“Sometimes I contradict myself and I’m like, ya know what? Don’t judge yourself. Yes, sometimes I’m a big ball of mush and I wanna be super squishy. And other times I’m gonna flex my muscles and my veins are gonna pop and ya better not challenge me. And yes, I can have the beauty of both.” That little gem is from an interview with Lisa Bilyeu and Jenna Kutcher from the podcast, The Goal Digger. And it’s part of a much larger conversation where Lisa talks about her journey of overcoming her own self judgement, the fear she felt while going after her goals, what she did to challenge lifelong limiting beliefs and create a new self narrative and how she became her own hero, by supporting other women to be theirs.
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Ever stare back at your reflection in the mirror and think...Holy. Hell. “Did I literally just spend the last 40 years of my life as a domesticated farm animal? Okay, I know what you’re thinking. But no, it’s not because I’ve essentially milked three kids with what could have, at the time, been considered a pair of utters. And while I can appreciate how you might make the connection between said farm animal and dairy cow, that’s not exactly where I was going with this.
What I mean is, you know, milling about, like a creature of comfort reacting to whatever life brings. Meandering your way through the world trying oh so hard to please, waiting to be told what to do, how to act and who to be. Listening to the well meaning and not so well meaning, members of authority. For fear of doing something wrong and being judged a little too harshly. Just now realizing I need to spend the next 40, reconditioning that conditioning right outta me.
And where is the manual for this so-called midlife mania you ask. The one that tells you what to expect when you’re expecting to hit that highway to hell halfway mark. The one we could use to help us navigate what, in my mind at least, feels a lot like that Aladdin song, A Whole New World. Where we are smack dab in the middle of a new reality, seeing ourselves after the millionth time, for the first time. Because intentionally or not, we’ve chosen the red pill over the blue. And like Neo, played by the handsome and beautiful Keanu Reeves, we’ve been booted from the Matrix. Unfortunately, it wasn't with him by our side...sigh. But for better or worse, we’ve awakened the giant within and we’re no longer the walking dead with our eyes wide shut.
Again, I ask, where is the book for my so-called secret life after 40, when shit starts to hit the fan? Did I just miss it on my Amazon recommended reading list? Honestly, did you know there’s even a book for trees? Yeah, trees. It’s called The Hidden Life of Trees”. We have discovered that trees have this secret, underground world of connection and communication. We know this for certain. It’s been researched. It’s been written about. So now, apparently trees seem to have more information about themselves than we do, during this major life transition. Nothing against trees by the way. I’m a big fan. So, maybe I should just leaf them alone. Okay, sorry, really bad. But how many times have we all heard the cliche midlife crisis that guys go through? We see it in movies and hear about it in songs for all to enjoy and be entertained by, at their own expense. Yet I have never heard anything remotely close to what women go through during this same time. I didn’t even know it was a thing until I knew it was a thing because I was going through that thing.
Nope, nothing about the shit show going on behind the mask. It’s probably just all in our heads... right? We’re just a big ‘ol mess, depressed, stressed and unexpressed. Empty shells of our former selves. A normal thing “at this advanced stage of age”. Yeah, I’m gonna call bullshit on that. Because that ain’t it! It’s us, it’s me. At a crossroads, and the mercy of my ever changing body. New and overwhelming freedom from what used to be the time constraints of a young family. Rethinking my relationships and past decisions that no longer seem to serve me. While living with the uncertainty of what’s in store that I have yet to see. Along with the sometimes irrational fear of invisibility.
So where is that book, that person, who will keep us connected, give us hope and tell us, “you know, you’re gonna be okay”. That lets us know we are not alone. And everything we’re thinking, feeling and experiencing is a normal part of living outside our comfort zone. Who have answers to life’s most burning questions...where will I be in 20 years, when is my perfect partner going to show up and when am I going to hit the lottery? Oh, wait, no, that’s not right. Nevermind, I’m thinking of a fortune teller. Although that could work too if you really believe in what they tell you.
Again, I know what you’re thinking..Huh, I’m starting to wonder if I’m not some kind of mind reader here. Because this is just getting plain scary. But if you’ve listened to any of the previous episodes (and if you haven’t then what are you even doing) you know how I feel about looking outside yourself to find answers. I’m against it...for the most part. but this is what Lisa Bilyeu, the speaker in today’s upcoming clip with Goaldigger host, Jenna Kutcher would call, a contradiction. The contradiction between having all we need inside to change, grow and face what comes our way along with the need to have some guidance from those who’ve come before. Who have been to the other side and back again. Willing to share their knowledge, wisdom and know how so we can prepare for what’s ahead and mitigate the inevitable pitfalls that lay ahead.
And we used to have access to these people. We called them elders and they were a big part of a cultural tradition passed down for generations, kind of like a survival guide for life. But most of us have very little if any access to someone like that, so we look elsewhere. To our favorite media personalities, self proclaimed gurus, politicians, late night talk show hosts, Kim and Kanye...you get the picture. We outsource our genuine need for nurture and guidance to people who have the loudest voice and the biggest platform. But not necessarily the best intentions.
So what’s a girl to do you might ask? Play around. Experiment. Try a few people on for size. See who fits. Use your best judgement, do your research and if it’s not working, they aren’t working, Kick ‘em to the curb, this isn't a marriage arrangement It’s not forever. Make sure they are walking their talk and not just giving lip service sharing what it is they think you should do but not actually doing it themselves. The beauty of the internet is there are so many options to choose from. So many great people who are putting themselves out there for the right reason. To help and support those who want to help and support themselves. It’s one of the reasons I share other people’s podcasts. So you can dig in and decide where or who to dive deeper with. And who resonates depending on where you are in life. It’s like a diet. They all work for some people some of the time but not all people, all of the time.
And it’s also why I love Lisa as well as her podcast, Women of Impact. She’s completely open and vulnerable, funny and gives a wide variety of perspectives while still sharing her own. She’s driven, smart and uber talented as an artist, so yeah, obviously I hate her. And there you have it, another contradiction. And like Lisa, I’m okay with that. Because honestly, we are all walking contradictions. So In her words, no judgement girl.
To hear more of the conversation between Lisa and Jenna, check out the Goal Digger podcast episode, “A Lesson in Unapologetic Decisions for Empowered Women.” Links to that and both their social media are in the show notes below.
And check out my newsletter to get a sneak peek into more of my own journey on how I’m fumbling my way through my 40’s and beyond. As always...
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