Coaching sessions are back! This week I am coaching Melissa, a production company owner from Southern California, about boundaries within her personal and professional life, as well as, knowing clearly what she wants and asking for it. 

If you are new to the coaching episode format, my style is a mix between traditional coaching and intuitive consulting. And yes, more coaching session episodes will be coming. Also, keep an eye out for some changes on the podcast too. Don’t worry, I am not going anywhere! But, the show is getting a new name and some other fun adjustments. Announcements will be coming next week!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Clearly knowing what you want and asking for it. (6:48)
  • Establishing boundaries at work and at home, and enforcing them. (8:35)
  • Betting on yourself and not waiting for confidence to move forward. (24:15)
  • Determining what you will or won’t tolerate in relationships. (31:36)
  • A kick-ass update from Melissa, plus some of her biggest takeaways from our coaching session. (43:16)

Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Andrea 00:00
There's that little girl inside of you, who felt hurt by getting that nickname and felt like she had to kind of go along with the joke because everybody thought it was funny except you. And that more or less inner child could really use some love and attention and compassion. I wish I could go back in time and hug you and tell you that there's nothing wrong with you. And I love how loud and boisterous you are.

And I would love for you to maybe… I don't know how much inner child work you've done, but maybe that's an extra assignment for you to think about. What you would go back and tell that little girl who was nicknamed that.

This is Your Kick-Ass Life podcast, episode number 382 with Andrea Owen, a no-BS guide to self-help and badassery. Because ladies, let's face it. Life's too short for it to not kick ass. And here's your host, the girl who serves it up straight with a side of crazy, Andrea Owen.

Andrea 01:14
Hey there, ass-kickers. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad you are here. Very excited. Because next week is our last episode, officially known as Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. The show is going to be birthed a new name starting on Thursday, April 15, which also happens to be my birthday. So good news. Next week, there will be two episodes.

We have an interview on Wednesday. And then the following day, I'm doing a quick solo episode talking about the new name of the podcast and the reason why I changed it. So I'm just pumped to bring you that.

I also wanted to send a quick shout-out, congratulations to Jennifer and Annika for winning copies of our book giveaway from a few weeks ago when Karen Wright was on the show The Accidental Alpha Woman. Congrats to Jennifer and Annika.

Also, before we get into the show today, do you follow me on Instagram? I'm back I took a break. And then I came back and changed my name. So many changes going on over here. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.

I'm heyandreaowen on Instagram. Now if you already follow me, it's no big deal. But in case you're trying to tag me, it might be a little bit awkward. So I'm @heyandreaowen. If you don't follow me on Instagram, you might want to consider it.

I've started doing reels I'm giving you behind the scenes. As we put the finishing touches on copy editing for this book that is coming out in August, it goes to print not long after copy edits. We're all very excited about that. And just general musings about life, lots of Instagram stories about my dog. So please give me a follow over there.

Alright, today we have a coaching episode for you. I haven't done one of these in a minute. I don't think I did any of them while I was writing my book all of last year. And I have this one today and a couple more coming up for you over the next handful of months.

Today we are talking to Melissa. And I'm going to let her tell you a little bit about what her struggle was. And then you can listen to the conversation that we have, make sure you stick around because I have an update at the very end of the episode.

And for those of you who might be new to listening to these types of episodes, I wanted to kind of repeat what I did in the very beginning. Long, long ago as I was talking about how I like to coach. So in the world of life coaching, there are many different ways, styles, I suppose is the right word to coach.

Traditional life coaching is all about asking the right questions you lead from a place of curiosity. You never give advice. You never offer direction. It is really leading the client to their own answers. It's incredibly powerful.

I, on the other hand, have a slightly different approach. I do ask intuitive questions that seem to me, they kind of pop up in different areas. Sometimes I feel like someone's tapping me on the shoulder to ask a question. Sometimes I feel like someone else is in the room. Sometimes it feels like it's in my head just sort of nagging at me like I have to ask this one particular question. Sometimes even if it feels like it doesn't make any sense.

And I also give direction, sometimes I do give advice. What I like to call this is directive coaching. It's kind of a mix between consulting and guidance and life coaching. Again, there's really no right or wrong way to do this.

The reason that I say it here is because when you are looking for a coach if you think that that might be something that would be helpful for you to get support in that way, you might want to ask, I mean, you really might want to ask your coach, what's their style?

