This week: Is this what I actually want to be doing?
This week, we have an interview episode with Wendy Perrotti, a Mid-Life Coach. She helps women in their 40s, 50s and 60s figure out how to pivot, change course and create a new professional and personal path for themselves.
Wendy helps us deal with our critical inner voice, provides us with practical actions to get clarity on what we want and don’t want in our lives, and how to explain what is on the other side of the fear that’s holding you back.
This week’s episode is entitled: “Tell Saul to Shut Up”
Content: reinvention, mid-life, inner voice, personal transformation
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Host Jamie: Hi, it's Jamie. This is If You Knew Me, a show where we share powerful stories from the inner lives of women, however they identify. These are first person stories about topics that women rarely share, even with their closest friends. About once a season, I put out an interview that I've done with an expert on a topic relevant to women's lives.
This week, it's an interview with a midlife coach, Wendy Perrotti. Wendy helps women reassess, reimagine, and reinvent themselves in midlife. Before we dive into this fantastic interview, I wanna take just a quick moment to thank our supporters on Patreon. Truly. Thank you guys so much for supporting the show.
We recently bought a new microphone with some of your monthly donations. It's actually the one that I'm using now. Patrons support our work of documenting women's stories and sharing them with the world. , they get perks and behind the scenes extras.
Plus the ability to suggest show guests. You can learn more and become a patron at patreon.com/ifyouknewme.
My guest, Wendy Perrotti is what's called a midlife coach. That is however you define your midlife, your forties, your fifties, basically whatever moment in life it is when you think, how the hell did I get here?
Is this all there is? What am I doing and is this actually what I wanna be doing? She helps with all of that and more.
In this episode, Wendy and I talk about how to deal with your inner voice, that little voice that criticizes you all the time for the things that you have and haven't done. We talk about really practical actions that you can take to get clarity on what you want and don't want in your life.
And she explains why so many of us get stuck around and into our thirties.
Wendy's episode is entitled, "Tell Saul to Shut Up".
So Wendy, you are reinvention coach. You coach people one on one. You do groups with people, you do masterminds. You've helped hundreds of very smart, ambitious women step into a better life, whatever that means to them. Um, and on a practical level, you help women think about what might be next for them and then help them take action.
And I know that you have lived all of this stuff yourself. So before we sort of get into the nitty gritty, You know how women can step into a better life and reinvent themselves, whatever that looks like for them. I wondered if you could talk about what happened in your own life that led you to this work, because you haven't been doing it forever.
Wendy: Right. I love this question because I think so many stories of reinvention come when. A person's lives are like burnt to the ground. Something truly horrible happens, or even in the scheme of things, moderately horrible happens, right? You lose a job.
That was your career and your passion forever. and so much reinvention comes from those really sort of desperate moments. I think not enough attention gets paid to how many people, women especially reinvent their lives from very small spaces, from a series of really small things that led up to something that felt really big and that was the case for me.
Right. I. I have a lovely life, you know, at, in my forties. I had everything I needed and a good deal of what I wanted, right? How beautiful is that to have, I had children and a husband and a lovely home and friends and um, I worked with my husband building his company and everything seemed on the outside to be exactly what I had planned. In fact, it was exactly what I had planned, exactly what I had planned, right?
only like there was this moment and there were lots of moments where I felt like hollow. An incomplete version of myself, like I was a support beam for everything around me rather than having my own purpose.
And those were like subtle feelings that happened over time. And then there was this watershed moment. we had this, colleague of my husband's for dinner, someone who was decades older than the two of us. Wildly love and respected, and I put on this beautiful dinner. I mean, I really went all out for him and I noticed in the conversation I had nothing to talk about, like I, unless we were gonna talk about what happened at the playground today, I didn't have anything to contribute to the conversation and
it was so devastating to me. and Paul went to drive him back to his hotel, and I remember standing at my kitchen sink washing the dishes, and I'm thinking, okay. You know that voice goes in your head, Wendy, what the hell? This is not who you were supposed to be.
What happened to you? Where are you? And I keep telling myself, it's okay. It's okay. Your husband loves you. It's okay. You chose to do this. It's okay. and then like, I got to this point where, it will be okay when Paul walks in and tells you, wow. Frank could not stop talking about what a, you know, awesome wife you are, awesome business partner, you know, blah, blah, blah.
