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What's Your Next Move
Our Capacity To See One Another
August 06, 2018 Arlene Battishill

Welcome to What’s Your Next Move, the podcast for peak performers who are making things happen but are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. In this episode, we talk with Stephani Roberts, the rebel host of "The Audacious Life" podcast, online visibility strategist and warrior in life! Our conversation is deeply personal and intimate as Stephani details the many moments where she had to decide what her next move was and what happened next. From a highly successful career through an abusive relationship she had to flee while caring for two young children, Stephani reveals over and over again why the word "warrior" is so applicable to her! Her acute understanding of communication between people has made her a communications expert and her insight into what is necessary for success in a relationship makes this a "must listen" episode! She walks us through an exploration of what goes on in the communication between people, how critical it is for us to be careful about the assumptions we make about the other person in our relationships, how certain types of relationships are a breeding ground for shame, volatility, projections and anger and how essential it is to be "seen" in our relationships. Our capacity to see one another is what is at the heart of our conversation.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:00Welcome to what's your next move, the podcast for peak performers who were making things happen that are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. Whether you work for someone else, you're an entrepreneur, thinking about starting your own business or at a point in your life where you just can't make the move from where you are to where you want to go. You're in the right place. This podcast is all about answering one question. What's your next move? And helping you harness your power. So your next move is the one that changes your life. I'm your host and resident provocateur. Arlene batter. So, and I want to know what's your next move? Hi there. I'm arlene.

Speaker 2:0:43So your host and resident provocate tour. And I am delighted to have Stephanie Roberts with me today. I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie at an event not too long ago that was for podcasters. And Stephanie has two very successful podcasts, one for mom printers and one for people who have gone through, uh, some really serious challenges in their relationships. And uh, I, when Stephanie was giving her story to the people at this event and it was for podcasters and we were pitching a to some influencers about the possibility of becoming guests on their show. Yeah. When we were going through all of the pitches, we all had a handbook that had everyone's name in it and I was feverish writing notes under Stephanie's name and she was the first person who I went and put in her envelope that I wanted to interview her. And so finally, I guess they have Stephanie on the show with me and she's got an extraordinary story and, and background of, you know, the kind of work that she's done and where she's come to today, but also the kind of learning that is so important for all of us have, you know, being in a situation where your whole life turns into a shit show.

Speaker 2:2:05And what are you doing? What's your next move? So, Stephanie, without further Ado, welcome to watch your next move. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm so excited to have you. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much. I had no idea I was your first envelope invite t. wow, that's that. I'm like, so moved here. Wow. Thank you. That's awesome. I was scared to death. I literally was pacing in the back of the room contemplating not going up to the mic. So yeah, way. Um, I had pivoted, which this we're talking about that, but I had pivoted in my business in my mess. Messaging was so different from what, you know, we're Kinda coached to pitch. Right, right. And uh, and I really just wanted to speak from the heart, but I kind of. And I felt driven to do that, but at the same time that wasn't what I planned and I was.

Speaker 2:2:57And I had this horrible head was losing my voice was copping. It was horrible. But I, you know what I, I was so glad that I just said I'm going to just do it. And that's really beautiful because I know a lot of people after the morning session of the three or four day event, after the morning session when people started getting feedback from the influencers, everybody just threw out what their pitch was. And relieved and I was glad that I didn't have to do my pitch until, I think it was the third day because I was reworking that pitch all night for those. And the same thing. Yeah. You to speak from the heart, right. You had a lot of time to think about it too, which is painful. My roommate had that. She had to wait to the last day and it was like, it was brutal.

Speaker 2:3:41It's really to rural. It's a lot of waiting. Well I had coaching right before that, so it's out in the hallway with the coaching. I walked in and I heard that it was my letter and then I was coming up. So I was like. But anyway, so, and was good. I got a little push from uh, one of the other people in the who is, who is one of the influencers. And that was nice. So yeah. Anyway, happy to be here. I had that same reaction when my letter was called. I was sitting in the front of the room and and for our listeners, the lineup of people who were pitching was determined by the first letter of your first name and when my, when the a's were called, I was sitting in the front of the robe and was called that morning all I set it right out loud. I just said, oh fuck, right, and just to paint the picture, you're standing in line with all the other a's and there may not have been that many, but then there's a row of influencers staring at you and then there's a whole audience of like maybe 100 8,200 people and it was live streamed. So it's like, Hey, no pressure.

Speaker 2:4:53I know and I, you know, I wasn't even about the live streaming that was going on and later at night when I called my partner, we are talking about it. Later that evening or after I got back home, she had watched my life and I'm like, wow, oh my god, that's something that I had expected because it was bad that I didn't think she was. She is good timing because I don't know, I guess it was the less wow. Yeah. Oh my gosh. That's so funny. So let's go ahead and get. Hey, you talk to me a bit about where you're at in your life right now in your business and as you mentioned when you went to this event, you were pivoting. Your messaging was pivoting. I know from your podcast that you are shifting the emphasis from one message and one podcast, one audience over to something quite different.

Speaker 2:5:52So why don't you walk me through, um, where you're at, what you were doing before and you know what you're doing now and then we'll get a little deeper into it. Sure. Well, so my background is, you know, about 20 years and information technology and a big chunk of that in higher education. So I had worked at some startups and done some marketing and then moved into the web genre and then training and things like that and web accessibility and spent over a decade at Mit. And I found myself in a situation where I had to make a decision and I left and started working for myself and from, from that I, you know, it was, it's been a slow evolution over the last just over two years really where I moved from social media management into diy video marketing and then into more of a digital strategy.