Do they do just traditional, straight up and down powerful questions having absolutely no agenda at hand? Or are they more directive in the mix of life coaching and advice? Or is it straight up and down consulting, because although that's not life coaching, that is a service that's out there for people and there are some, they call themselves advisors or consultants, something of that sort.
I just wanted to explain a little bit about what my style is. And I am going to let you listen to this conversation with myself and Melissa.
Melissa, thank you for joining us today.

Melissa 06:00
Good to be here.

Andrea 06:01
I am so excited to kick start these particular episodes again. So the way that we start these is obviously everyone knows your name now, but why don't you tell us who you are. Tell us a little bit about you. What do you do? Where do you live, that kind of good stuff.

Melissa 06:17
I live in Southern California. And I have my own production company where I consult and produce and direct and develop programming that is geared at making an impact with an audience. So most of the genres are sports or women's empowerment or kids and have a particular interest in outdoor programming as well.

Andrea 06:48
Okay, awesome. And when you reached out to be coached on the show you filled out, you know, the infamous application, and one of the things that you said that you wanted some help with is… I'm going to just like briefly read what you wrote. And I would love for you to go into a little bit more detail about it. So you said, something you were currently struggling with was clearly knowing what I want, and using my voice to ask for it and set boundaries. Can you say a little bit more about that?

Melissa 07:19
What I find in my life, which tends to present itself in most, if not all, areas of my life is this inability to sometimes know what the correct action is. People talk a lot about intuition. You know, I might have gut feelings every now and then. But I tend to question them, rather than act on them. And that can, I don't think it necessarily gets me in trouble anymore.

Because, you know, I'm in the latter half of my life, it does prevent me, I think, from really being able to take strong actions. And part of it is related to my inability to sort of to speak about what it is that I want to feel confident enough to say, what I believe, whether it's a core belief or value, whether it's a political thought, or it's something that has to do with setting boundaries around my family or people in my life. I can give you five or six…

Andrea 08:30
Were you going to give an example?


Okay. Yes, please give us an example.

Melissa 08:35
I'll give you one work example, which is I recently engaged in a consulting relationship with a company and they're interested in having me come on board full time as a CEO in a less than traditional pay scale. So part of it is bringing in business and then sharing in the profits of that business, eventually building a company to where a salaried position and had multiple conversations with this potential partner. I've gotten a deal memo from them, I've reviewed it with a lawyer.

Essentially, what I've decided is that it doesn't feel right to me to work without getting paid right now. There are parts of the deal that I'm comfortable with and parts of them that are not. I've spoken to advisors and mentors, my lawyer, talked about how to get back to him what I want to say and I have been sitting on this deal on memo since mid-January.

I haven't sent it back to him with my notes from my lawyer. Because I am afraid to speak about, Hey, I only want this to be part-time here are the parameters in which I can feel comfortable doing business with you on and part of it is I don't know him and so I want to walk into it slowly.

I haven't been able to use my voice to set the boundaries around that even though I know exactly what I want to do. And speaking to you right now I can feel my throat chakra tightening up at the fear of telling him. And there is no, I can come up with absolutely no reason not to respond to him, and he's waiting for this deal on my comments back. So that's one work-life example.

Andrea 10:27
Okay, let's pick that one apart. Is that okay? Sure. Okay, so is it fair to say that that is a fairly common example of how this shows up in your life?

Melissa 10:40
Yes, I think that certainly in work it's a pain point. And it also shows up in my love relationship and my relationship with my kids, all of it. So I'm assuming it's the exact same core root issue. Just keep bumping up against it. And it always looks different every time. But it's the pattern is similar.

Totally. When you were talking about that, especially that last part about it happening in, you know, different patterns in your life, it reminds me of something that my therapist said to me very recently, and she said, and I wrote it down, she said, human beings are a bundle of conditioned responses.

And that struck me because what I'm seeing more and more in my clients, and even my friends, and very much myself too, is that especially with women, and then it's not that this doesn't happen with men, it does, it just looks different.

So especially with women, we become conditioned, very young, to be… generally speaking here, seen and not heard, to very much be accommodating to not rock any boats, to not make other people uncomfortable with our requests, with our negotiations, with our asks and etc, etc. It doesn't surprise me that this is the case. I think that where I would love to go next with you is to dig in a little bit. I'm very curious for you to tell us more, a little bit about what you are afraid might happen.

