You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 15.
Welcome to My Freedom Grove podcast. This is where strong people, just like you come to have honest, open discussions about anxiety, depression, and frustration, but we don't stop there. We go deeper by learning and applying mindset management tools to once and for all break free from the pain, so we can actually enjoy our lives. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you joined us.
Hi, my strong friends, as you know, the world is in the middle of a pandemic crisis. As you can imagine, everybody's mental health is being challenged at this point. Now more than ever it is the time to focus on self care and think about how everything is affecting you.
What can you do to take care of yourself? I know that there's a question being posed on how you can help other people. And as strong people, I know that's the option that you tend to go right for. But I want you to remember that you need to take care of yourself first, so that you can have the emotional strength to be there for other people.
You're going to experience an emotional roller coaster as changes, keep coming at you every day and stories of the bad stuff and the good stuff. You're going to find yourself fluctuating between your different emotions. This is a normal thing to experience. This is the time where having some extra support for you is really important.
I wanted to remind you that I do offer coaching services. In addition to these podcast, the Unshakable Men's monthly online group coaching program is now open for enrollment. There will be online video courses for you right away. And then twice a week group coaching happens starting on April 1st.
Additionally, I also offer one-on-one private coaching. This isn't an option that I've talked about too much, but I wanted you to know that it's completely available to you. You have the option of choosing to do this one session at a time, or you can choose to have a three month package. It all depends on what type of support you need at this exact moment. Feel free to send me an email at [email protected] to set up a time for us to talk about what's the right option for you.
You can also go to my Facebook page, My Freedom Grove, and send me an instant message. I'll respond pretty quickly, either way. I just want to be sure that I am supporting you in the best way possible.
Additionally, I'm going to be offering short video course segments on my Facebook page so that you can start to learn a couple of these tools, but in bite sized pieces. So make sure to check that out.
Of course, if you know of anyone else that you think could benefit from listening to these podcasts or from watching those small video courses, or if they might even be interested in coaching, please let them know about My Freedom Grove and about coaching with me. Gretchen Hernandez.
Let's get into today's topic.
One of the things that I love to coach people on is how to discover their authentic selves.
I've mentioned in a couple other podcasts about how we have shown up in the world sometimes with a mask on. Because we don't want to let the world see who we really are. But we've also become this persona that we currently are as a result of the different things that we've experienced in our lives. Some of it was good. Some of it was bad. Either way, we've developed a way that we show up in the world that helps us stay safe and gives us the amount of success that we're able to have at that moment. But if you're like most of us, you're finding that how you are right now, is not how you really want to be in this world. You might think that there's a whole other life that's available to you. If you could just be who you really want to be.
So today I wanted to provide you some questions that will help you to start thinking about who you want to be, knowing that there's a lot of change happening right now. The you, that you are today, may even feel a little different than the you that you were last month.
With these questions, let's start thinking about who is it that you really want to be no matter what circumstances show up in life. Because there's a lot of things that are out of your control. But there is some stuff that you are in control. One of those things is you and exactly who you are. You are in control of that. There might be some things getting in the way or even feeling like it's not possible for you to be who you want to be. Rest assured you can be who you want to be.
But first you have to decide who is that?
We have a lot of peaks and valleys. Our valleys being when we're feeling our lowest. Our peaks are when we're feeling our highest. And if we draw out what our path has been, for say the last year even, how many peaks and valleys have you had? How long did they last? And how much time was happening in between? That'll help to give you just an overall high level picture of how you were feeling now.
How do you actually want to feel?
Remember that the circumstances are going to happen no matter what. How do you want to try to feel overall? So if you think about those peaks and valleys, would you want to change any of it?
Now, I know of course everyone would like to be at the peak the whole time, but that's not life. If we didn't have the valleys, we wouldn't be able to even recognize that we were at the peaks. We need the bad times in order to really appreciate the good times. Also, sometimes in the bad times, we can start to learn so much and we can grow and we start to see things that we might have perceived as bad... as actually having a benefit.
I want you to think about which specific emotions would you like to feel on a regular basis. Maybe think about your top three emotions, which ones would you like to feel? The majority of the time? It's an interesting thing to think about. Those emotions are something that are available to you right now. I know it might not seem like that, especially in light of what's going on, but those three emotions are absolutely possible for you right now.