Speaker 2:6:46So I'm a single mom of two kids now and my kids are getting older but my youngest is still pretty young and you know, they definitely need me. So my schedule's been a little bit crazy and I just saw that this service oriented business was not working for my family structure and in any way. And so I pivoted and what I realized is I spent 10 years plus really because I worked in public television doing some of the same stuff. I, the biggest thing that I focused on was making content accessible to the widest audience possible, including people with disabilities, temporary and permanent. And so what I was doing was spinning my wheels with social media and seeing other. Because one of my podcast is for Moms, mompreneurs seeing other people really spin their wheels with creating content and creating more content and then it would, you know, they put it out there and then when you go anywhere, and I felt this myself and it's like you cannot be everywhere at the same time, but what was happening with myself was I was spinning my wheels so hard trying to get things out that were fresh that I wasn't taking.

Speaker 2:7:54Look at all this long path of great content I had already created and leveraging that to create authority online so that people could find me to either do business with me or to just bolster my reputation. Right? And this is what. And then I realized it's not just me. Look, look at how many people out there are doing this in. A lot of podcasters are doing it, a lot of live streamers are doing it, so what they're doing is they go live or they have a podcast, they put it out there, they promote it and then either it gets traction or it doesn't, and then it just kind of fades off and collect dust and since there. And so what I realized is I could pull together what we know about Seo, search engine optimization, captioning transcripts and social media and what I know about writing and all these other things and kind of combined it all together and help people with creating like a package that can help them their authority.

Speaker 2:8:56I called it the authority amplifier. So when I went to the event I was just kind of starting the idea of the, you know, the germ of this concept and trying to pull it together really quickly for this audience. But before that I was doing more with digital marketing in general to digital strategy. So I still have some clients who I work with on the digital strategy side of things. But yeah, that's where I am now. Just working on rolling out a small course to help people who want to train their va's in this process that I've kind of put together. And then I'm also in the meantime building an actual membership site that will pull together my, my skills and interest in videos teaching all of those things and creating content. So yeah, that's what I'm doing now. And in terms of this authority amplifier, um, I find that whole thing really compelling because for anyone who has any degree of authority in something, and these will be people who have written books, these will be people who have podcasts, they are people who are experts in a certain field.

Speaker 2:10:10Everyone is trying to find an audience for what they do. They are trying to find an audience that might potentially become their clients and the whole idea of needing content that can present you as the authority out there that can create a level of trust between you and the consumer who is removed from us simply because we're talking about the internet. Is this something that you actually do for people yourself or are you just have you just moved in a direction where you're wanting to teach people how it's done, but that you don't do it yourself? Um, I'm actually doing it for myself. I'm kind of my own Guinea pig and I have done it on a smaller level like for, for um, local businesses and that kind of thing. But it's, I'm following a method that's used by some pretty big people like Neil Patel, shalene Johnson, there lots of people that do this.

Speaker 2:11:07And what's the differences between what I'm teaching? And what they do is that, you know, obviously they are very, very successful. They have huge teams that they can rely on to just generate all this content. But there is a way to kind of hone your focus and really selectively pick cherry, pick the, the gold content that you have and then in an inexpensive way, take the same steps that they do and create that social authority, social proof across multiple platforms where your potential clients might be looking for you and really build, you know, we'll call it evergreen. So it's relevant all of the time. It's not just about what's happening right now so that then when somebody types in whatever your main keywords are, you're going to come up associated with that concept or idea that they're looking for or if they go and put in your name, hopefully you take at least the first page of Google results and it's associated with that thing that you're touting yourself as the expert in.

Speaker 2:12:13Right. Got It. Yeah. And so you have the two podcasts right now, and I know from one of the episodes that I listened to, you were talking in that podcast about how you were making this transition from one to the other and was there a compelling reason for you at that point in time where you'd been doing the one and decided it's time for me to chef? Was there something happened that was there a moment where. Because you know, most people start down a path and they just keep going down that path. But sometimes along the way you discover, oh, something is either not working or something happens and you know, it's Kinda like the, the sheet is, is pulled away and all of a sudden you see things in a very different way and now you know that it's time for you to do something else or it's necessary for you to do something else because whatever it was before is not what's working for you.

Speaker 2:13:19Yeah. Well it's interesting because what was happening was the. With the mom for nerd podcast. As soon as I would say, oh, I have this other podcasts as well as they would say, oh, I can be. I could be on that one. Like it was crazy to me. I know that one in four women have experienced some form of domestic violence. But I would say in terms of the entrepreneurs that I interviewed, I would say it was half or more would tell me they had a story for either podcast, which is really about emotional abuse, control, toxic relationships, things like that. And I just thought I'd had so many coaches tell me to pick one or the other or to call the first podcast, which was about the emotional abuse and, and really just, you know, kind of rising from the ashes. It's called the audacious life.

