positivity

Ep 049: Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down

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You know those moments when life is really difficult or when things aren’t going well? Those moments are hard! Let’s not dismiss that. But we don’t have to stay down forever! It is important that we remain positive, that we acknowledge what is happening and what we are feeling, and that we do what we need to do to move forward. If you're in a difficult place, if you’re just really overwhelmed or if you're really having a rough time, I’ve got you! Today I am sharing three simple ways that you can remain positive when life knocks you down. You're going to get over this because you are a doer. You are an overcomer. You are going to push through this and I'm rooting for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The difference between inconveniences and life crises.

  • How staying positive doesn't have to be irritating or impossible - it's a super beneficial way to live! But you're also a person with feelings and it's okay to have a tough time when life knocks you down.

  • Why you shouldn’t play the victim or throw yourself a pity party in those moments.

  • The benefit of paying attention to your feelings (Don’t ignore them, don’t discount them, don’t struggle against them).

  • Practical things you can do to stay positive when life knocks you down.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood. I walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.

How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed. How to declutter toxic relationships in your life. How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you. How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friend! Today I want to talk to you about staying positive when life knocks you down. I really want to address when life is just not going well. When things are just really difficult.

Maybe you're struggling with some depression. Maybe you're not really there yet.

Maybe something really bad happened. Maybe something stressful or scary is going on and you don't really know how things are going to turn out.

Or maybe you're going through marriage problems and you're not really sure exactly what the problem is but it's got you down.

Maybe you're just really overwhelmed. Maybe you're in a time of crisis. Maybe there's a lot of inconvenience going on.

I'm not going to get super specific in what the situation is, what the level of the situation is because I think it's all relative. It depends on you as a person, your personality type, what your threshold for pain is in this life. We all define what a crisis is differently.

I think there are inconveniences and there are “life crises.”

An example of an inconvenience is last year Brian and I were scheduled to go to this Entrepreneur Retreat, across the country. We were really excited about it. We got the kids all packed up and sent them to my parents for three days. We headed to the airport and we were about to go on our way. We got to our first destination, which was a stopover flight at the airport in San Francisco. Our flight was delayed again and again and again, and all this stuff happened to where we ended up not even going on the trip and getting stuck at the airport for 48 hours. It was pretty frustrating. That's an inconvenience. That's not a life crisis.

An example of a life crisis would be your husband lost his job or you found out he is going to have to be let go in a month. You don't know what you're going to do. You’ve got a big house payment and kids and bills and you're freaking out. That's a life crisis. Or there's a death.

See what I mean? People can define “crisis” differently depending on what they've already been through and their personality type.

I think either way, inconvenience or crisis, it's important to know how to stay positive and how to deal when life is kicking you in the crotch, to put it bluntly.

I want to go over some things that I have picked up and learned. This is very surface. I'm not getting super deep into faith and all of that. Of course, if you know me or have been around here for more than two seconds, you know that I'm a Christian and my faith is a major part of my life, how I live and how I handle things. But I wanted to stay practical and sort of surface what can you actually do other than faith-based things.

I found this page in my journal and I had written these types of things down that I've learned over the course of my life going through multiple difficult things, in multiple difficulty levels of things. And it was really helpful. I liked seeing it and I wanted to share it with you.

First of all, I want to say that staying positive doesn't have to be irritating, like Pollyanna Syndrome where everything is rainbows and butterflies, just smile and be happy and it'll all be okay. It also doesn't have to be impossible.

It's easy to think to yourself, “Oh, I'm going to stay positive. When this happens or if this ever happens, I would just be really positive about it.” And then the event comes to your actual life and it feels really impossible to stay positive. I think it's a super beneficial way to live, but you're also a person who has feelings and it's okay to have a tough time.

So, let's talk about what to do, when to give yourself a break, how to set boundaries for your emotions, and when to “give in” and what not to do, if that makes sense.

Number One - It’s really important not to play the victim. Don't throw yourself into this never-ending pity party when things aren't going right - whether that’s something small like the entrepreneur retreat example. or something big like your husband lost his job or your mother just got diagnosed with cancer or you're losing your house.

