Who You Are, How You Think, & Why It Matters
Who You Are, How You Think, & Why It Matters
On this week's episode, Rebecca goes through the six things your brain is searching for every day. These six items are social, personal, and emotional connections to think about and try to incorporate daily to help with your sense of wellbeing. Tune in for Rebecca's key insights that can help thrive.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hey, did you know that the Badass Womens Council isn't just a podcast? It's also an online community and you as a high- performing career woman could jump into that online community. You could do it right now if you have a phone or computer in front of you. Go to BadassWomensCouncil. community. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Jump in. We've got some amazing women in there that would love to meet you and support you. Hi, I'm Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of the Badass Womens Council Podcast and online community. And today I want to talk about your personal story, who you are, how you think, what you think about and why it matters, because every day when you wake up, your brain has one job. It wants to make sure you survive and thrive in your personal story. And we have so much ability to impact our personal story. And yet we seem to be running around, looking for the answers outside of ourselves, in another class, another degree and another achievement. And in fact, what we really need to thrive, we already have and we can achieve that through reflection and connection. So in today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the six things that your brain is searching for each day to be able to give you a sense of wellbeing and thriving. And these six things, what I call your personal story, are when I use with my clients, it's how we frame up the Rise and Thrive seven month experience that starts again in October in Indianapolis. It's just a framework that can be really helpful. And once you know the things that your brain is searching for, to give you a sense of wellbeing and thriving, you can do them. You already have the ability to do them right here, right now, wherever you are sitting, standing, driving on the treadmill, you already got them, y'all. You already got them. So I'm going to give you the keys to the kingdom, the secret fast pass. Well, I'm not sure it's fast. Sometimes the answer is slow. So let's dive into these today. If you want to take notes, great. If you don't, don't. Because here's what I sense was happening, you were like, oh my gosh, she's going to share something. I shouldn't listen to this now. I should wait until I have a quiet place with my journal and I can write down the stuff she's going to say. Oh, stop, just stop. Just soak it in, you're going to remember some stuff. You want to go back and take notes later, take notes later. If you don't, don't. Just pick up what is going to be useful for you today. We put so much pressure on ourselves. In fact, I'll give you a little side note story. This morning, I got on the treadmill and I'm typically a runner. And yesterday my run was amazing. It was one of those yeah kind of runs. In fact, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, my Instagram story after my run was a little kind of like get it. And I was just feeling limitless, some days I just feel like I have so much potential within me that I can barely stand myself. Today was not that day y'all. So I get on the treadmill and I'm not feeling it. I'm not feeling it at all. So have that moment of, do I just not do it? What am I going to do? And so I decided, I have a Peloton, which I didn't want to love it, but I do. We'll save that for another day. I hit one of the power walk workouts instead of a run, which some days would have said to me, slacker, loser. But today I was like, at least move your body. You know your brain feels better when you move your body. And so I did a little 20 minute power walk with a different trainer than I normally run with. And what was fascinating is I started to realize I was using different muscles and my body was feeling different in a super cool kind of way. And I thought, huh, maybe I should do this more often. And after that 20 minute power walk, I felt amazing. I felt just as great as I did after my run that yesterday. And so I share that to say, sometimes we just need to pull it back a little and just be in whatever moment we can be in and enjoy it for what it is. In fact, while I was doing this power walk and noticing that my body was moving differently and using different muscles, I took the opportunity to be like, what part of my body do I like today? Because typically what we do is oh, eek, yuck, which is what I did yesterday when I was trying to watch a video of myself to do some critiques. And we just have this built in critical look at ourselves as women. It's just a colossal pain in the ass, quite frankly. So today I was like, nope, not doing that. I'm going to scan through my body and say, what do you like? And you know what? My quads are bomb ass, y'all. I looked at them while they were doing their little power walk. And I was like," Yeah, 55 year old you with muscly legs, get it, girl." See, you have the power to do that too. So there's my little side note. Back to the personal story. But this is all a part of it is our personal story, we are writing. We are completely responsible for our potential and how we unleash it and how we use it. So today I unleashed it in a power walk and some self love and self talk for my quads. There you go. All right. So let's walk through the six steps that your brain is looking for every day to be able to say, yep, you're doing it. You're getting it. The first one is, this is not going to be new news for you. The first one is food, water, rest, energy. What we put in our bodies, the quality of the food, how much hydration, how much rest and movement, energy kind of stuff, which is why I didn't want to give up on my workout this morning, because I knew that I needed it to feel great doing