The Broken to Brave Podcast

Lessons and Realizations on my Healing Journey

February 06, 2024 Dr. Stephanie Lopez Episode 37
Lessons and Realizations on my Healing Journey
The Broken to Brave Podcast
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The Broken to Brave Podcast
Lessons and Realizations on my Healing Journey
Feb 06, 2024 Episode 37
Dr. Stephanie Lopez

Embark with me on a journey where we unravel the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the small, powerful steps toward self-acceptance. Discover the transformative power of embracing your authentic self, and how this can armor you against the sting of criticism. Through stories of personal growth, I share how changing the narrative in our heads can lead to a deeper connection with our own spirit and improve our interactions with others.

In this episode, I reflect on moments of vulnerability and how they've informed my shift from a self-doubt-laden existence to a life brimming with self-love. Through playful energy and self-awareness, I discuss the significant impact of inner work on our daily lives, and how it can positively reshape the texture of our relationships.

In this episode, you'll learn the following:
1. Why practicing self-acceptance is important to build confidence and make positive life changes.
2. The importance of navigating and addressing insecurities to foster emotional well-being.
3. How to reconnect with your intuition to understand your true desires and goals.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark with me on a journey where we unravel the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the small, powerful steps toward self-acceptance. Discover the transformative power of embracing your authentic self, and how this can armor you against the sting of criticism. Through stories of personal growth, I share how changing the narrative in our heads can lead to a deeper connection with our own spirit and improve our interactions with others.

In this episode, I reflect on moments of vulnerability and how they've informed my shift from a self-doubt-laden existence to a life brimming with self-love. Through playful energy and self-awareness, I discuss the significant impact of inner work on our daily lives, and how it can positively reshape the texture of our relationships.

In this episode, you'll learn the following:
1. Why practicing self-acceptance is important to build confidence and make positive life changes.
2. The importance of navigating and addressing insecurities to foster emotional well-being.
3. How to reconnect with your intuition to understand your true desires and goals.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Dr Steph and I'm here to guide you on your journey to healing from a difficult relationship with your mother, whether she was narcissistic, emotionally immature or just plain toxic. I want you to know that you are in fact, not broken and you do not have to suffer from anxiety or explosive emotional reactions like lashing out. You can break the cycle. You are a strong, capable woman who can handle any challenge that comes your way, and I'm going to show you how to have the ultimate control over your reactions so that you are unstoppable. Welcome to the Broken to Brave podcast. Welcome back.

Speaker 1:

I hope your week is off to a fantastic start. I wanted to give a random update from me, so I stopped drinking coffee November 6th. I went back and looked at the exact date and you probably heard me talk about it in a few episodes in November and why I stopped. Well, now it's been more than 12 weeks and I haven't had a sip of coffee not a sip, and that feels like a huge win. Honestly, my husband has been so surprised because I used to get coffee every single day, for it had been years, to be completely honest. So I just wanted to share that update with you and then use it as a teaching opportunity.

Speaker 1:

I hope that you celebrate when you make changes in your life, even if they're incremental, because it can be so easy to say, oh, I'll celebrate when, or I'll be happy when, or I'll whatever. You fill in the blank for your own life when, but then when never comes. So the longer that I have done inner work and the more that I've increased my self-acceptance, the more that I celebrate all of these milestones, big and small along the way. It's super, super important and generally, especially if you had an emotionally mature and narcissistic or toxic mother, it's probably not something that you learned to do which makes sense and you can make that change for yourself because it is important, and I'll talk a little bit about that next. So why is it important to celebrate these wins, even when they're incremental? Because that is one of the easiest ways to build self-acceptance, which gives you more confidence in yourself and it makes you less vulnerable to criticism. And self-acceptance is something that I focus heavily on with clients, and what I'm about to say is going to sound a little bit counterintuitive, maybe be a little bit of a paradox. However, I encourage you to consider how useful it could be for you and just to try it, because you can always go back to the way that you are today.

Speaker 1:

Okay, higher self-acceptance will help you create the changes that you want in your life much easier. And if you're sitting there and you're like, huh, what, how does that work? Well, it's okay if it sounds surprising and I have to be honest, in the beginning of my inner work journey I resisted this truth a lot, because it is basically the complete opposite of how I was raised. I wasn't raised to accept myself. I was raised to believe that acceptance meant resignation, acceptance meant giving up. Acceptance meant just like being okay with everything not being so great. And that's not what it is.

