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Shame is a universal experience. At some point, we all feel it, and at every point, we try to avoid it. That’s why many high-achievers are also people-pleasers and perfectionists.
And this pattern of exhausting behavior almost always erodes self-confidence because:
1) We’re not robots, nobody’s perfect, and we all make mistakes.
2) You’ll never please everyone. And I really mean never-will-you-ever.
So, the next time you engage in that unobtainable perfectionism chase, you’ll at least be aware that you’re letting “shame” drive the bus of your life. (Rather than tucking it into the trunk, next to that half-broken umbrella, where it belongs!)
For the conclusion of our Intentional Support Podcast, I’m delighted to welcome best-selling author and podcaster, Andrea Owen. Her specialty is helping high-achieving women maximize unshakable confidence and master resilience.
Often sold out, Andrea’s books are translated into 20 languages and are available in 23+ countries. I couldn’t put down: How to Stop Feeling Like Shit: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back From Happiness. (And return to it often whenever I need an inspiration refresh.)
Today, Andrea and I discuss the trauma spectrum. Andrea also reveals traits and habits that can sneakily sap self-confidence, and what to do instead.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- The push/pull of intimacy
- Beer commercials & Kodak moments
- When your friends socially exclude you
- Collecting trauma letters throughout life
- Catastrophizing & rehearsing tragedy
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Featured on the Show:
This holiday season, give yourself or someone you care about the gift of intentional support. It’s guaranteed to fit, internationally relevant, and stacked with tools and resources that are reusable for life. Welcome to the ***BRAND-NEW*** Adapt & Succeed right here.
- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae Bean – YouTube
- Andrea Owen – Website
- How to Stop Feeling Like Shit: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrea Owen
- Make Some Noise: Speak your Mind and Own your Strength by Andrea Owen
- Andrea Owen – LinkedIn
- Dr. Brene Brown
We’re delighted to be in the Top 5 of the global Best 30 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, It is 1:00 pm in New York, 8:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 1:00 am in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I am an intercultural strategist, transformation facilitator, and solution-oriented coach, and I am on a mission to help you adapt & succeed through ANY life transition.
So, I have, to be honest, this was back several years and I had a huge epiphany. Excuse my French, but I didn’t know I felt like shit until I didn’t. And this epiphany was very tied with something I did not realize at the time, which is that I was operating on a mode of endurance and not resilience. And if you know my work, you know that I preached that endurance leads to depletion and resilience leads to rejuvenation, performance, and just the good life. And I can’t think of anybody better to have us join on the show, but Andrea Owen, who is an expert on resilience. So Andrea, welcome to the show today.
Andrea: Sundae. Thank you so much. I am so happy to be here.
Sundae: So I’m going to tell the audience a little bit about you, in case they’re not familiar with your work and if they aren’t they are missing out. So Andrea is the author of prolific writing in so many ways. I’ll tell you more about our books in a second. She’s a global keynote speaker. And, of course, a professional certified life coach. I’ve seen her in action, she’s amazing. She helps high-achieving women maximize unshakable confidence. Who doesn’t want that? And as I said before, master resilience.
What I love about her is she talks about how an individual can empower themselves to live what she calls, “Your most kick-ass life.” And Andrea, I don’t know if you know this, but I think I knew about your work way, way, way back when you started through a similar coaching community, that we share. So I’ve seen your work for the years and I’ve watched it develop. And what’s so exciting is to watch her books sell out, her coaching book out, and her podcast just hit over 4 million downloads. Right?
So, why is all this happening? It is because she is Is the author behind this fabulous book called; How to Stop Feeling Like Shit: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back From Happiness. They’ve been translated in almost 20 languages, the last time I counted, available in over 23 countries. And one of my favorites recently is; Make Some Noise: Speak your Mind And Own Your Strength. So lots more I know to come from you but I’m really excited to have you here today.
Andrea: Thank you for having me. We have a lot to talk about.
Sundae: I know we do. We have some off-the-record things which we were just talking about the Beastie Boys before and we have some on the record things. So I was listening to your audiobook and I heard that there was like a downloadable PDF thing and because I’m all about growth and development, “I think I’m gonna go for it. I’m going to do the things that she’s saying to do.” And I printed it out and I left it. And it was like two weeks later, I grabbed it from my office table. And I opened it up. I can’t remember what chapter it was and I opened it up and you had like two questions there and I don’t even remember which ones they were. I was so mad at you.