This very much might be your inner critic talking like what do you feel like is the worst-case scenario? If let's stick with this example, if you come to him and say, thank you for sending me this proposal, here are my requests, or here are my conditions?

Melissa 12:32
Like at that the core of it I'm afraid he'll walk away.

Andrea 12:35
Okay, so you're afraid he'll say no.

Melissa 12:38
Yeah, or not that he'll say no and we'll continue to negotiate because I think that's the point, but more that he will just walk away and say, Sorry, you know, if you're not agreeing to my terms, then let's not do this.

Andrea 12:54
Okay. And then what would happen if he did that, then what?

Melissa 12:57
Then I would be out of a job or out of the opportunity, wouldn't have the opportunity.

Andrea 13:03
Okay, anything else that might happen that makes you nervous or afraid?

Melissa 13:07
I'm a little worried that he is… and this may, as I'm about to say it, I think it also is true in other areas of my life, but that he may wind up being a bit of a jerk. He may not be or the situation not be, what I think it is or what I want it to be. By using my voice and saying what I need, it'll expose that this isn't the right situation.

Andrea 13:40
Mm hmm. So it sounds like you would feel unsafe,

Melissa 13:43

Andrea 13:44
Okay, the thing that kind of sucks is that those are valid possibilities. That could happen. He could say, No thanks. He could turn and become a complete jerk. And then what are somewhat are some more positive options that could happen?

Melissa 14:00
Oh, we just negotiate, and I get my terms and everything is fine. And we move forward? We could, I mean, in the blue-sky version, I limit the amount of time that I'm actually working with him rather than going full time and other opportunities present themselves. And this is, as the most thing I'd like to think of most things as being a stepping stone towards what's next.

Andrea 14:26
Yeah, that that could happen. And the other option, I'm not sure if he thought of this or not, is that he could say no. And you also walk away feeling brave and empowered, that you asked for what you wanted. Even though it didn't work out in your favor.

Melissa 14:48
Yeah, that's a great way to live.

Andrea 14:51
Yeah, it's a different perspective. The other option, well, I guess it would be the same option and a feeling that could come from that last one. Is that you also would walk away from that deal, not having said yes to something that you knew you did not want to do.

My friend Rachel Luna has this great saying, and she says, if not this, then something better. When she's faced with a situation like you're in where we, we get attached to the outcome that we want, right? I'm not telling you that it is as simple as just shifting perspectives or having an empowering affirmation or mantra. But I am giving you those kinds of seeds to plant in your brain.

I also, absolutely don't want to step over what you said about your throat chakra tightening up when you were talking about it. Can we kind of take a few steps back to that? And can you open that up a little bit more and talk to us about that?

Melissa 15:56
Sure. One of the things that we had touched on briefly in our pre-interview was that when I was younger, I was a really loud kid, I was always getting into trouble, I was always bumping into things, breaking things.

Andrea 16:20
Sounds like a typical child to me

Melissa 16:22
Potentially louder than others, also a middle child. So I needed to really assert myself to get any sort of attention. And because of that, I had this nickname in my family called Lissa Dammit. Whenever I would do something wrong one of my parents would say, Lissa Dammit. And so that became my loving, joking, loving nickname in my family and because there was always so loud, and they were always telling me to quiet down, quiet down, quiet down.

I feel like in that kid management perspective, I just shut up. And haven't really gotten my voice back as an adult, in any real way. I think the more internal work I do, the more yoga or meditation, the more I can really feel into my body. And I am curious because I would like to heal from those old wounds, I don't want these things holding me back at all. And I feel it in my throat. I feel the resistance in my throat. And that's always been not always, but it's recently been an indicator for me of like, oh, maybe you're afraid to speak about this.

I think the backstory I guess about the throat chakra. And I guess I'm grateful now that I'm able to feel that when I haven't been able to do this, use that as an indicator, and then take a nice, bold action when I'm feeling it.

Andrea 18:02
I so appreciate you sharing that. And I do feel like there are people listening who might not actually feel the physiology of that happening to their throat, but they might have other places where they feel some kind of tightness, or it gets hot in their belly or in their neck or shoulders or back or wherever it is that they feel it. Here are my thoughts about what's going on here. And then I'm going to put a question on you, is I think that there are two things happening, and I would be negligent, I think is the word if I only just pushed you to take action, which I could do.