Speaker 1:

Acceptance allows you to focus your energy on improvement. Think about it. If you're not accepting yourself. An example is that you beat yourself up when you make mistakes. Maybe you talk to yourself poorly, you have that critical self-talk. Well, where is your energy? Your energy is largely in self-protection. You don't have a lot of extra energy to be focused on improvement because you're in this mode where you're in your head and you're overthinking and you're beating yourself up, and that doesn't leave resources available to do much else. But when we accept, hey, I'm human, I make mistakes. It's safe to make mistakes, it's safe to be human, and I can continue getting better. What's the next best logical step Then? Your energy is on. The next best step is on improvement.

Speaker 1:

So I wish that I understood that when I started my journey. I never I don't think I mean, maybe I'm wrong. I'm like I never had anybody explain it like that to me, but maybe I did and maybe I resisted it. It's possible, but I don't think I did. I could be so wrong. Now, in the name of what I just shared, I want to share a few more things that I wish I knew at the beginning of my healing journey, because I think it would have made all the difference if somebody had laid it out for me like this. So let's just dive into a few things. I mean I think I'll share like seven things I wish I knew, and I did an episode similar to this in the very beginning of launching my podcast. So if you look back, it might have been in late May 2023 or early June 2023. I spoke about things that I wish I wouldn't have known when I started my journey, and I'm going to share seven other things I wish I would have known. So let's go ahead and dive in.

Speaker 1:

First one the mind makes up stories constantly, for everything, everything. Your mind if you're human and I'm assuming that you are, if you're listening it has five primary roles. One is literally to make up stories, has five things that it does automatically, and so if one of the roles is to make up stories, then I'm not telling you to stop making up stories, I'm telling you to tune in to what might you be making up. Now here's the kicker, and this is where you could get mad at your mind or you could be like okay, I'm human, that's the way that it works. Our the stories that we make up, that our mind makes up on autopilot, are very often rooted in our insecurities. Okay, so I'm going to try to think of an example on this spot, because I'm just riffing here on this episode.

Speaker 1:

Let me dive into this first. So what do I mean by story? Well, if you cannot videotape something, then it's a story. So if you have a reaction and you're like that person doesn't respect me, you can't videotape respect. What you can videotape is the behavior. So let's say that I email somebody and I don't hear back from them for two weeks. The reaction could be they don't respect me, which then I would feel angry. However, when we break it down in this way, the reaction is not that they don't disrespect me, it's actually the story. So they didn't email me back.

Speaker 1:

My mind made up a story that means disrespect, and then I emotionally react to the story that I just made up. You get to choose the story that you make up, and the more that you heal, the more that you overcome your insecurities, the easier that will be able to do to not personalize other people's behaviors and to not feel triggered by other people's behaviors. So I love this line what bugs me about you is really about me, and that just gives you the opportunity to tune back into yourself and to ask yourself what do I feel insecure about? So let's just continue using this example. If someone didn't respond to me and I'm going to personalize that, then I may have an insecurity around feeling like I don't matter, and that behavior showed me that insecurity. So I could get pissed off at them and criticize them and put them down and tell other people and triangulate and do all these things, or I can simply use it as data. Look, okay, I've got some work to do around this insecurity of feeling like I don't matter.

Speaker 1:

So I wanted to give you that example because I had no idea that the mind was doing that all the time and that, when not in tune with the fact that these are actually stories, you have less control, you have less choice. It just feels like life is happening to you. It just feels like sometimes this is how I was raised Everyone's against you, not true, unless you want it to be so. Tune into those stories and I would love to hear what you discover. So that was the first thing that I wish I knew. Second thing that I wish I knew is that my insecurities were driving everything, everything in ways that I didn't understand. I did not understand how much my insecurities were driving things. So behaviors around me getting defensive and either shutting down or blowing up on people, or criticizing people, or just feeling so confused after conversation about why my heart was pounding so fast. I'll give an example.

Speaker 1:

There was a conversation at work in one of my old jobs where there were multiple people in the room my supervisor and other coworkers. To be honest, in this moment I can't remember what we were talking about. That didn't stick with me. But what happened to me did. We got in a disagreement and my heart started pounding and I started feeling so angry I raised my voice in that meeting. Then afterwards I walked out of there and I'm like, why am I so upset? Why am I so upset? When I approached that with curiosity, like okay, if I'm getting triggered, if I'm getting activated like this, this is probably tied to an insecurity that I'm not fully aware of. When I peeled back those layers, what I realized is that in that conversation I felt kind of stupid. I felt incompetent. I didn't feel like they thought I was capable.

