Ep 280 Halfway – Reflections, Insights & New Beginnings

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This is a fun one – episode 280 and we take a moment to look back at the half way point.  I am sharing some reflections, insights and tools to help you do some of the most important – and often challenging – work in your life.

In this episode:

Midlife reflection and new beginnings. 0:00

Personal growth and societal expectations. 0:58

Self-love and self-doubt. 5:35

Self-credit and self-motivation. 7:27

Self-love, decision-making, and the power of choice. 10:46

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Episode Transcript (Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits)

You are listening to the Its Your Time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode I’m discussing being halfway there. Reflections, insights and new beginnings. Welcome to the Its Your Time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.

Hello, hello. Hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Friends. How are you doing today? Hey, listen, this podcast is a last of sorts. Now, not to worry. I’m not stopping it. But this is the last podcast I will be recording and sharing in my 40s. It’s so crazy, right. And it’s also so interesting because it happens to land on episode 280. And you know that every 10th episode, I typically like to share either a book or a mentor, some sort of insights that might be able to help you. And today, I am that mentor. Today, I am actually reflecting back and wanting to share a couple of ideas with you and concepts and tools. And as always hope they help you. But here’s something that is just so crazy. So this past weekend, we were going through some of my dad’s things, and I found a hard copy of a zinger Graham that he had as a gift back on his 50th birthday. And for I don’t even know if they still do zing a gram. So I guess for those of you who may not be familiar, back in the day, you would hire this company, and they would bring like a character in and they would take different things that were important to the person that was getting this zing a gram and put it to a song and then basically just embarrassed the person. But I remember thinking that that was so old back then 50. Guess what, these days 50 Doesn’t seem so old in my mind, especially since it is just around the corner. So like I said, I want to reflect back on some lessons that I’ve learned in the first half of my life. And yes, I do still think that I have another half. So there’s going to be more beginnings and more for me to share with you, I will assure you of that. But as you know, I am often saying that I share these things with you and hopes that you learn and implement faster than I have. And honestly, I’ve worked on preparing this episode a couple of different times, thinking that I needed to have it all organized and structured, but it just wasn’t flowing. So you are going to get get it just as it comes from a which actually might be a great place to start. You get to do you in a way that works for you. You know, let me just pause quickly, because whenever I’m coaching clients, I usually say how we do one thing is how we do most things. So if you’ve been doing this work, maybe even as simple as journaling, for example, you might notice patterns that come up things that maybe you think trigger you or things that you just seem to think are a drag for you. And sometimes these patterns stem from tightly, tightly, tightly held beliefs, maybe even belief systems that we took on from some other person’s truths. And those other people might be family members or friends society. But here’s the thing, you don’t have to continue believing all of them. If they are not useful for you, you can let them go. So as I started thinking that there is a quote unquote, right way to do this episode, or how I quote unquote, shouldn’t do it, I recognize that that is in fact a deep, deep, deep seated pattern in my life. Quick sidenote, we should all stop shitting on ourselves, right? It is not super useful. But I will say, I often think that I am doing it wrong. And by it, oftentimes, I mean life. So I think back to my 30s, for example, oh, I remember turning 30 I was dreading it and dreading most like with a capital D. In fact, it might have been in all caps dreading, right? Here’s why. I was 30 I was not even engaged. I obviously didn’t have kids. And society tells us women that we should be like married by then. Right. In fact, I just heard this this week. And the or, and I know times have changed since I was 30. But it is still around. Someone was asking the physician’s assistant if she was married yet, as if that’s what defines us or makes us successful? Sure if that’s what you want in life, but the question is, is that what you really want? Or is it what you think you should be doing? There is a big difference. And then of course, after you get married, what is the next question? When are you having kids? Well, here again, I didn’t quite fall into that mold. And for many years I’ve talked about here before right? I did therapy and or coaching over not being a mom because I will tell you, there is a lot that can be tied up emotionally and having or not having Kids, again, if this is something that you are working through, I see you I get it. And becoming a mom or not, does not equate to our worthiness. One is not better than the other people will say things like, Oh, you don’t have kids? And often my answer has always been well, I do have a dog. And I am pretty happy that that dog will not turn into a resentful teenager when I tried to joke about it. But honestly, for years, I mean, I will say even within like the last seven years, I was still being coached on this. Finally, my coach just said, Michelle, when are you going to stop apologizing for your life? And that kind of landed? So think about that for you? Where are you apologizing in your life? Think about as I just reflect back on the first kind of summary or reflection. Another part that comes up for me is just knowing that you don’t have to please all of the external folks. And sometimes that includes family, because people who love you, they want the best for you, right? But at the end of the day, you are your own unique self. And we’re often taught growing up right that we must get the good grades, and we want to have parental approval and teacher approval. But at the end of the day, what you need most is your own approval. And I will add one more point to this. I don’t believe that sentence like You complete me when we’re going back to the whole idea of being married or whatever the relationship might look like for you. Because I do think a partner is great. But I like to think that we both come to the table hole, and then we grow together. First, you need to love yourself. And that my friends, is sometimes a tall tall order. Okay, next up the not enough pattern. Oh, I see this in so many of my clients over the years. I know I’ve probably talked to you at some point, or maybe touched on a nerve and I still work on this myself, right? It can look like a number of things. I’m not smart enough, I’m not doing enough. I’m not rich enough. I’m not doing enough. And we think we’re just reporting the