Sundae: How dare you make me ask myself that question? It was what I needed to be asked at the moment. And I’m a junkie for like self-help books, personal development and I don’t know if I ever had that kind of visceral reaction of like, “Go away. Come back. Go away. Come back,” right?
Andrea: Do you remember what it was?
Sundae: I can’t, I don’t know what it was anymore. But it was, it would probably be way too private to share with thousands of people, you know?
Andrea: That’s true.
Sundae: But it was the thing I needed to go – I wanted to go away from, but you were inviting me to go towards it. So, that is why I wanted you to come on the show because that’s the impact that your work has on people. And so I want to back up, you wrote this book; “How to Stop Feeling Like Shit.” So why did you write it? And I know you have an update coming out soon, what’s with the update?
Andrea: Okay, two-part question. Well, first of all, thank you for that compliment. I mean, it’s the highest honor when a coaching question can evoke that much of an emotional reaction from someone, whether it’s anger resistance, grief, humor, whatever it is.
So, “How to Stop Feeling Like Shit” does have a birth story. I was just living my life as a funky old life coach. And I was certified in Dr. Brené Brown’s work. And I think that her work is global at this point. So, probably a lot of your listeners, know who she is. Her work is largely around shame resilience. And that’s what the methodology was that I was certified in. So there’s one particular module where she talks about the things that we do to try– the behaviors that we do that we try to avoid shame, criticism, judgment, failure, all those yucky things that we don’t like. And she talks about, “Numbing out.” She talks about what she calls, “Foreboding joy.” So that’s like the catastrophizing and rehearsing tragedy that a lot of us do. Perfectionism.
Sundae: I am so good at that.
Andrea: I know, many of us are. It talks about those three behaviors. And she casually mentions in the video module, she says, “There’s a lot of other behaviors that we engage in to try to avoid shame. You can talk about that in your group.” And I was like, “Brené,” I wasn’t on the phone with her, we’re not that close. *laughter*
I was like, “This is my work.” It’s the people pleasing. It is the isolation instead of reaching for help. It is the overachieving. It’s the control. Its poor boundaries. I had a list of 14 behaviors that I saw my clients do over and over again. And what I like to say about it and the title is coming. I always say those behaviors work for a while. Control and perfectionism helped me graduate from college with honors, right? Numbing out works for a little while. Lord knows many of us numbed out during the pandemic. And even when my dad passed away in 2016, yes, I know all about numbing out. But they get to a point where they don’t work anymore and then that starts to feel like shit.
And we’re like, “Okay, why are my coping mechanisms making me feel this way? Why do I feel like there might be a better way?” And that’s how the title was born. Just quickly the revision, it’s been five years now since that book came out, and you’ve had the Me Too Movement. We have had a lot of civil unrest in the United States. Also, we had the global pandemic and I feel like also the conversation around toxic positivity really started to happen when that book first launched, and I wanted to at least touch on that. So it’s about 10,000 extra words that I wrote. For those of you on video, you can see the cover is going to be yellow. Still same book, but just some additions that I wrote to touch on these very big things that have happened over the last handful of years.
Sundae: Well, I think what you said is so important about how our strategies just stop. And I think for a lot of people whatever we were doing to really try to take care of ourselves, or cope because maybe you had a level of challenge, just stopped working. We just ran out of strategies.
Andrea: And no one teaches us this when we were growing up, right?
Sundae: And then isolation on top of it. So that is so important. And what I love about all of those things that you named, I find it really important for people to have language. Like high-functioning, what was the word from Terry Cole, she talks about being, “High functioning and self-abandonment,” that’s what it is.
Andrea: Oh yeah, yeah.
Sundae: If you have language for something then you’re like, “Oh!”
Andrea: “That’s what I’m doing. That’s what I am thinking.”
Sundae: Exactly. And that’s important and what it, what you’ve done is you’ve listed 14 things that people now have language for and they can see something. And if you don’t have a language for it, you can’t even begin to think about it differently.