As you know, I like to coach people on their mindset. That's the collection of thoughts and beliefs. Those thoughts and beliefs are what generates your emotions. You have control over your thoughts and your beliefs. It's just an automatic process that we tend to not look at. With coaching, you have that opportunity to try to find all of those different thoughts and beliefs and see which feelings they're going to. And then knowing which feelings you actually want, you can start to rewire your brain to think in a different way so that you can feel those emotions. Sometimes that can happen that very day when we're talking. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer. But it's completely possible.
All right, next question.
Now, this could be your own physical appearance. Maybe the way that you style your hair or the color of your hair is different than what you would really like to have. Maybe there's piercings or tattoos that you've always considered, that you don't have or ones that you do have, that you'd want to change. Perhaps it's the way that you dress. Do you feel like it is reflecting, who you really are?
Expression also extends to how you speak. This could be who you speak to, the platform that you use for when you're speaking, it could even go down to being an introvert or an extrovert. Maybe you don't want to talk to anyone and that feels more authentic, and that's okay too.
Have you ever felt yourself holding back from saying the things that you really want to say? Maybe it's because you're trying to package it in the right way, or you're worried about someone else's feelings? Either way you find yourself holding back.
Maybe you're challenged even by the way that you can describe the things that you're thinking about. I've mentioned a couple of times how my thoughts show up in my head almost like popcorn. That's all networked together and makes complete sense to me. But if I was to try to just speak naturally, it's not going to come out in a rational way that most people can follow. So I have to spend a lot of time trying to lay it all out in a sequential way so that other people can follow along with what I'm talking about.
When you express yourself, is that how you want to express yourself?
Now "show up" can mean all sorts of different things. This might mean that you want to be more of a public figure. That you want to be out there and involved and have people see you. I know for me, this has been kind of a scary one for me because although I like to be up and doing public speaking, there's part of me that has been holding me back for most of my life of being scared to get up and be seen or to hear what my ideas are.
I've been told that my way of thinking is so different than other people's ways of thinking. And when I was in elementary school, up through high school, I was told that was a bad thing. And yet, now what I'm finding, is that people are actually really interested in these different ways of thinking. And that it's actually helping them to feel better or to get some momentum in their life.
What are ways that you've tried to show up in your life, that you had some kind of feedback that made you change your mind?
That maybe you wouldn't show up that way, even though that's how you really wanted to be.
So when you're thinking about the person that you really want to be, how do you want to show up when you're out and about in the world? What type of feeling do you want to exude?
Have you ever been around those people that as soon as you see them, they light up a room or you instantly feel comfortable and calm with them? There are some people that you don't even have to sit there trying to read what type of person they are, because they just exude it. And you know, this is their absolute true self. They're not faking it. They're not trying to pull one over on you, that this is just them. And they're living out loud with exactly the type of life that they want to have. You can almost feel that emotion coming off of them. You almost have that emotion yourself, just as a result of being in the same room with them.
So if you think about yourself:
Something that other people would be able to notice just by being in the room with you? How do you want them to feel as a result of being around you?
When I started taking a look at myself over the last few years, I knew that I had an undercurrent of sadness. To me, It's just part of having depression, of living with depression, but I knew that that's not who I wanted to be. I didn't want to be seen as the Debbie downer in this situation. Now I know that there were times that I was out in the world, that people didn't see me like that at all. That I was very friendly and open and warm. But there were other times where my energy dipped down. Now, it wasn't that I was trying to be something that I wasn't. It's just that I did have different energy on those different days. But I really enjoyed the days when I felt better and I could be more present with people.
I started to pay attention to other people to see... Do any of them exude a type of feeling and which type of feeling was I drawn to? That I just really wanted to be around?
I found that folks that just had that calm sense of peace and exuded love, were who I really wanted to be around. Those were my people.
So when I started to think about what type of feeling do I want to exude out into the world, I knew that I wanted to be a calm force in people's lives. Like when their whole world is falling apart, they know that I'm their rock that they could turn to. I could be the calm in their storm. I also wanted to exude love. To know that I always had love for other humans and that I would always be supportive and be there for them.
Are there days where I'm challenged with both of those feelings? Absolutely.
But there's been days where I'd go out to the grocery store and I'd remind myself before I got out of my car. I want to make sure that I'm exuding calm and love.