And then right at that moment, of course, Paul walks in and what does he say? oh my God, Wendy, you cannot believe I heard a story about Frank's wife. Did you know she was a model in Belgium? And like my stomach dropped and she's got this interior design firm and she, and like I really felt like I was gonna throw up
And on my back is to him, I'm still washing the dishes.
I don't let him see any of this. And he was like, do you need any help? I shake my head, no. He goes to take a shower and I imploded. Like I completely imploded. And so that was a watershed moment for me of, I have lost myself. And when I tell this story, I think a lot of women can relate, and yet I think it's so important for people to hear that that moment did not change my life, right?
There were a lot of other moments after that and it was a long process of reinvention and transformation After that, like we don't turn on a dime.
Host Jamie: Yeah. And do you remember what you would label for yourself, your first step towards that better life or making something that you felt like was your own or helped you regain a sense of self?
Yeah, so I'm generally cautious about this, because reinvention and I will tell you, reinvention, any kind of growth is so personal and one size does not fit all.
Wendy: So what worked for me. Is not necessarily gonna work for you or her or anyone else. it's really important to sort of dial in to two things, the best of yourself, like your sweet spot and then that edge that you've been afraid of. So for me, the sweet spot 'always research'. So I just started reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading.
And the more that I read, the more that I came back alive. Right. I stopped reading about how to be a mom, , and I started just reading, self-help books. I read about coaching, I read about, a lot about neuroscience, why we are the way we are, how our physiology impacts our outcomes, and so I just read and read and red and then.
that's the easy part, right? That's where everyone gets stuck. When we, go into our sweet spot and we do the thing and it feels better. right? Eureka, The hard part is using whatever has come for you from that sweet spot. And for me, it was all of that exciting information and using it to push something against your own edge.
Wendy: And for me it was telling my husband I didn't wanna work at his company anymore. I was terrified to tell him I wanna go back to school. I want to get this certification, I want to start my own thing. I think I've got a passion for this. and you know, Paul, God bless him,
He was like, oh. That's fantastic. Start right now. You know? And then I was terrified to tell him, and it ended up being a nothing thing. But so those two pieces, like leaning into your sweet spot to sort of revitalize yourself and then pushing against the things that scare you, and that's the part that keeps going.
You have to keep pushing against that edge. That's where growth happens.
when you're talking about this, it's making me think about this tendency that people have, where they're more focused on what they're gonna lose from the, let's say, the old world, quote unquote, than focusing on what they might gain or imagining what they might gain from transitioning into something new, if that's a new job, or starting a new business.
Host Jamie: Getting out of a relationship or moving to a new city or a new country. can you talk about that tendency that we have where we look at the fear of loss versus excitement for the future?
Yeah. First of all, it's a hundred percent true, right?
Wendy: We really do do that and it's crazy, right? But we do, and there have been numerous studies. I think the most famous one is they give a bunch of college kids $5 and they measure their happiness level before and after. And then the same college kids, they took $5 away and they measured their happiness however before and after, and they found we really are much less happy When something gets taken away, then we are happy when we get a thing.
So it's true that loss is more painful than gain is joyous for. And it makes us naturally loss averse. Right? It's crazy. But this is the way that we are wired. And probably, um, and I haven't read any studies on this, but my guess is that this goes back to that caveman thing. We're being loss averse some way protected us.
But as is the case with all of those paper tigers that we're currently chasing, right? Fear wise, our physiology has not evolved as quickly as our society has evolved. And so everything is very different. It has a different impact on us than perhaps what it was designed to have. So we're loss averse. This thing that you, you mention is a hundred percent true.
and it does stop us. It's one of the things that stops us from leaning into that edge and the crazy thing. . It doesn't have to. I think that our experience is that when we make a change, there is loss. there's sacrifice to change. but here's the thing. So much of how we operate, happened under our radar. So much of what we do and how we behave is completely on autopilot. And so those losses are also on autopilot.
It doesn't mean that it's not real. However, it does mean that with intentionality you get to choose. So in some of the groups that we run, some of the programs that we run, we do this exercise. So many women bristle against this. I ask them, what do you love about your life right now? What do you hate about your life right now?
And half the room is like, I don't use that word, hate
Host Jamie: Right.
Wendy: But it's an important word because I really want you to dial into that thing that you would drop. Like it was a poisoned viper, if
You could, right? and what are the things that you tolerate?
