Today I am sharing the final two Make Some Noise listener stories, from Gail and Nancy. Their stories offer lessons around resilience, setting boundaries (and enforcing them), and breaking family patterns that no longer serve us.
Gail shares her story of reinventing herself after 20 years of motherhood. Her story is one of resilience. Of falling down and getting back up, over and over again. Gail summed up her experience profoundly, “I found myself again. I do have worth, compassion, and knowledge that I thought I had lost forever.” Yes, Gail, yes!
Nancy then shares her story of setting boundaries, having hard conversations, and breaking family patterns. Y’all, boundaries are hard enough, but when we have to set boundaries with our family – that is PhD level work. And, Nancy is doing the work. Her story is a testament that we can do hard things and move past familial patterns that have been so ingrained in our lives since we were children.
Thank you to Nancy and Gail, and all of the women who shared stories of how they are making noise in their lives! I’ll be doing this again in the new year – so keep an eye (and ear) out on how you can share your story in a future episode.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Get Andrea's complimentary motivational series for whenever you need it!
Amy E. Smith on how to establish lasting boundaries
Right-click to download the .mp3
All you need is a little bit of courage, even if you are shaking, even if you are scared to death, even if it takes your breath away, and you make that step and on the other side is where you will build self-confidence. So keep that in your back pocket.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 415.
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 confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here and today we have two more, the last two stories. Remember many weeks ago, many months ago, I think I asked if any of you had some stories where you made some noise in your life. And today we are hearing from Nancy and Gail. So just like the last couple, I'm going to let you hear their story and then afterwards, I'm going to chime in with my thoughts and some key takeaways that I have from listening to their stories.
Before we get started, I wanted to tell you that if you haven't already downloaded for free, my motivational series that I made for you, you can do so at AndreaOwen.com/free. It is set to music, it is for anyone who is really struggling, all the way to anyone who is really feeling like the greatest of all time. It's for everyone. There's three different podcast episodes, and I created it as a gift to you. So you can kind of have it in your back pocket whenever you might need it. And it's private so you cannot get it from my site, you do have to go to AndreaOwen.com/free to get the special podcast link for that.
Also, I think I told you last week or the week before that next week, or next year, excuse me, we are going to be making some exciting changes to the podcast, and I'm going to reveal one of them to you. We did a survey. I don't know how long ago it was and so many of you graciously gave me your time and let me know what you would like to see more of on the podcast. And one of those things and I didn't know how it would turn out, is that you said you would enjoy some minisodes slipped in, in addition to our Wednesday weekly podcast. So I'm going to start doing that every so often. I cannot promise every week or every so often. Starting next year, I'm going to do some minisodes and they will drop somewhere in between the Wednesday episodes. Also speaking of the podcast if you didn't know, we have transcripts for each show. They don't go all the way back to the previous hundreds of episodes. But we did start doing it a couple of months ago. So all you need to do is go to the show notes in your podcast app and click the link that will take you to the webpage and that will show you the show notes for the episode that you want to read them.
Alright, everyone, enough about that. Let's get to our very first story. This first one is from Gail. I'm gonna let her story speak for itself and then I will see you on the other side of her story. Alright, so without further ado, here is Gail.
Hey, Andrea, my name is Gail and I'm in the Chicago area. And I just realized in the last several months that I actually do have a story. I started as a daughter of a coal miner in Illinois. We weren't poor and you know what sometimes people think of that they think of a poor, sheltered, uneducated, you know, type of family, but we just weren't very worldly. I did end up going to college. I loved meeting everybody, loved growing learning. Ended up in graduate school and then I ended up in New York City to do my internship. During college, because I was so happy and excited, I gained a ton of weight went through some really hard challenges, got myself fit, and that was kind of the catalyst for the career I chose and I believe it helped me make me more compassionate for what I ended up doing, which is to be a private trainer. When I started it wasn't very popular. It was kind of an unknown field. Fitness was just getting going. I met some wonderful people in New York I trained Mayor Kotch, I trained designer Marc Jacobs, I trained some of Mick Jagger's backup dancers, Sam Champion, the weatherman. Because I had such compassion and knowledge and good energy, I made quite a quite an impact, even in New York City as a little girl from a town of 600 and the daughter of coal miner.
