Fear is one powerful emotion. This week’s episode focuses on how fear shows up in our lives (hello, there…imposter complex) and what we can do to move through it in order to open new doors. Joining me on the show is Judi Holler. Judi Holler is a keynote speaker, thought leader, podcaster, improviser, and author of the book, “Fear is My Homeboy.” Judi’s energy is contagious. I  believe her work will resonate with you. 

Together, we explore the everyday things that happen to us and the blocks that get in our way. Judi walks us through some improv exercises to help open new doors and keep you moving forward. And as Judi likes to say, “Old keys don’t open new doors.”

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Judi’s view of the imposter complex and some ways she teaches people to combat it.
  • The improv mindset and how it can help build confidence.
  • How to turn obstacles into opportunities and tools to help navigate even the worst of life’s storms.
  • The fear-setting roadmap and how to keep your emotions in check in stressful situations. 
  • Judi takes me through an improv exercise to showcase the true magic of the word, “and.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Judi’s website
Judi’s book
Judi on Instagram
Private coaching with Andrea or her lead coaches!
Tim Ferriss Fear Setting TED Talk


Judi Holler is an author, keynote speaker, thought leader, podcaster, improviser, and the creator and CEO of the Haus of {&}™ a serendipity-driven education and apparel brand that helps teams, companies, and the humans inside them think like improvisers so they can have more breakthrough moments! Judi’s professional accomplishments have gained her praise with mentions in Forbes and by Success Magazine. Additionally, her top-rated podcast, “Yes, And” with Judi Holler, highlights her professional improv training, as an alumni of Second City’s Conservatory in Chicago, bringing the improv mindset to you each week with a focus on mental health, high performance habits, and spirituality. For the last decade Judi has worked with companies like Four Seasons, Marriott, Bank of America, T-Mobile, The Boston Red Sox, The Ritz Carlton, and more teaching the power of the improvisational mindset. Each year Judi speaks on stages around the United States and beyond, to audiences of 10 – 10,000 sharing the power of the improvisational mindset with her interactive, high-vibe, and inspirational keynote speeches.

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Judi 00:00
Hi imposter syndrome. Welcome. Welcome. What are you here to show me? What are you here to teach me? Or is the fact that I'm feeling this maybe just the reminder, I needed that I'm on the path that I'm doing something that is a little scary. That is a little outside of my comfort zone. And that is awesome, right? We need more of that in our lives. So I say, what's up, I celebrate it. I'll pop the confetti when I feel it instead of hiding from it or letting it sort of like, hijack my day in my work.

Andrea 00:31
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 420 with guest Judi Holler. 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.

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. I'm so glad you're here. Because I finally have Judi Holler on the show. And we've been following each other on social media, she is such a hoot. So much energy, you are going to love her stories and just everything about her. But before we jump in, how are you? First and foremost, how are you doing? If you're listening to this kind of in real time, we're barreling towards the end of 2021, and the holidays, it's cold in a lot of places of the world. I just want to know how you are. Come and tell me over on Instagram. I always like to hear from y'all. I’m @HeyAndreaOwen over there.

Also, PS if you are thinking about this new year, and you're like, gosh, I kinda wish I could have some help to get my shit together. Well, here's an option. We have some spots open for private coaching. When I say we, I mean, me and Liz, and Sabrina, who are my fantastic, talented lead coaches over here. Let me give you an example of what happens in coaching. Basically, when you come you have a primary focus that you want to work on. It's not up to us, it's up to you. Do you want to live your life in accordance to your values? Do you want to start learning how to set boundaries with some people in this new year. So here's, here's a real example. I had a client who she'd been my client for several months at this point. And she was toying with the idea of leaving her job that she had for a while. And she wanted to start her own consulting business. It was what she was passionate about. It was kind of the eventually, I will do that. Someday I will do that. And she came to the session. And she had this fantastic URL that she wanted to buy that was available on the internets. It was clever, and it had it was like attached to her last name. And I was like, you have to do this before someone else takes it. She's like, yeah, I eventually will. And I was like, okay, we're gonna hang up the phone, you're gonna go and buy it. I mean, it was like $9.99. $10, not $999. You're gonna buy it, and as soon as that that transaction is done, you can call me back. And she was like, what? Like, yes, go and do it. Just just go and do it. So she did it. She called me back. She's like, okay, the URL is purchased. And just that, just that momentum that one action that she took, propelled her to take more and more steps. She had the confidence, like, oh my gosh, it's just a series of steps that I have to take, oh my gosh, it's scary. And I held her hand the whole way. And now she has her own consulting business. It's Jessica Sharpe. She's talked about it here on the show. So I know that she won't mind if I'm talking about it. Hi, Jessica, Sharpe Brain Consulting. And she did it. She left her job. And now she has a consulting practice, and she even has an employee. Holy shit. I love that story so much because it shows the power of coaching and how just having someone give you these nudges. And of course, there's so much more involved in coaching than just that, but that is a that is a huge advantage of having a coach. So if you head over to AndreaOwen.com/apply, there's a questionnaire in there and we'll kind of figure out what it is maybe that you specifically want because we ask you some big questions. AndreaOwen.com/apply and then we will get back to you and let you know what the next steps are filling out. The application does not obligate you to sign up for coaching, but it is the first step if you are thinking about it.