And that's kind of a super important piece too, other than what we're talking about. And the reason for this exercise is one, once you realize, oh my God, I really despise these elements of my life, you can either drop them right now or you can start to make a plan for how you're gonna drop them or decide.
I really choose not to drop it because it's so aligned with my values. You know, this might be caring for an elderly parent, something that they really despise, but not dropping it. So you start to make a way that that choice feels less burdensome for you.
But an important piece is what do you love about your current life? Because once you recognize, I love these things. Whatever transformation you're making, now that you're working in intentionality and not under autopilot, you get to make the choice every step along the way. Am I gonna miss the baseball game because I'm taking this opportunity? Whether you say yes or no, it's up to you.
So you're not losing the thing by, it's not being stripped away from you. And once we're in that space of choice, that loss aversion sort of has much less impact on us.
Host Jamie: So give me, I'm trying to kind of think of a really, common or practical example of these autopilot things that you're talking about because I'm, I'm trying to. Help our listeners understand like, how does this show up in my life? What are you talking about, Wendy? What am I doing on autopilot that I can maybe bring into greater consciousness?
Wendy: yeah. So 40% of your life is occurring on autopilot. This is why we can walk and chew gum at the same time. It's why we learned to drive vehicles. It's why we're able to use these smartphones and this technology that completely befuddled me the first time I had one in my hand. Right?
it's that once you repeat something enough times, the brain says, okay, know how to do this, and I see it. and you're on autopilot,
Wendy: right? Those functions are just on autopilot, and it's not just the things that we practice and learn as skills that are on autopilot. Every thought you've repeated about yourself over and over again, that's on autopilot.
You're not intentionally having that thought any little trigger in your environment. Brings a negative emotion to you is automatically going to use as evidence. This negative thought that you've repeated, that's autopilot. One of, I think, the most powerful versions of autopilot that people don't understand are the way that it impacts communication in our relationships.
I don't think there's a person on the planet. Who doesn't have at least one person that they love, that they wish that they could communicate better with, but every time they start a conversation, no matter how good their intentions are, they end up in the exact same place over and over again. Right.
Can you relate to that? .
Host Jamie: Oh, yeah,
I can think of at least one
Wendy: I. Right. And we get so frustrated and you know, sometimes in parenting that happens, like our kids go through different stages of life and I just want to get this, I want this to be a better conversation. And boom, it ends up in the same place over and over, and usually happens with people that we work with every day, or people in our family that we're with, because that autopilot takes a lot of repetition.
And what's happening there is even though you have the intention, Of having a specific kind of conversation. Everything about your physiological response, your body language is giving cues to the person. Sitting across from you and theirs are giving cues to you that set off your default autopilot patterns of communication.
And as that happens, it sets off their autopilot. And the next thing, before either of you know, you're having the same conversation that you have every single time. Both so frustrated and you probably both go through cycles of blaming yourself and then blaming the other person for why that's happening.
And neither is at fault. It is all your physiology. And learning how to sort of hack that and step out of that, you break the pattern and when the pattern is broken, everything is possible again.
Host Jamie: That sounds scary and thrilling
Wendy: isn't everything that's thrilling also scary?
Host Jamie: I think so. I, wanna talk about how seems that so many women and men as well, but people arrive at a point in their lives, often in midlife,where they have a similar experience to what you were talking about earlier where it might have been subtle and quiet, but it's building, building, building.
And maybe they are doing these things on autopilot that you're talking about, and then they finally kind of say, wait I have to change something. Something isn't right here? And why do you think this happens to so many people in their middle-ish time of their life and feeling this need to transform or change what they're doing?
Wendy: Yeah. No one teaches us how to be intentional. Nowhere along the line of our cultures of, or at least in Western culture, No one teaches us how to be present or intentional. And so what happens is throughout our development, we take on the expectations of our culture.
We take on the expectations of our family of origin, we take on the expectations of our peer groups. We, and We all do our best to mix those in with what we like and don't like. And most of us create a, I always think about those first decades of adulthood as the build, right? We create a build, build a house, or build a family, or build a career or a combination of those things.
We create a build that is, what we believe is what we want because it's the best combination of who we believe we are. What we see as the expectations, as the choices that are in front of us. And those choices are so limited. And so for so many people, they complete the build. Okay, check, check, check, check, check.
