The High Esteem Podcast

My "F*ck This Sh*t" Moment

December 01, 2020 Sarah Erwin: High Esteem Coaching Season 1 Episode 1
The High Esteem Podcast
My "F*ck This Sh*t" Moment
Show Notes Transcript

Have you had one of those moments where it suddenly became crystal clear that you belong somewhere else?

Where you were so damn sick of feeling like you didn’t fit the mold, that you decided to re-create it and redefine life on your own terms?

I have!  Many times, over and over and over again.

Join me for a real, raw, and vulnerable story of how I learned to say "f*ck this sh*t" to what no longer served me, and thrive authentically as myself, and to learn how you can do so too.


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Hello, everyone. Welcome to the High Esteem podcast!


 I am so excited to have you all here today and to be really candid in a podcast about confidence and self-esteem. Let's keep it real. The fear still always exists when we're trying new things so I have recorded this intro multiple times. I may have lost my voice already slightly, and it's taken me a few weeks to get to the point where I'm recording episode one, even after I submitted my intro episode to iTunes, so let's just keep it real. That fear is really part of it when we're building our confidence and when we're doing big things and I never, as a confidence coach, as a human, as I never want to give you all the impression that I have the answer to living so confidently, forever, that you were never scared of doing anything.


Let's be real here. Things are scary, but it's how we deal with that fear and how we continue to approach it, our relationship with it, how we push through it and past it and move with it and lean into the good part of that fear and that excitement so that it doesn't debilitate us. That is important and I think on this podcast, starting out for episode one, I think I need to get candid about my own journey. Why am I a confidence coach? Why did I start High Esteem coaching? Why did I start the High Esteem podcast? And really that goes back to where to start right when we talk about our own journeys, because it really is just our own lives and experiences. And we don't really think of it as much at a certain point. It's just what we've always been used to.


But I used to be someone with quite low self-esteem and quite low confidence. I struggled very, very heavily with anxiety which I still do struggle with the manage very, very well. And I'll get into a little bit more about that later because I am completely transparent about my own mental health journey too, but I really did not think that I could accomplish things. And I was completely riddled by this strong belief that I was always going to live this mediocre life. And at some point it was because didn't think I was smart enough. And I didn't think that I was special or had the strengths that I needed or could accomplish anything big. And then later on, it wasn't even that anymore. It was almost this fear of the fear if that resonates with you. I was so caught up in that cycle of self-doubt and anxiety that I knew if I didn't do anything about it, I would be trapped.


And I remember saying that to a therapist in her office and if you think is really transparent that I've said that I honestly think everyone should be in therapy. It literally changed my life. It helped me develop so much resilience and really figure out who I am and what my patterns were. But that first step into that office was hard. And I don't remember how that session started, but I remember I broke down when I started to tell my biggest and saddest truth, which was, I'm scared if I don't do anything about this now this is all I'm ever going to be, and that's not acceptable to me. And I'm almost choking up talking about it now, because that ambition was so strong, even then. I wanted to be so much and I think on some level, I started to realize through the feedback of others and a few really core people who believed in me that I could be more and that I wanted more, but I had no idea how to push past my own mental blockers and that's why I'm here.


I think my integral point to getting to where I am now and where that is, is someone who runs her own business as a confidence coach. I'm also a social worker in my day job; I am in a healthy relationship. I am constantly pushing myself on a daily basis to try new things like start a podcast, someone who five years ago would have literally laughed in your face if someone told me that I would be here doing this. I had such limiting beliefs about what I could do and I pushed through it but my main turning point is what I call my fuck this shit moment. And I want to talk to you about those. And I want to ask you all, if you have ever had that moment. One of those moments, it could be with anything. It could be in a relationship.


It could have been in a job. It could have just been in life in general, where you knew you were going to make that change, or with a circle of friends where you really didn't fit in and were conforming and conforming and conforming until you said no at a certain point, that just wasn't going to work for you anymore. But I want you to think of that. Do you have any of those moments in your memory where you suddenly became so crystal clear that you belonged somewhere else, that all of that trying to be someone you're not just wasn't worth it and more instead, you finally made that choice to go your own way and live your life as you. So I'm going to start by telling you about mine, my fuck this shit moment. The one that is clearest in my mind in terms of getting to where I am today.


And at this point I was just so sick of feeling like I didn't fit the mold. And I really felt like I needed to start living life for me. I don't even know that up until that point, I realized that I wasn't doing so, but it became very clear to me in that moment. And also, I was at a job that I thought was going to turn into a career job. I had struggled to find that job out of school. I had been so excited to get the job. I really thought that I wanted to be there and you guys, when I got that job, I was going to make it work. I was so determined to push through every ounce of anxiety that I had to become what I needed to be in that role, that I was blinding myself to everything that was wrong in that position.


