my career as an executive assistant at a radio station. I went into logistics and transportation. I sold security guards. I waitressed. I even had a really successful six- figure stint, leading an amazing team in network marketing. I tried it all. But, inside of it, I felt like a huge failure. So, fast forward 10 years. And for all intents and purposes, we had everything. We had the house. We had the cars. We had five healthy kids by this point because my husband is a huge giver and he likes to give them to me two at a time. So, brought two in, we ended with twins. Yeah, he's crazy. But, what he didn't know was that I was dying inside. My kids didn't know, my husband was floored and I was tired. I had that Sunday syndrome when Sunday rolls around and your gut starts to hurt because you're like," Oh, I got to go into that place tomorrow, I don't want to go there." I was miserable. But, thankfully, I had a boss early on in my career that sent me to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, twice. No joke. I read every book. I took every class. I was hungry, but what I was actually hungry for was somebody to tell me what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I couldn't figure it out. And like I said, I felt like a huge failure. And one day, my husband looks at me and he says," When are you going to realize that you have exactly what you need already within?" He's so smart. And I did. He was right. For Caitlin, and for Olivia and for Haven, these three little girls that I was raising, and for all of the women that came before me, I had to take a stand. I had to have the guts and the grit to dig in and find out my truth. And believe me, I was searching for my truth, but I was covered up and buried in everybody else's opinions of who I was and what I was supposed to be doing. And so, I took the courage, I had the courage to do it. I found my truth and I went for it. And I took one more self discovery course, because she's an addict, and, oh my gosh, I met me for the very first time. She's kind of cool. She's kind of awesome. What's cool about that story is, is the guy that introduced me to this course was also the same guy that afforded me the invitation into tech sales. And let me tell you about that. I thought he was nuts. I was like," Have you met me? I am the girl that's like,'Power cycling? What the hell are you talking about? You turn it on, turn it off. What?'" But, what I didn't realize is I wasn't selling how it worked, I was selling the experience of what it creates for people and how it helps elevate people's businesses. And that, I am good at. I'm good at relationships. In my whole career, when I was in transportation and logistics, I learned about customer service. When I was a waitress, it was about hospitality. And when I was a network marketer, it was about the hustle. And all of those things are about this job today, what I do today. So, I say all that to say, through rise and thrive, I wasn't lost on a path to a career. I was gathering all of the skills and tools that I needed to go out into the world and create my own, to begin living my version of our best life. And so, today, I stand here before you and I love my job. There they are, right there. I love my job. I love the people that I work with and I love the impact that it has on the community. But, thank goodness that I had people. I had advocates. I had people in my life, mentors, and coaches, and cheerleaders and people who believed in my gifts. And some of those people are in this room tonight and I am so very thankful for you, so very thankful. I wouldn't stand on this stage today if it wasn't for you guys, so thank you. And thank you because the number one belief came from that man right there. He was relentless in making sure I knew the gift that I was to this world. See, in the end of it, I was not a mistake in a 17 year olds life. It was God's plan for me to show her authentic love for the very first time. And strangely enough, I think God has a sense of humor because I'm actually standing here today as Mrs. Fields. So, they met in Mrs. Fields Cookies. He's funny, but it was all on purpose, right? But, I also was not a home wrecker. I took a very broken family, and two sweet babies, a very angry ex- wife and a very confused man, and I made that family whole again. And y'all don't know the blood, sweat and tears that that takes. But, the gift that was me caused those things to happen. The gift that was me. And see, all along: The only thing I ever actually needed to do was show up as myself, as my authentic self, and be exactly who I was created to be and exactly what I want to do in my life. See, it was never about what I did or what I do as a vocation, and it has always been about who I am. Thank you.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Y'all, Amber is a bright light. She brings so much to the room when she comes in. It's just magical. Thanks for being here. And if you are hearing these stories and you're thinking," Man, I could use some of that," reach out, let's talk. We have lots of options for you. We have an experience starting in October with a small group and we have some other options that are starting in September. There's always the opportunity for one- on- one coaching. Reach out. Talk to me. Let me hear part of your story. Let's just have a conversation and see if I have something or somebody to introduce you to, that would help support your shift from striving to thriving. Now, you can watch these talks on standtallinyourstory. live because of our great partners at Cantaloupe. tv. Thank you, Jon DiGregory, as the founder. And he has created a book of stories, which is each of these amazing speakers and the talk that you just heard, but also some behind the scenes stuff and some speaker information if you want to hire any of these folks for an event that you have or just to come in and talk to your team. There's a lot of rich and great information there for you. Standtallinyourstory. live. Thanks so much. We'll be back next week with another story and another speaker. Make it a great day.
Everything we need to thrive is already within us. We each have unique gifts, experiences, talents, and abilities that we can give back to our communities. Each of us is a piece of the puzzle, and we're looking for other people that fit our puzzle to make us stronger and more beautiful. When we finally tap into our authentic and unique self, we find our joy and start to live a life of thriving, not striving.
In this week’s episode, we will listen to Amber Fields — Director of Sales at AIS — as she tells us the story of how she realized she was a gift. In her talk, Amber talks about not knowing what to do with her life and carrying around guilt and shame. She shares her journey of self-discovery, and how she realized that she already had everything she needed.
Throughout her life, Amber has felt like a failure because she couldn’t figure out what she was supposed to do with her life. Her mother had her when she was 17 years old and worked multiple jobs while raising her. After seeing her mom tired and unhappy, Amber decided to get an $80,000 college degree, so that she could create something different for herself. She wanted to be the next Katie Couric, and she landed a job as the news director of a radio show. However, on September 11, 2001, she couldn’t bring herself to read the copy that the first plane had been flown into Tower 1.
When she walked away from that job, she felt shame, guilt, and unworthiness. Instead of pursuing a career, she wasn’t invested in, she chose to take care of her family and put herself on the back burner. Even though Amber tried multiple careers, she still felt like a failure and was dying inside. She starting reading self-discovery books and attending classes hungry for someone to tell her what she was supposed to do. After receiving some good advice from her husband, she dug in and found her truth. Amber finally discovered that she’s always had everything she ever needed. She realized that showing up as her authentic self is the gift she can give to others. In her own words, “It was never about what I did or what I do as a vocation, and it has always been about who I am.”
Listen in to learn more about how Amber had the courage to find her own truth, and how she discovers who she truly is.
And tune in each week to hear from another speaker about how to stand tall in your story and rise and thrive during these difficult times.
This year, Rebecca has built a similar experience called, “Business is Human,” which is open to both men and women. Right now, she is looking for 4-5 men and 4-5 women join the group for a 9-month experience in Indianapolis. If you are interested in that opportunity, go to standtallinyourstory.live and tell Rebecca a little bit about yourself.
To check out the Stand Tall in Your Story 8-week series, go to standtallinyourstory.live