I did exactly what I planned to do, and it feels hollow. It doesn't feel the way that I expected that it was going to feel. And it's at that moment that we say, oh shit.
Host Jamie: I did everything.
Wendy: I did what I was supposed to do. what do I do now?
and it's terrifying because we think we have to blow up everything or start from square one or that the doors are closed now because I'm too old or I'm too set in these ways or people. These things of me, and to shift it would be to blow up their world.
I mean, there's a lot to consider when you're in the middle of your life and you decide that you wanna make a change.
And you know, I wanna bring up something that's really important here, because not everyone wants to make a huge change, right? We're talking about those big reinventions it's so scary, but even small changes.
Can be really, really difficult because, and again, this is an aspect of our physiology, so I'll give you an example of, someone who decides they're gonna lose weight. I've gained a lot of weight, or I've always been heavy all of my life. This is it. I'm in, I'm gonna lose weight. So you have to transfer
A lot of the way you used to behave into a new weight pattern of behavior. In order to make that kind of change, it's not just about, okay, I'm just going to go on a diet. We know that doesn't work for people who lose weight and it stays off. It's because they've created a new way of being in life in multiple ways.
And sure enough, they start to change. and then something happens to the people around them. Even the people who are their biggest cheerleaders and supporters, the amygdalas inside those people no longer recognize you, and so that amygdala screams out. Unfamiliar. Unfamiliar. And whether they're consciously doing it, usually they're not.
Wendy: They will try and pull you back. into a more familiar version of yourself, because they need to feel less uncomfortable. Your newness makes them uncomfortable, and you're their person or one of their people, they wanna feel comfortable around you.
It's why anybody who's ever gone on a diet and lost weight, all of a sudden way before you're near a healthy goal, people will start telling you, you're too skinny. You're still 30 pounds heavier than most of the people around you, but you're too skinny because to them it's unfamiliar. So whether you're this reinvention that you're making is really relatively small and personal, or whether it's more wide reaching, I wanna change my career, and this might mean a different income.
It might mean a different schedule. It might mean different things to not just me, but the people around me. There's a component of not just the way that we socialize ourselves and with one another, but our physiology that impacts how scary and difficult it can be.
Host Jamie: Right. when someone shifts, so you're the person who loses weight and then. , it's not that other people aren't happy for you, but they suddenly have to sort of look at themselves in a new way, not necessarily about weight, but you have done something for yourself, and then it kind of like changes the dynamics of comfort. I don't know. if that is in line with what you're saying.
Wendy: it's absolutely related to this. It is a second reason why change is so difficult. This first one that I'm talking about, purely physiological. , most of the people who are trying to pull you back into this more recognizable version of yourself, especially if they're your cheerleaders.
That's coming from a place of complete physiology. Oh, this feels unfamiliar. I need it to feel more familiar. It's under the radar. It's not a conscious act. They try and pull you back in partially out of fear and partially out of, if you do that and I don't, or I haven't, what does that say about me? so what the heck are we supposed to do,
Host Jamie: do I say to myself, what do I do? Maybe this brings me actually to something I wanted to ask you about, which is if you could give three or four ideas for how we can start to support ourselves support ourselves in. and Whatever transition it might be there are so many, so I'll bring up the ones that come to mind first, and if it's leaving a hole, ask me and we'll fill in that hole with another one. How's that?
Wendy: So, I love journaling and I use journaling with my clients. Often, not everybody likes to journal and so, I always refer to it as noodling.
You can do it with a paper and pencil, you can do it with a voice recorder, you can do it on post-it notes. You can just do it in your own mind. But getting those thoughts clear. Giving yourself time to process those thoughts. You can have conversations with people. Generally, if you have a conversation with someone who's also reinventing, who's also feeling the way that you're feeling, it's much more productive than someone who's not in a state of transition or change. They're much more likely to try and pull you back. But journaling only gets you so far, and there are a couple of reasons for that. But for most people, that I worked with who are not regular, I journal every day journals, they pull out their journal when they're miserable and it becomes more of a vent, which is fine, useful, but it's not gonna move you to the next place.
So, First is the download of what's wrong, but then there needs to be something there that moves you forward so that there's a foundation for you to take action on. So I'll tell you this little exercise that I have virtually all of my clients do, and most of them think it's ridiculous initially.
It absolutely works, and I would encourage everybody to try it, and this is a way to have conversations with yourself that alter that autopilot of your negative voice.