Speaker 2:14:08So it's, you know, it's just like, how can you take this crappy moment in your life and turn it around and create a beautiful life and really live by your own, your own definition of success or what feels good to you and give yourself permission to pursue that. Really. Um, but yeah, I just, I found that so many women had both stories. And then I, and I found that this economic piece of these women who were kind of economically controlled in these toxic relationships, they were looking for a financial way out as well. So I'm not there yet. I'm actually still trying to find a way to kind of pull them together. And right now they're very separate. I'm not totally that, that they will be under one roof. But what I am clear about is that I can't have two very distinct separate identities.

Speaker 2:15:01And what I was doing was I literally had done accounts where I would share, share the contents, does saying yes, this is who I am, Stephanie Roberts. I have one podcast for this one, for that. These are both big parts of my life. I'm all about women's empowerment. I'm all about awareness. I'm all, you know, like, just trying to create the life that you, you know, you deserve that you may be, you know, go back to when you were seven years old, right? That little girl inside and what she wanted and tap into that and try to create this beautiful life and step over all the crap and all the inner inner voices and the things that can hold you back, especially after years of being kind of brainwashed by the people around you, whether it's your parents, your family, your partner, your husband, wife, whatever. Um, so I'm still working on it. But yeah, that was, I think I just gave myself permission to stop looking at things in a black and white kind of way because we have, we all have our stories and there is overlap, right? It's not these tiny little packages, oh, if only.

Speaker 2:16:10Well, what's really interesting is is that you were having people on your show or talking to you about your show that came to you in one way, but then said they had a story for the other. And what I find so interesting and I find this in my own work as well, is that, you know, for entrepreneurs, we go about our business and we're doing everything we can to create the life that we want for ourselves. But there's this whole other element that exists there that has to do with our emotional wellbeing. And as we were talking before we started the show today, there's this whole piece around what is going on for us as entrepreneurs who accept all of the risks. We've got all the skin in the game and all of the stress that is associated with being an entrepreneur. And yes, of course we've made the decision.

Speaker 2:17:06We made the choice to be entrepreneurs. But along with that comes our entire emotional history and makeup and experience that influences what happens to us as entrepreneurs. So it's no surprise to me that you were talking to women who were entrepreneurs who also had a story, and when you think about the conversations you were having with the woman who said this to you, where they basically had both stories for you, did you have any takeaways that suggested there was a common theme among all of them? Yeah, it's interesting. I've been have this like so sociologist inside of me sometimes want to start doing research, right? I'm like, I see a connection between. I think that a lot of women who are entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs because it gives them more power and control. They don't want to be anyone's, you know, they don't want to be subservient.

Speaker 2:18:11They don't want to be. There's like an inner rebel. I'm going to do it my way. I don't want to have to answer to anybody. I'm going to do this this time. It's by my rules. Right. And, and I find that that is a huge sort of undercurrent is that flexibility, that kind of rebellious I can do it and this is the way I'm going to do it. And that's not to say that they don't listen to other people, but I think that, you know, they kind of don't fit into the corporate whatever square peg round hole kind of thing. It's like, no, no, no, I'm not gonna I'm not gonna conform anymore because they did that for a big chunk of their life already, whether it's at work or with their family or whatever. But yeah, I would like to explore that more actually.

Speaker 2:18:57I think it's a fascinating and really surprising connection that I absolutely did not expect because I actually had a pretty, pretty well known coach who said to me, listen, you're a single mom, this whole podcasts audacious life thing. He's like, you know, go for the money. Single moms don't have any money, you know, like go, go to if you're a woman, you're an entrepreneur, if that's something you're driven towards, like go pursue that. Don't even worry about the other thing. And basically told me to slam the door and don't look back. And it was like, no, no, no, that rebel in me. I was like, I am not letting go. So it was on hiatus for a long time, but I still was like, I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to find a way to make these two things work and what things.

Speaker 2:19:43They're a lot of women like me who are rebels like that. So absolutely on the mantra. I know for myself as a child, my. My Mantra was question authority, you know? Exactly. Oh, that doesn't mean for sure of being a rebel and being a bad ass or you're just saying, yeah, no, I'm not listening to you. And what's really interesting to me about this, you talking about this really well known coach and this guy saying to, we'll just shut the door on this and go for the money. You know, no one offers advice that is not informed by their own experience and perspective and their own leanings and their own judgment. It's not judgement free. And so it's really interesting that he would say to, oh, just shut the door and look at your circumstances right now financially and go for the money. But it completely disregards that there is something much more important underlying all of this.

Speaker 2:20:41And it sounds like what you were trying to get at was something that was going to resonate more deeply within you around what you were going to spend your time doing. Is that personally? Yeah. Yeah. And how I'm wired and you have to say this wasn't like a one on one coach. This was part of a huge mastermind, so I was literally kind of a number and he had not a lot of information to go on. But even still, you're right, I think that there are coaches that kind of get like there's a passion or an internal motivation that's going to help you move yourself forward and get momentum. And that piece of it was kind of extinguished in short order. And I was like, I'm. So part of me listened. Part of me rebelled. It was just like this push, pull, push, pull. But you're right.

Speaker 2:21:29And I, I think, I think we absolutely have to listen to that inner voice and the way we're wired and what motivates us. And it's not always money. Money's really important, but it's not always money. Yeah. It's actually rarely the thing that is motivating people. It, it's a very superficial thing and what's so interesting about that approach to coaching is it's about solving a practical problem, but if you don't address the problem in your inner life where the problem actually sets you, don't solve the problem, you actually introduce other problems because yes, you can go and make some money, but once you're making the money and you still aren't feeling successful or feeling happy, then what are you doing? And I think that this is a big mistake that happens with a lot of coaches, is that they're missing. They're missing what's actually going on because they're not paying attention close enough to what's happening for the person that they're dealing with.