And I want to be real with you all that. I was not right for that position. I wasn't particularly good at it. In fact, I was probably a really bad fit for it, but there was also a lot of really unacceptable stuff going on and I should have known right from the get go, because my role wasn't defined when I got there. And when I was asking question, I was the question, so I was being barked at. The things that the people I love in this world and the people who mattered to me most and supported me most loved about me were not appreciated. There, there was no room for me to be myself in that office. And so every day I felt like I was trying harder and harder to fit the mold that they wanted me to fit. But that meant that I wasn't asking the questions that I needed answered as much.


And I wasn't performing because I wasn't able to find a way to get what I needed while being myself. That or I was almost overcompensating and like joking about what I consider to be my flaws so that they wouldn't be able to get there first. I don't know if that resonates with anyone, but it's a deeply painful thing because we convince ourselves that it's a joke and that it's funny and that we're just playing at these things we've accepted ourselves, but really what we're doing is making digs at ourselves in order to make sure that someone doesn't hurt us more because we already know. And for me, this had a lot to do with what was undiagnosed ADHD, to be honest, so little things that made me a little bit more scattered or create a differences in the way that I learned.


And I was just so deeply ashamed of those things that I made fun of them with everyone else. And at the end of the day that didn't get me any further and I still ended up leaving that job. It was the best thing that ever happened to me that day that I got fired actually from that role. And it's a very vulnerable thing to talk about. And we don't talk a lot in our culture of bout getting fired. And to be honest, I'm hesitating even now, I'm still, as I've said, it I'm like, Oh shoot should I because in our inner world, we think of getting fired as a major failure when really it was also a failure on so many levels. It was a failure of myself to be true to myself in that moment, by putting up with how I was being treated in that office, it was a failure in the organization's hiring practices because I clearly wasn't the right fit and accepting someone into a role when they're not meant for it.


And then making them feel like the entire time for not being what you want is not okay. That's like being in a bad relationship where you don't love the person, but you constantly fault them for not being what you want to be. That is not okay. People have to be who they are and be accepted as who they are. And if that person isn't right for you or isn't a right fit for the role, or isn't the right fit as a friend, let them go on and find the right friends for them. So I lost that job and I had a good half an hour cry in the Uber to my best friend on the phone. And then I went home and what felt really, really low. And then the next day I went, fuck it.


I have nothing else to lose. I have nothing else to lose. I'm going to go do what I wanted to do anyway. I am applying for my master's degree. I'm going back to school to get my MSW in social work. I'm going to do it because I've tried to do this the other way. I've tried to pretend that I can fit into the structure that exists within these jobs that are currently available to me and I don't, but I also really don't want to. It was so toxic in that role. People treated each other awful and they were overworked and they yelled at each other and they didn't hear each other. And they shame people for not having, not seeing things a certain way or not doing things a certain way. And I just was like, you know what? - I'm doing this differently this time.


So up until that point, I was a person who didn't believe that I could get a master's degree. It seems ridiculous now and very silly but I really thought that I wasn't smart enough guys. And I am someone now who is very proud of where I am in my career. And I know I'm good at what I do, and I am confident and I know I'm intelligent and intelligence is such an important value to me. And I really just thought that I fell short, and I thought if I went back and if I failed, then that would be the ultimate defeat. It would be the ultimate loss. I would know for sure that I was right and that I was too dumb to be there and that would break my heart. But in that moment, I knew that if I didn't try, then I would never push past my barriers.


And I recognize something deeply wrong with our world and that is that okay, people don't allow you to be you. And we can't find our strengths and we can't thrive because we are not allowed to be ourselves and who I was at my very core was a mental health worker and a coach, and someone who cares about society and cares about the world and wants to know human beings on a deep and vulnerable level, even the parts that they don't like about themselves, even the parts that we don't like and accepted as part of human nature; human nature that we all have to work on every day. I'm not saying just go around being however you want and treat people awful. But I'm saying that if we deny the deepest parts of ourselves, if we deny our weaknesses, we're also losing sight of our strengths because my compassion and my sensitivity and my softness also leads to the intuition that makes me incredible at working with other people.


And I might be slightly scatter-brained because I have an attention deficit disorder, but when I'm engaged with human beings, when I'm engaged in conversation about what really matters that doesn't matter. And what I'm acknowledging that and treating it rather than denying it, I am excelling and I own my strengths. And I, after that point, actually not only went to that therapist and got a referral actually that led to an ADHD diagnosis and I was also, at that point, I fully owned who I was. And I learned not only how to own my strengths, but how to learn the way I want to and stop trying to learn the way other people told me to. How to start studying the way I wanted to, how to start recognizing what didn't work for me that worked for other people and how that was okay.


