Discontinued. Whether it’s a current version of software you use, your go-to menu item at the local restaurant, your favorite Netflix show, or that perfect shade of red lipstick. “Discontinued” is a word that’s often immediately followed by a foot stomp, and an “OH NO!”
I bet the word “upgrade” was invented to soothe this humanizing change-resistance panic. It gives you the illusion of choice. However, of course, things need to be discontinued for new, BETTER things to replace them — that’s the only way progress works.
We don’t have an infinite amount of room to properly maintain everything that’s ever existed, be it physical space or emotional energy. But almost everyone’s immediate reaction is to defend what they know and love and recoil from whatever is next, even though it’s usually an… upgrade. (There, I said it.)
Welcome to the final part of the series revealing the business evolution that’s been happening behind the scenes. This week, I’ll share the “but” that I encountered along my transformation journey, or as I also like to call it, Taco Tuesday level resistance.
Especially as a seasoned expat, it’s fascinating how in some ways, I can be so flexible and adventurous, while in other ways, I’m completely rebellious to change. Today, I’ll share tips for how I won my battle with letting go of what exists now, so that I can step out of the chrysalis, spread my wings, and freely fly ahead into my future.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Sofa wisdom
- Reaction vs. reality
- Hiding changes that have already happened
- Experiencing various levels of resistance
- The three-year itch
Listen to the Full Episode
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Catch These Podcasts / Articles:
- EP262: The Next Big Thing
- EP263: Old Ghosts
- EP261: Fresh Starts in Hard Times
- EP106: Letting Go of the Old to Create Space For the New
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 7:30 am in New York, 2:30 pm in Johannesburg, and 6:30 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
So I have what some people would consider an old phone. I think my iPhone is a 7. I don’t know, last I heard y’all are on like a 12 or 13 by now but mine is 7. And there was an update I had made. So I finally plug my phone in and let it charge overnight and update. And the next morning, I went to my phone and I noticed that the search bar moved. So, instead of this search bar being at the top, it was at the bottom. And I was super mad. I was like, “Who moved my cheese? Where’s my search bar?”
And there was this dialogue that went through my head unconsciously, “Why would they put the search bar down there. It was perfectly fine above. Why do they have to change it? And what value does it add being lower? Why don’t they give me the choice of whether to have it at the top or the bottom? Is there a choice? Do I have to go now Google this?” etc, etc, etc.
All of this energy because of a search bar from the same woman who has moved countries and continents early within 10 days. I have said “yes” to living on a continent or a country I’ve never set foot in. My kids have moved, internationally with me without a second thought.
But the search bar? Mm mm, don’t you move it!
There’s something that goes on, I can handle change and transition, but I think it’s the thing where you have a routine and it’s easy and now something shifts and no one asked you and it’s different that can really trip us up. So I’m going to talk a little bit more about this kind of resistance that we have to change. Here, what I’m talking about is: Search Bar level resistance. And then we get into what I call: Taco Tuesday level resistance. And that is my children who, as I mentioned, can make intercontinental moves with the level of ease that most families change tables in restaurants, but don’t you dare suggest we veer from Taco Tuesday. Don’t you dare suggest that we have a kebab on Tuesday instead of a taco. Right? There is a level of resistance that comes up that is fierce. So, even those of us whose lives are built around transitions, you can even be an expert in transition, we resist the small changes.
And this might sound familiar because, in this three-part series of behind-the-scenes, we’ve been talking about some upcoming shifts. As I mentioned in episode 262: The Next Big Thing, it’s not the change itself that people fear, but the impact of change. In episode 263: Old Ghosts, sometimes when we’re going through a process, we might realize that it triggers old deep things that need to be healed or suggest growth.
So this episode is the third of our three-part series of behind-the-scenes, this personal evolution and business evolution that I’ve been going through bringing you along in the journey every step of the way, with hopes that you can see your own humanity, in your own process of transition and change and also, maybe learn a few tips and tricks along the way. Today, we’re going to dive into the illusion of choice when we’re letting go. So I did dive into that in a recent episode, but make sure that you check out episode 261: Fresh Starts in Hard Times, in case you missed it or you might even recall episode 106: Letting Go of the Old to Create Space For the New, that happened three years ago, three years ago when I was going through a very similar evolution. Three years ago. I was updating my brand. I was updating my website. I was creating new things for my community on the outside because it was also a reflection of what was changing on the inside.
So here we go, like clockwork three years later because that’s how I roll.
So I’m going to share some really transparent stuff that happened behind the scenes in hopes that it helps you maybe see yourself when you’re facing similar times. These are small but important things that if we pay attention to it, we might reduce some of our suffering and actually shift our energy to LEAP more joyfully into the thing that is coming next.