Speaker 1:

Here's the thing If you have a story in your head that somebody else thinks something about you, part of you very, very likely thinks that about yourself I want you to really sit with that for a moment. I had a story in my head that they didn't think I was capable. It's very easy for people who have not done a substantial amount of inner work to just keep on pointing the finger at the other person. They don't think I'm capable. They don't think I'm good enough to do this. They don't think I'm competent enough to do this. However, when we keep on saying they, they, they, we miss a huge opportunity to work on ourselves and to see what is actually happening. For me, this is particularly true if you have a reaction that has come up across multiple situations and across time. There were many times that I had this reaction where I thought somebody didn't think I was good enough or capable or smart enough. That, happening across different people across different time and me kind of pointing the finger at them, showed me once I was doing the inner work it's wait a second. Is it really that they don't think that, or is it actually that part of me thinks that about myself? And so my invitation to you now, being more than a decade in this inner work journey, is for you to ask yourself is it even 1% true that part of me has this fear about myself? And if so, that's where we do the inner work. Okay, all right. So let's move on to number three.

Speaker 1:

I was so wrong about who I thought I was. I remember so clearly telling people or hearing from people just be yourself, just you know, like let them see who you are, relax, like these kinds of statements and quotes, and that never sat well with me, because I was certain that if I showed people who I was, they would not like me they would not stick around. I was certain, and it's because I thought that those not so shiny parts of me were who I was, at my core. So when I would blow up on people, when I would criticize others, when I would raise my voice and yell, when I would do things like that, even shutting down, I thought that's who I am. That's who I am and what I wish I knew and I wish I heard somebody who had the same experience as me but who was further down the road. I wish I had them to tell me with great certainty, to look me in the eyes and tell me that is not who you are. All of those things are behaviors that are trying to protect you from feeling your insecurities. That's it, and you can change all of that. That's not who you are. You are love. And what I've come to realize now is it's not those behaviors, all of those not so shiny parts. Those are not who I am at my core. And it's been a wild, wild ride to be able to shift Like I'm actually getting a little bit teary-eyed in this moment to be able to shift from believing that about myself to be able to see so clearly. Oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

Now, if I get in a disagreement you know, in the beginning of my relationship with my husband, just as an example I would like lose it on him, sometimes in very big ways. Sometimes just this is a vulnerable thing for me to share. But, like at a baseball game, I like yelled at him in front of everybody after he made a comment like where have you been? I was in line for 20 or 30 minutes trying to get food and then I came back and he's like where have you been? And I lost it on him. And he didn't do anything wrong, like he was just kidding and I took it so personally and I had this huge defensive reaction and lost it on him and I thought that's who I am at my core. I'm this person that loses it on people and I have to hide that Like I can't let people see that. And now it's really, really beautiful.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if this is going to sound weird, but when we get in disagreements now there's a playful energy between us and we catch ourselves him too. I'm so proud of him because he really listens to everything that I'm sharing about in our work and it feels so good and so rewarding and I didn't know if he would when we first got together. But that aside, okay, there's this playful energy and there's this energy where we're able to catch ourselves and not escalate in the argument, and that's not how I was raised. There was always I have to say the last word and always an escalation of anger and many times an explosive reaction not all the time. So I'm sharing that. So, if you resonate with that inner work will change the game for you. It will change the game for you Truly.

Speaker 1:

Now I'm having this little voice in my head right now. That's like oh my God, steph, I can't believe that you shared that. You just shared some really vulnerable stuff. They're going to think that you're crazy. So I'm just saying that out loud. I'm just going to share that. I'm having a human reaction right now. I shared something vulnerable about myself and now part of me is scared, and it's okay, because I'm giving you little snippets of my life and, yeah, could that make it sound like things were worse than they were? I could, and I know that there are people out there Maybe it's you listening right now that can resonate with that. Okay.

Speaker 1:

So let's go on to the fourth thing that I wish I knew. I wish I knew that I wasn't a catastrophizer for no reason. So what do I mean by catastrophizer? Basically, something happens in my mind. Jump to worst case scenario. I didn't do that for no reason.

Speaker 1:

First, it was a learned behavior in my childhood home. I observed that pattern and I simply took it on as my own. I simply took it on as the way that I respond to things, and that is very common Think about the way that your family behaved, those who you were around all the time and there's different reactions. You could take it on or you could swing to the opposite reaction and try to do very, very different. But either way, the way that you're showing up unless you're being super intentional about it it's learned. So I'm just going to continue with my own example Now. It was learned behavior period.