It was like that diagnosis gave me permission and that loss of a job gave me permission to be like, okay, I've tried and it doesn't work. And it sucks and no one's happy. They're not happy. I'm not happy. Why am I doing this? Why am I hurting myself? And so with that, I went back to school and this time was so much different than the other times, everyone. I can't even explain how good it felt to learn my way. I was starting to zone out when I was reading a book and I would look up the concept and I would watch videos on it because I would acknowledge, okay, this isn't a fault in me. This is the way my attention works and because of that, I'm going to learn a way that works for me. And I would do great on the assignments because I recognize what was important to me, what lessons were important to me, what information could be accessed elsewhere.


And I found a way to make it work with my own strengths and my own weaknesses and it was a game changer. I not only excelled in the program, I was learned to be so much more confident. I was developing in the areas that were important to me. I was becoming a completely different person because I had given up on shaming away those parts of myself and stifling them. And that's just one example, but it is, that was the turning point for me career. I went back to school. I got my degree after that, once I was in the right place, once I was in the right job, everything started to fall into place, everything. And then I started finding new parts of myself, opening up like, okay, I could do this. And I thought I never could, so what was the thing about me not being a business person?


I used to tell myself, and I started to realize I had all these business ideas and I had all these ideas for her leadership and how we can lead other people with in a way that was compassionate and in a way that supported them. And I figured out that I really wanted to do that. I really wanted to start something of my own and have not only a creative idea, but my own way of letting other people go through what I had gone through. And so eventually last year actually High Esteem coaching was born. And I haven't looked back since, and I can't tell you how much of a relief it is to be able to say that I don't recognize the person that I was five years ago. I don't recognize her and trust me guys, I have seen a lot of misery by people who fit the mold with people who are exactly what these workplaces and what these social ideals tell us we're supposed to be.


I have seen a lot of misery and what does that tell you? Why are we striving towards that? And I just want to say as well, that even when we've overcome, I can say now with full honesty, that anxiety doesn't rule my day, that self-doubt doesn't overcome me, that I am a confident person that I am pushing through, but I still have self-doubt and I still struggle with confidence and I still have a predisposition to anxiety, and I still have ADHD, but I own those things. And they make them work for me and I develop systems that work for me instead of denying them and I know what to look out for. I know what my warning signs are and how to recognize, Oh, wait, that's creeping up again. What is going on for me here?


Or, oh my gosh, I'm getting overwhelmed and I am finding myself quicker to emotion. I think my anxiety is acting up. Let's step, step in and do some self-care before this gets bad. I can be a person who is a business owner and who has a good career and who coaches people on confidence and still be imperfect because I am human and so are you and so we're not going for either or here, but what we are going for is honest and real and resilience and the courage to overcome and to overcome as you, so that you're striving for your own goals. What do you want? What is that thing that is different about you that you're constantly feeling inadequate for? Because I want you to start to own that and admit that to yourself so that you can work with it, strengths or weaknesses, because I will tell you that within your weaknesses, there will also be strengths and vice versa.


You might have something that makes life a lot more difficult for you, but owning that, owning that story might help someone else or might make you stand out. And there might be certain things that make it more difficult for you within that, that we could call weaknesses, quote on quote. But that really are just things to work with. There are aspects of your personality that other people have labelled as weaknesses. That really don't have to be why is it such a weakness that I have a slightly shorter attention span, or I need to write things out in order to remember them or that I do better when I am exercising before work, because it helps me concentrate or that I don't do as good in data entry, as I do in engaged roles where I'm interacting with other humans, those are just parts of my personality, really, when you think of them, but our society somewhere along the line told me that attention is something that is valued and you should be detail oriented and you shouldn't miss things and you shouldn't make errors or else you are careless.


And I heard that over and over a careless mistake, careless mistakes when I had edited and edited and edited, but they weren't seeing the creativity in my story. They were seeing a slight mistake and if I had a system for that, a system for how to check, or if other people worked with me, I could have excelled. And if I hadn't been so focused on those careless mistakes, who know what kind of stories I would have written as a kid, and I stifled that creativity to try to be something else. And let me tell you that don’t really get us anywhere, but misery. So with that, I'm going to close off for today. I'm feeling a little bit vulnerable and nervous about getting this out there in the world. And I want to be clear. I'm not trying to knock any particular employers of mine or jobs.


This is a journey for me, and this was my own self discovery process. And I am so grateful that I had my fuck this shit moment when I did. So I love to hear about yours. Send me an email, [email protected] I want to hear all about your fuck this shit moment and how it led to your transformation. And if you haven't had it yet, start to look out for it. Start to think of what your limits are, what you want to stand for in this world and what you don't. And trust me, the more you start to own that, the more you start to get clear on your values, the better idea you will have of what you will, and you won't put up with. So look out for that fuck that shit moment. I hope you find it soon and get on the path you want to be on. All right, thanks guys.

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