Speaker 2:22:32Because you know how it is. We all, and I'm sure that this has been your experience with the people that you've worked with as a coach, as a consultant and for people you've interviewed on your podcast and your listeners that, you know, we all present a story. We all present a picture, but it's never actually the real truth. It's a version of the truth. It's, it's, um, it's aspects of the truth, but it never is at the root of what is really going on for us. And then as a result, we're never dealing with the right thing and this kind of thing I find place out in, in our intimate relationships where, you know, how it goes, you know, we just, it's the total shit show where one person says one thing and we interpreted as one thing and then we take that down the path according to our story, and then they take it down a path according to their story and then the whole thing just collapses under the weight of all the.

Speaker 2:23:33I'm mistaken understanding of what's actually happening in that interaction. And I think maybe you can speak to in, in your experience with women who have talked about the ending of their relationships. Um, how much have you found? Has Communication been the issue where the people in the relationship, we're talking about things but they weren't talking about the real things? Wow. Well, I think, I think in, in, I'm going to say normal relationships, you know, there's like a basic communication breakdown, slam member as a little girl, my mom, my parents were divorced. My mom used to say, well you did, and I got along and we were attracted to each other, but he would say for example, he wanted to do this and he would know he would have one picture in his head like skiing and whatever and it would look this way. Very casual and for her it was like the lodge and the fire and he's in the back woods with like made skis or whatever.

Speaker 2:24:32He's like, you have. She said to me, you have to be very careful about assumptions in communication. And I became a communications major later on in life, so not surprising there, but I think that with the people that I'm talking to, they're actually in pretty unhealthy, unreasonable relationships where communication is often not even possible because they're dealing with somebody who has a pretty extreme personality disorder. So there's a lot of projection happening and then shame and volatility and anger. So they learned to shut down and walk on eggshells just to, just to survive because they can't even have a conversation about the most basic thing like who's taking out the trash. So let alone emotional conversations where it's like, well, this is how I feel any of those field kind of conversations get shut down immediately and anger erupts and threats happen. Um, it's not every single one of them, but that is the common themes.

Speaker 2:25:36Like there's no sort of healthy conversation. And many of the women that I've interviewed, um, who, who got married young kind of didn't know the difference and maybe came from a family like that. Sure. So they'd watch tv or they'd see their friends saying, oh, well I talked to Jim about whatever, and he said this and they'd be one of my friends who was in a relationship for 25 years. She said, I would look at them cross eyed like you've had a conversation about that. He actually let you talk. Like it seems so simple. And it was so foreign to her. She was like, that's weird. Like, she didn't even know that what she was in was, you know, um, I guess, uh, yeah, uh, domestic violence kind of abusive scenario. She really didn't. I mean emotionally abusive. And if this is all she'd ever known, then that would be her model for what a, in quotes, a normal relationship would be.

Speaker 2:26:33Right. Well, I just, it's funny, I've, so what I've learned is that it's. I think it's all about communication that I think what happens is when you have these personality disorders, so we'll say a narcissist who is attracted to an empath, the impact worked super hard to win over the narcissist, kind of snuffs out the empath and, but the thing is the narcissist is really the sort of cowering wounded child for sure, but, but when you're in it and you're sleep deprived and you're high anxiety or suffering from ptsd and all these other things, and maybe a physical illness, autoimmune from, from that high stress situation, your capacity to see that person and accept them and their history and see the mess, that wounded little child is just kind of out the window because survival mode. It's like. Yeah, so I think once you actually have to get out to, to gain that ability to kind of forgive and accept and accept your own part in any of it because obviously it takes two people for that. But yeah, it's complicated.

Speaker 2:27:48Well now Stephanie, can you walk me back in time, and I know we spoke before we started today about your own moment in time that changed the trajectory of your life to where you are today, being fairly recent, but can you walk me back in time in your own life to a moment or moments where there were things that were happening in your life that really necessitated a change, whether it was something forced on your or a choice that you made to do something very different from what you were doing in that moment and what was your next move in that situation? Yeah, well I have a couple I can think of, but I think the most recent is a yeah, getting out of a toxic relationship. I mean I just, I knew what a healthy relationship was, am I actually had been married before somebody who was emotionally abusive and I thought I had healed in between meeting this new person who had never married but had two children with.

Speaker 2:28:55Um, and I think for me it was, you know, it wasn't about me anymore. It just, I started healing getting stronger and that created this fear and escalated something within him and things really just keen to this critical point where it went from verbal to physical, and I'm not going to go into any of the details, but of course I had two small children and I ended up, um, just fleeing and going to a friend's house within a week of that situation, kind of spinning out of control. But I felt it, I felt it coming. There were little signs along the way so it was kind of, you know, planning and then it just, there was just this moment where just a spark of something happened and he snapped and it just turned everything around and I just decided I, I, you know, like shit or get off the pot, right.

