Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in a situation where you decided to make noise in your life; you speak up, you have a hard conversation, or you ask for a raise and…it backfires. Inevitably, chances are, that is going to happen. 

Alright, now raise your hand if you’ve had a time in your life where you hit rock bottom and really needed help. Yet, reaching out for help felt like the hardest thing in the world.

Today Emily and Erin, Make Some Noise Podcast Listeners, share their experiences on worthiness, asking for help, and healing. Emily shares how she confidently asked for a raise only for it to backfire; and how that led to her evaluating and understanding her worth. She is now making much more than she did at her previous job and happy about how things turned out. 

Next, Erin opens up about her struggle with thoughts of suicidal ideation and how she found support from her best friend. It was through that support Erin was able to utilize writing as a creative outlet for healing. Erin said,” It took hitting close to rock bottom in order for me to realize my voice needed to be heard.”

And yes, Erin’s voice, Emily’s voice, and all women’s voices need to be heard. They deserve to be heard. The world needs more women’s stories. I am so grateful Erin and Emily shared their stories with us this week. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Get  coached by Andrea: Andreaowen.com/coaching

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Andrea 00:00
You decide to make some noise in your , you speak up, you have a hard conversation with someone, you ask for a raise whatever it is, and it backfires. Maybe conflict is created, or they say no, when you were really hoping they would say yes. Inevitably that's going to happen. You know, Brené Brown talks about you when you go out into the arena, i.e. when you are vulnerable, you are going to fall on your face, you're gonna get your ass kicked. Eventually you're going to piss some people off, one of these days is going to end up not working out and you have choices when that happens.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 413.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insights to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable competence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. As always, I am so grateful that you're here. Today, we have two more stories from listeners. Ways that you have made noise in your life, and I cannot wait for you to hear them. They're very different stories and I hope that you see some of yourself in here, or at the very least can cheer these women on. I've so loved listening to these voicemails that you left me. And I'm thinking about incorporating more of this next year in the podcast. I have some changes that are coming, they're all good, don't worry. I tend to tell you all ideas that I have way before I'm ready to implement. So I'm gonna keep it to myself until I get it all finalized and organized so I can tell you and you know, and you know what's coming.
But I also wanted to tell you that I was thinking about what I actually do with my clients lately, like the thing that's come up a lot. And recently what's been on the agenda, as we call it, is helping people organize their life. My clients have tended to feel a little discombobulated with COVID and they need help organizing things like when will I have time to work out, how can I organize the tasks in my house, and they just feel sort of overloaded. There's too much on their plate, and they need help organizing. I also help people have compassion for themselves. Geez, man, it's been rough the last 18 months. There's so many big things going on and some of my clients are beating themselves up for not doing enough for not feeling how they felt about life about everything pre-COVID. Lots of self-compassion helping. And I'm also teaching them about new modalities for them to help themselves. Tools to help them manage their inner critic. Everything from EFT tapping to doing more yoga and meditation to doing a reorganize, I was gonna say massive reorganization, every organization, room by room of my clients house. Anyway, I do have room for one private client right now. And my lead coaches also have room for clients. So if you head on over to AndreaOwen.com/coaching and even the questions in there will help you decide if coaching is right for you if you just want to check out the application. And then we'll get that application. And the next step is my team will reach out and let you know who they think would be a best fit for you. And then maybe we can jump on the phone for a consultation and see if it's right for you. So again, that is AndreaOwen.com/coaching.
Ok peeps, let's get into it. The first story we have is from a lovely woman named Emily and I'll let I'll let her tell you how she was making noise in her life. And then I'm going to come back on the back end to give my commentary. So without further ado, here is Emily.