And you know, what would be different? I'd walk into the grocery store, I'd purposely make eye contact with people and smile. I would go out of my way to make conversation. And all of a sudden those feelings that I had, which were totally real for me at the moment, got transferred to the other person. And although they might've been having kind of a glum day, all of a sudden, just from like a one or two minute interaction, they were just filled with this light and this life. And I was like, I helped with that. Just by me being me in setting my intention of how I wanted to show up in the world.
I have now cascaded that feeling to other people too, as I was trying to create My Freedom Grove. I was posed with this question of what do you want to be known for? That's pretty tough.
It's easy to fall back into thinking about what am I known for.
Well, people have known all along that I was a mental health advocate and LGBT advocate. They knew that I could handle a big family and that most people in my corporate job knew that I could help them with any problem. It was kind of my specialty. That's what I was developed to do. Is have all sorts of different tools for whatever problem came my way. But what is it that I wanted to be known for? I mean, this is a whole new chapter of my life. I'm reinventing myself. I don't have that identity of a corporate operational excellence manager anymore. What identity do I want to have? What do I want people to know me for? And I've kind of been back and forth on the fence, but I really want to be known for the person that they can turn to when their world is falling apart.
That's the person that I go to that if someone's having a hard time believing in themselves, finding their value, finding their self-love, that I am their person. If they're trying to figure out what kind of impact do they want to make in this world, you know, they might be going through some kind of transition of do I choose to stay where I'm at? Do I create something completely different? And that they're just really super confused that I'm their person to come to. That I will help them figure it all out. Now, how do I phrase that in one simple sentence, I've got no clue, but I'll eventually figure out how to say that.
When you're thinking about you and your authentic self, what do you want to be known for?
When people think of you even 20 years from now? And they go, Oh yeah, I remember so and so. What are they going to say about you? What do you want them to say about you? That one might take a while to figure out, or maybe you already know, which is fantastic. I wish I could be exactly where you're at now.
Here's the next one.
I don't know how if how I phrased that question makes sense. But when you're thinking about yourself, what are the thoughts that you're having now? This is when you are your authentic self. And you're feeling great and fantastic or whatever. What are those specific thoughts that you have about yourself?
I know one of my most popular podcast episodes so far is titled, Am I a loser? I was really uncomfortable with coming up with that title. But what struck me is during that interview, Eli had brought up a lot of questions around that. Which he was great at talking people through. To negate that that was the truth. People, aren't losers, people are wonderful and exactly who they're supposed to be. There might be things that they haven't done in their life yet, that they still want to do. But that doesn't mean that they're a loser. I thought that was really interesting that so many people tuned into that episode.
I was talking with my husband about it and he said, well, that's because a lot of people think that they are losers. And I thought, wow, that, that really hurt my heart to hear. That's not a thought that I've had about myself. I've never thought of myself as a loser. I've also never considered myself a failure. I've considered that there's a lot of things that I'm trying in life. And a lot of things that I might not get, right. I'm experimenting all the time. And that there are certain successes that I want to have in life that I don't have yet. Things I haven't figured out yet. But it's not a thought that I've had about myself as being a failure.
There's a lot of things that I've thought I'm pretty darn proud about. So when I'm thinking of my authentic self and how I want to be, because I'm still evolving into that person.
I'll let you in on something interesting. In May of 2019, I arranged to have a family photo shoot. It was because I wanted to get a snapshot of who we were at that exact moment. Because I knew even one year from that moment, we weren't going to be the same people at all. My eldest son was going to be going off to college. I had an overwhelming feeling that I wasn't going to be working at my corporate job anymore. Although I didn't know exactly what that was going to look like yet. This was even before we knew that we were going to move out to the coast. We didn't know until June that we were even going to move.
We had no thoughts of even selling our house, but I just had this overwhelming feeling that within a year's time, we were not going to be the same people that we were. I knew that I had been on a journey for two years at that point. And that I was evolving into a different person. And as a result of that, the people around me would end up changing, whether they had planned to or not. It's just kind of that butterfly effect. One thing changes. It causes a chain reaction of everything else to change.
So here we are, 10 months later, our life is completely different than what we imagined. The world is going through things that are completely different. But the things that I have control over is how I think about myself.
So if you're thinking for yourself that you wanted to go on a journey of self discovery and you wanted to evolve into a different version of yourself, once you were there, how would you want to think about yourself?
Are there ways that you're thinking today that would change, that would be different?
And what would they be specifically?