Andrea: That’s so important. I think you nailed, Sundae. And also, I want people to know and be very clear that I’m not handing you this book and saying, “These are the things that you need to stop doing and then you’re going to have your life together.” Or, “If you do any of these things you’re doing it wrong.” I still struggle with control. I still sometimes struggle with poor boundaries or isolating and not reaching out for help. The point that I want to make very clear is that I just want you to know when you’re doing it so that you can have compassion for yourself.
So you can maybe try different coping strategies. And like you said, have the language around it.
Sundae: But I think people might not know, just if they don’t know your work, is how you totally share your journey. One of the things that I’ve known because I was able to meet you through a business mastermind that we did two years ago. And when I first met you, I knew the work that you’ve been doing. But as I got to learn more of your story, I was like, “Oh, and then that happened. Oh, and then that happened.” And this is why I understand why you talk about resilience because you’ve had so many things happen in your life that you’ve overcome, right? So I want to make sure that listeners know, you aren’t just like someone who really likes to read self-development and then regurgitate it. But you get in there, you get your hands dirty and you really do the work, right? And then the things that you’ve learned along the way you share with other people. I think that’s really, that’s really admirable. I think.
Andrea: Thank you.
Sundae: For people to know that it’s not like this is theoretical for you. These are things that you have practice, and as you said, continue to practice over and over.
So I want to talk about two things. One; Shame. I think people are familiar with shame probably through Brené Brown’s work. She’s made that more of a speakable topic. But can you say a little bit more about how shame sort of bleeds into these other habits, or in our daily life? Let’s say.
Andrea: Yeah. The connection is that because I kept hearing from the women in my community, this was years and years ago when Brené Brown’s work was just starting to be more popular and they would say, “I really resonate with her work especially when she talks about perfectionism and things like that. But I don’t have a lot of shame in my life. I don’t walk around feeling ashamed of the person I am or have any major mistakes that I’ve made where I feel ashamed of them.” And I said, “Well, do you engage in perfectionism?” And they’d be like, “Well, yeah, totally. I really struggle with that.”
And so the connection is when you are engaging in perfectionism, you are actively allowing shame to kind of drive the bus of your life, if you will. Because when you’re engaging in perfectionism, you’re doing that as a tool or even a weapon in some people’s cases to try to avoid shame. You know, “If I looked perfect and act perfect. Even though I’m not underneath and I’m a big old mess like every other human. But if I put this facade out, then I can avoid criticism.” Because that’s connected to shame. “I can avoid failure.” Connected to shame. “I can avoid not judgment.” Connected to shame.
And so I think that when I started to explain it like that to people their eyes get really big, and they’re like, “Oh my God.” And I’m like, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Shame is a universal experience that we all have. The only people that don’t experience it are people who are legitimate sociopaths and psychopaths.
And I think if people are listening to your podcast, there are probably not.
Sundae: It’s actually the least they have to worry about, right? Yeah. Right.
Andrea: So that’s the connection around shame.
Sundae: But I’m sure the penny drop for some people there, like when I learned that connection years ago, I realized this idea of perfectionism isn’t just like trying hard and liking to do well at school.
Andrea: Yeah. That’s different.
Sundae: Totally and I really like, oh wow, avoidance, avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. And that’s a huge shift. And I’m so grateful for your work and for other’s work who uncovers that because otherwise you would almost get away with unhealthy coping strategies that are masking so much in your life. Either the hard stuff but also the good stuff, right?
Andrea: Oh yeah. Well, perfectionism is one of the noble ones. You know.
Sundae: Like a badge of honor or something?
Andrea: Right? People wear it as such.
Sundae: I call myself a recovering perfectionist or a covered perfectionist. I think I’ve come a long way. And life is so much better that’s since I’ve knocked that off. So can you tell us more? One of the things I want to talk about is from your most recent book that I’ve read about, “Make Some Noise.” And you talk in one chapter about to stop checking out. Can you tell our listeners what is checking out?
Andrea: I think from like a meta standpoint. It’s when we avoid the hard emotions in our life. So all of us experience hard emotions and I look at it kind of like a beach ball, you can hold it underwater for a pretty long time. But it’s exhausting and you’re going to use up a lot of energy doing it and eventually, it’s going to pop up somewhere. And by pop up somewhere. I mean, usually that’s where we are passive aggressive with the people that we care about. Or it comes out as road rage. Or it comes out or just leaks out a little bit as we’re like drinking too much wine at the end of the day. Or scrolling through our phones incessantly. We push it down and push it down. Or avoiding having hard conversations. And I still do this sometimes and I’ve been sober for 11 years. But still I use work as a way to check out of my life. I use my phone as a way to check out of my life.