Alright, let's get on with the show. Let me tell you a little bit about today's guest. Judi Holler is an author keynote speaker, a thought leader podcasts are improviser and the creator and CEO of The House of And. Serendipity driven education and apparel brand that helps teams, companies and the humans inside them think like improvisers so they can have more breakthrough moments. Judi's professional accomplishments have gained her praise with mentions in Forbes and by Success Magazine. Additionally, her top-rated podcast Yes And with Judi Holler highlights her professional improv training at which you will hear on the show, we have a little practice session, as an alumni of Second City's Conservatory in Chicago, bringing the improv mindset to you each week with a focus on mental health, high performance habits and spirituality. Each year, Judi speaks on stages around the United States and beyond to audiences of 10 to 10,000, sharing the power of improv mindset with her interactive high vibe and inspirational keynote speeches. So without further ado, here is Judi Holler.

Judi Holler, welcome to the show.

Judi 06:03
It's so good to be here. Why do I instantly want to just go holla it's so it's too fun. And I was born with that last name by the way. Like that is not my married name. That is like I was born with that name. I would have kept it. That's a keepable name.

Andrea 06:19
That's a keepable… especially given the work that you do.

Judi 06:22
Yeah, isn't it ironic like the angels knew. Like, they knew. They knew.

Andrea 06:27
You are definitely the first Judy I've had on and I know that because that is my sister's name. So that names special. Yeah, she's a Judy-Anne.

Judi 06:35
Hold on. Oh my God. Is she originally Judith?

Andrea 06:38
No. She's a Judy-Anne.

Judi 06:39
so she was the Judy and so I'm a Judith-Anne. So you find, first of all, it's a rare name, especially this age range.

Andrea 06:47
She’s a young Boomer. She was born in 1962. Uh huh.

Judi 06:53
Oh my god. I'm so here for this. I love it.

Andrea 06:56
It's such a great name. I think it should make a comeback.

Judi 07:02
Two Judy-Anne’s in your life.

Andrea 07:05
And I'm a Marie. So is my daughter.

Judi 07:08
Oh, ah, I'm here for this. I love… are you, by the way, are you, like were you raised Catholic by any chance?

Andrea 07:10
Kind of so yes, both of my parents were it's a kind of a long story. But we ended up Lutheran, which is basically like, Catholic-lite.

Judi 07:17
Yeah, okay. Okay. Yeah, yeah, we very much so I find a lot of Judith's and Marie's and all that very kind of Catholic. Yeah. Elizabeth, like my sister's middle name. Anyway, we're ranting on. I love it. I'm here.

Andrea 07:33
Okay, so let's, let's get into it. I have so many questions for you, and I know that your work is gonna resonate so much with my listeners. And let's kick it off by talking about a little bit of imposter syndrome. So, I know that we often talk about imposter complex, imposter syndrome, imposter phenomenon. And I'm always interested in hearing other people's perspectives on it, you know, because I have my own. So tell us what your view of it is like, how does it manifest? And what are some ways that you teach people especially women to combat their imposter complex?

Judi 08:09
Imposter syndrome. It's interesting as you asked me the question, and I think anytime I've even asked the question, I instantly feel like an imposter myself, right? Like who am I to give anyone listening advice on this topic? But wait, hold on, who am I not to right? We all have our own relationship with the way fear shows up in our life? And you know, I don't know about you, Andrea, but I know for sure that imposter syndrome is one of the ways that fear loves to hide so my perspective on it because I deal with it on the regular just like everybody else is number one, let's not forget what it is. It is feelings of inadequacy, despite evidence of kicking ass. Like, despite evidence of you doing the damn thing, right? So very legendary and famous people throughout time people like Maya Angelou and J. Lo are very famously and notoriously quoted, with their struggles on imposter syndrome. So like, you're not alone, number one, and it is you feeling like an imposter despite you going out there doing great things.

So here's what I do with it. I flip it on its head, and I sort of reframe it. And I do because I feel like it's a way fear shows up. I do what it doesn't expect, instead of doing what imposter syndrome, ie fear expects, which is us to play small and shrink ourselves and to hide and to play it safe and all these things or just frankly, stop our work in general. Because we don't feel like we're good enough. I instead turn the table and I say it's not that imposter syndrome has arrived, oh wait, I arrived. Because I feel like if I am feeling that feeling if I am starting to feel like an imposter, I am starting to illuminate to myself what it is I want more of. And I am starting to recognize that I'm sort of worthy of it. And oh, by the way, if I am feeling imposter syndrome, it means I'm doing shit in this world that matters. So yay. Welcome to the party. Congratulations, Judi. Dude, you're doing it. Like Hi, imposter syndrome. Welcome. Welcome. What are you here to show me? What are you here to teach me? Or is the fact that I'm feeling this may be just the reminder, I needed that I'm on the path, that I'm doing something that is a little scary, that is a little outside of my comfort zone. And that is awesome, right? We need more of that in our life. So I say, what's up, I celebrate it. I'll pop the confetti when I feel it instead of hiding from it or letting it sort of like, hijack my day and my work. You know, is it easy? No. But is it a practice that can help you? Hell ya.