We've had a situation where we lost a house because the landlord who were renting from lost their house and didn't tell us they weren't paying the mortgage with the rent. That was really difficult because it felt out of our control. It was really unfair and we had to move out pretty much immediately. I had just had my eleven-pound baby so I was not in a great place. And this was also right at the time in my story where I was really overwhelmed and depressed and hadn't really figured out how to simplify yet.

There are things like that that feel like a crisis, but don't throw yourself a pity party, like a never-ending pity party. It's okay to have a quick one.

Think about it. Have you ever known someone who just couldn't get over something? You give them advice, you're supportive, you're positive, and they just don't stop. And it's been way too much time, in your opinion, and they're still not letting it go. They just can't get over it. Eventually you do and everyone else does. And the person is left alone because they've alienated everyone in their own little private pity party.

Everyone's dealing with their own stuff. Everyone's got struggles. I'm not saying don't call your friends and family and vent. I'm saying vent, share feelings. Get the advice you need. Take a minute and then keep it moving in a positive way. Start to take action.

That leads me to number two - take action on the problem. Now. Pay attention to what you're feeling. Don't ignore your feelings, don't discount them. Don't shame yourself or feeling them. Don't struggle against them. Just acknowledge what they are.

I have really learned a lot from the practice of meditation. Simply being still. Being quiet. Thinking nothing. I'm not thinking. I'm not praying. I'm not even thinking about or repeating a thought over and over and over again to myself like a lot of people say they do when they're meditating,

I'm just simply sitting and being. If I have a thought, I acknowledge that it's there and I let it go. Have you ever done that? Have you ever really sat there and just let yourself be and notice how you feel? It's so powerful and so simple to acknowledge your feelings. I would encourage you to do that if you're going through a hard time. That is taking action - paying attention to your feelings, not ignoring them, not shaming yourself for having them, not discounting them or acting like they're not as big of a deal as they are, or fighting against them, but just acknowledging them.

Feeling your feelings. It's super powerful.

Have you ever had a million things to do and you keep fighting to make it work or figure it out? You how they say we’re like computers with too many windows open at once and we're going to crash? Pay attention to your feelings and do what you need to do that best for you. Acknowledge your feelings.

Have you been “in a crisis” and you were really feeling like, “oh my gosh, I'm so overwhelmed?” I got like this again in the time of my life when we were really trying to make ends meet and we had realized at Brian's job that if he only worked the minimum required hours each day we weren't really going to make ends meet. That we could not only make ends meet, but have a little bit of extra money to do a couple of fun things here and there, if he was working a ton of overtime. So, he was always volunteering to take extra overtime. The company did forced overtime for a while and that was good and terrible; good for the money, terrible from the time together.

During those really, really long years of a season of my life, I got like this. I got to the point where I had all these feelings. I had way too many windows open and I was crashing hard. There was no way out because the kids were there. Everything had to keep moving. I was doing everything from dawn till after bedtime by myself. I had all of that on my plate and it was really terrible. It was so hard.

I should have just stopped and paid attention to my feelings, paused, known what I know now, and given myself that space to just feel for a second and asked myself, “What is it that I'm feeling here? I'm feeling completely overwhelmed and feeling like I just can't. Period. I just can't. I don't even know what. I just can't. I'm feeling like I miss my husband and this is not what I thought it was going to be like when we got married. I miss him. I'm feeling really lonely and feeling a little resentful too.”

If I would have let myself feel and acknowledge those feelings, I may have been able to think a little bit clearly about, “Okay, well, what do you want to do? Well, I don't know if this is worth it. I think I want to start to look for a different job. Try to intentionally find a way out. Start praying for a way out of this.” But honestly those thoughts didn't really come to us for years because we were hustling so hard to just get by and get through the next day.

Then the nighttime would come. The kids would go to bed. The silence would hit and I would want to avoid my feelings. I was a “feelings suppressor” to the extreme and I would binge eat junk food, turn on Netflix, ignore my feelings until I was so exhausted I fell asleep. The next day started to my kids tapping me, waking me up, and the chaos began all over again. This was my existence.

No wonder I got depressed, right?