Host Jamie: I'm all ears
Wendy: Everybody's got that negative voice and it's been telling you the same nasty stuff for decades, and sometimes it adds even like new nastier stuff in, and especially when you're trying to lean into something new, that negative voice gets so much louder, right?
Host Jamie: It really does.
Wendy: Okay, so the reason for that is this negative voice. Is not your enemy. Whenever I talk to people about it, the first thing that they say, let's put duct tape over its mouth. I'm gonna punch it in the nose. It needs to shut up, I'm yelling at mm-hmm. This negative voice is your own individual coping mechanism.
When you got your first smack downs in life and every SmackDown up till now, you create this voice to protect you. From what's painful, from feeling humiliated, from feeling ashamed, from feeling bad about yourself, and so the language of this negative voice, even though it sounds harmful and nasty, comes from a place of self-protection.
And in truth, it was useful. Like initially, it kind of taught us how to socialize and how to share and how to, some of the smack downs that we got were, because we didn't know how to socialize yet. And so some of those were useful. Lots of them weren't though. And those tend to be the loudest repeat patterns.
And so rather than fighting with this voice, step one is to recognize. It's your best friend. It is you protecting you from what you fear. Only it doesn't really serve anymore. It's not really useful anymore. And so what do you do about it?
Here comes the exercise. I challenge you all to make a physical manifestation of this voice in your head.
I made mine out of Sculpy. You can use a stuffed animal or some tchotchke that's in your house. You can cut a picture out of a magazine, you can draw it, paint it, but it needs to be tangible. Okay? And then you need to give it a name. Please do not name it after anybody that you know. It will not be useful. So I've got this Sculpy, little critter that is the color of my brain.
I use like brain colored Sculpy for him. He looks like a lizzard. his name is Saul, and he's ringing his hands, and if you saw him, you would just see he is terrified and worried because that was always Saul. Worrying, worrying, worrying, whispering, worry into my ear for decades and decades. Oh, no, you can't do that.
Don't do that, Wendy. Oh, no, no, no. You're too loud. You're too much. You talk too much. It's too much. It's too much. and all kinds of horrible, nasty things, right, that support that too much thing. Those were the negative voices in my head. So the first thing you do is you create this representation of the negative voice, and you name him, her, or it doesn't matter, and then you start having conversations.
Host Jamie: With the thing?
Wendy: With the thing, and everyone asks me, do you mean literally? And yes, they have to be out loud.
Host Jamie: So this is why people do not wanna do the exercise. Wendy?
Host Jamie: this right?
Why does It work?
Wendy: So it works for a couple of reasons. One, it works because if I ask you about that negative voice, You think you know exactly what it says and why it says it, and all of those.
But basically what comes out of your mouth will be filters. If I ask you what you're afraid of, you think, you know, if I ask you what you want, you think you know, but it's. Anybody who ever watched Harry Potter, when they'd pull the vapor out of their head and then put it in the reflecting pool, and now they could see what really happened.
All of those things in your mind are incomplete thoughts. They're like vapor, and when you pull them out in conversation, they become clear and real. So that's the first reason that it works.
The second reason that it works is this conversation that I want you to have with your Saul. With that critter that's in your head has a specific structure to it, and it's a simple structure, and once you've done it a couple of times, it will come naturally to you and this is how you change the inner autopilot.
The repetition of this structure changes the inner autopilot
Host Jamie: Okay. Can, we try this, you and me here?
So I can maybe get this?
bring this to life? so can I be Wendy? And you be Saul
and we, go
Wendy: like go back and so I
can see how this
happens. Um, it's better to do the opposite
Host Jamie: Okay.
Wendy: because I need to give you the structure.
Host Jamie: Okay. So I'm Saul?
the, creepy, voice
that is trying to
Wendy: right? And here's a perfect example. You're telling me that I cannot say yes to this television interview
Host Jamie: Okay.
Wendy: That's gonna be really good for my business because I'm too fat for television.
Host Jamie: Oh, okay. Okay, great. Okay. So do I
start or do you start?
Okay. Wendy, look,
you're not looking your best right now. This is not the best time to put yourself out into the world. Once you lose a little weight and you're looking great, then go for it. But until then, it's probably not a good idea.
Wendy: Okay, so first of all, I'm gonna stop this conversation right here because this is what happens with my clients. We filter it.