Speaker 2:29:54Stop talking about it. You have to do something. And I'm very grateful for. There was a woman in my life who was a, she was actually, coach, wasn't officially, she was um, um, a friend of somebody who was a coach and we had been talking and she just happened to have been in a domestic violence situation that was far more extreme than my situation, but she was like, this is how it starts stuff and if you don't get out now, like you, you may have some deep regrets and, you know, I just could feel that. And um, yeah, so that's everything spun around with that and I just had to start from scratch or just started over and it was, you know, it definitely gets worse before it gets better. Right. So for sure now, Lebanon, excuse it, in the moment that you decided it was time for you to get out.

Speaker 2:30:49What I'm really interested in is what is it that happens in that moment where a person decides, I have to make a move because up until that moment, there's certainly rationalization that goes on. There is the hope that things will change. Uh, there is the belief that the other person isn't really this monster or whatever, however they may be being characterized at that point, but there is a way that we will allow ourselves to remain in these situations for, in some cases, years. But that there's a very specific moment in time where something shifts in us. Do you have any sense or insight into what, what that shift actually is? Wow. Well, that's a heavy question. I think for me, I knew that this was not the right place for myself and it wasn't healthy for a long time and I think that I did justify and I did.

Speaker 2:31:54I bought books and try to heal and, you know, do all those things, but it was very clear to me that this was not going to work. And I think that there was one pivotal moment which was before a moment, the moment that I just said to you. And um, yeah, I just Kinda laid it on the line and I saw that my honesty was not, didn't matter, truth, just saying, here's, here's my fear, here's what happened. I'm not comfortable with this. This is not the way I want to live, and just seeing that that was not accepted, that was not acknowledged or respected, just made me realize that basically everything was fruitless and if I wanted to change my life, I couldn't put it in the hands of this other person. I had to do it myself. And from that moment to the moment when I actually left was probably about a month and a half or two months.

Speaker 2:32:51And so it took, uh, took this sort of escalation and things getting like really bad for me to actually just push and get the f out of there. But yeah, there was a very, very clear point and somebody said to me on the podcast episode the other day that she left and some women go back to abusers and they return eight times as the average. I think in my mind it was like, no, I'm done. There was not even any glimmer of any thought of going back ever asks you. When you think about yourself, who were you before that pivotal moment and who did you become after it? That is really the, that's really the heart of it. So I think that's the thing I realized that staying in this was be condoning a way of life that didn't feel true to me. It all felt like artifice.

Speaker 2:33:51There was no truth in any of it. And I think that integrity, honesty, true intimacy, connection, all of those things were always very valuable to me. And then in this relationship, those were the things that were missing. Try as I might, I could not. They didn't surface, they were just, it was very rare and I just felt like I didn't want to live that way myself. But I also didn't want my children to think that that was the way a relationship should look or the any friendships or anything should, should be. Um, so yeah, so the person who I am now, I mean I'm very open with my friends. I'm very open with my kids. I want them to talk to me about their feelings, what's important to them. I want to see them. If I promise something, if I can't make it happen today, I, you know, I tell them I'm working on it and I honor the fact that I actually promised something because a lot of this was like, oh, there was a pattern of promising and then pretending that they know, you know, he never said it.

Speaker 2:34:57I never said I was going to do that and this let down and I just try really hard to honor what I promised to do and that's kind of my guiding principle as a human being really. Right. And where does the whole feeling of power sit in all of this for you? Hmm. You mean what is, what do, how do I feel about power? How do you feel about my own power or power in the context of this relationship? There was the point where you were in the relationship and how did you feel in terms of your own power versus how you feel today? Oh boy. Night and day. Yeah. I felt I had very little power. Very little. I felt invisible and I even would say I could be replaced by a robot and it, I'm not sure he would notice. Um, so I felt invisible. I felt that who I was as a unique individual had very little value to him. I was just like a placeholder, like a blow up doll.

Speaker 2:36:10There's a woman who works with narcissists and she says, Oh, you were the charm on his arm. And I hate that phrase, but I think, you know, that's probably true. Yeah. That I was in one of my friends who knew him very, very well. Also set before I even met him. She said, Oh, you know, you, you're all just dolls to him. He doesn't care about your feelings. And I was like in shock when she told me, which, you know, in hindsight, I'm like, wow, she's nail on the head. Really. Got It. I was still in denial at that point, but do you have any sense of. Well, you know, as with any intimate relationship we have with another person, we have a sense of who they are and what makes them tick. Do you have a sense of, you know, what was going on for him and his life and I'm talking about the whole of his life, not in the moment that you were with him, but that for a person to get to a point where they are acting aggressively toward their intimate partner and being violent toward them or sexually assaulting them as the case is often.

Speaker 2:37:26Do you have any sense of, you know, what was underneath all of this for him? Um, well there was no sexual assault. I just, I've seen this case. I make that clear just in case that somebody hears it and really. Yeah, right. No, I know you are. I'm just covering myself. So I think that again, there's a lot of history there with the way that people are raised. Sure. The circumstances they're in, how they are either valued or devalued themselves. And I think in his case there was this a family dynamic that was with achievement and sports academics. And if you didn't do well, you know there was, there were other children and they would become the golden child and you were the black sheep. You know, like this whole shining the spotlight at or falling into the darkness kind of thing. Yeah. And a lot of verbal shaming, a lot of dismissive behavior from parents and I think that was totally the norm in that family and I didn't understand it.