We could figure out a strategy, exactly a script for you to say, what to tell yourself ahead of time, and in terms of mantras and things like that, which I do think would be helpful, but it only is a band-aid for a bigger problem. And then you would turn around the next week and be faced with something else again, and more or less be back where you started. And I don't want that for you. So I think it's twofold it's the element of taking action that is scary for you and makes you feel unsafe.

And then there's also this larger part which you're aware of, of there's this trauma was what it is living inside of your body that has been with you forever, that you have, you know, like as I was saying, my therapist said we are we just these conditioned unconscious responses. That's what's happening here is that you are responding unconsciously, in situations like having this conversation with this man negotiate this deal of that it's absolutely unsafe for you to do so. So you haven't responded in several weeks.

My question for you now is why I have some suggestions, but I always want to put it on the client first to see because you know you best and you know your body best. What it? Is there anything that you're feeling that might help you in this situation that maybe you've been afraid to work on?

Melissa 20:16
Yes, as you have been talking, another sort of situation came into my head. And you know, I apologize if this is the incorrect direction from a coaching perspective, but I aim to get as much out of this call as I possibly can. You, I want you to be the one to drive the bus, I'm just going to throw it out there.

So one of the things that just came up for me too, is, is my current romantic relationship where I've been in this relationship with a man for the last 10 years, very on-again, off-again, we have very different value systems, he bumps up against my teenage daughters quite a bit.

Because of that, because my daughters and I share the same value system, which he doesn't necessarily have. And I constantly tell myself that at his core, and at the root of our relationship, we are symbiotic. But that there are many other ways in which we're not and a lot of it is socioeconomics and our perspectives on the world.

Being a giving place versus taking away a place and that is also a place where I don't, so you ask what's at the root. And I think in that situation for me, where I also really have trouble finding my voice and telling him what I feel or what I need or what some of his things, the impression they leave on my kids and towards what you were saying before in terms of not wanting to really look at the situation in an honest way and know that it's not right.

I feel like it's the same with the work situation like I so want it to be a certain way. Because outwardly, all of the things are amazing. And it may not be the perfect thing. And if I expose it, if I really use my voice and say my truth about here's what I'm not sure about, or here's the way that I really would like it to be in terms of like, living my best life, then either it falls apart, or it becomes what I want it to be, which is miraculous and amazing. Or, I stood in my truth and said my piece and it fell apart. And that's okay because I stood in my truth.

I think it's the same with this romantic relationship, where I'm so afraid to we had another sort of separation, and then coming back together and this coming back together he said, I'm really willing to do the hard work and want to be in this with you forever. And the other day, he sent an inappropriate political text to one of my daughters, and she was like, why is he doing this?

I had a real conversation with him about it. And no he couldn't see. And he couldn't say he was sorry. And he went all black and white. And then, you know, as was said, I'm not judging you, but I need to draw the line here. And like, there's no reason for you to be sending these things to her because it upsets her. And he was able to come back around and say, okay, I'm willing to do willing to not do that anymore. And I want to stay in this with you.

But it's like, all signs keep telling me that there's something better out there. Like, there's another human being who I can love just as much, who isn't going to send these texts, it's almost like an internal need to settle when you talk about those old programmings that I'm constantly in a state of settle. Instead of even working with the situation I have and making it the best possible or not working with it and moving beyond.

Andrea 24:15
Okay, I have an assignment for you. This is probably the first of many I'm going to give you I would love for you to listen to this back. No matter what you know, some people have no problem listening to themselves. And I know you're in this industry. So maybe you are fine with hearing your own voice. I would love for you to listen to this back from the perspective that you are one of your very best friends or one of your daughters and think about what you would be telling her. Okay, that's sort of like a little self-love exercise.

The other thing that jumped out at me as you were talking, and you actually came to the conclusion before I even had to say anything you said, you kind of looked at it as like a polarization. You said, what if it falls apart or something like that, or I get what I want? And then in the next sentence, you said, basically or what if it's both? What if it does fall apart, whether it's with this negotiation with this particular contract, or with your partner, and you do end up getting what you want because you are betting on yourself.

Because what your pattern has been, and like I'm raising my hand over here to Melissa, because I've done this so many times, and I know that there are so many women listening who've done the same, they're betting on someone or something else, they're putting themselves second or third or last because we don't trust ourselves because we are second-guessing ourselves. Because we are trying to get counsel from anybody and everywhere so we can make the decision that we already know is right for us. You start betting on yourself before you are ready to do so.