Andrea 11:02
Okay, so you and I look at it very similarly. And I love that, what I took from that is that you get you get somewhat curious about it. Like hey, yeah, not that I don't want you here, but like, why are you here? What's going on to bring you up which is, it can be so incredible, instead of just falling into that trap of that negative self-talk like on repeat on repeat on repeat?

Judi 11:25
Yes, yes. Yes. Curiosity, right? Like, I mean, it's exactly why my book is titled Fear is my Homeboy. It's this notion of befriending and working with the thing that everybody wants to get rid of. And I think that's the problem. Like we want to get rid of jealousy, we want to get rid of imposter syndrome. We want to get rid of fear. Babe, you will never get rid of fear. You will never avoid feeling jealous from time to time. Like instead of hating, lets start study. Let's become a student of it. And like that, to me feels way more abundant, and empowering and a little bit more inspiring than sitting around feeling sorry for myself or not living. You know, the clock is ticking. The clock is ticking. Right? So we got to move.

Andrea 12:11
It feels so much better than you know, worried, anxious, afraid.

Judi 12:17
Baseline. 100%. Like you're talking to one of the biggest fraidy cats on the planet. But the way I I've gotten stronger as I lift the weights, I run the wraps. It's like anything in life, right? Like, if you want people were saying, how do we get more creative? And I'm like, well, when was the last time you took your creativity on a date? Like, how do we have a better relationship? Well, do you work on it? Right? How do I get more boundaries in my life? Like, how do I get out from underneath my email? Well, when was the last time you didn't look at email first thing in the morning? You know?

Andrea 12:51
Yeah. Sometimes not all the time. But sometimes it's that simple. It really is. And curiosity for sure. And also, I love that you talked about how when it comes up for you, whether it's fear, whether it's imposter complex, then that is a signal that you're onto something really big. Or this means a lot to you. Or you are walking into something that you want to practice getting better at. It's not a signal for you to pull back and shrink, or run away or not do the thing. Like I always tell people to and I'm like, you might fall on your face. Like I can't guarantee you're gonna nail it. Oh, yes. Are you kidding me? Like the thing?

Judi 13:32
The thing like that is so my backgrounds in the improv theater. And, you know, I think one of the biggest gifts out there, there are so many gifts in the improv mindset, that have certainly changed my life in my world. And it's it's inspired everything I do in the business.

Andrea 13:47
Let's get into it because that was one of the questions I wanted to ask you like about the improv mindset and how it can help you build confidence. So go girl, go.

Judi 13:54
This is one of my favorite things. And it's related to what you're talking about this notion of like, we are so afraid to look stupid, and to look silly and to fail and to get it wrong. And oh my god, Andrea. Yo, what if somebody judges me? Oh, my God, what if I offend someone? What if, what if someone doesn't like me, right? All of those things. Okay, so here's the cold, hard truth. People and I hate to break it to you, but people already don't like you, people are already judging you, and people already making fun of us. So the question is, right, who are we living our life for? And I sort of always have this like, Bonnie Raitt soundtrack in my mind. And now you'll have it the rest of the day, too. If you're listening this, you know that song like ‘let's give them something to talk about’. They're already talking. Let's go give him something to talk about. So, to improv. I will never forget, one of my very first improv instructors saying to us before our first ever live show in front of eyeballs, there were maybe 10 people in the room but yo, I was a nervous wreck. And I remember him telling having us on the call all of us on the back like, you know, you kind of do this go get them go get them right before the show. And he goes alright guys, last thing. I want you to go out there tonight and I want you to bomb bomb. I want you to fail so hard and so big and so juicy and so miserable. And I was like, like, the control freak, corporate America Barbie, right? Because by day, at this time in Chicago, I'm working in corporate. I'm in sales and marketing. I got a big career and you know, I'm doing sales and presentations and all this stuff by day. And by day, everybody's telling me the opposite. They're saying, okay, do whatever you want to do with the presentation, but you know, email me first or you know where whatever you want, but make sure let's talk to let's talk to the President about bad or whatever, right? And here I am at night, remixing a whole new record. I am being told that no, actually, your failures are the best moments on stage, they are the funniest moments, they are the most you moments. We want more of that.

What I didn't realize at the time, what he was doing is helping us build our tolerance to pain, the pain of failing the the pain of embarrassing ourselves the pain of getting it wrong, so we can get one step closer to getting it right. And that Andrea, I swear to you, when people ask me like, what's your biggest advice as a career woman, a business owner, a human being? I'm like, yo, I am not afraid to look stupid. I'm not afraid to fail. And that all began at Second City in the improv theater and it's a gift that keeps on giving. So yeah, let's throw parties for our failure. Let's seek it out. And last thing I'll say here, if you could do something and potentially fail, babe, you're doing it right. You are probably doing it right.

Andrea 16:50
Yeah, I love all that. For sure. 100%. Just you have to be and people ask me that too. Like, how do you have so much confidence? And I'm, like, laid in bed awake and thought about it? Like, what is it? I think a very small percentage of it was yes, I was born that way. And I don't mean that I was born with competence. I was born with charisma. I mean, like, like you like, I'm just very outspoken. And so that makes me good at certain things like sales, which I've never been in which I should have been because I would have killed it.