Speaker 1:

Second, it was rooted in my insecurities. Rooted in my insecurities, absolutely. So I have an example from a couple of years ago that I want to share. So before I go there hmm, yeah, okay, I'll say this I'm like, let me think, how do I want to frame this up? So, reducing my automatic reaction of like catastrophizing was something that I was on a mission to do, and you may have heard a story from me where I did that and in 20, I think it was 2015 or 2016,. I should share that. Actually, I don't know if I've shared it on this podcast. I've definitely in other interviews. I'm going to make a mental note here to share that with you.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I had this moment. It was an eye-opening moment for me and it shifted the way that I responded to situations, where I stopped having like this reaction to be a catastrophizer. Okay now, so that's 2015, 2016. We're going to fast forward years, to 2021, and I had opened my own business and there was a lot of new things for me, a lot of new worries, because I went from having a stable salary at NASA to not having that same type of salary and trying to figure out okay, how am I going to get this business off the ground? And I had so much to learn about sales and marketing and social media and sending out these emails that people want to read, and creating content, and the list goes on and on and on and on and on.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm just going to label that as hard. It was challenging for me, for it was just. Yeah, it was challenging, very challenging, not probably the hardest thing I've ever done is opening a business. I tell you what inner work is so important and now I so clearly understand why so many businesses fail, because it takes a boatload of inner work. When I look at my clients actually I have almost 50% of them are entrepreneurs, and I think that really speaks to just how many insecurities come up and how emotionally connected, challenging and difficult it can be. Anyway, I went a little off topic, but I just felt like saying that. So we're in 2021.

Speaker 1:

And all the trainings that I'm doing are proposing this certain way to get my program out there and what it's called is launching. If you're not, if you're not a entrepreneur, I'll try to like leave the business lingo out of it for the sake of like time and understanding. So I had done that a few times that year, launching my program and got in several women. Well, I wanted to get a lot more women into the program so I could pay my bills. To be completely honest, I'm like I got to pay these bills. So we need more women signed up and I want to change more lives, and I hired somebody who had experience with this to help me and we went into the launch. We had these big goals and close the doors and I spent more money than I made. I spent more money than I brought in and I went into all the patterns of being a catastrophizer came back and I just cried for an entire day straight, literally, and I just was saying things to myself like how am I going to ever do this?

Speaker 1:

If I can't figure this out? How am I going to pay the bills? I can't make enough money like this and just you know, spiraling downward, downward, just crying, crying, crying, embarrassed, humiliated, and really nobody knew but me and the person that I hired to help me. But still all those fears and all those insecurities came up. I didn't know how I was going to make it work. And I learned a very, very important lesson in that moment my job is not the how, because I kept asking myself how am I going to do this, how am I going to figure this out? How will I ever? You fill in the blank. And I learned my job isn't the how. I had really started down that journey you know of like letting, letting go of the how, like believing and stepping into. If I take action, I'm clear about what I want and I just experiment. It's bound to work out. I will figure this out.

Speaker 1:

And something beautiful happened the next month. I got a recommendation from a client to do a retreat, host a retreat, and I was like, oh my gosh, this is like the most exciting thing that I've thought about in a long time. I felt super, super, super excited about it and it's important to pay attention to your intuition in that way and to pay attention to your energy right, like when you feel inspired by something. You're inspired for a reason. I'm just going to say that. So I went with it and I announced it to my current and past clients and everybody was so excited and I sold that retreat in less than 24 hours. I sold every spot to that retreat in less than 24 hours.

Speaker 1:

And some people will listen to this and they will say, oh, that's a coincidence. And some people will know that this is evidence that I do not have to, and you do not have to know how you are going to make something happen. You simply need to be clear about what you want. You've got to take action. You know you have to do the work and then follow those inspirational hits when they come up like that, and so very quickly, then I was able to pay my bills and then I was. Then I got more clarity.

Speaker 1:

Now there's a lot more details there, but what I want to highlight for you, especially if you resonate with being a catastrophizer, is that that is rooted in your insecurities and that part of you believes that you have to control the how, and you do not. You do not, and I love teaching clients how to let go of that how and really not try to control it and really step into surrender and trust. I'm going to leave it there. That was a really powerful teaching moment, and something else that's coming up, actually, that I want you to know is the story in my head. To connect back to the first thing that I shared, the story in my head could be, oh my gosh, see, like I didn't make any progress on this, like I'm still a catastrophizer and I could have beat myself up, but instead I didn't, and I recognize. No, I peeled back the layer and I healed to the extent that I needed at the time, and, becoming an entrepreneur and being in a whole new world, I need a deeper healing, and that is what that situation gave me the opportunity to do. All right, let's keep going.

