“Stop for a moment and think, what do you want? What do you really want? And start writing it down. Be like, to achieve that, what sort of person would I have to be? And design it like it’s your dream character.” Some great advice from 31 year old entrepreneur and Forbes 30 under 30, Sam Ovens during his interview on “The Sam Ovens Podcast.” Keep listening for more on what it takes to realize your dreams, why suppressing your dark side keeps you stuck and how to create a new identity so you can become anything you want.
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So I saw this episode going one way when I first started but it’s taken a bit of a turn after watching a YouTube video called “7 levels deep” with Dean Graziosi. Links in the show notes below if you want to check it out. It’s basically a spin on Simon SInek’s “finding your why.” But the quick and dirty version is an exercise, asking the question “why am I doing this thing,” so whatever purpose, passion, project or goal you’ve committed to, asking, “why” at least 7 times, with each why, based on the answer before it. Watch the video, I’m seriously complicating it. So, anyway, I decided to give it a try.
Let’s take the name of the podcast, Invisible You? And one of its initial descriptions. (AKA, my why) A podcast for women over 40 living courageously. Shining a light on that powerful side of us that we’ve kept hidden for so long in the dark. Exploring this new awareness comes with it, the desire to want better, be better, have better, do better, whatever better means for you,(yadayadayada). You get the gist. Not bad right? Makes sense. It’s something I resonate with. But was that the whole story? Was I being completely honest with myself? Or was I missing something? It was all true but if I put my magnifying glass a little closer, and by little, I mean a lot, I saw that it wasn’t just the hidden side of myself that was invisible. It was also the person I was showing to the world, the one people saw, she too felt invisible.
I vividly remember this one time, probably 15 years ago. I was with my kids at an amusement park, Kings Island, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I’m standing there waiting and watching as they go on the rides. And it was crowded but not crazy, just busy. And everyone’s coming and going, and all of a sudden I notice that people are walking really close to me, like uncomfortably close. You know when you feel like people are invading your space? Like that! Brushing up against me and almost knocking into me as they pass by. It happened so many times that I distinctly remember asking myself…”what the hell is going on? Am I invisible?” Do people not see me? The thought came and went so quickly, that it’s impact didn’t really register for years to come. Now, I know what you’re thinking, it’s an amusement park, Tracy. That shit happens all the time. It wasn’t some personal affront toward you, princess. And obviously, I know I wasn’t invisible...or was I? What if I really am a Superhero afterall. Dammit, I knew I was special! Okay, so assuming I do not have super powers and that maybe in the same situation you wouldn’t have given it another thought, looking back, what I made it mean says so much about not only my mindset but where I was emotionally at the time. And maybe it’s been long gone but it was never forgotten.
And it wasn’t some random event that came out of nowhere. It was a lifetime of painful experiences trying to show itself and provide me some insight into how I was really feeling. At least, that’s how I see it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the self awareness to understand it in that moment. And to bring it back around to the YouTube video, and the 7 levels, it hit me. I do these things, show up, everyday for myself and others because, yes, I enjoy it and get a lot out of it but on another level (deep down) I want to be seen and heard and validated that, hell yeah, who I am and what I do, it matters, I matter. And maybe that sounds selfish but, and I know I’ve hinted at this before, in order to be selfless, don’t we have to practice a bit of selfishness? We label selfish as something negative, to be avoided but is the word itself bad or is it the meaning we’ve slapped on it to keep people (ie, women) in their place, serving and catering to others needs ahead of our own?
And it’s not just men who like to throw that word around about us. It’s also ourselves, using our gift for passive aggression to tighten the designer noose around each other's neck. Oh, you mean you can’t do me this little favor and take my day for carpool because you started a dance class you don’t want to miss? Sure, no problem. I just thought since I did it for YOU last week but, no, no, that’s fine. I’m sure the kids can just hitchhike or something. AKA, you’re a selfish bitch and you’re dead to me! Of course I understand you’re overworked and could use a few hours to yourself before the party. I’m sure store bought brownies will be fine. I’m just happy you’re choosing to spend some of your precious free time as my guest, enjoying the meal I worked for two days to prepare. I mean, I don’t know how hard it would be to just throw some mix in a bowl and bake it up but don’t even worry about it. AKA, you’re a selfish bitch who I hope chokes on her brownies. You get the idea!
And in our interview, Sam does such a great job of breaking down what it takes to achieve our goals and get what we want in life. But to do that, we’re going to have to be a little selfish. Otherwise, we might end up living someone else’s life, based on what THEY want for us. But first we have to ask the most basic question...what do we eat? Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little ode to Edward from Twilight. Actually it’s, what do you want? Ugh, I know such a simple question that can be so hard to answer. And I bet the first thing that comes to mind is a list of things you don’t want. Well I know I don’t want this and I definitely don’t want that. Unfortunately, you can’t figure out what you want if you’re always focused on what you don’t want. And if you don’t figure out what it is you do want then how the hell you gonna get it? That’s where our quote comes in from the beginning of the show. Taking the time to sit down and get to work on “what you want, what you really really want” and the person you need to become in order to get it.
DId you catch that last part by chance? “And the person you need to become in order to get it?” What do you think about that? Do you think you can stay the same as you are now and get something you’ve never gotten before? Or do you think, as Sam suggests, you’re going to have to change? And not the normal change that comes with getting older. But with some intention behind it. He even goes so far as suggesting that we find character traits we see in others that we want in ourselves and make that a part of who we are. I know I wouldn’t mind a little of Hally Berry’s fitness obsession. You see her Instagram feed? The woman is a beast. Hmm, and what about MIchelle Obama’s style. Did you see what she wore to Biden's inauguration? Killin it! #fashion goals. I could go on but I think it’s your turn. What areas of life do you struggle in most and who’s doing it well that you admire and can emulate? Think of yourself as Mary Shelley, and you’re creating the perfect Frankenstein.
To dive deeper into the discussion with Sam, check out episode #9, “Why Being Yourself is a Myth in Life and Business,” with Sam ovens on the Sam Ovens Podcast. Links to that and his social media, along with the 7 Levels Deep video are in the show notes below.
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