And so I’m not saying like don’t do this ever. But it is definitely something that we use as a coping mechanism. Because feelings are rough. Hard conversations will kick your ass up and down the street, so I get it.
Sundae: Yeah and for me, so I have a friend, I don’t know if this is her words or this is wisdom she’s gained along the way. But she says, “The truth will always find you.” And I think it’s that–
Andrea: It’ll catch up with you.
Sundae: It will, it will, no matter what, it’ll come out left or sideways, you know what I mean.
Andrea: Smack you in the face.
Sundae: And what I love about this chapter is specifically, how you talk about when we check out, and sometimes we need to as a way to just get up and do, fair enough. But when we check out, we’re actually not doing the work that needs to get done. We’re actually not present in our real life.
Andrea: Yeah. I kind of have a visceral reaction and it’s probably something I should explore in therapy. When people talk about being present, I think because we have such a– it feels sort like this arbitrary, like, “What does that mean?” And I look at it, my definition of it is just like, paying attention. And for me, I have snapshots of various like, “Am my present all the time in my life?” Absolutely not. I have ADHD, that is incredibly hard for me to do and I feel like I only have like I have limits of it and so I have to kind of save it for like things that I deem worthy.
But at any rate, I think that being present, I think it is good enough if you do exactly what I was just saying. Like, if you are present, just for sitting down at the dining room table with your family, even if you only eat dinner together once a week, just to do that. Or if you are, a lot of people that listen to this are in all different countries or maybe they’re American, maybe they’re not. But just these small little cultural things that your family is learning and everyone’s in a moment of laughter.
Do you remember, I think it might’ve been in the 80s, the Kodak moments.
Sundae: Yes, yes, absolutely.
Andrea: Yeah, snapshots. That’s really what it is. Like, when I decided that was going to be what presence is for me. Like I totally took the pressure off a feeling like I had to be in this meditative state all the time.
Sundae: Oh, no. No. Well, I think that’s about like presence of the digestible presence versus right constant meditative state. I’m thinking, for me, when I look at this idea of checking out is, I’m actually checking out of my reality. Meaning, very simple example, I’m tired, I’ll come home, I’ll have a headache. Easy would be like, I’ll just have a glass of wine. Or I’m feeling like not connected, so I’ll just go to bed early, right? Those are two examples of I’m actually not facing what is. Maybe I’m tired and I have a headache because I didn’t take a break today and I didn’t give myself enough grace.
Andrea: You didn’t drink enough water.
Sundae: I didn’t drink enough water but I’m just going to mask the headache was like an easy fix, right? Or if I’m feeling disconnected with someone that I care about, and then I’m just going to go to bed. Instead of looking at the person and going, “I’m feeling disconnected.”
By checking out, we’re actually not addressing what’s really going on in our life which then draws it out longer, right? It actually makes us carry it longer.
Andrea: Hmm, right. Especially if the problem is in relation to someone else. Yeah, we’re making the problem worse by dragging out an overdue conversation.
Sundae: But with your health too, right? Like if you’re not drinking water, you’re not going out. I have to run every day when I sit for nine hours. I have to break that up with physical movement. Otherwise, I’m just not a good person. My body’s mad at me. So, that’s the truth. I need to do that, right? And if I have a headache and I tried to ignore the fact that my body didn’t get movement, I am making an impact on my health. And that could even be, like we said with the example of wine, that could be dangerous for people if they use that as a consistent coping mechanism that can have just as much bigger impacts later on.
Andrea: Yeah, right. What I’m inviting people to do really in this chapter two, is to look at the behaviors that you do habitually that may or may not be even bordering on addiction. Maybe but like if you kind of are balking at that then please continue to listen. It’s the behaviors that we do that at the end of the day, really don’t have great consequences. You could be drinking two or three glasses of wine. It might not check the boxes for alcoholism, but you know that you wake up with a headache or feeling super dehydrated, and the more glaring part about it is that you’re avoiding stuff going on in your life. Whether it’s feelings that you have from your family of origin. Whether it’s stuff going on in your marriage or your long-term partnership. Whether it’s stuff going on with your small children or adult children. Is this behavior that you’re doing habitually, whether it is addiction or not, allowing you to temporarily avoid something or stay in denial about something that is a problem?