I think giving yourself the space to feel your feelings. Once you feel those feelings, what do you need? Are you tired? Take a nap? Are you stressed? Take a break, take a step back. Take a day, take some time for yourself. Are you overwhelmed? Cut things off or let them go. Disappoint somebody. It's okay. Let it go. Are you worried?

Do you need help? Ask for it. Call someone that you know can relate. Call somebody that you trust, even if they don't live near you and can't really physically do anything. Just call someone. Get it off your chest. Maybe somebody who will give you good advice for your situation. Just do something.

Take some sort of action. It doesn't have to be action that's going to solve your problem, right then and there, but doing something is going to make you feel so much better. Acknowledging your feelings gives them space to make you aware of them, and then you can do something about it. Even if it's just taking a nap. Not an avoidance nap, but an I'm exhausted, I need rest, nap.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Number three is set boundaries for your breaks. Maybe you think, “Okay, I just want to eat whatever I want and let the house go. Stay in bed and not do anything. Skip the kids’ homeschooling for a day and just watch Netflix all day.” But then you're like, “Okay, I really shouldn't do that.” Every once in a while (and I'm giving you permission here, girl, because I've done it myself), do it anyway.

If you can feel like this is what I need, I need a break. I need to rest. I need a day away from the routines and the stress and the go, go, go. I want a day of canceling all these appointments, canceling all this stuff, staying home from work, snuggling in bed with my babies, eating cereal and just watching The Office on Netflix and letting the kids have a tech day. I need it.

Decide that you're going to do that and then give yourself boundaries around that so that you don't end up doing that same thing every day, three months later. Do what you have to do. Let yourself have a day if you need it. Take a break.

For example, you know saying, “I'm going to do whatever I want for a day. I just want to stay in bed. I'm going to stay on the couch. I'm not going to go to the gym. I'm going to eat whatever I want, and then tomorrow I'm going to get back to my routine. Then do that. That's your boundary. Give yourself a day or two days, probably no more than that. And you’re not going to stay there. Set boundaries for yourself.

I'm speaking from experience. What I said is what I used to do. I used to get so overwhelmed that I would fall into a pit.

This is where those of you who have never struggled with depression are probably judging me pretty harshly right now, and that's okay. Those of you who have gone through depression are probably about to cry because you're hearing that I understand exactly how you feel. I'm being really raw and honest with you and that's what I'm here to do.

You are who I'm here to serve with this episode and I just want you to know as you're listening right now that I could just cry for you. You are in such a difficult place and I am so sorry that you are there and I want you to know that it is okay. It's okay to be there. It's okay.

Whether you're in a depressive place or not, it's okay to take a break. But take the break and then get up. Even if it's hard. The only way to get over it is to get through it, so push through it. You can't skip it. You can't fast forward. I know you wish you could. I used to wish that I could fast forward, like that movie “Click.” If I could just fast forward to this one part because I know I won't regret it. The thing is, you will regret it, you would regret it, and you can't do it anyway. You've got to get through it, if you want to get over this hump. So, take a day. Take a break. Let yourself have a no-bra-Netflix-whatever day.

Then stand up the next morning. Set your alarm. Get up and start with one step. Get out of bed.

Next step, brew your favorite brew of coffee and enjoy that cup. Enjoy it hot. Let the kids get their own breakfast. Let them wait a second so you can have a couple of sips of coffee in peace.

Get the kids their breakfast, push play on the audio book you'd been wanting to listen to and have a relaxing day while you do the laundry.

Rinse the dishes after breakfast. Keep the TV off for one day. Listen to an audio book instead.

Step-by-step, step out of this difficult time, this rut that you found yourself in.

I know that this episode is called “Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down” and maybe none of this really sounds positive, but I know what it is like to be beyond an inconvenient time, beyond stuck at the airport on your way to an entrepreneur retreat. When you're in a time of crisis, when you are in a rut and it's so dark down there, you really don't see how you're going to get out this time. This is staying positive.