Speaker 2:38:36I didn't grow up with that myself, but I can see now that the default is to treat your own family, your loved ones, your children, the way, the only way that you know, how like, you know, and I, and I think that the, when somebody asks you to be something you have no experience with, which is, you know, I don't want to say a grownup or a healthy relationship where you know there's truth and intimacy and that your truth is respected and you've never experienced that before. It's so foreign to you. It's fucking scary and it feels probably surreal and I think it scared the crap out of him and he didn't know what to do. And for those of us who are intimacy freaks are junkies, we can't, we can't, we can't fathom that. Some people don't know what it even is, but it's true.

Speaker 2:39:35I mean, my first lead has been told me that I taught him what the word intimacy truly meant. Like he just didn't get it. He didn't get it. That's not the person I'm talking about right now, but yeah, and I just think that what happens is they just grapple in the dark and are so scared and they don't know what to do and there's all this emotion coming up and it comes up in these weird ways and it's like cornering, you know, a wild animal or you know, at the. I don't know, I can't find the right metaphor really, but it's just that fear and it's like biting the hand that feeds you almost like the dog that starving and you take it in and you're like, no, no, no, it's okay. I'm trying to help you. And then it's like, you know, it's just, they don't trust it.

Speaker 2:40:19I guess that's the main thing that they do not trust that you are actually being true. You're not manipulating them. You're not trying to shame them in the next day or hour because they started crying or something because they are finally feeling their feelings and it's okay. It just feel unsafe. Maybe that's the right word. Yeah, absolutely. And if, if you think that, you know, for all of us, intimacy is associated with the people we love and that starts with, you know, who we grow up with, with our family and with our parents. And if there is something that happens, you know, that early on in childhood where you're getting the message that you are not safe, uh, with the people who are supposed to love you, it would be very difficult to become an adult and actually be able to trust that you are safe with anyone.

Speaker 2:41:11And in fact, I think what often happens is that the safer and environment you are actually in, in your adult life, the more afraid you become because it is what was taken away from you early on. Uh, you, you can't even hope to have something like that, uh, or hope for it because there's always the risk that it's going to be taken away. And that somehow you're going to be punished and it's the most damaging thing that can happen to someone because I don't know that a person actually ever heals from something like that. And it's terribly unfortunate because the way that it manifests itself is exactly the way you just described where the behavior is completely unacceptable, but it's, it's to your point about you taking in a wounded dog who starving and then abused there. Sometimes they can't be recovered and it's just deeply sad for everybody in that situation.

Speaker 2:42:20Um, and you know, for the person who is suffered the abuse themselves, it is, it is almost impossible to feel any compassion for someone who's harmed you. Um, the only thing that we have in these cases is, is that there is some reasonable explanation for it, but it's still unforgivable. The behavior that manifests as a result of this. But everybody loses in these situations. No question about it. So absolutely. So at the point that you finally made that decision to move on, what was happening with you just in your business life? Yeah. So interesting. Laugh there, Stephanie. I know, right? Well, I was still, I was actually still employed, not in my, I'm, so I was at mit and uh, doing my daily daily grind and I had moved to a town that was pretty far away and it was a struggle. I had moved out, so struggling to get back and forth.

Speaker 2:43:23I'm just to, my job was taking me no joke, two hours, sometimes one way, so it was ridiculous. And then my older daughter went through some really big emotional upheaval probably within a calendar year and so that, like from the time that we wrapped up all of our stuff and my relationship with the court and all of those things, um, it was probably a whole. He and things started surfacing with her and it just got really scary and I ended up taking a leave of absence to be there for her because she, she, she was hurting herself. She was violent, she was just not a happy kid. And I was doing, I thought I was doing everything I could or everything. Right. And I kept protecting my younger daughter. They're five years apart and um, and literally that moment that I decided to do that and called and said I need to take leave of absence, I had been with them for 10 years, so it was really fortunate to have the ability do that.

Speaker 2:44:32And my younger daughter even that day like just started to transform before my eyes and became general gentler and more just expressing more love herself and healing. And it was like a vote. It was like, you're voting for me, mom, you're here for me. You're present. And everything else was she. She literally looked at me like she wanted to kill me with lasers in her eyes. Like I destroyed her life and I was evil and I know she was being manipulated, you know, by other people in her life, other adults. And that was what was really difficult, but it was that leave of absence that allowed me to really think through what I wanted to do next. And there was a mass exodus happening in my department and so a lot of people were leaving anyway. So at the end of my leave she was at such a better place.

Speaker 2:45:22That was a no brainer for me. I was like, no, I'm not going back. And Yeah. And I was able to also, because it was not married to him, I could tap into my own retirement and use my own money. So that's the silver lining of not being married, I guess, and, and use that to build my business. But I wasn't clear on what I was going to do to make money and I could have probably jumped right into what I was doing for 10 years. But I was so burnt out from doing that. Then I knew the need to explore something else. And so I started with thinking about people said, you know, you should do relationship counseling. I was doing a lot about narcissism and these relationships, but the content was so dark and so close to where I was still living. I was like, Nah, that visited upon me bags, right?

Speaker 2:46:17Yeah. Let's talk about dwelling and the darkness. That was really tough, you know, not my thing. So then I said, okay, what else? And I had done a lot with social media for the previous five years and that seemed really natural and I ended up getting some clients from that and referrals from some other groups I was in and that just kind of took off naturally and was a very positive thing. And around the same time I started, um, the other podcasts, but you know, my income was not anywhere near what it was before. And you know, I'm on the upswing, but I had like a really great year where I launched, did that business. Everything felt great and I was starting into a video marketing product. And then last year things just really went south with my other daughter, my younger daughter, she started to have all these problems and oh my goodness.