I think that if I have learned nothing else, in the last 12 years, I've been coaching, talking to hundreds of experts on the topic, reading so many self-help books, it's coming out of my ears is that we can't wait for confidence. Or you know, whatever you want to call it. Self-assuredness whatever we can't wait for that to happen first. I remember you said something in our little pre-chat. You said something, I wrote it down. You said I want to feel like the woman I want to be before I take action. Is that fair? Like did you say that? Or did I write that down wrong?

Melissa 26:50
Totally. You'll feel it so I can be it.

Andrea 26:59
I don't know anyone that's done that, like if anyone's listening who has, please write to me, because I want to talk to you. But I beg you, Melissa, do not wait for that day, because you are going to be a very old woman if it ever happens. And I'll be damned if I bump into you in five or 10 years and you're still waiting for that day.

We have spent decades being conditioned to be a certain way, to not bet on ourselves. And the scariest part of all of this is not necessarily that guy might say no about the negotiation, or that your partner might say, I can't be the man that you want me to be.

It's the action of the action that you're going to take to actually tell these two different people that what you're looking at are deal-breakers that you cannot accommodate and bend anymore to what they want. That you are betting on Melissa. So when I say all that, what are your first thoughts and or feelings in your body?

Melissa 28:11
Feelings in my body actually are great, more frequency, energy, no real, no clogging, if you were energy clogging here, which is great. And it also seems so simple. Like I guess I'm used to controlling and manipulation as my tactics. And this takes away that. So let go of the results do the work. If I can take that action of betting on myself every single time then life just continues to unfold.

Andrea 28:49
And open up for you. I know that you would not have filled out the application to come and talk to me. If you thought that you couldn't do it. If you truly believed without a doubt that you couldn't change, that things are just always going to be the same. That there's no hope for you that you might as well just continue on being this way. You would have just deleted the email. Or not even opened it up when you saw the subject line like come and get coached on the show for me for free.

But you opened it up. You filled out the application, you sent it over, you said yes to get on the phone with me. That tells me that you know that it's possible for you to start betting on yourself and taking action before you are actually ready.

Melissa 29:40
Correct. Yes. And similarly, as you're talking about reading every single self-help book and consulting with everyone to get triple confirmation before I take action and then still sitting on the actual…

And get a tarot reading.

Yeah, exactly. And then waiting for that star alignment that may not come in this millennial, I absolutely know that it is possible. And I also know that it's super freeing, and I still have a ton of fear around it.

Yeah, absolutely.

But I am getting more practiced at doing it regardless of the fear.

Andrea 30:20
What I've come to learn is that fear is information. Fear tells us sometimes that someone or something is actually dangerous. Sometimes fear tells us that what we are about to do means a metric shit ton to us. In this situation, I feel like it's the latter, I highly doubt that this professional that you're working with is going to turn on you and it's going to be a disaster. Yeah, if you spent a decade with your partner, I highly doubt things are going to go terribly bad. To me, it's the latter.

It's the fear of disappointing people. It's the fear of being alone. It's the fear of economic, you know, all of those, those things that are understandable that are trying to keep you safe. But in the long run. If you bypass that fear, you are actually in alignment with the values and the woman that you want to be. Is there anything else you want to say before I start diving into assignments for you to take the next steps?

Melissa 31:35
I may interrupt you, but no.

Andrea 31:36
Okay. Okay. Here, here are my thoughts and when I give clients assignments, I always want you to, understand that you can either say yes, no or counter offer. So we kind of co-create the assignment, I always put the expertise on you, you know, your life best, you know what's going on in your head. I'm just here to make suggestions, and we co-create them together, I would love to have two different things that you do.

One is more of a kind of logistics base to like, okay, I am going to, I don't know what else you have to do for this contract. It sounds like you have it all laid out with lawyers and all those important people, maybe it's just emailing this guy and setting up an appointment to talk to him, whatever it is. And maybe the same thing with your partner, I don't know if it's like having like writing out what your kind of deal breakers are like, here are my values in the relationship. And here's what I will and will not tolerate from this relationship anymore. That type of thing and having the conversation. You tell me what that is.

And then the other one, the other assignment would be to… I love that you do meditations and more somatic exercises like that. So it might be looking for a therapist that does specific embodiment, trauma therapy for you, something like that. So where do you want to start with committing to some homework?