Deciding that you're going to take a day, you're going to give yourself a break. That you’re going to just have a “whatever day” and setting boundaries around that one day so it doesn't turn into six months. Deciding that you're tired and you need a nap, and that is the action you're taking today. Staying positive in a time like this. Paying attention to your feelings. Acknowledging that they're there. Being still in feeling those feelings instead of suppressing them. That is staying positive.

That's positive movement forward in a situation like this. Deciding that you're not going to play the victim and you're not going to continue to throw yourself a pity party. That’s staying positive. That's overcoming.

I hope these three steps have been a light to somebody who's really been in a dark time. I have totally been there and I understand.

I'm going to keep this episode brief. I'm going to cut it off here because when you're in a place like that, when you're just really overwhelmed and you're really having a rough time, that's really all you can take – three things. And even that might be too much.

I love you guys. If you're listening to this and maybe you’re emotional, maybe you broke down a little bit, maybe you're just like in awe that this episode found its way to you at the perfect time. I feel you. I know. Even though I don’t personally know you, I know you and know where you're at. I've been there. You will get over this sweet, sweet friend. You will get over this because you're going to work through it. You're not going to let it hold you down one more second longer.

You're going to get over this because you are a doer. You are an overcomer. You are going to push through this and I'm rooting for you. I'm always rooting for you.
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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 048: Turning Struggles Into Strength with Jessica Rasdall

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We all have been through tough stuff in our life. And sometimes we feel like we are the only person in the world who has ever experienced those tough moments. You normally don’t hear about other people going through those same things. There is beauty is sharing your struggles with others and there is strength that can come from it. Jessica Rasdall is one of those people who has bravely shared her story with the world. She took a moment that could have broken her and turned it into a story that has changed peoples lives. Her message is one of hope and encouragement; you are not alone in your struggles!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Jessica Discuss:

  • The impact your story has, even in the midst of the brokenness.

  • How to share the whole story (from brokenness to healing), not just the brokenness. Celebrate the growth and progress you have made!

  • What it looks like to take your story and use it to bring strength to yourself and those around you.   

  • What you give your focus to is what you get more of and what will grow. So where is your focus within your story?

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to really get you started on minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

In the Supermom Vault,  you will receive replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else), tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click, more than 20 audio & video trainings, and professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey beauties! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show.

I'm here with the beautiful, purple-haired friend of mine, Jessica Rasdall.

You do many things. You're a speaking coach. You’re my speaking coach. I have your speaking course. You have an amazing story that we're here to talk about today and you are the author of the book, Shattered, which is what we're really here to talk about.

I just read it. It's so amazing and powerful. It’s not a light read like we were talking about.

I would love for you to introduce yourself and whatever you like about your story. And then we'll dive in.

JESSICA: Thank you so much. I'm so excited to share about this. You know, it’s crazy how many different things I do because that was never really part of the plan. I was super normal. I wasn't a straight A student. Let's not joke around. I was an average student going through school.

I was a freshman. I did have a business scholarship. I wanted to do what everybody else did and what my parents wanted me to do, “Go to a four-year school, get a degree, get a masters, get some corporate job and stay there forever.” That was the plan.

I had known my best friend since I was five years old and the two of us were inseparable. I figured we would be like my mom and her best friend. My mom has known her best friend, Maddie, her entire life and they are the exact opposite, but the closest. And that's how I felt about my friend, Laura.

But my freshman year of college I made a decision that changed everything.

One night we went out. It was just supposed to be a girl’s night out and we ended up drinking. I drove us home. Something happened and we don't really know what caused the car accident, but Laura was killed on impact and I nearly lost my own life.

So, all of these plans and all of these things that I had put on the table, the road that I tried to chart for myself was gone. Everything was out the window and now I was left to figure out what do I do from here? How do I do it without her because I had never done anything in my life without Laura? That was terrifying.

On top of all the medical stuff, the emotional stuff, I was now facing 10 ½ - 15 years in prison for DUI manslaughter.

I couldn't even wrap my mind around that.

So, everything went out the window and it was just a matter of, what do you do next? How do you wake up tomorrow? How do you schedule your next appointment? Or how do you show up at school, at all?