Judi 17:23
You are you're selling yourself in your way in your books every single day girl. You're in it.

Andrea 17:28
But so just a small percentage of it is that. Is personality based. The rest of it is is having the willingness to go out there and fall on my face. And I'm not going to sit here and tell you it was easy. Like I there has been tears, there's been just so much shame and embarrassment and humiliation. But I think I've always trusted that that's going to be the thing that makes me better at it. Like, I just, I mean, I'm thinking of this one situation. And I don't know if this has ever happened to you, you know, being a Keynote or that you are. But I remember thinking like my worst fear is being up on stage and watching people get up and walk out. Not just like the occasional person who has to take a phone call. But like, you know, yeah, like 10% to 20% of the audience is like getting up like, Excuse me, excuse me. So I was speaking in the Netherlands. And that happened. And I'm like, starting to panic. I'm like, oh my god, this is my worst fear is happening. People are getting up and walking out. And I kept having to tell myself throughout the talk, and I'm like, you know what? This, okay, it's happening. Your worst fears happening, and you're going to be okay, you're going to be okay. In my defense, I think that they probably just didn't know what they were getting into. Because it was like, it was like one of those festivals where you can like choose between a bunch of different events. And they were like, oh, this one I don't understand her pop culture jokes like this American anyway. But I survived my word.

Judi 18:45
Your heart was still beating in your chest. Yeah, but you are alive. Like, very much alive. And isn't that the point? Right? Like, you survived something. Okay, you take this fear. Check it off the list. I've survived people walk it out of my talk, right? Move on to the next thing you know. And listen, I don't think there's a presenter on the planet who has never had the shitty first talk. What is Brené talks about the shitty first draft? It should be first. Yeah, like, are you kidding me? I remember my first talk. I do. There's this guy. He got up from the front row. Front row, Andrea, and went to the back of the room. It was a small room like 75 people and I thought it was like performing at the Taj Mahal. I was like, oh my god, this is so big. And he went to the back of the room and went on a couch and laid down and pull this hat down. Like he was going to sleep like are you serious? I watched it happen in front of my face and boom, keep moving. Right? Keep moving Can I tell you an anecdote? You know, when we think about perceptions and other people and sometimes we get in our own way here so like we're worried a lot. I think a lot of people, you know, we want there's a there's this pop culture phrase that goes around and it's, you know, zero F's given right? I don't care what anybody thinks it really truly unless you like narcissist or a serial killer…

Andrea 20:03
I wrote a whole chapter on this in one of my books. Yeah, and I call it the Zero Fucks Mentality.

Judi 20:08
Yes. Okay, Andrea. Yes girl by the way Stop Feeling Like Shit is next up on my nightstand by the way. You are my next personal development book in the queue anyway. Just you write about that in Stop Feeling Like Shit or was it one of your other ones?

Andrea 20:21
Yeah, okay just and I agree with you, but I called them sociopaths. So it's like the same thing like people who truly don't care about a radical thing.

Judi 20:27
So of course, y'all listening, you've heard Andrea preach on that. So let's, let's take it a step further. So of course, we should care what other people think because we are good people, we want people to like us, but we don't want to get caught up in the codependency of maybe not everybody getting it. So let me give you an anecdote perfect example from the speaking world. So and whether you're giving a presentation at work, because you're going to have to write if you have a career of any capacity and you want to level up, you're gonna have to interview for the level up job, you're gonna have to put yourself in front of people, you got to put yourself out there. So whatever stage it is that you're on, you'll be able to relate to this.

So I was speaking and onstage you know, while you're on stage, you sometimes lock eyes with certain energies in the room right to make you feel good about your work the people that are really like glued in right and then every now and then you will catch eyes with the resting bitchface audience member okay. And I was given this particular speech and I could not stop looking at her it was like so in my head Andrea, I had back sweat. I was like, God, she hates me This is horrible. I cannot get out of your fast enough. And I felt like I was so focused on that energy that I couldn't just shake it. Hopefully the audience didn't know any different. But anyway, speech is done, but I struggled do it internally because I couldn't get this out of my head. Speech is done. Line at the front. People coming up to take pictures, you know, the whole thing, selfies, books, say hello, sign things. And I see her in line while I am taking selfies with these two girls that are like, all over me, right? They're like, oh my god, oh my god, this this bah, bah, bah, talking my head off, hugging me, all these things. They go through the line. The lady with the resting bitchface comes up and says to me, and I'll come back to those two girls in just a minute, because here's those two girls. I'd been watching them all conference, right? They were all over me right? They were a head nodding and loving it. So resting bitchface comes up and she goes, thank you so much for that talk. I just lost my mom. And I have been struggling to figure out how to leave the soul sucking job that I'm currently working at here at this conference you're speaking for. We ended up getting into this conversation about, she was so the way she was just in it. She was processing she was being spoken to right. So we tears, hugs like I still communicate with her. Okay, I go to the bathroom, Andrea, after this event. And I'm in the bathroom. Go in number one. And there are the two best friends in the bathroom talking shit about your girl.

Andrea 23:15
I knew it.