Speaker 2:47:07So it's been quite a journey. Have been tested left and right. But I feel like I came through last year, which was probably the hardest year yet with a ton of clarity because I should slow down except where I was at. Forgive myself for not being some amazing earner or business person and really focus my children myself and just do this, that deep, deep inner work. But it's no joke when you're an entrepreneur, you really have to get your shit together internally. And so, so I'm in a much better place and uh, I would not trade that rock bottom any of them that have been through a for anything because I have to say that the resilience, the strength, the amount of clarity that I have now and compassion for other people, especially entrepreneurs is through the roof. It's really extraordinary. And you know, I was gonna I was going to ask you, as you have gone through all of this, you know, what were the takeaways for you about who you have been through all of this. And obviously the key word here is resilience because in, in looking at your life and the situation that you've been in, in, in what the past number of years have been like for you, you know, it's like the perfect storm is the piling on your after year after year. And talk to me a bit about what is it about you that has enabled you to sustain yourself through all of this. What has given you or provided you with that resilience? What is it about you [inaudible] you're gonna make me cry.

Speaker 2:49:03Getting choked up a wow. I think I have a really deep belief and a faith and higher power for one thing. I don't believe that um, what we see is what's true and I think that that is, you know, at this beautiful little book that has this amazing metaphor and it's about, you know, when you stick a straight stick in the water and you look at it, it looks bent, right? But then you pull it out and you see it straight but it. But it very convincing that that stick is bent when you're looking at it in the water. And that's how our lives are. Sometimes it looks like things are a certain way and it feels for sure, like it's maybe not even going to change. It's like really it's shitstorm after. Right? But it feels like a test. And I always say it's like I have these what I'm really a water person, but it's also like in the store, if you get below the surface of the water, there's this ultimate calm, right?

Speaker 2:50:18It's quiet and it's calm and there's a current, but you're, you're safe. And it's just like all this crap happening on the surface and like this illusion and if you can slow down your life and stop and Kinda just get quiet and breathe, be a nature walk, whatever it is and look at like how amazing everything is around us. The leaves, the clouds like amazing, like all the stuff that we have that chatter in our heads, the stuff in our bodies, the pain, whatever. All these things are coming from external forces usually. But if we can get quiet and I say go for a walk. Because I think getting grounded, like literally being barefoot sometimes can help us feel like it's going to be okay. It's all gonna be okay. Like it's all going to pass that, that storm on the surface of the water, it's gonna pass.

Speaker 2:51:17There's going to be calm water again. Pull that stick out. It's still straight near. Okay. I mean that's really who I am. Like I truly believe like even in the deepest shit still like it's gonna work out. I am an eternal optimist and yeah, and that rebel and never, never, never let go of the rebel. The rebel will pull you through the thing that fuels all of us for sure and I love the way you described the stick in the water and what is just beneath the surface where everything is quiet and just the imagery that I was, you know, seeing myself in the way you were describing this, that you just see all this chaos in the storm above the surface, but if you can bring yourself just beneath the surface of the water, everything gets really quiet and that is so powerful and it's clear that, that you managed to do that or as is evident.

Speaker 2:52:24That is just who you are. That that is how you approached going through this very long period of tumult and finally coming to a place where the extraordinary part is that you can say with absolute certainty that you wouldn't have changed any of this because what you got out of it, especially the clarity that you have the road ahead of you may be long in terms of, you know, restoring yourself to the financial position that you were in prior to all of this, but when you consider what you've gotten, an exchange is a level of clarity that's going to inform your life for the rest of your life. That seems like an okay price to pay if this is what the outcome was. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I mean this has been. I think we all, I think you've this at the beginning, maybe even before we started recording about that tittle place in our life.

Speaker 2:53:30It's like a, a place of transformation and I needed to go through this. Yeah. I wouldn't trade it. This has been awesome. Yeah. And it's just more strengthened. Confident. Go ahead. And in a way, it's almost like you're finally returning to yourself. Right? Exactly through true north kind of thing for sure and just I, I just wanted to note something. Just an observation that when I said to you what is it about you that enabled you to get through this to go through this and you said you kind of took a breath and settle. Something about that was going to make you cry. I think the observation is calling out your strengths and acknowledging your strength through all of this and the essence of who you are, which is what enabled you to get through all of this and that when we're going through these things, especially as they go on for such a long period of time, there aren't many mechanisms or people or feedback in place that reminded us of our strength and I think that if we had more ways to be reminded of just how strong we are, even as the shit show is storming above the surface, but that there is this quietness that we can have that is built on that strength of who we are.

Speaker 2:55:10It would just make things so much easier and I just. I mean, everything that you've talked about today is so extraordinary and a testament to who you are as a woman, as a person and with the strength and determination that no matter what you were dealing with, you are going to forge ahead and make things happen for yourself and come out the other side in a way that was so much better. Um, that's a really extraordinary story and I deeply appreciate you sharing so many intimate details, especially just how you felt through all of this. So I just deeply appreciate this conversation, Stephanie. Thank you so much. Oh, you're so right. About the whole people acknowledging our strengths as so true. So important to just again be your own, be your own best cheerleader or believer because we, you know, we can't look outside ourselves sometimes and expect that although it would be great that it's not always there.