You have all of these different emotions going on. You're going through these stages of grief. There's days where I hated everybody. I was angry and I wanted to point fingers and place blame. There were days where I didn't want to come out of my room and I didn't want to deal with this. You go through so many different feelings and you feel like you're the only person in the world who has ever experienced this. You don't hear about other people going through it.

A big part of me felt like if I never heard of somebody making it out the other side, maybe people didn't. Maybe this was a situation that if you got yourself into it, there was no coming out. There was no coming back from it. And that was terrifying.

I remember being in a Barnes and Noble Bookstore and I was looking for something, anything to tell me, “This is what you do. These are the steps.” I was very logical. I wanted a roadmap. I wanted someone to tell me “this is how you pick up the pieces, how you'd go on” and I couldn't find anything. I broke down in the middle of the store, in the middle of the self-help section.

My mom came up to me, “what are you doing” trying to pick me up off the floor. I told her, “There's nothing here, there's nothing here to tell you what to do next when you take the life of your best friend.” She was so calm and she just pointed at the shelf and said, “Well Jess, why don't you just put something there?”

It was in that moment in the middle of the bookstore, I drew a line in the sand and decided that trying to figure this out had nothing to do with me. This was about something so much bigger. And if I made it out of that car, it had to be for a reason. And even if that reason was just to tell somebody that, “Hey, you could make it through this,” I had to keep going. I had to keep going even when everybody else said I shouldn't, or I couldn't. I had to do it for the person who was looking for a roadmap also. And I was terrified of Laura being forgotten about or being another underaged drinking statistic.

So, I started sharing my story. I started speaking to High School kids, college students and anybody who would listen. I began telling them about the decisions that I made in hopes that they wouldn't repeat my mistake.

I spoke to over 15,000 kids in two years. And then I was sentenced to prison.

That in itself is a whole other story.

But when you come home from that and you're now trying to rebuild again. Because I felt like after the accident it was this moment of figuring out “How do I just make it through this?” And then you “make it through,” so to speak, and you do your time in prison, you come home and now it's another matter of “Now, how do I put this behind me?”

Because now I'm the convicted felon, the murderer, the drunk driver.

ALLIE: I think that like goes on your record and is like in your book you talk about, “Now I have to check that box. Yes. I have been convicted of a felony and it's a big one.” I love how honest you were.

I also didn't want to interrupt you, but I love too that you started to share your story before that chapter of your life was even over. I feel like now I know it is; the whole part about the death, everything. It's done. You finished the prison part, it's all finished. But, you didn't even know. You didn't even know what your sentence was going to look like. You hadn't even gone through that. You immediately started sharing in the middle of your brokenness, which I want to come back to you after you finished sharing.

I just wanted to say I love that part about your story. You glazed over it in the book; like it's nothing that you started right away. I can't even imagine how many tears you choked through while you were trying to talk because it was so fresh. Aside from even sharing at all, the fact that you shared right away is so powerful and so brave. I noticed that in your book and I loved that part of it, that you just jumped right in.

JESSICA: Thank you. I am not a talker. I'm a motivational speaker, but I'm not a talker. I am a doer; I am not somebody who enjoys wasting away my days making plans. If I have an idea, I want to take action on it.

Full disclosure, don't just jump into sharing your story on something that you haven't dealt with. I was going to therapy. I was taking medication. I had a full team of support, but none of that was enough for me. I needed to feel like I was physically doing something with my life. You can't make it right, but that was in a way doing something to give this meaning.

When I came home and started rebuilding the pieces and figuring out what was I going to do from here, I didn't want to talk about it at first. I didn't want to be the girl in the accident anymore. I had no idea who Jessica was because I felt like I had been lost in all of this.

But when I didn't talk about it, something was missing. There was this huge disconnect because, just like you said, I started sharing right away and I was sharing with an open case on the table. I was publicly going out and telling what I had done, even though I was facing 15 years in prison. It's almost as long as I'd been alive. I was only 18.

Now here I was, not the girl waiting to go to prison, but I was now the young woman who made it out the other side and that story had to change. The way that I looked at it had to change. The way that I shared it had to change. The way that it was presented to the world needed to change.