Judi 23:18
Yup. I have never it was oh, no, no mistakes only gifts. Right? It was one of the biggest gifts I've ever received. And this was five years ago early in my speaking career to just get the eff out of my head and to go up there and speak from my heart and teach from my heart. And really truly honestly, Andrea before I get on the stage the last thing I say to myself is like I love you, because no matter what happens up there like you go home with yourself right? And just you were born for this baby and love yourself throughout it and don't take any of it too seriously because you're never as good as they say you are but you're never as bad either.

Andrea 23:59
You're never as yeah you're never as good and you're also never as bad as you say tell yourself that you are.

Judi 24:05
True that. And I bet that story's relatable to people just even at work you know in the office you know there's just so many in so now Andrea like last thing I'll say, it's legit I never I try to stay away from any public bathroom. I will find the bathroom like close like I will either be backstage most events it's backstage nowadays but my goodness. Now I have this like fear of like oh my god somebody's gonna talk shit before my talk and then my head's gonna be messed up. Thank God it was after the talk. But yeah, that happened real life story so…

Andrea 24:34
I have to know did they see you come out because I might petty ass would have…

Judi 24:40
The Judi you're talking to you now, oh, babe, I would have walked out. I would have walked out. But I made sure they, to be honest, I picked my feet up cuz I these hot pink shoes on. I had like a little kid. I waited for them to leave. I had the tears like go up in my room, call my husband the whole thing and then I picked myself up and we do it again the next day, right? And what a lesson. What a beautiful reminder to just not take any of it too seriously and to impact what you can. And at the end of the day, like, if you're spent, how do you want to spend your energy? Talking shit about people, or moving forward? Like sad for them? You know, sad for them, right?

Andrea 25:19
Super sad for them. And I always preach over here, like don't be passive aggressive, like use clear communication. Sometimes, there are some exceptions. Yeah, I would have I would have gone out and taken a really long time to wash my hands and like do my lipstick and would have been super nice.

Judi 25:39
100%. It's one of my regrets, no doubt about it. But I would do that these days.

Andrea 25:44
Oh, it still sucks, though, no matter what.

I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from some of our sponsors. So you all have heard me be very candid about my mental health journey. And the challenges that I face. Many of the guests that I interview here on the podcast are licensed therapists. So it's obvious that I encourage everyone to go to therapy and have that support. And that's why I'm proud to have BetterHelp as one of our sponsors, because there's so many things I love about their service. When you sign up for better help, they'll assess your needs and match you. With your own licensed professional therapist, you get timely and thoughtful responses. Plus, you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions, it doesn't just have to be via text. It's more affordable than traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available. licensed professional counselors specialize in depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, trauma, anger, family conflicts, which I know can get a little wonky over the holidays, LGBTQ matters, grief and their service is available for clients worldwide. I want you to start living a happier life today. And as a listener, you get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor a BetterHelp.com/kickass. Join over 1 million people who have taken charge of their mental health again, that is BetterHelp H-E-L-P.com/kickass. And by the way, if you ever forget any of the the codes or the URLs, you can go to Andrea Owen.com/sponsors. And everything is there. And thank you so much for supporting our sponsors, because that in turn supports this show.

Okay, so let's talk about turning obstacles into opportunities, because I know you have a specific keynote where you talk about this, and more specifically, like how to have less emotional reactivity in those stressful situations. So can you talk about that?

Judi 27:39
Yeah, I mean, I think we, especially, you know, we're in we're recording this in December, right? So you're, we're in this magical time of year where we're starting to think about who we want to be next year, and what do we want to get done. And we are putting all these practices and, you know, boundaries in place and rituals, and we're signing up for the courses and buying the new planners and redecorating the office, whatever we're doing to sort of reset and recharge for next year. And all that's great. We love to get the tools ready, right? If there's nothing wrong with getting the tools ready to get yourself ready for a new year, right? But I think so many times we forget about okay, how will all of this help me when things aren't good? Like do I also have the tools in place to like brace for impact? Whether it be a loss, a global pandemic diagnosis that divorce, like whatever you got going on. Like you cannot avoid shit going down in your life. It is going to happen. People are going to leave you, you're going to lose people you love, you're going to get sick, you're going to have to deal with crazy shit in the world. So what are we doing to make sure that we can weather the storm when it's good, and also when it's bad. So what we're doing in the in the community, our improv House of And community, we are really helping people navigate those storms by providing them with the tools, the mindset tools from the improv theater, that will allow them to not only brace for impact, but also keep things going even when it's good. And our big mantra right now that we're exploring is this notion of opening the door. And the way we do that is by saying yes, this is happening, but most importantly, and what am I going to do with it.

So and is sort of our obsession our company my you know, my lifestyle brands called House of And and see in the improv theater, we are first trained on yes and together as a pair on the stage right? We say yes and to move the scene forward to heighten, to explore all those things. If you get stuck, just say yes and right. And so that's all great and amazing, but what I've come to discover is that you can say yes in this life and still be complacent. I really believe that and is like rocket fuel. Right? It is it is how we push past discomfort and open the door to what's possible and really define success on our own terms and we use and yes and yes and but mostly we keep and-ing in order to open new doors in the good times and keep moving when things get really bad. Hello global pandemic. So that's a high-level look at what we're doing. But we, you know, we really believe that you've got to open new doors, like if you want something new, like old keys are not going to open new doors, right? You have to have new systems and people and processes and a mindset that's going to help you brace for the impact in life and the ideas in the improv theater can help you do that and it all begins with and. And and and.