I did end up after three years moving back to Chicago, where I took off again and built a wonderful career in business, I had a television show called Shape Up Chicago, I made videos, on and on, it was a great time. Fast forward to age 35, getting married and moving to California and realizing huge mistake. Llots of depression, and it was a very abusive relationship psychologically. Fast forward 17 years, got a divorce, moved back to Chicago, and in the process of reinventing myself 20 years of no working and away from Chicago where I had built, you know, a good business. So I was 20 years away. I was 20 years older, found myself competing with, you know, the social media superstars. The way I did, it was step by step, finding myself again, after being totally lost and intimidated by being, quote, unquote, just a mom for 20 years. I've built back a wonderful career, my kids are wonderful. I've grown a lot. I know that you know, too, that being in a unhealthy relationship affects everything, mind, body, spirit, career, everything. And I overcame it. I just thought I would pass this on. I don't know if any of this resonates with you. And I don't know if I'm explaining it very well. The fact is, I found myself again, I found that I do actually have worth and compassion and knowledge that I really thought that I had lost forever. Confidence, I had none. I had less than less than zero confidence. On your page. I can't wait to read your book. And thanks.
Thank you so much, Gail, for sharing that story. You know, it's so interesting, like she went over what I assume is decades of her life and fit in some life lessons that she learned along the way. And there's a couple of things that jumped out for me that I wanted to highlight in Gail's story and how she was making noise and her life.
First is that this is a story of resilience, really, you know? It's the falling down, and the getting back up the falling down in the getting back up. And truthfully, it's it starts when she leaves her comfort zone. She steps out of her comfort zone, as a young woman, leaving, you know, the life that she had and going to college, and then going to grad school, moving to New York City. That's a big deal. And she massively steps out of her comfort zone, which takes courage. 100%, that takes courage. And as I tell all of you over and over again, all you need is a little bit of courage, even if you are shaking, even if you are scared to death, even if it takes your breath away. And you make that step, and on the other side is where you will build self-confidence. So keep that in your back pocket, because I'm going to I'm going to go back and mention that again, as I as I talk about Gail's story. So whether she knew it or not, as she moves to New York City, she, you know, goes to college, goes to grad school, and you know, gains a bunch of weight then gets fit. She is building confidence. She's building self-confidence along the way. Again, whether she knows it or not. Probably wasn't like a conscious thought that she had, but she is building self-confidence.
So then she talks about getting married and moving again, and then realizing that that relationship was very unhealthy and has to get out of the relationship. Divorce is difficult. Breakups are difficult. No matter if you are the person that initiates that breakup, or divorce or not. And, again, when that happens, you're building resilience. And what I know for sure, these are the two topics that I keynote on. When somebody wants me to come in keynote I give them the choice. You want me to talk about self-confidence, or do you want me to talk about resilience? And it's not a coincidence that I chose those two topics. They're connected they are 100% connected and it kind of becomes a chicken or egg conversation. I'm not going to go off on that tangent right now. But when Gail's telling this story, I'm like watching the whole trajectory in the timeline. And I'm like, yep, self-confidence and resilience, self-confidence and resilience over and over again, as these years go by. So she moves again, has to build her business again, because she's been out of the workforce and now she's facing a time in history where there are social media, and there are fitness influencers. So she's got to learn that whole thing again, and she builds it back, she starts over, when she could have decided, you know, what, it's too hard, I am not going to do it, I'm going to go into a, you know, completely different career path and really wanted to go back into personal training, but didn't because she was afraid. No, she went anyway. And that, again, is building self-confidence, and building resilience.