the rest of the work that I was going to need today. And it wasn't long. It was 20 minutes. Just 20 minutes. So the 30 of our food, water, rest, and energy this is baseline. How we feel goes all the way back to how we nourish our body, how we rest in our body. And I sometimes wish it wasn't that simple because sometimes the most simple things that we know seem the hardest to execute, but facts is facts, y'all. So how we manage our physical health by the choices that we make is important. Now, it's also important that we don't stress ourselves out about it because I know a lot of people that have taken this food thing to a place where you're upping your cortisol levels, worried about counting your ketos and calories and all the things to the point it's probably giving you a negative return on that investment of time. So just eat food that comes from the ground and has a mother and not a million ingredients and chew it and enjoy it and love your body that it can receive it and let some of that other shit go. Okay. So that's number one. Number two, the second box on what I call the story continuum, and I'll put a link to a graphic in the show notes that you can use for later. The second step is how we speak to ourselves, how much opportunity we give ourselves in stillness to speak to ourselves, where we place our optimism, our faith, our gratitude. So those calm, still moments are number two on top of just making sure you get some food and water, basic survival. And this is the place where the majority of my clients struggle. And it's the place that I made a huge commitment when I started my business to honor this place of stillness, to give myself time every single morning, I sit down with myself. I don't care if you journal or don't journal. I happen to sit down with my Bible and my journal, and sometimes a meditation app, have a little station set up in my house for it, where there's a chair with a stool beside it that always has my journal, my Bible, a pen. And, and it's the work. I treat that as the work, I knew that I was missing a lot of that in my life previously in the hustle, go go go of my life. And I also knew that the times that I took the opportunity to be still and speak to myself and let God speak to me, my days were better. My life was better. And I thought, well, if I know this to be true, why wouldn't I do it more? And so I just decided that it was that important and that I wouldn't schedule appointment so early that I couldn't honor that time. So every single morning I sit down with me, me and God, maybe that's not your thing. It's mine, whatever. But I sit down every morning and just be, and so our self- talk where we frame the day, we set our intentions, where we are grateful for the small things and the big things, this is a bank part of our work as a human. I almost got ready to say as a high- performing career woman because that's kind of my standard thing of who I'm speaking to, but this is important as a human. This is just as important as it is to your husband, your kids, your mom, your dad, this is an important part of the process. So one of the things I want to highlight in here is our self talk because every single thought that we have every action that we take, every achievement that we've garnered started with how we speak to ourselves, we are our own first responder. Think about that for a minute. You are talking to yourself throughout the entire day and we have a variety of voices in our head. We've got that cheerleader in her head that's like, yes, we can do this. Let's go after it. We also have some times the judge and the jury in our head, well, it wasn't my fault. Maybe it was her fault. Where's the evidence. We try really hard to silence that voice because being a victim or looking for blame is never going to serve as well. But sometimes that's the voice in our head. And the most often talked about, thought about, that I find with my clients and myself is what I refer to as the little bitch in our head. She's our inner critic. She's the one who says," Oh, remember that time you did that dumb thing? Oh, you're not going to try that, are you? Oh, I think she's looking at you funny." So how we deal with our inner critic is really important. It's just as important as you making sure you get some lunch today and plenty of bottles of water. So what I like to do is personify this inner critic, this little bitch in our head, because if I personify her, if I treat her as a key relationship in my life, then it becomes a part of the strategy and the work. I can't ignore her. She's going to be with me for the rest of my life. I'm guessing that right before I take my last breath, she'll probably say something like," Well, you're not going to die now, are you? That's inconvenient for him everyone." She's always going to be there. And so what I like to do again is personify her. And I say she's like this little toddler that just is constantly going," Why are you doing that? Why are you doing that? What's happening." And so I say, put her in the passenger seat with a seatbelt and a snack, but she doesn't get to drive. So you can treat her kindly, give her a little snack, satisfy her, pacify her, but don't let her write your story. Don't let her drive where you want to go because she'll hold you back. And when we give ourselves time each day, and I really do think that doing it first thing in the morning is the only best way to do it because you're setting yourself up for the day. And then to say to yourself," Okay, what do I care about? What's important to me?" And see yourself with kind and loving eyes like I did with my quads this morning, and be able to sit with all of the things that you are hoping for and dreaming about and be still. Let the cortisol levels in your body drop. Unfortunately, we have normalized busyness and stress to the point where our bodies are living with such high levels of cortisol, it's impacting our ability to focus, it's impacting our waist size. It's actually causing us to hold weight on that we don't need. And so having some stillness in the