That is not the way our inner voices talk to ourselves. Our inner voices say you're fat. The people who don't know you're fat are gonna find out that you're fat. It's gross. You're disgusting. Our inner voices are cruel and they are unfiltered,
Host Jamie: Oh yeah, you're right.
They're not that nice.
Wendy: and they don't have that kind of language. Right.
Host Jamie: Okay. Wait, can
try to be Saul again?
Okay. Cuz now I think I got it.
Wendy: Yeah. Okay.
Host Jamie: Wendy,
you're so fat. You've gotten fatter by the.
Wendy: There you go.
here's where you just take that thought and now I'm gonna take Saul through a structure and you don't have to say anything else, Saul. So here's what happens. I say, Saul, dude, I get it. I know that you are terrified that I'm gonna go onto. Whatever news station. I won't say the station.
I'm, I'm gonna go onto that news station and people who haven't seen me in years are gonna say, oh, I always knew she'd be fat. I know that you think that I'm gonna humiliate myself. I know that you're trying to protect me from that.
Okay, so that's part one. I am telling Saul that I get it. That's part one.
I know you're just trying to protect me. Saul, here comes
But I want this. I want this, and it's okay. It's okay if those things happen. I want it anyway. I'm a big girl now. I've been embarrassed before. I've felt bad about myself before. It's okay, Saul. I want this. Anyway, that's part. Now I'm gonna tell Saul what I'm going to do.
So I'm gonna take that interview and I'm gonna feel really good about myself and I've worked so hard to get this opportunity, Saul, that I'm not gonna worry about anything except enjoying doing it. So see part three is, now I've told Saul exactly what I'm doing
And then part four,
I'm gonna give Saul another job. So you go and have a little rest. Dude, you're on vacation, everything's okay. So you can hear that. What I've done is I've had a conversation with myself that said, I hear you. I know that this is real And I know you're trying to protect me. I'm recognizing with compassion what's going on here, rather than just trying to slam it down.
The brain hates that retaliates makes all louder, and then I'm saying, but I want this anyway. I recognize the threat, but it's okay. I know it could happen, but that's okay. I want this anyway, and then I'm telling myself, and here's exactly what I'm going to. And then I give that inner voice a place to rest.
And the more that you have these conversations with yourself and you do it like through your own personality, like for me, Saul and I, all those conversations had a lot of humor. I would make him a little superhero cape. I made him a little fake lollipop. Here. Have a lolly. To me, it amused me and it lightened that whole conversation. And I did this several times a day.for probably a year But I'm a special case. Like really, I had a big negative voice. And then after that once a week and now Saul's up on my shelf.
I, I rarely talk to Saul. But it works because you're retraining your brain. You're telling it that you understand it, you know the risk. You're doing it anyway, why you're doing it, and okay, now let's just chill out and enjoy the ride.
Host Jamie: that is incredible and funny and
Wendy: weird and wonder
Host Jamie: I'm gonna do it.
Wendy: You know what? People are weird. Jamie, we pretend that we're not, cuz we're taught to put masks on. I run groups of women and these women, like some of them you may have even heard of them. These are women who like are impressive women. you're an impressive woman.
Lots of women listening are impressive women. Lots of women listening think that they're not, all I'm saying is underneath the mask, everybody is the same. All your weird stuff that you think that no one would be able to relate to, mm-hmm. , they will. We're all incredibly unique and yet in so many ways, we are all the same.
Host Jamie: I believe it and I know
Wendy: that it's,
Host Jamie: going to
Wendy: lot. I'm gonna to this,
Host Jamie: really like this exercise.
is there any other
exercise that you wanna note?
Wendy: I'm gonna give you two other things and they won't take as long as that one will. I know we're running up on time here.
the second one that I would say is really important is stop thinking about your life as a series of individual events that either succeed or fail and measuring yourself against them.
it's completely manufactured. You have one big long life. It is one big, long flow. It is not a series of events to measure yourself against. And so I recommend, and I work with all of my clients to teach them how to think about their life as a rolling experiment. Right? There is no such thing as good or bad.
There is no such thing as right or wrong. It's just. Does this serve or does this not serve? Was it useful or was it not useful? And so as you make choices in your life, think about it as an experiment. So that would be the second thing that I would recommend.
Life is a rolling experiment.