All right. So, where do we begin? I’m excited! So on the surface, what we’ve been talking about in this series is this brand evolution. Hey, guess what? They’re going to be some changes around here, right? Some of you might be asking, “Why are there changes, and what are they going to look like?” For me, it’s quite simple. You’re going to see the changes in the form externally of like I said, an updated website, gonna adjust the name of the podcast, but the same value is going to continue. Even if there’s a new name in a group, the basis of the values and the principles that surround it, remain the same. These are small tweaks. The way I like to talk about it right now is, think about wearing – we’re going to have to go back to like the ’80s, don’t know if people wear jean jackets anymore. But when I grew up, we were wearing jean jackets. *laughter* Bear with me. Imagine your favorite jean jacket, you love it, but you want to add a layer to what you’re wearing.
Maybe it’s fall. Maybe it’s getting chillier. But you still want to wear your jean jacket, you add a layer. But if you add more, it’ll be too tight, right? So, what can you do with that? What can you do when something is too tight? You can loosen the seams, you can add fabric to extend it. Yes, you could get a whole new jacket, but what if you love the jacket, it’s great quality, it’s exactly the fabric that you love, but you want to just spice it up a little bit. That is kind of what’s been happening for me with the podcast. There’s been times where the jacket felt a little tight. So, for example, when I focus on intergenerational wisdom for five episodes, it was about life transitions, and nothing to do with what our shared experience might be, for those of us who live globally, mobile lives our geographic location or expat experience, but it was something all of us could relate to.
So, that’s all I’m doing. I’m keeping the same fabric, I’m keeping the same quality, just maybe loosen up the seams a bit so there’s space for more and probably adding a little colorful extension, just for fun and flexibility. And all of that will happen next week on the 5th birthday of the podcast, where we will announce the new name.
Alright, so I am curious to hear from you. When you’re confronted with changes, let’s say like the ones I’ve talked about today with my phone or even changing the name of a podcast, just maybe even they change the cover when you got used to that podcast host in that certain color or whatever it was. How do you respond? Are you in one of these three camps?
So the first one might be like, “Oh, thanks for the heads up, moving on.” Right? So maybe the type of person who seriously roles with updates or changes and doesn’t think a second of it.
Or you might be in camp number two, like me, where you’re like, at search bar level resistance. It’s actually not a big deal but you do catch yourself putting some thought and energy into it, like, “Why did that happen? Is that necessary? Is it really the best way? It was fine the way it was. Don’t take my cheese.” Type of thing. Are you at search bar level resistance?
But you might be like some of the smaller members of my family, have areas of your life that are Taco Tuesday level resistance, where when you find out something’s changing you’re like, “Are you kidding me? That’s ridiculous.” Right?
Where in your life do you have Taco Tuesday like resistance? And listen, I’ve been there. I also can go to Taco Tuesday level resistance, depending on what it is in my life. So I’m curious, which camp do you normally find yourself in?
So I think so, for me, I’m going through this personal and professional transformation and I want the outside to match what’s going on the inside. So, I know Initiate these changes, and then suddenly, I’ve got Taco Tuesday level resistance when it comes to actually making changes.
So, I don’t know if that resonates with you and your life. If it’s like, “Honey, we’re going to get healthy around here. That means we’re going to go shopping and we’re going to buy this, or we’re going to do Dry January,” or whatever it is. And then, when, as we say in American English, “When push comes to shove,” when it really gets serious and then suddenly there’s Taco Tuesday level resistance?
For me, it was like this. I knew I wanted to change something in my podcast name, simple, right? But I was like, “What’s a name that’s better than what I have and how can I come up with a name that doesn’t have the word expat in it?” And it’s not going to be “Global Nomad,” “Global Citizen,” “World Citizen,” because it’s still, as I mentioned in my part one of this three part series, it was still focusing on “The Who?” and not “The What?’‘ or “The Why?” And so struggling, struggling, struggling, and brainstorming, brainstorming, brainstorming, and I had really talented people who are helping me, who are really good at coming up with names and nothing was landing. So, I ended up coming across someone from a business mastermind that I was in. She’s a brand specialist and I hired her on a complete whim.
She paused in the middle of our conversation when I was talking about the importance of finding the right name, and she just was like, “Hey Sundae, you know what? Doesn’t really matter what you rename your podcast because it’s actually about your content.” She said. “It’s actually about the value that you bring to your people, every day.” She goes, “So, really. Stop stressing about the name, just pick one, just pick one.” So I’m hearing her and my eyes are darting left and right and I’m like, “Oh, she’s kind of making sense. It’s actually quite true.” And then she goes, “No one is going to go home to their partner and slump on the couch and go, ‘Ah, so mad Sundae Bean change the name of our podcast today.’”