That’s what I want people to start thinking about.
Sundae: Doom scrolling. Instagram rabbit holes.
Andrea: Oh yeah. I did that a lot during the pandemic.
Sundae: Right. “Hey, I’m lonely,”
Andrea: “I’m scared. I’m uncertain”
Sundae: Exactly. Fill in the blank. And I think it’s really clear when you talk to Andrea and from me, I think people know that we all do these things, right? This is not, they don’t do these, we do those things, it’s more like noticing which ones are we doing. And how fast is it spiraling?
So that was one thing that was important to me to talk about so I really want to hear from people if you’re listening to this podcast or catching the audio on YouTube as well. I want to hear, if people are willing to share some ways that they’ve checked out in the past or ways that they’re trying to not check out anymore because I think it’s that idea of shared language. I didn’t even know that was checking out. It could be the way you parent, could be a way of checking out. And so I’d love to hear that so people have language for that.
The other thing I wanted to talk about with your book is you have this great way of talking about personal development and taking charge of your life, empowerment. But also you don’t look away from bigger things, right? I love how you bring in the intersections of identities that play a role in our lives. The things that feel insurmountable like power dynamics and historical context that have created really inequal situations that people are facing.
The other thing. I think that you do really well as you talk about trauma and and there’s this interesting balance, I think when you’re in a space where your coaching, you’re not a therapist – you’re coaching. But it’s still important to talk about trauma. Can you talk a little bit about capital T Trauma, big T, little T trauma, and why that’s important for everyday people to at least think about to think about?
Andrea: Yeah, I love this conversation at every reminds me of the beer commercials saying, “Please drink responsibly,” I always hear in my head like, “Please talk about trauma responsibly.” I’m not a licensed therapist. Although I play one on TV.
No, I’ve hired many of them in my life and I did not come up with this term. This is a psychology term that goes back decades of Big T and Little T trauma. So I’ll give you an example from my own life. So a little T trauma might look like. So when I was a little girl in elementary school, I had my best friend from second grade and we were Girl Scouts together. And then another friend came into our friend group.
And we loved her and accepted her and we were kind of like this little trio. And we always went to Girl Scout camp, by always I mean like two or three years in a row. We went to Girl Scout camp together the three of us for and during the summer and then one summer was probably fourth or fifth grade, I found out that my two friends in our little trio went to Girl Scout camp without me. And I was devastated. And it was my first real broken heart.
And I remember thinking, “They looked through the catalog together. They picked out a camp together. Did my mom know about this?” And I was so devastated, and even now it still stings a little bit. And I still talk to one of them more than the other. But I don’t harbor any hard feelings. But it’s still like, I think of my 10-year-old self and I’m like, “Aw.” that’s an example of a little T trauma.
A big T trauma is I grow up, I was married to someone I had been in a relationship with for over a decade, and we were talking about conceiving our first child. And he had an affair with our neighbor that lived across the street and got her pregnant and they went on to have a child together and were together. He was living a double life essentially for seven months. That was a big T trauma in my life.
And so we all kind of collect these letters as we go and I think it’s important to differentiate between them because trauma it’s like this big umbrella that fits a lot of things. And some people might say, “Well my story of getting my heart broken when I’m a little girl because my friends went to Girl Scout camp without me doesn’t even hold a candle to Jane’s problem and her parents were physically abusive to her growing up.” And so I think that it’s a way to measure it without giving it a lot of weight and not saying – it’s kind of like all trauma matters. I don’t have a better way to say it, but all trauma matters, your trauma matters. And just because there’s might seem much more egregious than yours doesn’t mean that yours doesn’t matter. And that doesn’t mean that yours isn’t also worthy of doing the work to heal. We all have trauma. It’s just a matter of finding the right person to be able to walk through it with in terms of a therapist.
Sundae: Right? And I think for me, when I listen to that conversation, the value is for those who are not giving themselves credit for having been impacted by little T things –
Andrea: Those add up.