morning to practice optimism and faith and stillness is an important part of lowering those cortisol levels and giving yourselves the intention that you need for the day. Another practice that to put in that stillness is more active, but it's active gratitude. What are you grateful for in that moment? And y'all, it doesn't have to be big things. It can be very, very simple things. And some days it's harder to muster those than others. I have a couple of journal entries that I have actually taken a picture of and saved so I could show them to clients sometimes just so they'll believe me. But when I was going through some really, really difficult times, divorce, illness, just big stuff, it was hard to find things to be grateful for. So one of my journal entries says," I'm really glad that the dog threw up on the hardwood instead of the carpet, because it's much easier to clean up." And y'all, that's all I could find for the day. Another entry says," I really like this pen." And I had sat for a couple of minutes to come up with that one because I was just in a really, really tough space. And other days it flows so much, there's so much that I'm grateful for, but it's a practice. It's like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. So the more that you look for things to be grateful for, the more grateful you become. And there are studies that show that the practice, active practice of gratitude does more to change your physiology than anything else that we can do. So it's in that place of stillness where we can stop and say, what am I grateful for in this moment? And I'm sure you're going to have the big things like your family and your friends, but also take the time maybe sometimes to say, I really like my quads, or I really like my hair or whatever, just put some self love on this thing and see if it doesn't make a significant difference. Okay. So that's box number two. How are you doing so far? let's just take a moment here and just rate yourself, how are you doing on food, water, rest, energy, and how are you doing in your stillness practice? Take a minute, just a minute. Who you are, how well we know this about ourselves, gives us the ability to use those gifts, talents, and abilities with great intention. And I find this to be my most rewarding work, to spend time with my clients and help them kind of shed the layers of other people's expectations and societal norms that have often kept us striving, struggling, and stuck. And instead look into our inner knowing. Who we are, who we have been for our entire lives. And sure you've gained experiences. You've gained more knowledge over time that has helped you enhance those unique gifts, talents, and abilities. But it's fascinating when I work with clients and they realize who they were at 14 years old and the gifts and talents that they used then are still being used today. I actually did a session yesterday with a new client. I have a unique gift, talent, and ability inventory session that you can purchase actually, I'll put a link in the show notes for that. I'd love for you to hit that link and sign up. It's an amazing 60 to 90 minutes that we spend together and I help you uncover these things. But what she had uncovered yesterday is she was a cheerleader and she was what's called a flyer. The person that's on the top, that's doing a lot of the basket tosses and being thrown around. And is the one that is, when you're looking down on the floor at the cheerleaders, she's got that big smile and she's just out there, it's fun. And she laughed about it in the moment, but actually that same flying high, taking risk, being the one that's cheerleading people to say," Let's do this." Is some of the things that she's using in her role today. So it's fascinating as you start to see the thread that weaves throughout our entire lives, but how well we know ourselves. And what's interesting when I do this work is you kind of peel back some of those layers or what I call double click on it, go deeper into it. So for an example, oftentimes what happens when we look into your past is the sports will come up. You may have played soccer or softball or volleyball or something in your past. And oftentimes that shows up as a good memory. And we talk about that and I say," well, what did you love about..." Let's say it was soccer." What did you love about soccer?" And what's interesting is most everybody has a little different thing that they loved about it. Some people will talk about the physical challenge of actually pushing their bodies to get stronger and do more intricate moves and really challenge the physical nature of the sport. Some people will talk about, I loved riding the bus with the team and being the one that brought the best snacks. Some will talk about winning. Some will talk about just what it felt like to be a part of a team and cheering each other on, but everybody has a little different reason that they liked something so simple as soccer. And when we can look at what it was that we were good at and enjoyed about something, it starts to be a clue to our unique gifts, talents, abilities, personality, and style. And so I love helping you discover you in that unique way, because when we know our unique gifts and talents, we're less reliant on a specific title, role, industry. We have the ability to use those gifts and talents in a variety of different ways, but we can't do that unless we know it. So I encourage you to take some time and go back through the past jobs that you've had and the even go back to what I always say, what was 14 year old you doing for fun? Go all the way back and take some inventory of who you are and what you're good at and what you love to do. And then you can start to use that with greater intention. So the first three boxes, food, water, rest, and energy, your self talk, optimism, faith, stillness and gratitude, and knowing your unique gifts, talents, abilities, personality, and style. That's what happens in personal reflection. So as you know the tagline of this podcast is Reflection and Connection because