facts. You need to question what you were thinking, I want you to think about how you feel when you’re saying nice things to yourself better yet. Think back to your younger self, or someone that you truly like, really, really love. Would you ever tell them all the not enough so that they are that you tell yourself? Pretty sure that’s a negative. And yet, we think it’s truth when we talk about it around ourselves, you have to be intentional with how you speak to yourself. You have to build new neural pathways in order to get new results. And let’s engage in some neuroplasticity here, right? It’s kind of fun that might look like at the end of the day, first, catching when you’re telling yourself all the things that you didn’t get done. And then on purpose, making a list of all the things that you did do, you have to show your brain where you did the work. And remember, our brains like to find evidence for what we believe to be true. So it is going to find all the things left on your to do list when you’re starting the conversation and a scarcity mindset of not enough. The uncomfortable part is often taking the time to give yourself credit, the uncomfortable doing it getting through it is where you find your growth in life. Remember, our brains are designed on a motivational triad to avoid pain, seek pleasure and be as efficient as possible. So if you’ve been thinking the not enough story for a long time, which many of us have, it is very comfortable to continue telling it. It’s crazy, right? It’s comfortable to make ourselves feel like crap. And it’s efficient. It’s an easy go to story that we’ve been telling long enough, right? And if it is then telling yourself that you’re doing a great job. That can be a challenge. It says if we think oh no, if I give myself too much credit, I won’t push as hard. I won’t be successful. Give it a whirl. Try to build a habit around giving yourself some credit. And it doesn’t have to be long. Take two to five minutes and remind yourself every single day. Maybe it’s at the end of the day, remind yourself everything that you did get done. For me, I sometimes actually start this habit in the morning to kind of reflect back on how much I did the day before. So I am going into my next day with a new energy because you will feel way more powerful heading into that day. When you remind yourself of all of the great things that you’re doing. And I may even add, not only will you feel better, but maybe even a little bit less anxious, and likely that empowered feeling will beget more empowered actions. Okay. So, so far, love yourself and be your own cheerleader. Some may say soft skills, and yet it is some of the hardest work that we do. Okay. You know what comes to mind when I think of doing hard things or things being hard? It is really hard to change someone. And trust me, trust me, trust me when I tell you, if I figure it out, I will have a special bonus podcast episode released on the day that I figure it out. And I will likely become uber rich sharing the tools that could accomplish that. But we can’t. So for now, I will say this, allow people to be who they are for your own benefit. And is it Oprah who also says believe them when they show you who they are the first time, I hear a lot of folks talking about how this person made me feel mad, or this person makes me feel shameful. And if only they would change, I would feel better. Do not give them that much power. They have actions, we have thoughts about the actions. And then the way we are thinking about them is what causes our feelings. And you might want to feel mad, but own that you always have the opportunity to be intentional with your reaction to them, that my friend is a superpower. You, of course, might have an initial reaction, but check it is it useful to you where you are in your life on any given day, for you to have that thought if is amazing. But if it causes pain, then you have some decisions to make, right? And speaking of decisions, this is one that I often get, because people want to know if they’re making the right decision, right? So when you’re thinking about what’s going on with this other person, and you have the thoughts that go back and forth in your mind, and this could even be you know, what if you’re looking at a promotion, or a new job or a move, whatever it is, where you think there is a quote unquote, right decision, I want to ask you this, who decides that it is a right or wrong decision? The answer is you, you get to decide if it is the right or wrong decision. Maybe the results might not turn out the way you expected it to or wanted it to. But guess what, you get to tell that story, you can decide that it was a great learning experience, and then move on. Or you can tell the story about how you failed and how you can never seem to figure it out. Again, you get to choose. And you know what else, you also have the option to decide in advance about how things are going to go. Remember, we talked about how your brain wants to find evidence for what you believe to be true. So if you decide in advance that let’s say your vacation is going to be amazing. Most likely, you will find all the amazing parts. Now, if you think that vacation is going to be crazy and overwhelming because you have the kids and the family members or whatever it is for you. Guess what? Again, you will find more evidence for that to be true. Here’s another example right? Think about when you’re going to meet somebody, and let’s say it’s a new coworker, and someone has told you how amazing she is, you know, you normally end up driving with her right? If, however, a trusted friend told you how terrible she was, and how she was caught cheating on a boyfriend or whatever the story is, right? You know, I’m not lying here, you most likely will find the reasons not to like her. So it’s important to recognize that you have choices, you make decisions, and then you get to choose if those decisions or are good or bad. Okay, so we’ve had a bit on self love. We’ve had a bit on positive speaking to yourself a bit on the importance of decisions in your life and a lot about the power of choice, right? If there is nothing else that you take from this episode, if this is the one thing I want you to take away the fact that you have the choice to decide what you want in life, and get working on it in a way that works for you. And I am going to sporadically be dropping podcasts where we’re looking at insights or maybe new chapters, new beginnings. This is the fun part, my friends, you get to write the story, write it in a way that works for you. Next week, I will be back here. I will be starting a new decade older. I’m sure I’ll have much more wisdom, right. But I know one thing that is definitely going to be consistent. I will come next week with so much gratitude as I do today. For you being here and I hope that you find this helpful. You know that you can always reach out to be on the socials at MichelleBourquecoaching Alright friends, that’s what I have for you this week. Let’s be back next week but for now, make it a great day. Take care Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to Michellebourquecoaching.com and click on get started

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