That was a big evolution in my own healing journey because I feel like when we get into the thick of things, when something happens to us or when we make a mistake, we get stuck in that story - the initial story, the one that we have to tell, the one that happens. But as we move through the healing journey, we can sometimes feel obligated to keep sharing that first story and it's important for us to sometimes take a step back and realize, “Am I in the same place when I first crafted that story?”

Has this changed? How have I grown? Do I need to be sharing this with somebody different now? Can other people benefit from it? Because it doesn't serve us to keep telling something that takes us back, if we're trying to move forward. That was a big part with coming home was understanding that the story had to change.

ALLIE: Absolutely. I love that. What happened in your life is so much and so heavy. I don't like to use the word “dramatic” but I don't really know what else to say. It’s not like a light story, like “oh, I used to struggle with this and now I don't.” But, you have so beautifully come out, not only come out the other side but used it as leverage for your purpose.

We were saying before we hit record that you could have let this be a black spot over your life.  Like in the movies when something really dramatic happens in a character's life and they never recovered and that's why they are the way they are. And they get into the backstory and that's the reason that they're so awful, depressed or so stuck.

But you used what happened to you and launched into your purpose because of that. You couldn't be doing what you're doing without that happening is what I mean. And so, I really wanted to have you here and use your story to speak to turning something difficult that has happened or a personal struggle into your strength.

Our audience is mostly mothers, so raising your kids. How can you use that to raise your kids to learn from you and turn that into their strength? Something that makes you what you are and changes the world really. And I just want to kind of hear your thoughts about that and maybe in a general sense so that it can be applied from other people's different struggles other than what you're specifically was.

JESSICA: I know my story's a lot.

ALLIE: It’s amazing, though.

JESSICA:  I thought I'll go talk to a group of few thousand people and share my story and all is great. But when I first started my business and I started helping female business owners craft their own stories, I was terrified because of who am I? Who am I to do this? Those labels stuck with me hard. I was the felon. I was the failure. I was the college dropout. I think that becomes our sticking point - the labels that we allow others to place in us and more importantly the labels that we give ourselves. It's so easy to say little things like “well I'm lazy.” Today, I said I was irritable, but I am. I’m pregnant.

It's so easy to say that we are failures or we're not good enough or compare ourselves to other people. And those things carry so much weight. We can't wait around for somebody else to change that dialogue. It is so important for us to take the time to say, “OK, well maybe I was a little irritable this morning. There’s a lot of hormones running through this body, but I can still take the time to go do other things. Right before we got on this, my daughter and I were in the kitchen making dinner together. Our thing every night is to turn up the music and have a dance party while we make dinner. And it's silly. But that's just our thing together. I don't get frustrated when she empties the dishwasher and the silverware isn't exactly where I want it or dripped water all over the floor.

ALLIE: {laughing} Basically made your life harder.

JESSICA: But it's so easy to be our worst critics and continue to put that on repeat of “I'm the failure” or even worse, “I’m the victim” or whatever that dialogue is for us. Until we can identify it and start paying attention to the things we're telling ourselves or the things we're saying to other people, we can't change that. We can't.

And it's so easy to tell other people. When you're in conversations with others, how are you talking about that with others? If you're talking about your parenting style and getting frustrated with that. Are you talking about being a loving mother or are you talking about being that frustrated mother? What are the things that you are clinging to, embracing, and really identifying. Just saying that “everything is great” isn't enough.

I don't want you to “fake it till you make it,” but we need to make sure that we're paying more attention to the things that we want, other than the things we want to get rid of. Those things that we focus on grow. They grow fast, like weeds. It's so important for us to cling to, even if it only feels like a tiny, tiny little piece, the things that make us proud, excited and want to do more.  

ALLIE:  Yeah. Absolutely. What your giving focus to, what you're speaking to, and paying attention to, is what you get more of.

Just a little example (I think it was episode six) where I talked about my business story, that's where I learned that what I was hounding on – “We’re so broke. We have nothing. It's never going to be easy.”  I got more and more of that because I was focusing on it and kind of just accepting “this is the way my life is. It seems to be in the cards.” That attitude is BS and it has no place in the life of an overcomer.