And I think at the end of the day, one thing that I want to highlight so much, is what she says towards the end. And she says that she remembers that she has self-worth. She remembers that she has the knowledge and expertise that comes with years and decades of being a woman, of being a fitness, fitness professional. That she remembers that. And that is the thing, like I want to underscore, I want to highlight, I want to put a bunch of stars and exclamation marks all around that. When I was taking notes on this, I wrote it in huge letters. And she says ‘I found myself again’. I found myself again. And I do think that we get to a certain age, whether it's in our 30s 40s 50s 60s beyond, where we realize, like I have found myself again, over and over. I personally don't think it's a one-time thing. I think that we come to these conclusions about our life, about our self, about our worth, about our capabilities, about our self-confidence, about our resilience. Over and over again, as the years go by, as we enter and have to face difficult and shitty circumstances, that is when we find ourselves again. That is when we build that resilience and self-confidence. And she said ‘I thought I'd lost it forever’. I thought I'd lost it forever. How many times, any of you listening, how many times have you thought that before? How many times you've been down on your luck, you've been down on yourself worth and you forget who you are, you forget that you ever had any courage before. You forget that you had any self-confidence or resilience before. And we get so down on ourselves. And sure that could be because it's depression or something like that. I think many of us have faced those times in our lives. But when we are pretty much of sound mind, that is something that can be helped through getting support from others, through self-care, through watching your talk, thinking about the media that you consume, etc, etc. All the things that you all are doing, I know that you're doing so many great things because if you're listening to a podcast like mine, then you care about what's going on in your life in terms of what you're consuming.
So again, thank you, Gail, I love that this highlights the ups and downs of life. And there will probably be more in Gail's life. There will be more in your life listener. And I just want you to take that that away what she says at the end, that I remember that I have self-worth, I remember that I have knowledge and expertise, I found myself again, even though I thought I'd lost it forever. None of you have lost it forever. None of you. As we speak right now you are building resilience, you are building self-confidence. And I hope that you can take that away today and have some motivation inspiration from Gail's story, because I do believe that her story is similar to everyone else's different circumstances. But similar in that there are a lot of shit sandwiches that we will get handed throughout our life. And that is what builds our self-confidence and resilience.
All right, let's move on to our next story. And this is actually our last story in the Make Some Noise series of listener stories. And this is Nancy. I'm going to let her story speak for itself. So without further ado, here is Nancy.
My name is Nancy. I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. How am I making noise? Basically by standing up to you know, people who have been in my life for a very long time. And, you know, telling them that the way they are acting, the way that you know, their beliefs, when it comes to my beliefs, like it's not okay. I'm setting boundaries, especially with my family. I'm letting them know that the way I have been treated my entire life and this narrative that we just keep our head down and don't say anything when it comes to, you know, older people in our family saying things, that that narrative is not okay. That if someone says something that could put the people you love in danger, something needs to be said. And the reason I'm going on and on about it leads up to a story where we have a group chat for my entire family, so my aunts and uncles and cousins. And my one cousin, posted a bunch of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccination, and then demanded that my grandmother not get her second dose. And no one said anything. And so I decided to challenge him. And I asked him, if he did any research before posting this information. And, you know, he just went on and on. And I just kept challenging him and telling him that he was wrong, and that in doing so, and posting the information, he could be putting people's lives in danger. And then he eventually just left the family chat.
And then what happened after was two things. I had family messaging me through the group chat telling me I was being a bully, telling me I was being aggressive. And I didn't back down. They said he only wrote this message, because he cared, he only shared that info because he cared and I, you know, I let them have I said, he only shared it because he's an entitled white male who thinks he knows better than everyone, including the multiple health professionals in our family. And I didn't back down. I didn't apologize, because I have nothing to apologize for. When you come after the people I love with misinformation like that, I'm gonna let you have it.
And another thing that was happening was that I was getting messages, private messages from family members, who were supporting me, and, you know, telling me that I was doing a good job. And while that was encouraging, it was also kind of showing me true colors, and how, you know, people are encouraging you behind the scenes, but are still not being authentic and are still presenting that facade of, they don't want to, you know, they don't want to ruffle any feathers, they don't want to stir the pot. And, you know, that's kind of given me a new perspective and it's been really eye opening. And it's giving me a lot to think about about who I have in my life and who I want to include in my life and in the big moments of my life. And I'm getting married soon and I don't want these people at my wedding. So that's another big challenge. But I'm very much looking forward to learning more about how to overcome that challenge and how to set stricter boundaries with those people who aren't serving me anymore. So yeah, that's how I'm making some noise. And thank you so much for everything that you've done. I've been listening to and reading your books for a few years now and I'm learning a lot so thank you.