Emily 04:21
Hi, my name is Emily. I live in Colorado. I'm sharing my story. I asked for a race at a previous job of mine and I want to share with you all what that was like. So I asked for a raise in the middle of my second year of teaching at a private school. And typically at private schools you are asked to sign a contract before the end of the year going into the next school year. My school did this in January, which is pretty early. So I felt a lot of stress signing on for another, basically 18 months, I was signed on for the next six months and then 12 months after that. As a math teacher, I did the math to figure out if what I was being offered was what I was worth. I knew I was hired three years after my male colleague, and I was offered less than he was, and had the exact same experience as he did. So I worked out all the numbers, I included the normal, quote, unquote, normal 3% inflation rate over those three years and turned in a letter. After turning in this letter, I did not hear back from my head of school. I did hear from my dean of students, the day before I was to leave on a backpacking trip, mind you, and was told this is going to sound harsh, but you do not need to work here. That made me feel not valued for my efforts that I had already put into the school, and made me really think about what other options were out there.

Through all of that, I decided to start applying to other jobs. That was normal for me to apply to other positions. But was really looking to get out. After having an interview and being asked to have a final interview for a position I told my school. They were not happy with me and they wanted to know in February if I was staying or going and I said I don't know, I don't even know. I haven't even been offered a job at this other school. I did not take the other schools offer. Instead, I decided to stay but still was looking. So in the month of June and July, I saw a basically a dream position for me at a public school come up and I applied, I interviewed and I was offered the position. After learning more about my benefits, over $20,000 difference in pay for a 30-minute commute instead of a 10-minute commute. Back in the public adjust education system. I talked to my private school head of school and told them what was going on. And in turn was told that if I decided to say I would not be trusted, and that they would not even extend my contract beyond my third year. So knowing all of that I took the obvious route and jumped ship to the public school. I've been at the public school teaching for the last few years and I'm so so happy for the decision that I made for myself. I didn't let what felt like the bullying, of being told that I don't need to work there, that I would not be trusted, that my contract would not be renewed if I decided to stay. And the sad thing is, is that I really did want to stay at the private school for one more year, and then move on after that. But just felt like everything that they had put me through just because I was thinking about my future, that it was not worth it for me to stay there. Thank you so much for letting me share my story. And I'm so proud that I gained the confidence to ask for a raise and realize that it backfired. And then what happened was I got a $20,000 raise, which was not even anywhere near what I was asking for at the private school just by switching jobs and going to an awesome public school. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or would love for me to speak more. I am grateful for all the work that you do Andrea, have a great one.

Andrea 08:38
Thank you so much for sharing that Emily. All right, listeners, raise your hand if you've ever been in that situation where you decide to make some noise in your life. You speak up, you have a hard conversation with someone, you ask for a raise whatever it is, and it backfires. Maybe conflict is created or they say no, when you were really hoping they would say yes. Just like that happened to Emily. And here's the thing. Inevitably that's going to happen. You know, Brené Brown talks about you when you go out into the arena, i.e. when you are vulnerable, you are going to fall on your face, you're going to get your ass kicked. Eventually you're going to piss some people off. It's one of these days, it's going to end up not working out and you have choices when that happens.

A lot of people know I don't know, some people decide that it's not worth it. That this whole being vulnerable and making noise and standing up for themselves, it's just not worth it. Let me just stick to the status quo. You know, accept what I have and just keep going on one step at a time one day at a time. And then your other option is to push back on that in some form or another. And that's what Emily did. I also want to point out that not only did they say no when she asked for a raise, they were kind of shitty about it. And I mean, I don't know the whole story, she only gave us a very short version of it but it sounds to me that they were trying to use intimidation to get what they wanted, to have the upper hand to gain control. And it sounds to me that she saw that happening, instead of just, you know, kind of putting her tail between her legs and saying, like, okay, I'll sign your contract and accept the pay that you're offering me even though I'm getting less than my male colleague who has the exact same experience as I do. And that response that they gave her, in my opinion is not great leadership. And again, they were banking on her staying for the pay that they offered her. But clearly they underestimated Emily.