If you want to be an overcomer, you need to start to focus on, “I am able. I have a really great brain and I can do a lot of good things. I can do something to make the situation different.” Even if you've struggled, even if something awful has happened or you've done something awful, you can overcome that. It's about the story that you're telling yourself. People don't realize how much weight their words hold, I think. I love that you mentioned that.

JESSICA: It is powerful and you know it can be a little difficult. I'd say for my situation, I am hoping that nobody listening to this has ever been through anything like this, but I'm willing to bet that you've probably been through something that at some point made you feel a little guilty. It doesn't matter what it is.

Guilt is a beast. That could be forgetting. I forgot to send Chad’s breakfast to work with them today and I did feel really bad about that this morning. I know it's so silly, but guilt has a way of creeping in and messing up everything.

So for me, I do have really bad survivor's guilt. Here's the kicker though: changing the dialogue is great, but for me it couldn't be for me. And this might sound silly, but doing something for myself, I didn't have that internal motivation. I didn't. At all. Because I would constantly then play devil's advocate and “Well, who am I to deserve that? I should feel this way.” So for me, I had to find something outside of myself to want to improve for and that's really where the whole book concept came from.

I wasn't speaking because I love the spotlight and I love people hearing this painful story. I was speaking because I wanted to make sure someone else didn’t repeat that mistake. Because I wanted to keep Laura’s memory alive. I don't get up and do the work that I do for any reason other than maybe my family or my clients.

And if you're somebody who does struggle with maybe finding that internal motivation, whatever reason that might be, I want to challenge you to look for something outside of yourself that makes you dig deeper.

Because doing something for yourself is wonderful; we deserve it, even on the days we don't think we should. But letting somebody else down, that's a crippling feeling. Nobody wants to disappoint somebody else. And when you can set your actions up in a way that makes you feel like somebody else is depending on you, it just sets this whole new motivation into the mix.
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ALLIE: One thing I really wanted to ask you, and I didn't even hash out exactly how it was going to phrase this, so I need to talk it out. How do you go from… let's say whatever the situation is for anybody they have guilt about something. Something has happened in their life or is continuously happening. We used the “yelling” example before we recorded… something as small as that or something as big as what's happened in your life. They struggle with guilt over something and they feel like they're caught in that cycle or in the cycle of the actual thing, like continuously yelling or whatever. Having anger problems, whatever it is. What actionable, tactical steps would they take to get out of that cycle and what should they focus on? What can they physically start to do to get out of that cycle, if that makes sense?

JESSICA: When I was first in the thick of everything, before I ever gave that first presentation, I was stuck. Hard stuck in a cycle of “what if?” What if things had been different? What if I had done this instead? What if I had just made a phone call? It's really easy to get stuck there.

What if I could just get up a little bit earlier? What if I would stop yelling? What if I would just go to the gym? What if? What if? But, we don’t want to take any action on it. We don't always hear the “what if” though. It is this quiet voice. What happened is when I first sat down to write that first presentation, to literally just put my story on paper, everything changed. Now I was no longer allowed to ask the question of “what if?” I had to tell it.

I had to become the narrator of my own story and that gave me the power to decide how I was going to tell it and what was going to happen next. So, I think it's really important to first identify what it is that's happening, because we can make up all these stories in our head. We can dramatize that a whole lot and make it worse than it really is.

Now, I was sitting down and getting down to the facts of “what happened” or “what is happening?” Then, “OK, this is what's going on. Now, what do I actually want from this? What can I be made to change this?” Because until you draw that line in the sand and say, “This is what has been done. These are what the facts are. I don't want it to be like this anymore,” nothing will change.

ALLIE: You answered my next question. That was perfect.

I'm going to link to your book and I want you to talk about that.

If somebody wanted to connect with you can you tell us where to find you and what you're usually on more social-wise.

JESSICA: Yes. I'm an odd one. You can always reach out to me on social media and Instagram is probably the easiest way to get ahold of me.

You can find me at Jessica Rasdall.

Or if you are somebody who's crazy like me and you want to speak, it's The Public Speaking Strategists.