I have one that my coach had said several times over the last three years is that she wanted me to be able to blow my own mind. And I remember I started to use that terminology. When someone that I was coaching had a huge breakthrough that I could tell that it had blown their own mind, something that they had been stuck on for so long. And all of a sudden it was just gone. It was like, they couldn't even remember what life was like before this big change.
All it takes is just one really deeply embedded thought to get changed. And your whole world looks totally different. I mean, it really is a mind blowing. You're just... You can't even describe it.
It's not a surprise. It's not a shock. It's not an awe. It's just a Whoa. And you can't even put your finger on what changed, but you know, something huge has changed. It's a shift. It only takes one thought to have that happen.
I've had many of those shifts for myself. I've blown my own mind in the shifts in my thinking that I have had over the last three years as a result of direct coaching, that I had from my coach or through the self coaching that I've done, that I've learned how to do and what I teach you guys how to do. I don't want you dependent on me as a coach for your whole life. I want you to be able to do all of this on your own, and you'll be able to blow your own mind as part of evolving into a new version of yourself.
You might start to look back and think I want to help other people that were just like me that had this same struggle that they were trying to get through. And that know I might be a shining light for them to help them, and know that there's hope. You end up becoming the person that you always needed in your life.
So my next question for you:
Is there a change that you want to contribute to?
What would that be?
Who can you be for other people to help make that change happen?
It's an interesting thing. As I started to get more out into the world, I found that people started to notice that I had tried to hold myself back for so long, but now that I was making myself visible, I was talking about the things that were most important to me.
I was sharing things about mindset and how to change mindset so that you didn't experience all of that suffering and how I wanted to help people so much. Other people started to take notice. And they started to approach me with new opportunities.
Recently, I was asked to run for a school board position. I was pretty happy with that. It's nice to feel recognized that you're out there in the world and you're trying to make a difference and that people can tell that about you, that you're someone that can make a difference and that you're willing to make a difference. I guess it goes back to the, what do you want to be known for? And that, although I might not be able to articulate it too well, that people just start to know me in certain ways, just from how I'm showing up in the world.
So what kind of changes will you contribute to just by being your authentic self and showing up in the world exactly how you want to show up?
I think all of these are fantastic questions to spend some time on, to really think about who you want to be in this world.
You've got one life. You can make it as wonderful and fantastic as you want it to be. The best way of doing that is by being exactly who you want to be. Exactly who you were born to be. Not who the world has tried to make you turn into.
As you go through that reflection process, think who do you need to have around you to help you as you evolve into that version of yourself here at My Freedom Grove, I wanted to create that safe space and to have a bunch of people all going through that same evolution and looking out for each other. I wanted to be that safe Haven where people just link arms and are there to help through all of the rough spots in life.
Don't be surprised if I reach out to you through Facebook and try to get to know you better, because I'm really interested in knowing who you are as a person and knowing what kind of support you need in the world. If I haven't reached out to you directly yet, feel free to reach out to me directly. I love connecting with people. Just send me an instant message on Facebook.
I'm going to wrap up this podcast because I think that that's enough questions to go through today. I had a whole lot more stuff, but really this was so good. These are all of the questions that you should be asking yourself so that you can really get to know who you want to be.
Again. I want to put out my offer of support for anything that you're going through. Remember the unshakable program, the men's monthly online group coaching program is now open for enrollment. Also I'm available for any one-on-one private coaching that you might be interested in, either an individual session or a three month package. Whatever is going to be the best support for you right now. Just go to my website at www.myfreedomgrove.com to learn more about the different services I can provide or send a Facebook messenger. You can contact me that way easily.
My friends be safe out there this week. Do your social distancing. I know it's hard, especially when emotions are high and you just want to hug someone. This isn't the time. Find other ways to comfort yourself. Heavy blankets work great at calming down anxiety. Find folks that you can interact with over the internet.
Zoom meetings are great. Use Skype, whatever it is. There's lots of people that are putting out offers to do all sorts of social interactions by using the internet. It's a pretty amazing thing. Take care of yourself first. Remember you strong people. I know you want to get out there and help everybody else. Let's make sure to take care of you first. Make sure that you're emotionally strong enough to go on and help other people. I care about you. All right, my friends, I will talk more with you next week. Have a good one. Bye bye.
Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove podcast. I hope this podcast provided you some relief and some inspiration. If you know somebody else that can benefit from this podcast, please share the link with them together. I know we can make a difference to access more podcasts and offerings. Please visit www.myfreedompro.com until next time, take care of yourself. This world needs you.
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