Ok, I wish that I would have had a camera on and you could see my face my reaction. Two times right in a row. When she said that her family told her that she was being a bully and aggressive. And then right after that when she said she replied and said, no, you know, he's being an entitled white male. My jaw hit the ground. And I just was like, yes, Nancy. Yes. Okay, here's the thing. I want to start right from the get-go saying how difficult it can be to set boundaries with family. Boundaries are hard enough as they are. And we are going to go through life where we're going to have to set boundaries with some people, this is people that work this might be with our neighbors, this may be with our anyone really, but when we have to set boundaries with our family, that is PhD level work. And it is a skill that is learned. I would say 99% of us are not taught this growing up or in school, for that matter. There are so many great resources out there about how to set boundaries. I'm going to pop a link in the show notes when I had my very best friend in the whole world, Amy Smith, I had her on and we talked about boundaries. I'm pretty sure I had I have that episode, if I don't, I will link to her podcast, where she goes through step by step on how to do this, because it's a whole conversation in and of itself. But I will say this. Do not go into these conversations cold, unprepared. This is one of those things where I highly encourage you to map it out exactly what you're going to say, and have the success of the conversation be determined by how you show up in that conversation, not by what the outcome is. That's it. That's all you have control over. That's all that's going to matter truly, at the end of the day, at the end of your life, is how you showed up. And want you to be proud of how you entered and exited that conversation.
Alright, Nancy, oh, my gosh. And not to mention the conversation around masks and vaccinations and the COVID pandemic is an intense and emotional one. And people tend to be on one side or the other. We don't have a lot of people who are like, oh, well, maybe, you know, like, there are some of those people, but for the most part, people have an opinion, people have a strong opinion. Therefore it becomes charged. I have been interviewed on the news lately, because of the book promotion and one of the conversations that's getting picked up as we pitch is news stations want to talk to me about how do we have this conversation around masks and vaccines. I actually am about to send out an email planning it all out. If you don't get my emails, you can get them AndreaOwen.com/free and sign up. But it's tricky. It's super tricky. And I also think it's a universal problem that people want a solution to. So I want to say that in and of itself. That is that is an intense conversation, and Nancy chose to make some noise about it. And she did not back down. That's what she says in in the voicemail is I didn't back down.
And I wonder if we can all relate to that moment. When there's a conversation happening, whether it's a one-on-one conversation, or an email conversation or a group chat like she was in, where something happens, somebody says something, and you staunchly disagree. And you have the option to say something or not say anything. Now, I do not recommend that you must say something every single time. This is what I talked about in the email and when I'm on the news. First, you have to determine like how invested are you in this relationship? Like how invested are you in this topic? Does it really matter to you? Because sometimes it doesn't. If these are strangers on the internet, and like a friend of a friend posted something like misinformation about COVID, are you invested in that relationship? Like what are the chances of you changing that person's mind? Not great. So it's in a matter of self-care, not all conversations are worth having. It's not always worth it to make noise in every situation.
But for this particular situation, it absolutely was worth it. This was Nancy's grandma. An elderly woman whom she loved, whom, through looking at all the data and the research understands that it was in her grandmother's best interest to get the COVID vaccine or I should say finish getting the COVID vaccine get her second dose. So it was important to her and so that moment of deciding whether or not you're going to say anything can be the most critical place because we get nervous and our heart rate might go up, the thoughts start to go really fast. Like you know, you're angry, and you want to just like knee jerk reaction and start typing or maybe you just want to run away from the conversation. Whatever your go to is, you have a choice. And I do recommend that you take a deep breath. And think about how do I want to show up in this conversation? Do I want to be courageous? Do I want to be kind? Do I want to be respectful? How do I want to be? You have no control over how they perceive you. You could be the most respectful, professional person and somebody on the other end of that conversation might get their feelings hurt, might think that you're being a bully, might think that you're being aggressive, that you're an asshole, whatever. You have no control over that. I'm going to keep hammering that home. But I also just want to applaud Nancy for doing this in a family situation because when it comes to family situations, many times we don't say anything because we have to be around these people. Family functions are sometimes we live with them. And many times, it just feels so much easier to not say anything. I don't want to make things uncomfortable, I don't want to get into an argument, I don't want to be seen as the black sheep of the family or whatever it is that you think about.