And I was like, “Oh my God, she’s so right!” What story did I have going on in my head? I teach people how to let go, it’s part of my work. I share how hard it is. I help people create strategies to let go of the old and look forward to the new. You’ve even heard about it in podcasts I’ve done before and I realized I was struggling with letting go.
And this is so important because as you see it happens in the smallest things, so imagine when those are big changes how important we need to have those strategies in hand.
So I’m curious to hear from you. What are the things that you’re kind of struggling with letting go of right now? Maybe you have a child who’s leaving the nest soon? Maybe your travel plans are in the toilet? Maybe you are not going to reach your financial goals this year because the global context has been shifting? Maybe you didn’t get the job that you’re hoping for? What is it? What’s that thing you’re struggling with letting go of? And can you name your level of resistance? Is it the moving on? Is it the search bar level? Or is it like Taco Tuesday level resistance?
Because I think naming it helps us create some distance from it. And for me, it actually helps me take myself less seriously. So when I recognize Taco Tuesday level resistance in my clients and especially in myself. I can be more playful. And it’s also an invitation to go deeper because that’s where all the good juicy stuff is. So I’m going to share with you what was behind my resistance. And it is shared, even though it feels kind of vulnerable, I’m sharing it with you because I want to invite you to go get yours because I got so much value from doing that deeper dig. I want you to see how much it brings for you when you do that for yourself.
I think there’s this thing, I’ve built my business over eight years and I absolutely adore and love my clients and my community. And I think the intention is I would never want to create any changes in a community that would cause people to be disappointed and not love what I do next, right? So, I think some of the resistance was around the love for who I’ve been able to surround myself with and who I get to be in community with and heartfelt interest in maintaining those connections. So I, it sounds so silly, it could be a font choice, could be a logo, it could be a name of a podcast, it could be an image for a cover, but it’s not about that. When I realized it and I went deeper, it was actually something much more than that. It was about community.
And so, this was during that phase. I was going through where I didn’t realize how this was working for me. So it was one Saturday morning early. I woke up before everybody else and I walked downstairs, barefoot across the kitchen tile to get some coffee and as I was passing the counter, I had some thoughts, quietly hunting my mind. They were so quiet and hunting, I could barely detect them. And I had to write them down as soon as I could feel them. And here they were:
You’re going to lose people.
You’ll disappoint someone.
You’re going to make people mad.
And I wrote it down. I was like, “Wow! That’s big. Really? That’s what’s going on, like deep down in the circuitry of your brain?”
And I had to remember that sofa wisdom that my business friend shared with me that it isn’t that the world actually revolves around me and someone’s going to flop on their sofa upset about something that changed. Nor do people really care that much about shifts that I’m thinking about making. In fact, maybe people are actually looking forward to something fresh. But noticing that operating system in the back of my brain was reminding me like, “Oh! You’re up-leveling.” You’ve heard me talk about this in other podcasts, every time one of my clients or myself is about to do something visible or stretching yourself, these old operating systems, these old lies we used to tell ourselves or old fears, like I shared in Old Ghosts, last episode, come up. So, instead of being weighed down by them, one, or believing them even worse, I have learned to celebrate them. I mean, really celebrate them.
So, what I did is, I took notes quickly in my iPhone before I cut them because these were coming up when I was basically still asleep, pitter-pattering my way to get coffee and I wrote them in my iPhone, and I looked at them, I was like, “Wow, that is impressive. Well Done, Amy G.” For those of you who don’t know who Amy G is, she’s Amy G. Dala the amygdala, like our fear center really trying to show up and protect me. Right? And I was like, “Oh, okay. Good job, Sundae, you are getting out of your comfort zone. You are up-leveling and celebrate!” I now can name the things that maybe even not quite conscious, operating in the background. So I did that and it completely shifted my energy. Writing this down is also an opportunity to do what I mentioned in last week’s podcast episode and ask, “Is this something to heal or is this a chance for growth?”
And then the next thing is to name what level of resistance you’re feeling. So whenever I have that hard resistance to something, I can get started with my Taco Tuesday level strategies to work with it. So I can step back and not take myself so seriously.
Okay. So I hope that has helped you so far notice for you when you’re going through a shift or transition, whether it’s external to you or internal that you can notice one, What are some of your defaults around resistance to can you catch those deeper thoughts that come up when you’re up-leveling those old patterns that are not true. And can you have a moment to realize that what you’re afraid of is likely not going to happen because the world doesn’t really revolve around you, like we tend to want to believe. And get playful and stop taking yourself so seriously.