Andrea 30:53
Mm hmm. Okay. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes and. A follow up…

Judi 30:59
Perfectly executed.

Andrea 31:02
Thank you. Yes and how can someone keep their emotions in check during stressful situations?

Judi 31:07
Well, I would say the first thing we could do, there's this exercise I have in my book Fear is my Homeboy, it is called the Fear Setting Roadmap, if you will. And so we goal set. It's easy to set goals., but do we fear set so for example, shits going down, something's happening. You've got turmoil, trauma, uncertainty in your life, which by the way, we'll never be able to avoid. So number one, the first thing I'll ask myself, I think that the first place we go to and turmoil is yes, I want to do this but right? Like, yes, I want to start a business, but there's COVID. Yes, I want to lose weight, but I don't have the money to join a gym. Yes, I want to do this but. Right? And but is a door closed. If you just simply replace at bought with and it almost now feels like a door open. So I think the first thing we've got to do is what are the excuses? Like I keep making so I sort of write get a piece of paper and I do five columns? The first column is okay, what are all the excuses? So I put the fear at the top or the turmoil at the top or the the uncomfortable thing I'm moving through at the top. Maybe even it's as big as like losing your career with COVID. Right? So what are the excuses you find yourself making for why you can't move through this? Or why you feel like you can't move through this or what's sort of in your way. So that's number one, I get all that shit out of my head and onto paper. Then number two, okay, what could what could go wrong here? What couldn't work? What obstacles are potentially in my way right now? Right? So I feel like there's power just sort of getting some of those fears and anxieties on paper and out of your head. And then column three is where we start to like, okay, reset a little bit. Column three is, okay, if that happened, how would I recover? Who could help me? What can I read? What can I learn? How can I make money? And oh, by the way, is there anybody less fabulous than me who has figured the damn thing out? If so, who are they because I know that I am just as capable. So I sort of think about my recovery here, right? Like, how would I recover from worst case scenario? And then number four, there's five columns total. What is it costing me to not move, to not make a move, to not make a change, to not make the call, to not put myself out there, to not open the new door? What is it costing me to stay in this in this weight in this trauma in this toxic relationship? With this bad habit? Right? Whatever it is, right? What is it costing me mentally, physically and emotionally. And then last but not least, this is my favorite part. This is where we become unicorns. And this is a big piece of the work we're teaching inside of The House of And is this notion of, instead of focusing on all the shit that can go wrong, there's power and getting it out of your head and onto paper. Sure, let's and then go burn it, like go burn those first two columns if you want, like release it. But the fifth column is where we become unicorns. We instead start to focus on okay, what could go right? Like, if I stopped drinking, if I quit smoking, if I leave my shitty relationship, if I go for the job, if I moved to Scottsdale, if I write the book, what could work what could go right? What could change? And then that becomes the list that you take everywhere. You make it your screensaver on your phone, you put it up in your office, I forever when I was writing Fear is my Homeboy had that list of what could go right what I wrote a book literally on my car dashboard so anytime I drove around on my on my full length mirror in my bedroom like everywhere with me right so that when I got scared when I got overwhelmed when the world felt like, so out of control, I was always focused on okay, here's the big picture. Here's what could go right if you keep moving.

Andrea 35:09
Okay? So that exercises in Fear is my Homeboy, right? What chapter is it in?

Judi 35:13
Yeah, page 129 in the print version. So it's the end of chapter six, like every chapter has five homework assignments, if you will. And it's a homework assignment number four at the end of chapter six.

Andrea 35:27

Okay. And we'll have the link to Judi's book at the end. I love this. It sounds a little bit like, like cognitive behavioral therapy that my therapist taught me when I was deep in my anxiety disorder in my 20s. But it takes it a little bit further, it's slightly different.

Judi 35:42
Tell me more, tell me more.

Andrea 35:45
And it was, it was this worksheet. And I'll never forget it, it was like a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy back in like the late 90s. And it was it was a table and all I really remember about it was to write down all of my thoughts that were there happening. So when I got that assignment, the biggest thing that was bothering me at the time was my boyfriend at the time, who ended up becoming my husband, and then ended up becoming my ex-husband, and you're about to hear one of the reasons, he would stay out all hours of the night. He'd go out with his friends, and he would tell me, he'd be home by like, oh, I'll be home like 11 or 12 and he, you know, it'd be like one o'clock, two o'clock, three in the morning, and he wouldn't come home. And this was before everybody had cell phones, I wouldn't be able to get ahold of him. Sometimes he wouldn't come home until like 6 or 7 the next morning. And this went on weekend after weekend after weekend, we fight about it, and fight about it. And then I end up forgiving him. So my therapist, which was bringing on tons of anxiety. Can't believe I ended up marrying that guy. Oh my God, so many gifts. So she had me write out like all of my resentments, my angers my fears, because sometimes then I'd be like, oh my God, is he dead in a ditch? Like, did he get into a car accident? All of these things? And then the next thing was okay, if that happened, you know, like, what if he's cheating on me? If that happened, then what would I do? How would I recover? What would my next step be? What would my behaviors be? It allowed me to stop spinning in just the fear thoughts, because that's what anxiety is. And spinning and spinning and spinning. And, for the record, I want people to know that sometimes with severe clinical anxiety disorder, which I have been there, sometimes we cannot pull ourselves out of that. So I just want to make that very clear that therapy and medication, there's a place for that. However, sometimes we can help ourselves. And that's what I love about those kinds of exercises. I've taught that to one, one of my kids really struggles with anxiety. And I have taught that to them. And we talk it through sometimes. So it can be so helpful. And it's fairly simple.