how well we know ourselves is important for how well we can connect with others. So these three boxes make up that personal reflection. And it's also where we find our meaning. We throw around the terms, meaning and purpose often without really taking the time to think about, well, what does that mean? Pardon the pun. Actually, no, don't pardon it. I like my puns intended. I actually bought a t- shirt that said that recently. I've got t- shirts with all the words, I'm a word girl. So knowing our meaning through personal reflection then allows us to connect with others. Reflection first, then connection. And our meaning is intended for a purpose. And that purpose is to serve other humans. It's interesting because oftentimes we are seeking education and career thinking that purpose is about achievement, but it's really not. Our meaning really isn't for us. It's in how we can serve others, which takes us to the next three steps on the continuum, around connection, our ability to serve other humans in a social way. Because we as humans are personal, emotional, and social. Those are the needs that we must have met every day. Unfortunately, as career women, we get caught up in the business needs to control, measure, and optimize, which is what the business wants us to do. And those are good business practices. You should do those things. You should have goals and strategies and processes and achievements. But what we don't want to do is treat our human self by trying to control, measure, and optimize. We want to honor our personal needs to be personal, emotional, and social. And that's what these six things do in your personal story. So the next three are all around social connection. So here we are with our unique gifts, talents, and abilities, we've taken the time to understand our self- talk. We're fueled up with all the right food, water, rest, and energy, and we're ready. We're ready to bring our gifts and talents to others. So the first box that needs to be checked is, is this a safe place for me to be me? Is there psychological safety? Am I free to bring all of the emotions that I have? Am I free to bring my ideas? Am I free to make mistakes? So one of the things that you'll hear people talking about, especially when they're in career transition is they want a great culture. They want a great company to work for. And often times it's hard to describe what that even means, but I promise you what you're feeling, even though you may not know the words to describe it in that moment, what you're feeling is I want this safe space to be me. Now, we also are responsible for providing a safe place for others. So this is also a good chance to ask yourself how well are you providing that environment for the people in your circle and on your team? Is this a safe place to be emotional, to bring ideas, to make mistakes, to truly be your unique self without shame or judgment? And sometimes that sounds easier than it is. And it requires us to have done the work each day in personal reflection to honor who we are, because once you pay the price to really know who you are and peel back all those layers and get really real with you herself, it's really hard not to have a decent level of empathy and respect for the uniqueness of others. So psychological safety, emotional safety, bring your ideas, make your mistakes. Let's talk about the emotion piece for a minute. Most of us are going to work each day in a job that is meant to control, measure, and optimize. And we have lulled ourselves into the belief that... Sometimes, not everywhere, but sometimes that work is no place to bring your emotions. And I giggle because that's not a thing it's impossible not to bring your emotions to work. That's like saying, don't bring your arms to the meeting, it's inconvenient. We bring our emotions everywhere we go. In fact, we make all of our decisions on emotions and then we validate it on facts. So the more comfortable we become with our emotions and understanding our emotions and even using them to guide us sometimes then our brains start to feel like, okay, she's really being herself because she's honoring the emotions. Yesterday I had a talk with one of my friends, my coach, Emily Shaw sales coach extraordinaire for Lushian, and I made the comment of when am I ever going to learn not to get worked up about something or let myself get down about something? And she quickly... Because what I know is when I'm optimistic and positive, I'm far more effective. And she quickly said," No, you got to have those other emotions too. Recognizing them is great switching them when you need to is great, but don't try to remove them. That's not a thing. Those are the things that trigger you to say,'Oh, hang on, let me just sit in this for a minute. What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? And what do I need next?'" So all of our emotions matter. I'm an annoyingly optimistic person, but I know the role that all the other emotions play in my life and how important those are. Okay. The next box, the next check. The next thing that your brain is looking for is are we bringing those unique gifts, talents, and abilities to others with generosity and kindness? Now this may sound like duh, but when you think about the work that you do every day, we can do the majority of our work without a lot of human interaction, via email, sending information, even Zoom isn't real human interaction. But what our brain is looking for is human to human connection. And so when we just send an email to somebody, especially if it's just an email address, it's not even somebody that we know them as a human being, we don't get a lot of satisfaction from that activity. So it's up to us to be really intentional, to think about how our work impacts other humans. What's the ripple effect of the impact that we have on other humans? How can we bring more of ourselves to our work and do that with generosity and kindness, even in the day- to- day work. When you're sending that email, ask yourself, do I know this person? Should should I schedule a time to