And I want to just acknowledge how she, you know, and that had to suck that had to suck so bad to get that email the day before she's going to go on a trip, and have these people whom she had had been loyal to, she'd given her life to and to be treated that way. So I encourage everyone to just feel the whatever feelings of disappointment of embarrassment, whatever it is that you're feeling frustration, sadness, anger and then after you've had a few days of that, or however much time you need, then pick yourself back up again, and don't let people intimidate you. Keep making noise. And that's what she did. She kept looking for another job and it sounds like it took a little bit. But she found it. And now she's happier. And and this is, I'm so glad that this had a happy ending. And for some people, it's not it doesn't work out that way, you might have years of searching for a better job or a better partner. And it's hard to keep the faith. And one thing that we know for sure, when we are going through difficult times like that is we have to what we call rumble with all the feelings and emotions. Because if you don't, you can stay stuck. And that's what inevitably it can happen as you stay stuck in this feeling of not enoughness, of it's never going to work out for me, this is too hard to keep putting myself out there to keep applying for jobs, to keep dating, etc, etc. So congratulations, Emily, thank you so much for sharing your story.

I'm interrupting this conversation to tell you about one of our affiliates. So I've been talking to you about meal kits here on the show. And I want to tell you specifically why I love Freshly first and foremost, they're not a meal kit. They are meals that come already prepared and they're heat and eat in three minutes or less. I know I've been using them consistently since at least 2018. It might have even been before that. And I just I'm mildly obsessed with them. I tell everyone about them. So okay, first and foremost, every single meal is gluten free, if that is important to you. Their chefs cleverly swap and sneak in veggies to craft meals with unexpected twists. So every bit of it is as nutritious as it is delicious. There is little waste and everything is recyclable. You can also pick how many meals you want. You can pick what day of the week you want them delivered, and you don't have to get multiples of the same meal. So my husband and I and the kids like different meals so I just pick all of their favorites. So we've tried almost all of them I think. And my favorites are the buffalo chicken with cauliflower mashed potatoes, any of their risottos. I'm 100% obsessed with their steak peppercorn. My husband loves their KTown pork and purple sticky rice and the chicken lavorgna. Those are probably his favorites. My daughter loves the steak peppercorn. Although she picks the peppercorns out because they're they're a little spicy for her. But they do have vegetarian options too. If that's if that's your thing. So if you head on over to AndreaOwen.com/Freshly you can get 30% off your first order. I love Freshly so much I could talk about them for five minutes but I will not. I will not Let's get back to the conversation. AndreaOwen.com/Freshly and get 30% off your first order.

Let's move on to our final story of this episode. And this time we are hearing from a beautiful soul named Erin and trigger warning there is talk of suicidal ideation. So if that is a very sensitive topic for you, I invite you to skip this portion of the episode. So without further ado, here is Erin's story.

Erin 14:51
Hi, my name is Erin. I live in Texas. My story starts in 2011. I moved back near my hometown, right after I graduated from graduate school, with my master's in accounting. I ended up working in a place that I hated. And I started having thoughts of suicide split specifically, I remember I would walk over a bridge to get a pack of cigarettes almost every day and think about jumping from that bridge onto the freeway down below. So when those thoughts became more and more prevalent, and I got to the point where I just couldn't see a life with any joy in it, I decided to blow up my entire life, as opposed to kill myself, which I am okay with that choice, still. I contacted my best friends and she helped me pack up in a weekend and move back to the town they graduated from, which is in the middle of nowhere, which is part of how I ended up with a job as a cashier at a convenience store taking the night shift. It was unbelievably hard to go from making a decent wage to making minimum wage. But thanks to my best friend and her mom, I managed to survive and get back to a place where I was more mentally stable. And my best friend and I started talking about maybe publishing a book of short stories about how music can change people's lives, or in my case, or at least in part, save a life.
I've been writing since I was in third grade, short stories, poems, a couple of attempts at novels. But I never want to publish because I never want to make my living that way. I still don't actually want to make my living that way. But the more we talked about putting together this book, the more she leaned on me to submit a story. And other friends also suggested that I write a short story for this book as well. So I ended up doing it. I actually ended up writing about the nightmare they just been through. And about an alternative to suicide, or at least that was the way I looked at it. If you choose to do something drastic as opposed to jump off a bridge, then that's maybe not the best alternative. That would probably be the get help. But it was the one I had that was the one I went with. So I wrote my my experience. And I also found out why you should never write a fictionalized version about something that is very personal to you, because someone has to edit it. That was also a growing experience. But I got through it too. And after a year, of collecting stories, convincing people that they would write for us, editing stories, and revising my own work we put a book together and to the world. Since then, I have published eight short stories and two novels, and actually finished another one and still in the process of adding it. It took hitting as close to rock bottom as I ever want to get for me to the side that my voice needs to be heard.