Judi 37:47
It is. Is it easy? No. But is it simple on paper? Yeah. It's these, it's these five questions. And I love that you recognized the importance of professional help if we're really in a deep place of loss and trauma. And so many of us have just been through that and we're frankly still in it and recovering from it not one person has not been affected by the way that the world has changed. But you know, what we do with it is really, you know, truly up to us and a tool. Someone you could maybe link up in the show notes there's, I put in, I put in this exercise that I w.as inspired this idea was really rooted in the framework that Tim Ferriss presented in the TED talk. He calls it fear setting, and he has this like really great 10-minute TED talk about the moment he decided not to commit suicide and what saved him from that. And it was a fear setting exercise. It was exactly this. This notion of like, yo, okay, what's tripping me up? What am I freaking out about? What's keeping me up at night? Okay, if it happens, how would I survive? And how would I recover? And then most importantly, if I live as I keep moving, if I continue to live this one wild, beautiful, crazy life welcome, right? And look at all the things like him or not, like look at all the things he's done right to really amplify the quality of his life.

So it's an empowering conversation that I think we have to have with ourselves. But most people don't make the space to sit down and do this kind of work and I think now is the time it's always the time to really reflect and if you're struggling with any of that right? You know mentally My goodness let's check ourselves before we wreck ourselves in the words of Ice Cube. And, you know, get in get in get in a little bit more control of what can feel like an out-of-control experience.

Andrea 39:46
It also reminds me I want to give people one more. One more exercise to do like one of my very first coaches gave me this exercise when I was writing my first book and I was so scared to put it out there. It was like my first big piece of work and I was sort of spinning in like the what if it totally flops? What if people hate it? What if my editor hates it and sends it back and I have to like give back my advance money and, and all these things. And she said, okay, and she had it, she called it a game and it was the what if up game, which, it needs a better name, but basically, because we constantly we tend to do like the web if and it's always a bad scenario. So she wanted me to say, like, what to do write down a, you know, 10 what ifs, and make them positive. So what if this book is super successful? What if the today's show calls and wants to fly me out to be on their show immediately? What if this, this then ends up and some of the things actually came true? should pull out that journal? Because one of the things was like, whatever it is, gets parlayed into like, an entire book career and I ended up getting, you know, six figure advances because back then my advance was teeny tiny. And some of them ended up coming true. Today Show has not called but I think they lost my number. So I, I don't I'm not mad at them. They're there. They'll come around. But anyway, it's just another example of a game to play.

Judi 41:02
It reallyis. And you know, if you'd be open to doing it, I want to show you something because what you just did what if up is the yes and, I'm doing air quotes, game and the impro is and you and I could literally show your listeners right now. The fucking magic of the word and how it can take something really lame. And pour so much gasoline onto it. So you want to run like a little exercise with me? Are you…Okay? Because…let's do this. So here's what's gonna happen you and I, let's just say we're planning a book launch for your current book that's out right now. But we're gonna do it next year. We have no budget for this book launch. I know your books are…

Andrea 41:43
It came out in August. It's my baby.

Judi 41:45
Okay, so we're gonna, we're gonna celebrate this new baby again next year, and we're gonna we're gonna pretend like it's not out yet. And we have no budget, meaning we can spend whatever we want. Do whatever you want. So here's how this is gonna go down. We're gonna run it three times. The first time I start throwing out ideas for your book launch. You just respond with no, okay? We'll do that a couple times. Just say no. To all my ideas. Cool.

Andrea, so excited for your book launch party. Guess what we're gonna do? We're gonna go to Chicago and rent out the United Center.

Andrea 42:19
Hmm, no.

Judi 42:20
Okay. Yeah, I get that. That's kind of how about this? Andrea, we're gonna go to Hawaii. Let's throw this on the beach.

Andrea 42:24
No. COVID gonna make that too hard. No.

Judi 42:27
Yeah, right. It is kind of far away. Um, you know what, here's what we're gonna do. Andrea, we are going to take your book launch to Beyonce’s next concert and we're going to have Beyonce literally talk about your book from the stage. I know her personally.

Andrea 42:46
Oh, no, I don't want to bother her.

Judi 42:48
No. Okay, perfect. So great. Let's do that again. This time, every time I give a random idea for what we're going to do to your book launch you respond with yes, but okay? Yes, but. All right, Andrea, I am so excited about your book launch. Here's what we're gonna do. We are going to pay everybody $1,000 to come to this event.

Andrea 43:06
Yes, but do I add something on to the but, or do you?