Sundae: Those add up. And if you don’t process that you still carry that. And the unfortunate thing about big T trauma is often times it can be debilitating. Or it could have such an impact in your life. You have to process it, right? With little T trauma, you can get away with it. Does that make sense?
Andrea: Yeah. So, big T trauma, that’s what leads to PTSD or complex PTSD and these other chronic, like you said, debilitating, things that people can carry for sometimes a long time before it becomes too much. And then our bodies start to break down, our mental health starts to break down, etcetera.
Sundae: So we’ve talked about a lot of things, like that process of checking out. We’ve talked about carrying those hard things. And all of this is in service of people gaining confidence, right? Finding their power. So what does that look like? Do you have something that you could share with our listeners of what’s one thing they could do today to start tapping back into that power?
Andrea: To start tapping into their self-confidence or just power in general.
Sundae: I think you decide what direction.
Andrea: Okay. Yeah, I used to think that confidence came from, like you were either born with it or you weren’t. And I grew up watching The Golden Girls and I was like, okay, Blanche Devereaux definitely has confidence and she was born with that. She was born that way. And at the end of the day, she was just a character that played on TV and we’re not. There are some people who are naturally charismatic and extroverted, and they’re really great in sales and things like that, but that doesn’t mean that they have more self-confidence than everyone else. And all the books I’ve read on confidence will tell you that confidence is gained through experience and it doesn’t always work out, that’s the thing. I think we’ve both had coaching clients, especially in the beginning where we have our coaching questions and we’re asking and then we are feeling like a disconnect, and we’re realizing this session is going really terribly. You’ve kind of fallen on your face. Or maybe people listening, they give presentations at work and they bombed.
And I think that if you can, here’s the tip, I think, if you can look back on those situations and those experiences as gleaming, “How did I build resilience from that? How did I come back from that? Because that’s sucked, that was terrible.” And I think this is what I try, I have two teenagers. I have a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old now. And what I have been talking to them a lot about is, “I cannot guarantee that everything’s going to work out. This may go terribly. I am going to equip you with the tools that you have and I promise you that it’s not going to kill you, even though your body might be telling you, ‘danger, so much danger.’ We’re going to die if we go into this conversation or stand up in front of the class and give this speech,” or whatever it is. I was like, please just know that every experience that you have is going to lead you towards mastery. And that is what now creates a self-confidence in us.
I was just at my daughter’s school the day before yesterday and I was late coming to this assembly, I’m on the PTO. They knew I was going to be late and I’m kind of sneaking in the side door. And one of the other PTA moms leaned over and she’s like, “Tell me what you do for a living again.” And I told her and I said and she said, “Okay, I would have guessed that about you. You carry yourself with such confidence.” And I was like, that’s so interesting because I’ve earned that. That one comes from being 47-years-old and not always being this way and being intentional about it. And now I don’t even think about it. I just walk into a room and my shoulders are back and I don’t even realize it. But it just a lot of times, it also comes with experience. I wish I had a better answer but you know.
Sundae: I just ask myself, how do you have time for the PTO because–
Andrea: I’m only a co-chair and I did that on purpose, boundaries. They asked me to be a chair and I said, “No.” My first reaction was I wanted to say, “yes.” Because they were like, “Oh communications; she’s a writer.” She can do all this stuff and I was like, “Of course I can, thank you.” And then I was like, I sometimes get called out of town at a moment’s notice. I will drop the ball but I can assist. So it worked out perfectly, somebody’s the chair and I’m the co-chair.
Sundae: I don’t even make brownies.
Andrea: Good. I don’t either.
Sundae: I’m so bad.
Andrea: I donate money.
Sundae: I will come in and deliver a training for you or do you want to eat my burnt brownies?
Andrea: I want to say this to you because I feel like it might be helpful to your audience. I have really been wanting more friends out here. I live in the rural South and it’s been tricky to make friends out here to be honest I haven’t tried all that hard. So it’s like, “What would I tell my client? How proactive have you been about it? Have you actually put yourself out there? Have you done anything to try to meet people?” So guess what? I sure have met a lot of moms being on the PTO.
Sundae: You’re creating community. You’re building community. I love that. I think it’s beautiful. It’s good. I need to find my thing.