So the other thing that’s going on here, is there something else. It’s like a lie we tell ourselves. In this moment of evolution and the choices I was making, “Should I? Shouldn’t I?” It was like, I was living with this illusion of choice. Like, “Can I let go or should I let go?” When actually the illusion of choice to let go is there because you’re already moving away from what was. So, if you go back to my story, what if I believed all that mind crap, that was coming up on the Saturday morning. I’m like, “Ah, nevermind. I don’t want to upset people, so I’m not going to make any changes in my business. I’m just going keep everything as it is.” It’s not even an option.
Because this idea of, “If I change?” You already have. You can’t change back. So it’s not even an option. There’s this illusion that you could go back, but you can’t.
And the other thing to think about is if you are resistant to implementing changes that have already happened inside if you are resistant to allowing people to see that and manifest it externally, ask yourself, what are you worried about? Disappointing people by showing up fully is who you are? Think about that. When we do this, we’re essentially saying we’re more concerned about who we need to be for others over who we are or need to be for you.
I see this happening with my clients. So in the professional context. Maybe, staying small or not sharing some of their bigger visions because they’re worried of ruffling people’s feathers, right? I see it with entrepreneurs in their own business, rather do what people expect, than actually use your real voice. And I see it in people’s homes and their relationships, biting your tongue and not saying the thing to keep harmony, but not speak your truth.
And all of this, these ways that we keep ourselves small or hold back is hiding changes that are already happening, right? That’s an illusion. And this whole transition is a process of reflecting, whatever is changing inside on the outside. So instead of holding on to the illusion, we need to see it as it is. It’s one of transition, it’s one of many and it’s something core to who we are, that is changing.
That’s transforming. Just like we don’t get to choose whether we go back to being a caterpillar, once you’re in the chrysalis.
Anything else is self-abandonment.
Doctor Brené Brown says, “We have to belong to ourselves as much as we need to belong to others. Any belonging that asks us to betray ourselves is not true belonging.”
And as I get older, I realize that no matter what life or business transition I’m in, I need to belong to myself. I need to understand what that means, what that looks like. And trust those who resonate with me showing fully up as I am will resonate with that version of me,
So I’m curious for you, what does that mean for you? Do you feel like you’re in that gorgeous balance of belonging to yourself and belonging to others? Or do you feel like something is still off? And what I’ve shared it’s deeply personal. But this goes on in the hearts and minds of all of us. It might be a different lie that we tell ourselves or a different level of volume, but we all go through this when we’re going through times of uncertainty, right? And it’s important for me to be transparent about that, because it’s a heads up for you, what to expect as normal when you’re going through change.
So, I have some questions for you to think about when you focus in on yourself:
Is there resistance right now to any change in your life? And can you name that level of resistance? If we take the playful approach? Is it the moving on? Search Bar level? Or Taco Tuesday level of resistance?
Do you fall into the abyss of the center of the world syndrome? When you catch yourself telling a story that everyone will judge you, for example.
Do you have strategies at your fingertips to give yourself some grace and not take it all so seriously?
Can you actually name the fears that are popping up for you, like I did that Saturday morning? As one step closer to knowing what’s going on with you and helping you show up, really, as you are.
And are you able to call bullshit on the lies that you’re telling yourself that are not really true?
Listen, if you’ve answered yes, to any of this then you are human, right? We do, we all do it. I am so grateful, I could catch myself in this process. On my own mind crap. And sometimes, I actually need my own coach or a loved one to help me do it because we might miss some things when you’re in that spiral. Maybe you do too. But now you’ve got some things by your side to help you keep yourself in check. And I am celebrating you for letting go of the illusion of choice when letting go is of what is already changing, right?
So if you’re in a process of transition and you would love someone by your side to call you on your mind crap and help you work through whatever level of resistance you’re feeling then don’t miss out on one of the final spots that I have for VIP sessions. I have a 90-minute session and a VIP Day broken down into two half days with me to help you dive deep into whatever goals and challenges you’ve got facing you in 2022. We’ll put the link in the show notes. I would love to hear where you’re at and where you want to go.
And I’m looking forward to celebrating with you next week as our podcast turns five! That means we are actually diving into our sixth season, all of this started back in 2017. I’m very much looking forward to delivering more of what you love and doing it with a little bit of a fresh face.
All of this excitement will be kicked off next week when we reveal the new website and a few other surprises. So looking forward to having you be part of that. I cannot wait! You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour. And for those Search Bar level resistors, just to warn you, that’s the last time, you’re going to be hearing it said, like that. Just like that. But, you got this!
Thank you all for listening. I’ll leave you with the words of Indian yoga Guru and proponent of spirituality Sadhguru: “If your Illusions are shattered, it means you’re getting closer to reality.”
Enjoy The Show?