Judi 43:10
You can add something but give me a reason why,

Andrea 43:16
Yes, but I don't think that that many people would show up.

Judi 43:20
Yeah, that's a good point. It is kind of crazy times. Here's what we're gonna do. How about we take your book launch and we do a streaming virtual event around the country and we have Oprah moderate it.

Andrea 43:35
Yes, but there's so much noise on the internet with politics right now. I don't think anybody would even notice that we're doing it.

Judi 43:42
Yeah, yeah, it makes okay. Okay, I'm with you. Here's, here's an idea. Andrea, we are going to rent a circus tent and we are going to have a private circus for your book and we're going to COVID test everybody and once they get into the circus, they are going to see for the very first-time, real-life unicorns so we can remind them that they are indeed one themselves.

Andrea 44:08
Yes, but I think PETA would come after us with the whole animal thing.

Judi 44:14
Yeah, good point. Good point. Okay, so let's do this a third time. We know people who say no all the time to everything we know people who are like yes, but, yes, but. Now let's see what happens when you yes and this shit and see what kind of book launch you get now. So what I'm going to do is throw out just a random idea for your book launch and then you're gonna respond with yes and add something. Oh, yes. And you yes and and let's just see what happens to your book launch now.

Okay, cool. All right, Andrea, I am so excited about your book launch party. Here's what we're going to do. We are going to have Oprah emcee it.

Andrea 44:47
Okay. Yes and everybody's going to have the same outfit and it's going to be opalescent, body suits with pink pantsuit over it.

Judi 44:56
Yes and we are going to get a cover feature on Fortune magazine because no one has ever seen an event like this.

Andrea 45:03
Yes and Kim Kardashian is going to notice and she's going to start tweeting about it and talking about it all over social media.

Judi 45:13
Yes and Beyonce is going to headline the show as our singer.

Andrea 45:15
Yes and she is going to have books, copies of the book, she's going to buy copies for every single person in the audience, it's going to be like 100,000 people.

Judi 45:21
Yes and overnight, you're going to have like, a massive boom in sales and your Instagram following will be at minimum a million.

Andrea 45:31
Yes and production company is going to pick it up for a movie.

Judi 45:34
Yes and we give everybody $1,000 Amex gift cards because they attended.

Andrea 45:36
Yes and we opened up a nonprofit and create free book self-help resources for women's shelters.

Judi 45:45
Yes, and…scene. Right? So you get the point.

Andrea 45:50
To imagine fun things.

Judi 45:54
I know, right? That's the what if up? What if up? What if up? Yes, and is your what if up, right? So notice, like I said, weird stuff, crazy stuff, whatever came to my head. And the reality is just because we say yes. And to someone on our team and in our life, it doesn't mean we're gonna go do it. And an example on that would be, you know, hey, your presentation was great, but you use too many slides. Well, that makes you feel like crap. But if I were to say to someone on my team, you know, your presentation was great. And no, maybe next time we use useless slides that feels different, right? So it's just thinking differently about how we heighten and explore the everyday things that are happening to us and this tool, this one word, will pour gasoline on anything you've got cooking, I promise you that and it will least if anything, keep you opening new doors and most importantly, keep you moving forward, which is what we just did.

Andrea 46:47
100%. I love that so so so much. This has been such a thrill and just pleasure to talk to you is there anything that we missed that you want to say before we close up.

Judi 46:58
We cannot control other people places and or things right? But what we can always control is how we respond to it and what we do next and so I would just leave you with this you know, it's one of the things we say all the time in our community. Our mission is to open the door and you are one new door, one new yes, one new yes and away from a completely different life. The fundamental question is are you ready to start opening them and I really hope that wherever you are in your life right now you take that notion and go open a new door for yourself, make a call, try something new, put yourself out there in a new capacity because remember, old keys don't open new doors. We gotta, we gotta mix it up.

Andrea 47:46
Old keys don't open new doors. Everyone go follow Judi. So your website is…is it JudiHoller.com or HouseofAnd.com?

Judi 47:58
So Judi, both both. So Judi Holler’s like my keynote speaking book business and then how Savannah is my lifestyle brand where we teach our methodology we have a course happening and we have an apparel line and so I think both are perfect. We have @HouseofAnd on Instagram and @JudiHoller on Instagram. So I think if you follow me on Instagram, you can find all the good things and pick what you want to pick what you want to do.

Andrea 48:21
And you should have a candle that smells like your vagina on your website like Gwyneth Paltrow does on GOOP.

Judi 48:27
Does she really?

Andrea 48:29
I don't know if it's her vagina but there was a candle.

Judi 48:33
That is kind of…

Andrea 48:36
But I kind of wanted to smell it just like and see if they got it right.

Judi 48:39
I am so afraid. Oh my god. I can't. That is so, that is so random and I’m so here for it. Guys, we will not be doing vagina candles. No vagina candles at the in The House of And. Only ampersands baby.

Andrea 48:56
Okay the book is Fear is my Homeboy: How to Slay Doubt, Boss Up, and Succeed on Your Own Terms. Everyone, the links are in the show notes. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our lives responsibility to make the world a better place by everyone.

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 makes 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 screen shot 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 reshare 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.