Andrea: So I did have a little bit of an ulterior motive.
Sundae: So I want to go a little bit more about you. We talked about your work. One, I think the confidence thing is really important. I just had a thing with a client today where we talked about confidence and in our session she has worked so hard for it. Today, I asked her how she was feeling and she said the word “confident,” and she couldn’t even believe it came out of her own mouth.
Andrea: Oh, I love that so much.
Sundae: She was so beautiful. I would get like all like teary-eyed proud of her work. I think that’s really important. So thank you for mentioning that that confidence is built. We work hard for that.
Andrea: One second at a time.
Sundae: Absolutely. And if you notice it in yourself, don’t panic like it’s going to go away. All that you’ve done in the past has laid a brick, a foundation for the next thing. We all waver in our confidence. But it doesn’t mean that foundation hasn’t been laid. So that I think is a paradigm shift I hope people take away from today because I think that’s important. Now I want to, I know our time is coming to a close, but I wanted to focus on you for a little bit if you don’t mind.
So you know you might know the thing that I talked to most of my guests about is called Ambitious Transformation and Transition. And I’d love to hear just kind of a snapshot of where your life is right now, in relation to that. So, just quick transitions are any transition, you might be feeling like a global transition, health transition, family transition. Top of mind, what comes up for you when you think, what transitions are relevant for you right now?
Andrea: Yeah. Well, I’m 47 and a half so, perimenopause. And you and I were bonding on our salt and pepper hair growing out. And also a health transition, this is my third doctor that I’m seeing over the last couple of years. I had some health stuff happen at the beginning of the pandemic, like a lot of people. And turns out, I have an autoimmune thing, so I’m trying to get a hold of that. I gained like 25 pounds in a pretty short amount of time. So there’s also the transition.
And I might be jumping ahead with your questions, and the ambitious part for me is just accepting this new size that I’m at because I told my doctor, I’m like, “Can you let me know if this weight is going to stay on? Because if it is , it’s fine. There are definitely worse things in the world.” But it’s an adjustment. It’s adjusting to this new body. It’s adjusting to this new size and the way that I move my body is different. I keep joking with my friends and I’m like, “I feel like I have this cat in my lap that won’t get off my lap.” When it’s kind of in the way, so it’s like hard to tie my shoes. Like, no, it’s my belly, it’s my menopause belly. That’s happening. So that’s been interesting.
Sundae: Yeah, accepting. So say more about accepting.
Andrea: Yeah. Well, I think, it’s so tricky when a life coach who preaches, “Just accept this part of you.” And then something like the universe is so hilarious, throws something at you, like, “Accept this!”
Sundae: Exactly. Oh, yeah, no. I’ve been there like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, I guess I have to learn that now.”
Andrea: But that is life sometimes. My mom is just told me, “My weight fluctuated 30 pounds up and down,” and I’m like, “Oh my God.” To be a woman in this culture in terms of our weight, it’s tricky. So the acceptance is complicated. I think I’m going to leave it at that.
And that’s what my audience knows me for. They know my just complete transparency. I am never that person that puts myself on a pedestal and says, “Look at how figured out, I have everything.” Or you will never have me talk about how beautiful my marriage is and then in two months I’m like, “Guess what? I’m getting divorced.” My audience knows the deep down and dirty. There are some things I hold private, of course like the stories of my children. Things like that but for the most part they know what’s going on with “Andrea.”
Sundae: That’s good. It also gives people permission to like see that in themselves, you know?
Andrea: We’re all just human.
Sundae: I know you can figure it out. So that’s ambitious, is accepting that. What else do you do to short of shape whatever internal or external transformation that’s happening in your life?
Andrea: I am so lucky that I have such amazing and beautiful female friendships. This has not always been something that has been easy for me. If anyone is familiar with the Enneagram, I’m an eight with a seven wing. So that means I’m the Challenger. I have high leadership skills also known as bossy. I’m very assertive and a lot of times I can put productivity before relationships. I’m also an Aries, if anyone is interested in astrology, I’m very fiery and sometimes it’s hard to be friends with me. And I look back on my 20s and how you could always count on me for a good time. I was always fun and I always had the best/worst ideas. I was always up for an adventure and spontaneous, you never had a boring time when you were with me. But I was also a crap friend sometimes. And I could be passive aggressive and give digs. And just not be very nice. But I would always cover it up with humor. And you know what I mean? Like, that type of friend. And I have cleaned up some messes over the years.