And I, I just want to mention like that is a very real feeling to have to want to just stay a part of the status quo and just have things go the way they've always gone. That's the way most people want things to stay, right? But I think that as someone raising my hand over here, who has spoken up about certain things, it is probably the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done in my life. And people will be angry. People have been angry at me and my family, family members. And what I have to keep reminding myself is that I am breaking family patterns that don't serve us. They don't serve us. They're shitty. They're shitty patterns that we've all fallen into because that's what families do, and I personally, I can only speak for myself here, I am pointing them out and saying, hey, this is what we do. I'm not saying this is what you do is what we do as a family. I'm kind of going off track here from Nancy story. But this is what we do as a family. And it's not okay. It's not I don't, it makes me show up in a way that I don't like, I don't like this version of Andrea, when we all act like this, when we all fall into our quote unquote, family roles. I think it happens a lot in families, like, you know, when you get back together for the holidays and things like that, we all fall back into the role that we sort of assimilated in as we when we were growing up. And I'm over here like I don't, I don't like this version of us anymore. So I'm not going to do this anymore and here's where I think that you could be better, that conversation typically never goes well. You know, I'm over here saying like, here's where I commit to do better. Here's where I commit to no longer do these particular things that are patterns that we've always done, that I don't I don't like. I don't want my children to adopt these. I don't want my family, my husband or my kids to fall into these patterns, I will not do them anymore. And there have been family members that don't like that. It's a very, very difficult conversation. I will tell you this too. I don't go into those conversations without crying. It's just it's emotional. It's super emotional, decades of history, decades of history and it can be really complicated.
When I tell you that story, because, you know, many times, like this story that Nancy told, is bigger than just the one-time conversation that she told us about. There's other stuff mixed into that. And I find it very interesting. I'm not surprised. But I find it interesting that she had other family members private messaging her telling her thank you for speaking up. But they didn't say anything. So my advice is Nancy, if you're listening, if you haven't done this already, and for anyone who encounters a similar circumstance, my advice is to say thank you, I really appreciate your support and what I would love is public support. Is for you to chime in and say, I agree with Nancy, I'm with Nancy on this one, something simple like that. And then throw it out there to them. Do you think you could do that? Because it's a big ask to ask someone to, you know, do really anything more than that. Or you could ask them to engage in a conversation with you and say, like, can I ask why you didn't chime in? You probably already know the answer, depends on your family, but you're probably going to be able to guess what their answer is. But I feel like if you keep it simple and say, could you do this? And specifically ask them like, will you do it? It's an invitation and also, you're asking them just to take a small step. That's it. That's all, no big deal. Not a big deal at all.
Breaking family patterns and setting boundaries. Again, I just you know, as we're as we're going into the holidays, I'm also sending out an email about that too, actually, sorry, I think it already came out. So sorry if you missed it if you're not on my email list. And how to take care of yourself during the holidays, and I'm thinking of you all thank you so much for those of you who who called in to, to tell us your story. Speaking of I'm also going to implement next year as we make some tweaks to the podcast, some listener voicemails. So we're going to bring back the option to to leave us a message and I'm going to be answering questions over there so you can possibly hear your voice on the podcast. Thank you, again, to Gail and Nancy, for bringing us your story. And remember everyone, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place.
Hey, everyone, before I officially say goodbye, I wanted to bring you just a quick word from one of our sponsors. Did you know that Audible has a free 30 day trial and you get two free audio books with Premium Plus, if you have not read my book, make some noise or any of my books, they're all on Audible. So you can you can grab one of those for free so you get two free audio books to start. After 30 days you get one audio book a month for $14.95 a month. You also receive 30% of the price of additional audio book purchases and you can cancel at any time your books are yours to keep even if you cancel. So go over to AndreaOwen.com/Audible to sign up. And I know that you probably like audio because you listen to this podcast and audiobooks are a great way to consume any of the self-help books that you want or fiction or whatever it is. AndreaOwen.com/Audible Bye for now.