get to know them? If we're going to be sending emails back and forth to control, measure, and optimize these goals and achievements for this business, shouldn't I take the time to get to know who they are as a human being a bit, understand their unique personality and style? Maybe I could be a better communicator. Maybe I could serve them better if I knew them better. And again, this sounds so elementary, but when you think about the way organizations are structured with departments and different parts of the business of people that you've never met before that may be on another side of the world, or they may even be just across the hall, but because you report to different managers, you don't ever get in meetings together and you don't even really know these people. So being able to connect human to human is an integral part of you feeling satisfaction in the job that you do in the work that you do. One of the ways I like to think about an organization because it is so separate into departments and things that make it easier to control, measure, and optimize. That's why the business is separated into pieces and parts. So you can control, measure, and optimize the smaller bit of the organization. But how we put it back together is really how successful you are as an organization. Your department can be killing it, but if other ones aren't, your business overall isn't going to be successful. So I like to think about it as a relay track team. And relay team, if they're going to win the race, the important aspect of that is the handoff. And if you think about your organization, department to department, the way the work gets transferred, it's the handoff, that's the most important part of the work. And so it's important that we know the various people players in the other departments that we work with and work for, because there are two things that happen when the handoff goes bad. One, you probably lose the race. But two, you've impacted the trust that you have in that other person. And that's often what I find as a consultant that happens department to department, we don't manage the handoff well enough. We don't know the humans in the other department. We just swap emails back and forth and scoreboards and data and metrics. And don't really sit down and say, well, how could I manage this handoff better? How could we work better human to human? Because the more we know them and their uniqueness, the better that we can adapt and do what we need to do to make that handoff go better. So giving and receiving our gifts with generosity and kindness, human to human, then takes us to the final step. The thing that your brain is looking for everyday for you to feel a wellbeing and satisfaction, which is, am I valuable? Am I relevant? Am I making a difference? Am I having impact to other humans? This human to human thing, story to story. That's what your brain wants most for you, from you, so that you lay in bed at night feeling a sense of satisfaction that not only have you been busy in the day and maybe you accomplished a lot, but mostly have you done things that have value and relevance and impact to other humans. And just being intentional about it sometimes is the answer. I was working with a client a couple of months ago when we were talking about some of the work that she was doing. And we were getting at this place of relevance and impact, and she was talking about how much she enjoyed mentoring some of the young, new, fresh out of college people in her industry. And she loved coming alongside of them and helping them so that she could give them some shortcuts and some information that would make their career more successful. And we talked about the value and relevance and impact that that has to the business. That's important. That's super helpful. But then we also talked about how it felt for that young executive to go home at the end of the day, knowing that she had spent time pouring into them and that they home more confident, that then they probably had a better evening with their friends and family, because they felt more confident. So how we operate human to human impacts not only how we feel, but how we serve others in our work, in our lives. So those are the six things that your brain is looking for everyday. And those last three are all about your purpose in connection. So the meaning in the first three, the reflection, who you are is meant to serve other humans with intention and purpose in social connection. We as humans are personal, emotional, and social. I hope this has been helpful. Again, what I'll do is I will put a link to this graphic in the show notes, so you can reference it. And a few things, if you want some help with us, I'm a really good coach. I'm just going to tell you that because I am. And if you want to schedule some time and see if I'm a good fit for you, because even though I'm a really good coach, I'm not for everybody. And that's okay. Maybe my style, my unique personality and style might not be a good match for you. So if you want to schedule a call and see if we are a good match, I'd love to do that. I just love to get to know people. And if I'm not the right fit, I probably know somebody that is. So if you're looking for someone to come alongside you with a little bit of career coaching, a little bit of support, or maybe you're looking at changing industries, changing careers, whatever the case may be, let's chat. See if it's helpful. Maybe you're not quite ready for a coaching relationship, but you are interested in knowing a little bit more about your unique gifts, talents, and abilities. We can do that. We can schedule that it's a 60 to 90 minute session. I'll put the link in the show notes, and you can just schedule that, pay for it. We'll get on a Zoom call, I'll record it so you've got it that you can reference for as oftentimes as you'd like, and I'll help you identify your inner knowing, who you really are. I'd love to come alongside you and help you with this kind of work. Okay, y'all that's it for today. Thanks for being here and make it a great day.