Speaker 1:

I have three more things I wish I knew that I want to share with you. The fifth one is the reason I didn't know what I wanted was because I was constantly told what I should want, what I should believe, what I should do and what the right way to do things was. And as a child, I believed that. I believed there is a right way. I believed that I should want certain things, I shouldn't want other things. I should believe certain things, I shouldn't believe other things. And I know that when parents raise their children, they have most of the time, the best intentions when they create these rules for children. And the negative one of the negative. There's actually many negative outcomes of this, but one negative outcome is that it separated me from my intuition. Because when we listen to ourselves and when we tap into our intuition, then we become very clear about what we want. Okay, I'm just going to give an example.

Speaker 1:

A lot of times, children will say what they want to be when they grow up and then everybody kind of like, buys into it for a while and then at a certain point then, oh well, that's not going to make you enough money, oh, you can't do that, it'll be too hard and that can cause many people to not pay attention to what they want and then, after over time, then they're not connected to what they want anymore. So for me, and if you resonate this, my advice for you is reconnect to your intuition. Reconnect to it. How do you do that? Start paying attention to these intuitive hits, or these intuitive sweeps that pass through your mind, and honor it. It's one thing to like, oh, I had this feeling, and then you don't do anything in alignment with the feeling, and it's a whole nother thing to have the feeling and then to do it.

Speaker 1:

To go back to my last example, when I had this intuition that the retreat was a fantastic idea, I could have just made excuses like, oh well, I don't have, how am I ever going to sell out the whole house? Like, how am I going to do this? How am I going to do that? Or I could listen to that intuition, honor it and run with it. So if you want to know what you want, recognize a part of you already knows and you just have to get in touch with that. Okay, all right, let's dive into number six.

Speaker 1:

Number six what I wish I would have known, trying to rigidly control everything was rooted in fear, routed in fear. I had this belief that I had to control it all and if I didn't, then it wouldn't work out. This is connected to the catastrophizing, you know, and then if things didn't go according to plan, then I would be upset, then I might get angry, then I might shut down, and that is just a sign that there's a fear present, that there's an insecurity present and that points to additional healing. Just a reminder your job as a human is not the how. The universe takes care of the how period, full stop. All right. Number seven Last thing that I wish I knew early on in my journey is that investing in a coach would end up being one of the best investments of my life.

Speaker 1:

She was able to see my behavior so clearly and my patterns so clearly, things that I was blind to, even though I was very self-aware and I know if you're listening, you might identify as being super self-aware. That doesn't mean that you're able to see patterns that you're blind to. If you're having reactions that you don't want, if you're having feelings that you don't want, if you are having an experience that you don't want and you feel stuck, you have patterns that you are blind to, and my coach was able to so clearly see them, and she had the courage to point them out to me, and that's super important in a coach, and I model that behavior too. I'm not afraid to say the things to people that need to be said so that they can become the version of themselves that they want. So I wish I knew that earlier. I would have invested in a coach earlier than you know.

Speaker 1:

It was a few years into my healing journey before I did that, and it can be so easy, as a high achiever, to think that we have to figure it out on our own, like, okay, I've got to. You know, do all these Google searches and read all these books and try to put these puzzle pieces together, listen to these podcasts and look at these Instagram posts, and a lot of times it's very, very, very challenging to put the puzzle pieces together, because online you're getting free content which does not include all of the information that you need. Because why? I mean? People have to make a living right, they have to be paid. If they could just put out free content all the time and then somehow get a paycheck, I'm sure there would. The puzzle pieces would come together a lot easier, but there's missing information that you need, and I wish that I had hired a coach earlier.

Speaker 1:

All right, I would love to hear which of these resonate most with you. Send me a DM on Instagram, let me know. Let me know if anything I said brought up questions or you can relate to it. I hope you have a beautiful week and I'll see you next week. Thank you for listening today. If you're ready to heal so that triggering situations no longer control you and so that you can feel empowered, brave and thrive in any situation, dm me the word brave on Instagram and I'll send you a training where you will learn three of the most common mistakes driven women are making that are keeping them stuck in negative emotions, and what you can do instead.

Healing From Difficult Mother Relationships
Shifting Self-Perception and Overcoming Catastrophic Thinking
Importance of Intuition and Hiring Coach
DM on Instagram for Empowerment Training