Now, in my 40s, I’ve gone back to my friendships and, and apologized, and made amends. And sometimes the friendships got closer. Sometimes they’ve stayed the way that they were. So I think I kind of got off on a tangent there, but I think I was talking about friendships. Now, in my 40s, I have one of my biggest sort of lessons, I don’t know if you can relate to this, or if anyone listening can relate is to let people love me.
Sundae: Why is that so hard?
Andrea: Trust issues for me. Abandonment issues. I want to keep you at arm’s distance but I also want to like tell you to come here at the same time. I always say, the thing that I wanted the most which was intimacy, connection, love, trust, was the thing that I feared the most, intimacy, love connection, trust. I was like, “Yes but no. Yes, no, no.” And so it was this push-pull constantly and it was the same in my friendships. And the way that I got people to be close to me which was being this gregarious, fun, girl and woman. And also kept people away by being passive-aggressive and things like that. So now that I am a grown-up and matured, it’s about allowing people to really see me in all of my really ugly naked stuff. And I don’t mean that only from a literal sense, cat on my lap.
It’s just how terrified I get sometimes, in my career or in my marriage or as a mom and letting my friends in, and it’s only like a couple of them, I don’t have like eight girlfriends. That to me has been the biggest gift I could ever ask for.
Sundae: My friends have taught me so much. They’ve taught me so much.
Andrea: I think I’m really lucky, we’re really lucky. If you get to be this age and you have strong friendships, you have won the lottery. Because it takes so much work and intention and trust and getting it wrong and trying again. And having people stab you in the back and break your heart and then you doing that to people because that’s what we were taught. And like, unpacking your entire internalized misogyny. It’s like, I could go on and on but friendships.
Sundae: For me, my closest friends, I’ve learned how beautiful it is to really be my vulnerable self. And they stick around. It’s so beautiful that they stick around and I’m so grateful for that too. So thank you for mentioning that because oftentimes when we talk about shaping transformation, people talk about, “Well, I’m taking care of my health. I’m watching what I eat. Energy. I’m putting away saving so that I feel security.” It isn’t that often that people talk about connection.
Andrea: Yeah because at the end of the day you can’t take any of it with you, but like I know I’m going to look back and not really care about how much money I made. It’s about the people that I asked to be in my life and that I asked if I could be in their life and that is not something I thought I would be talking about when I was 25. I thought I would be talking about all of my successes and to me, success is about the relationships, the health of our relationships.
Sundae: Yeah, I think you used the word “Grown, now that I’m grown up.” Honestly, I feel like I just started growing up.
Sundae: It’s hard to adult and all the things we talked about today. I think I tribute to like real adulting. I think it was just pretending to adult before. And now I’m doing the real work and that is something that, you don’t know this, but that’s one of the things I learned from you. And I learned when we were in this business mastermind together, I watched each and every woman do some really hard things. Instead of doing the safe things, it’s easy to be successful at the safe things. But it was so wonderful to watch women do hard things, imperfectly, and keep going.
And I was like, “Oh, they’re really adulting.” They’re showing up in and as themselves. And I think that’s so powerful. So thank you for that as well.
Andrea: You’re welcome.
Sundae: Yeah, so tell us before we wrap up here. Tell people where should they come check you out and what’s next for you?
Andrea: They can come see my perimenopausal belly over at only fans. No, I’m just kidding, I don’t have one.
I meant all the socials except only fans, @heyAndreaOwen, and all of my website with my books and everything is AndreaOwen.com and I linked my podcast there too.
Sundae: You got to check it out, all the stuff like every time I see your podcast come out and like, “Oh, I want to talk about that too.” We have so many topics that we just shared passion for. It’s so fun.
Andrea: I love that.
Sundae: Yeah, thank you so much for coming. Go check out Andrea, there’s all kinds of goodness and more. So thank you for being here. Thank you for listening everyone. You’ve been listening to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I will leave you with the words of our author today. Andrea says: “You can’t practice and be confident if you are standing outside of yourself.”
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