Melissa 33:09
Let's go to the first logistical one about deal breakers and emails and appointments.

Andrea 33:17
Okay, so my first question is, what are you committing to do? And by when?

Melissa 33:22
I would commit to emailing my response to the… I have the information, I just need to put it together and send it out to him. And I can do it by end of day today.

Andrea 33:35
Okay, amazing. And that feels okay?

Yeah. Okay.

I mean, you have enough time in your day to do it.

Melissa 33:45
What often happens to me is when I put something off like this, which I have been, then I'm almost confirming this is probably another coaching layer, but like confirming that things are going to go badly. So because part of what I want to tell him is that I can't be available full time, I haven't been full time. And so I'm not doing the amount of work that I should be doing. Or that in his in his mind, because he's requested my full-time presence. And so then I'm confirming that it's not going to end well.

Andrea 34:23
It’s just giving you time to make up stories, it sounds like what happens.

Melissa 34:25

Andrea 34:28
Okay, good. I love that you know yourself well enough to put that end-of-day timestamp on it. Yeah. So before we go into the stuff with your partner, what do you need to put into place, if anything, to be able to support you to do that task so that might look like that you get the help of a friend if you need to text like an SOS type of thing. If you need to go for a walk afterward. Like is there anything self-care-wise that you need to do?

Melissa 34:55
Getting some exercise or doing a little meditation or some exercise around it, I think would be helpful. So my head's clear.

Andrea 35:05
Yeah, good. Good. And then would you be okay with committing to texting me once you shoot the email?

Yes, of course.

Okay. So when we're done, I'll make sure you have me so you can text me. And it's fine if it's late because I know you're in a different time zone than I am. And then what about any action you're going to take around your partner?

Melissa 35:26
If that's a big one, I think writing out that the deal breakers is a great exercise, having the conversation is more difficult. Can you say I guess because he's super sensitive and immature so if I bring up these things he's going to run, or he might run, I think, your reference about, you know, what would my advice to my daughters be one, listen to something like that story? And as if it was their boyfriend, I mean, my advice would be, you know, cut your ties, you need to find someone who is, who meets you where you are,

Andrea 36:09
Or at least is willing to work on me where you are, at the very least.

Melissa 36:13
And that's always where I think that he nets out. But it involves him, you know, shutting down, running away, building his, up his brick walls again, and then coming back, and being willing to work on it. And it's just she's at a different, his, he doesn't sit well with fear. And he doesn't choose to understand fear or look at it. And then he only looks at it, because I make him or ask him to

Andrea 36:51
These topics are a little bit tricky. Because I know we could have a whole conversation about that because he's not here. I wonder if maybe, for now, you would get a lot of clarity around writing out like you, like we mentioned that the conditions and guidelines of what you're willing and unwilling to tolerate.

Maybe it's something I mean, I don't know if you guys have been to couples counseling before. Maybe it's something like that, where you can go somewhere and have kind of a mediator where you work on both of your stuff. So it's, of course, I think you're great, but probably also stuff in the relationship that you can work on. That's how I would present it. I don't know if that's something that…

Melissa 37:33
Yeah, I mean, I've, of course, brought up therapy with him before we've gone once, you know, maybe like seven years ago, to a few sessions, and it was just too painful and annoying and expensive for him. So I did bring it up again, while we were getting back together this time. And he said he was willing to do the hard stuff, but I don't see him following through on that. Unfortunately.

Andrea 37:59
I'd be very curious, like, what does he mean by that? Specifically, what is the hard stuff to him? Yeah, because it's not opening jars and you know, painting your kitchen.

Melissa 38:08
No. That's a good question. Because obviously, I think it's something other than he thinks it is.

Andrea 38:14
So I will very curious what he thinks it is.

Melissa 38:16
Yeah, me too. Okay. I think that's an easy question to ask.

Andrea 38:21
Yeah. Like, what, what does that mean to him? Or is that something that, that he just kind of thought you wanted to hear? I hope it's not and that he, I just, yes, therapy is annoying. And like therapy is never fun. I have never had fun at therapy. Like it's, and I love this work. And it's just, oh, especially couples. Is, I think extra annoying and hard. No one has fun in therapy. And also, yes, it's expensive.