Speaker 2:56:22So you gotta be your own right. And you know, when you think about it, you know, when, when we're going through these things and we're talking with our friends, everybody has an opinion and the last thing we need in these moments is someone with an opinion what we need more than anyone else more than anything else is to feel like someone is standing there with us that is going through that battle with us and just nodding and saying, yeah, I get it. I know. And it's going to be okay. Exactly. To be seen. To be seen and to give voice to it. Yeah, exactly. And it's amazing how much power we can draw from feeling seen. A huge. Yeah, for sure. Anything else like that little validation. It's still a validation. Yeah, definitely. Thank you. You've done that. I appreciate that. Are very good at that stuff. That is your super power.

Speaker 2:57:24One of many I'm sure, but thank you. You know, as we wrap this up today, you know, a lot of people who listen to my show are going through different things in their life and they're in various stages or at at different points in the process of what they're trying to do or on their journey as entrepreneurs and what have you, and they run into walls and big roadblocks and challenges and experienced catastrophic things happening. And you know, as you look back on your own life and you think about the takeaways, if you were to be talking with someone who is just having a really rough time in this moment, you know, from your experience, what would you share with them that might enable them to feel like it's going to be okay? Wow. Well, yeah. I mean I think, I just want to say this too shall pass because it's such a trite saying, but it's like, I think if you can find one small thing in your life that gives you a glimmer of hope or joy or whatever, like just focus on that thing.

Speaker 2:58:44Even if it's for one minute, allow yourself to feel some hope and some happiness, right? Because I think what happens is when we get really down in dark, we start dwelling in the darkness and then when we start sharing it with people, they reinforce, yeah, you're in a shit show and just pour gas on it, right? And then you're just like, well, nobody wants to be me. And the truth is that when we're really hurting, that is sometimes when we repel people the most because we really need love. We need information, we need some attention. It's loving attention and so, but we have to realize that most people, and this was really hard for me, but most people are scared to death that whatever you're going through is contagious or is going to impact them in some way. So if you can find whatever that thing is, if it's, you know, at some stupid TV show, if it's a radio thing, if it's like some goofy book that you read or whatever that thing is, some youtube, one minute clip about a cat with a PCR and I don't know, that just shifts you a little bit to a positive place and it's working, like do that, do that thing, whatever that thing is.

Speaker 2:60:04I mean, I took walks, I did tapping, I did all kinds of things. Journaling, just pouring positive things into my head, but also just getting quiet and, you know, I think it has got a try. Whatever works and allow yourself to feel crappy too at the same time. So I'm not saying like suppress the anger, the bitterness, the whatever, but just also allow yourself some glimmers of good stuff, hope, positivity and uh, and I think that that energy will beget more of it. You'll see it's still because sometimes it gets so dark. It's like where did it go? Right. Yeah, right. Well, Stephanie, this has been such an extraordinary conversation and I appreciate it so much and I'm clearly you have a lot to share with people in terms of, um, you know, people going through very challenging, uh, relationships and other things that are happening in their life and I know that you do a lot of coaching with people around this and um, you're introducing some programs that can be really helpful to people and if they'd like to know more about you or, um, take advantage of what you have to offer.

Speaker 2:61:26Can you share with our listeners where they can reach you? Yeah, probably the best place, the best place to find me right now. Um, I don't know when this is going to go live that you can find me at audacious life on instagram. That's where you'll find links to everything else that's new, that's upcoming. Um, I also have a facebook page. It's Steph gets social on facebook. Um, and then my website, Stephanie, Robert Startcom is being revamped and that will relaunch very soon and so you can find everything there as well. And just for clarification, Stephanie, um, in terms of your Stephanie Roberts Dot Com, uh, your first name is Stephanie does not end with an e, is that correct? That's right, mom, she typing in, so it's definitely without the e. exactly, yes. Thank you for clarifying. Yes. And I, I, this is why I go by staff because then nobody has to spell it and I feel more like a stuff anyway, but that's all done.

Speaker 2:62:31I will say. Thank you. Thank you so much for inviting me today. I, you know what, I hope that I can have you come back for another conversation maybe a year from now because I think it would be really interesting to follow up with you and just see where you're at on your journey in terms of what has happened with both of your podcasts, how everything has shifted in your messaging, what's happening with your business and what's happening in your personal life. I think that would be a fascinating conversation and a wonderful way for people to look at this is how much a year can make in terms of the difference in their life. Oh, I would love that. So I feel like I'm on a really positive trajectory, so absolutely, we'll have a lot of good things. I think it's actually going to happen a lot sooner than a map, but I'll give it a year. Okay, thanks lane. I appreciate the phone company. All right, you too. Take care. Okay. Bye. Bye. Bye. So as is always the case at the end of our show, I asked you to think about your life and ask yourself the question, what's your next move? I'm arlene in battle. Thanks so much for listening and I'll be back with another episode.

Speaker 1:63:45Welcome to what's your next move? The podcast for peak performers who were making things happen that are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. Whether you work for someone else, you're an entrepreneur, thinking about starting your own business or at a point in your life where you just can't make the move from where you are to where you want to go. You're in the right place. This podcast is all about answering one question. What's your next move? And helping you harness your power. So your next move is the one that changes your life. I'm your host and resident provocateur, Arlene. Bad Hustle, and I want to know what's your next move.

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