Andrea 19:18
Wow, Erin, thank you so much for sharing that story. I just want to acknowledge I think for many people who get to that place that she was at, it can feel incredibly lonely. And even reaching out for help, you know, which people hear all the time when they're depressed or they're feeling you know, as if the only option is to take their own life. The reaching out for help part can feel like the hardest thing in the world. Just the action itself as well as the fear around, you know. We have fear around asking for help, right? I talk about this all the time. The fear of being a burden, the fear of looking weak, the fear that they might not have time for us, and tell us or we might be dismissed. But when you're thinking about asking for help with that, with feeling so depressed and having suicidal ideation, it's one of, I believe, like the top hardest things to ask for help around. So I was so happy to hear that she did manage to ask for help from her best friend, and it sounds like her best friend's mom. And it really has to be the right person, you know. We know that people have to earn that, to hear that particular story. And that is such an incredibly vulnerable step to take. So big applause to you, Erin.

And also, I love that she started writing. I think art and creativity, whether it's writing, or cooking, or knitting, singing, painting, drawing, whatever it is, whatever your creative outlet is, and even if it changes month to month, that happens a lot. And that's okay. Being creative, gets what's going on in your mind, and helps move it through your body and out your hands. I mean, metaphorically, metaphorically, of course. But as a writer, myself, I understand that. In some of my darkest times, I have turned to writing. And with for the sake of sounding dramatic, it has saved me it has 100% saved me along with doing the the gigantic task of reaching out for help.

I want to point out one thing that she said in here, for anyone who's a writer, or artist, or whatever it is. When you when you're trying to become a better writer, or artists, or whatever it is, and you give it to someone else who's an expert in that field for feedback, as she said, having to hand it to an editor and you know, someone has to edit it, it sounded like that was a painful experience for her. And I've been there. And I and I want to say that, that is kind of a separate conversation of learning how to take feedback, hopefully, the person knows how to give feedback, and they're not a total asshole about it. But it's also learning how to accept feedback as just that. That it's feedback about your work not about you as a person at all. Not about your work as a whole, it’s just this one particular piece that you're talking about. And it took me a while to to get to that place. And you know, it still stings, when I get something back to it depends on what it is. But it can still staying to get something back and have red ink all over it and have to sit there and listen to the person talk through why they made the changes that they did, etc, etc. And now I think I've finally gotten to a place where I look forward to that discomfort. Still uncomfortable, but it makes you better at whatever your art is. I'm not an expert in that. Especially as I'm learning in a class right now learning how to write memoir, I can't wait to write that book for y'all. But I'm learning plot and theme and characters and all these things that I have never been taught and having my work ripped apart so that it can be put back together better for the reader. And that's tough. I just wanted to point that out. That is incredibly tough, especially if you're in such a sensitive place.
Especially if your art is about your pain. Oh my gosh, that can feel just so ugh, it can hurt. But I want to just close up by saying something that she said at the very end, which is so important and she said my voice needed to be heard. 100%. Your voice needs to be heard. All of you listening, whether that is the story that you tell to another person, whether it is the story you put on paper, it needs to be heard It deserves to be heard. The world needs more women's stories. Absolutely positively. I will scream that from the mountaintops. I will get up on my soapbox about that topic. Every single day. Every single day.

Thank you so much for listening. Thank you to Emily and Erin for submitting your stories. We have one more episode in a couple of weeks that will come out with two more stories. And again, I'm thinking about doing something like this for Next year, so please stay tuned for that. And don't forget, if you're interested in private coaching, head over to AndreaOwen.com/apply. And remember everyone it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our lives responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.

Hi there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media. And a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want, be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm going to do that right now. It would be the absolute best and mean the world to me if you reviewed and subscribed to this show, Make Some Noise Podcast, on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow, and that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always re share those and give you a quick thank you DM and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned, tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following. Whatever it is I appreciate so much you sharing about this show.