But you know, what else is expensive is being in a long-term relationship with someone and being financially tied and having it fall apart. Like, like, it's a life partner is worth everything like that's, you know what I mean? Like, to me, that's worth being expensive.

Melissa 39:14
I agree. Completely agree.

Andrea 39:16
I don't know him. But it sounds like that might be a little bit of an excuse. Because he doesn't want to go face his stuff. Yep, I agree. So that assignment is just so I'm clear on what your assignments are. You're going to write out what your deal breakers are what you will and won't tolerate in that relationship and then kind of take a step back and look at it.

Melissa 39:33
Correct. I think I can also commit to asking the question, like, what, when we talked about the hard stuff, what was he thinking?

Andrea 39:42
Yeah, cuz you said that's what he said when you got back together?

Melissa 39:44

Andrea 39:45
Yeah. What is that? What does that mean?

Melissa 39:48

Andrea 39:53
Melissa, I have all the faith in you in the world to bet on yourself. And I hope you listen back to this and see a side of yourself that you can have compassion for. Because I really feel like there's that little girl inside of you, who felt hurt by getting that nickname. And felt like she had to kind of go along with the joke. Because everybody thought it was funny except you. And that, that more or less inner child could really use some love and attention and compassion.

I wish I could go back in time and hug you and tell you that there's nothing wrong with you. And I love how loud and boisterous you are. And I would love for you to maybe I don't know how much inner child work you've done. But maybe that's an extra assignment for you to think about what you would go back and tell that little girl who was nicknamed that.

Melissa 40:58
I have not done really much of any of that work. Although, somewhat recently, I did put a picture or someone suggested I put a picture of my young self as my screensaver on my phone. I think my kids thought it was completely selfish and self-centered, that I thought I was so cute, but as a reminder, to be nice to that person.

Andrea 41:22
Yeah, I invite you to be selfish and self-centered around this topic, we need to do more of that. I have an ongoing joke with my friend Samantha Bennett, who's been on the show, and we call each other conceited cunts.

Melissa 41:41
That’s the best usage of that word I think I've ever heard.

Andrea 41:43
It's really because it's so shocking. And we are on a mission to take back the word conceited, because, you know, in middle school, that's like, the worst thing you could have been called. And I have a picture of myself from when I was 17 framed in my office because that was such a difficult year for me. And when I do really hard things like speak up for myself or have hard conversations with people from my past and set boundaries I look at her and I do like a little fake cheer with a cup in my hand. Because I'm doing it for her, I'm also doing it for my daughter and doing it for all the women who listen to this podcast. Sometimes having that perspective can be helpful.

And you may want to check out and just even read about it. Internal family systems. So it's I forget the name of the psychologist who coined it. But my friend, Rebecca Chang was on recently. And she was talking specifically about that particular mode of therapy, and you can find IFS therapists near you. But that might be something for you to look into. That can be very helpful for childhood stuff.

Melissa 42:58
Great. I will definitely do that.

Andrea 43:01
Any last thoughts that you want to say before we close up today,

Melissa 43:05
Just to thank you. I love what you do. I think you do it really well. And I appreciate what you're doing for all the people out there, including myself.

Andrea 43:16
You're so welcome. I appreciate you for coming on and being so vulnerable and telling your story and talking to us about the things that you feel challenged by and I know that there are so many people listening who are raising their hand and saying Me too when they might not have the same circumstance. But they feel the same way about showing up in their lives and speaking up.

Alright, everyone, I hope that you enjoyed that episode, I hope that you probably saw some parts of yourself in what Melissa was being so gracious and vulnerable to talk to us about today.

A week or so after I had this conversation with her. We had an email conversation and she said that she did reply to the person that we had talked about regarding their proposal that she was procrastinating on. And at the time of this recording was still waiting to hear back. And she did make the list we talked about regarding her relationship. And she said it gave her clarity about where she's at, and the decision she needs to make. And that at the end of the day, her biggest takeaways from the things that helped her the most were to always bet on herself and not wait for confidence.

I hope that that resonated with you as well. I'm going to repeat it the one person that we need to always bet on is ourselves. And that can be tricky and complicated. Sometimes we need some support with therapy. Sometimes we need to do some journaling and get things out as to why we have a history of not betting on ourselves may be why we don't trust ourselves completely and fully with our whole heart and our whole self.

So again, I sincerely hope that this episode was helpful for you. Stay tuned to additional coaching episodes coming up on the show that we have for you. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everyone.