I'll be very honest. I'm not a slave to social media. I might be on there all the time, but I don't share everything. I want to give you that permission to not share everything either. I feel like we're in an age where there's this pressure for “everybody needs to know what I'm wearing today, what kind of coffee I'm having, where I'm going to go get my groceries, what I fed my kid.”

ALLIE: And every inner thought. I was just talking about this with... you know Kendra? It's an entitlement. There's this underlying tone of entitlement from people. And I'm guilty of it too, a little, sometimes. They “follow” you. Even if you're not an influencer per se, just a normal mom using Instagram. “Where did you get that?” And if I don't respond, I'll notice like, “Um, I saw that you didn't respond? I get really want to know where you got that shirt.” It's like… you don't have to know where I got everything. We don't have to share all the time. I totally understand. I love that you said that.

JESSICA: I do want to give you that permission, like heads up! If you don't see me sharing everything, it doesn't mean I'm not there. I'm totally listening and I'm available.

You can reach out to me. Don't expect me to be all-day, every-day telling you what's happening every five minutes, because I just don’t think that's important.

I know as we're talking about the language that we tell ourselves and also with social media, I feel like we're at a place right now where we are at a fine line of “glamorizing” the mess and not the message.

And it's so easy to want to show the piled-up laundry, the sink full of dishes, or complain about all the things that are going wrong, and that my kid doesn't want to go to bed now. That's real life.

I'm not perfect. I'm not going to show you all the stuff in my office.

At the same time, I'm very protective of your input, what I'm giving to you and I don't want to fill your news feed, your ears, your mind or your heart with anything other than a positive message.

So, I'm a big believer in sharing a little bit of what's really going on, but also making sure that I'm delivering something of value to you and there's not always something there. If you don't hear from me, don't freak out. You can just reach out. I'm there.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. And what is your website? You can find me at JessicaRasdall.com. Super easy to find me.

Or again, if you're crazy and you want to speak, thepublicstrategist.com  

ALLIE: Your stuff is amazing. Before we ever connected on this level, I had shared that I was going through some speaking stuff because I just dread it. It's just a part of my career. It's gonna happen and I'm better now because of you.

Guys, this is who I was learning from. And your course has helped me so much. You're so amazing at that. If you are somebody who needs help with public speaking, this is who you go to. We will link to all of that.

Thank you so much!

Your book is amazing. Her book is Shattered. I will link to it in the show notes. It’s a very short read, but it's not an easy read. So be emotionally prepared because it tells this entire story and all the details of that. And you really did a great job. Like I was saying, you go into a lot of detail, but you get to the point. And there is a point. At the end of every section of the book, there is a point like, “OK, so having said all of that, here's what I learned from this chapter of this story.” And it's very actionable, gracious and honest. It’s just a really, really great book.  

Also parents, it’s something to have on hand. Let your kids read when they get to, what would you say? Early high school?

JESSICA: Yeah. High School. It was definitely very hard to pare down the book, right? Because I have so much to share. I could write a million books about this story.

But for me it was again, what did I need in that bookstore? What was that roadmap I needed? But also trying to figure out where was the balance of getting to speak directly to the person going through what I had been through, but also speaking to somebody going through any kind of struggle. What were the universal concepts? What were the key pieces of the puzzle that I felt like if I could take out any of the extra stuff, anything that would distract, what could get you through the hardest, the hardest times. And what were the things that you could take action on right away?

And it was hard. It was very hard to share some of those parts. There were other parts that it was very hard to cut things out, because they were things that I wanted to say really bad. But, I know that that's not always added value to the reader and that's what's important to me.

I don't care if you liked me; I don't care if you don't like me; I don't care if you follow me, but if I'm not adding value to you and your life, I'm not doing my job.

ALLIE:  Yeah. And that comes across for sure. Definitely a good read for anything difficult and again to have on hand. I'm definitely going to have my kids read it when they get into that high school time. This is real, this is what can happen and does happen way more often than anybody is talking about other than you.

Thank you so much for taking time to be here and sharing a little piece of your story and your wisdom from that. I really appreciate it.

JESSICA: Thank you so much for having me.
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