And the third thing is learn how to be in the present moment. We are big, big thinkers
Host Jamie: Overthinkers.
Wendy: Oh my gosh, right? Thinking about what happened five minutes ago or five years ago and worrying about it and running it through in our head over and over and over again.
It's okay to figure things out. It's okay to do a postmortem on something at the end of your experiment. Go ahead and look, but you only need to figure it out once, one time, not refigure it out, rethink it through over and over and over again. that's rumination and it keeps you tethered to the past.
The other thing that we do is in addition to our planning and list making and all of those things, once it's on the list, it's on the list. When that list item comes up, you do it in the moment, but what do we do? We're talking to our best friend or somebody that we really care about, and we're half listening to them and half thinking of the three things we need to do.
Host Jamie: I hate that.
Wendy: right? We're in the future then. So how much of our lives have everything that's real is in the present moment? Everything that is real is in this moment. How much of our lives have we completely missed because we were in the past or the future, which is merely a fabrication of our own
So learn how to get into the present moment.
There are a million exercises for mindfulness. I have a ton of them on my website.
'one stone' is one of them. Simple breathing technique. Anything that can bring you into the present moment will enrich your life exponentially
Host Jamie: Well, I will definitely be putting your website in the show notes so people can go there and, and check out more ideas for this, and supportive tools for reimagining their life.
as we close, I have a question, which is a very big, broad one. you work with, which is
on the other
side of fear?
Wendy: first of all, I'll go into the physiology, fear and excitement the same way in the body, right? So we can tell ourselves, Oh wait, I'm not afraid. I'm excited. And that actually works because your fear, that pain in your stomach, that the spit drying up in your mouth, you know, for me, my ears turn red.
butterflies. Feels the same as excitement, right? You're about to step on the stage and, be a public speaker. And you think you're terrified. And you are afraid. You're afraid of flopping, you're afraid of it not going well. You're also excited. And those things feel the same way in the body. So understanding, okay, this is, I'm excited.
Changing that fear into excitement is definitely one of the key things that comes on the other side, right? Learning how to turn fear into excitement is what's on the other side.
And then I would say novelty. our bodies and brains thrive on novelty. Now. Too much novelty shuts us down, right?
If I pull you unexpected out of a place where you're familiar and I put you into a place that's completely unfamiliar, you're gonna be totally overwhelmed and probably shut down. Right? But rolling novelty, which is what happens when we're always pushing a little bit against our edge. It makes us happier.
It makes us stronger. It makes us mentally stronger. It improves our, heart rate, our blood flow, our blood pressure. It improves your sleep. It improves your creativity. It increases your happiness. Just that little bit of edge of pushing toward novelty, the body, mind, spirit, all love it. And we thrive. . It's not that life is ever going to be hearts and roses.
That's not the human experience. And if it were all hearts and roses, it would get pretty boring pretty quickly, right? There are always going to be ups and downs, but knowing that our life is this one long flow, and that on the other side of every down comes in up and leaning into that edge so that we feel the novelty and the excitement. And are present enough in the moment that we experience it. Oh, it's juicy.
Host Jamie: So excitement
and jucyness await us?
Wendy: I think. So. They have, for me and every person I've ever worked with, so I think I could pretty much say yes.
Host Jamie: Wendy, it has been so wonderful to talk to you. I have learned so much and I have so enjoyed this conversation, and
inspiration, truly. Thank
Wendy: Sly, thank you. Thank you, Jaim. I had a really good time
Host Jamie: Thanks so much for listening to this week's episode. If you enjoyed this interview, take a moment and share it. Wendy Perotti is an executive coach for women who long for a more joyful existence and are ready for change. You can find a link to her personal website in the show notes.
We are on Instagram at If You Knew Me, dot Show and also on Facebook and LinkedIn. I'm on Instagram at Jamie underscore Yuenger. Those links are in the show notes as well. Last but not least, I want to thank our League of Women. At the end of 2022, we invited a select group of women leaders to help us expand and elevate this podcast with our time, talent, and resources.
Our league members include Fredda Herz Brown, Carrie Ahern, Christine Shook, Sister Monica Clare, Dawn Roode, Elizabeth Doerr, Kara Garner Pass, and Karen McNeil.
This podcast is produced by me, Jamie Yuenger, and my husband Piet Hurkmans. Thanks so much for listening to 'If You Knew Me'.
We'll be back with you next week.